Interpreting with Topaz Impressions

February 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Interpreting with Topaz Impressions

Examples from Simms Park, Courtenay, BC

The slideshow gives a quick view of photographs before and after application of Topaz Impressions 2. Larger versions are available in this gallery: 

Many people believe that the task of photographers is to record the world observed as accurately as possible -  to produce an image that anyone in his or her position would see. Yet no photograph is free of human judgement in its production. Cameras don't record all detail in light and shadows that is visible to the average human. The software that translates the light recorded on millions of photo diodes produces results varying in detail, brightness and colour when displayed on electronic or print media. We can't know what is outside the frame and what might have been removed by the photographer. My memory is too poor to state whether my own photographs are accurate documents in all respects; I have to be satisfied with good enough.

I often want to record an event, object, action or scene simple because it is part of the world I encounter. Sometimes I want to create a mood, an emotional connection, a simplified view, a sense of motion. Often I want to stress part of the frame and exclude sections that distract from my primary focus. On these occasions it is really helpful to have software like Topaz Impressions (version 2) that make this work easier.

All digital images are processed at least by the camera designers and the creators of software for displaying the results. Standard adjustments attempt to extract as much detail as possible from the sensor that receives the light and allow correction for various distortions. The more creative adjustments are those that simplify and focus attention on part of the image or alter it to stress a mood or emotion, sometimes adding what was not in the original image. That is what pictorial artists have always done; photographers should not feel reluctant to take this path. Topaz Impressions is a set of filtering tools that allow the photographer to add a painterly or sketching style to an image base. 



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