Michael Nath  

Gladiolas by Michael Nath

October 2020 - Gladiolas

October 2020 - Michael Nath


About the Image(s)

The image was taken while I was participating in an animation workshop at Santa Clara University. The university grounds are covered in small garden plots tended by the Jesuit priests that administer the school. The image was taken at 1/30 second, F4.5, ISO 100 with a 28-80mm lens at 80mm. I found the background distracting and decided to experiment with Topaz studio. After cropping, I used NIK Vivenza to enhance the bright colors. This was followed by 2 adjustment layers in Topaz studio. The first layer was with Topaz "basic correction" where the colors were sharpened and the color palette adjusted farther. The second layer was the application of a preset in Topaz studio called "my cezanne II" where I experimented with every slider available (over a dozen) until I was happy with the result. An even more extensive set of controls is available in the Topaz product Impression II.

10 comments posted

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
I like your use of Topaz to re-create the background...yours is better, in my view. Topaz and NIK and great for giving an image a new look...often the look of a painting.
I experimented with your "Topaz" view by reducing exposure and adding a vignette. With your flowers, you have replaced the "freckles" on the gladiola with brush strokes. Nice touch   Posted: 10/01/2020 09:43:55
Comment Image
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Thank you Paul, I appreciate it. What I enjoy most about Topaz Impression II, is that I can use multiple presets on successive layers in Photoshop to produce different appearances, exit Topaz, return to Photoshop and add separate layer masks (feathered of course) to each Topaz layer to produce something akin to a composite image. That way separate sizes and styles of brush strokes can be deliberately used throughout the image much like a painter choosing different brushes.   Posted: 10/01/2020 20:02:49

Ed O’Rourke   Ed O’Rourke
I really like this photo, but I'm not sure how to evaluate it as I've never worked with those kind of filters (and I can't try out Topaz as it doesn't run on Linux).

What draws me to the image is the color as the bright yellow dominates the flower with the red/orange spots adding, for me, a level of interest. And I am positively impressed with the way you have converted those spots into "brush strokes". I like the composition with the placement of the flowers and I think your background bokeh is a strong improvement over the original. The way the background colors start on the bottom with cool greens, moves to warmer pinks half way up and the the top is a soft blue in my mind are an enhancement and help highlight the flowers for me.   Posted: 10/10/2020 18:29:12
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Thank you Ed, I appreciate it. Sorry you cannot try Topaz. It does run on Mac or an iPad under Affinity as a plug-in. I have no idea if it will operate with GIMP using Linux.   Posted: 10/14/2020 14:00:41

Jeff Coyle   Jeff Coyle
Stunning colors. I've never used that filter, but the end result is quite impressive. Would look great on a wall.   Posted: 10/14/2020 12:19:21
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Thank you Jeff, I appreciate it. It does rotate in and out of a frame with others like it. It prints best on a soft matte surface so that it looks more like a painting than a glossy photo.   Posted: 10/14/2020 14:03:53

Jean Wu   Jean Wu
Same comment as Ed. I have never used Topaz and can't evaluate it. PS can achieve the same effect I believe. Anyway, you did a nice post processing job here!!   Posted: 10/17/2020 10:33:34
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Thank you Jean. You are correct in that the same effect can be done with Photoshop and other editors. Plugins, like Topaz, just make the modifications easier to complete and usually with less time and effort. I would need to create and record an "action" in Photoshop for each and every change I wanted to re-create. Topaz has just made it easier and faster. In addition, I can have Topaz do a series of changes with each change on a separate layers as I go. I can then go through each layer and make adjustments within them using traditional photoshop edits (such as layer masks, color gradients, etc.).   Posted: 10/17/2020 14:01:19

Jerry Paskowitz   Jerry Paskowitz
Michael, Great image capture and PP. A testament to the notion that we are not 'photographers', we are 'image creators'.   Posted: 10/19/2020 19:11:51
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Thanks Jerry, I appreciate it.   Posted: 10/23/2020 09:34:14


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