NIK HDR Pro 2 and Topaz Clarity Together?
Just thought I would add a photo I took several years ago in the countryside of Belarus outside of Minsk. It was a good image to begin with so it was pretty hard to mess it up, but this time I tried something I had not done before. First I processed this image quite a bit in Lightroom – doing the basic sliders and then sharpening up the road and the foreground plants a little. Then once in Photoshop, I applied Nik’s HDR Pro 2 using the Deep 1 preset – no changes. I wondered how Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity would stack up against the HDR program, so I duplicated the image and added Clarity. A preset I had created called Very Vivid Sharp was selected. (Settings if you want them are as follows: Clarity: Dynamics – Micro Contrast 0.84, Low Contrast 0.56, Medium Contrast -0.31, and High Contrast -0.09; Tone Level – all set to 0; and HSL Filter: Hue – no changes; Sat – Red 0.25, Orange 0.13, Yellow, Green, Aqua, Purple and Magenta all 0, Blue 0.06, and Overall 0.17; and Lum – Red -0.81, Orange -0.01, Yellow 0, Green -0.08, Aqua 0, Blue 0.23, Purple 0, Magenta 0.33, and Overall -0.12) Wow – it really popped the image! So now what to do, what to do?
I decided to move the Clarity layer on top and add a black layer mask. Then I selectively painted back areas that needed the extra boost that Clarity added. The results are quite spectacular I believe. Next time you get stuck, try applying a couple different filters to the original image – even ones that do not come together – and stack and mask them to get the best of both. The results can be quite incredible!…..Digital Lady Syd