Aspen turning — some post processing experimentation

Recently, Topaz Software released the latest in their line of plugin and post processing software — Impression. The idea is that this software (which you can run stand-alone, or as a Photoshop plugin) can turn a photograph into something resembling a painting. And you can choose from approximations to any of a number of painting styles, with lots of things to tweak.  It’s available at a discount through the end of the month, so I thought I should download it and a trial code and give it a spin.

Aspen turning (original)

My raw material was this shot of aspen trees turning — I took it last weekend down in the San Juan mountains thinking it’d make nice wallpaper for my various gadgets.  Starting off with one of Impression’s “Van Gogh” presets and tweaking a bit, I rendered the original into this:

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Review — Craft and Vision Lightroom presets

Anybody that’s followed this blog for long knows how much I like the photography eBooks published by Craft And Vision.  Well, now they’re selling presets for Adobe Lightroom — so I thought it only right to give them a look.

FWIW, the presets were developed for Lightroom 4 — they also seem to work beautifully in the Lighroom 5 beta, but if you’re using an earlier version of the software, they are unlikely to play well with your setup.

In any event, most photographers would rather spend their time taking photographs (vs. sitting in front of a computer), so good presets can be a good shortcut in getting your raw images into good shape for presentation.  They are also a good way to shorten the learning curve when (like me) you’re a bit new to some particular post-processing software.


Delnea presets spread

The first set of presets was developed by Dave Delnea for his own photography.  $10 gets you 46 presets and a 28-page PDF instruction manual.  The manual explains how to install the presets (if you’ve not done this before), and gives you complete before & after photographs for each preset, so you can see just what each does.

To give you an idea of what you get in this package, here’s the whole list of Delnea’s presets by name::

Delnea preset grab

The second set of presets is by David duChemin — here, $10 gets you 36 of David’s most-used presets and an 18-page PDF guide.  

DuChemin preset grab

As with the first set, the manual has a how-to section, and complete before and after photographs for each preset.


Presets bundle

If these sound interesting to you and you’d like to save a few dollars, you can get both preset packages together in one bundle — all 82 presets, used daily by two working photographers, for $18. Obviously, this deal is just of use to photographers using Lightroom 4 (or for folks contemplating the jump to Lightroom with version 5).  But if this describes you and the way you work, I think it’s a fantastic deal.  When you want to tweak some photos quickly, these presets will get you going with a few clicks and for a reasonable price.