A lot of my work has doors in it, or the suggestion of doors. We all open the same door many times over and over and each time we open it new light comes in, different air, a fresh experience, an old experience slips out and gets loose in the room. – Stephanie Torbert
I was going to interpret this weeks theme by photographing that quintessential English treat of strawberries and cream. Make a still life of it, you know, fresh strawberries in a bowl with cream poured over them. But someone, who shall remain nameless, ate the strawberries. So instead I have chosen the alternative viewpoint and I’m going to tell you about something new.
As many readers will know I often use plugins and filters for Photoshop on my photographs. The main ones being NIK (now Google) Color Efex and the very excellent products from Topaz Labs. For some time now I have been a beta tester for Topaz Labs which means I get to try new software before it’s released for general sale. Currently I’m testing a product called ReStyle.
Topaz Labs describe ReStyle as;
designed to open up new artistic and creative possibilities for your images and to help achieve “styles” that you might otherwise not have thought of. It does this by giving you a huge variety of styles and looks, easily searchable by overall style, individual colours, keywords and more using multiple workflows.
Quite! What does that mean in practice? Let’s have a look. At the top of this post is the original image. Taken almost as the sun was set, its got some beautiful purple colours and looks quite peaceful. As a photograph I quite like it, but what if I wanted to jazz it up. Before ReStyle I would have to play around with Hue and Saturation filters in Photoshop till eventually I got the look I wanted. ReStyle takes the guesswork away by presenting me with a set of pre-filters showing me the look I will achieve with just the click of a mouse button. At the moment because we are in beta test there aren’t that many pre-set looks but by software release Topaz reckon there will be about a 1000.
Here’s an example of what I can achieve. I like the photograph above but with one click I have changed the look completely. You’ll notice that the orange colours haven’t change much. It’s the greys, purples and blues which are mainly affected.
Topaz ReStyle uses the colours of the pre-set I choose and inserts them into the original image, essentially eliminating a majority of the original image colour and replacing it with the new look.
Another example, This time I tending to a more purple hue all over. All done with a click of a muse button.
ReStyle won’t be for every photograph, I’m sure there are many that just wouldn’t convert and look good. I’m still testing but I like the idea that I can give a fresh (you just knew I would get that word in somewhere) look to a photograph.