Reprocessing Old Photos with Topaz Clarity

Venetian Gondolas | Venice, Italy

Last week I got my hands on a pre-release version of the new Topaz Clarity I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with this new software (a plug-in for Lightroom & Photoshop). As its name suggests, it boosts image clarity and brings out details that you may have not otherwise noticed.

To test it out I pulled out some photos from a trip I took to Venice in 2009. Its always great fun for a photo geek like me to reprocess old images. Its amazing how far technology has come in the last 3-4 years!

Venetian Gondolas before and after Topaz Clarity

The image above is one of my all-time favorites from Venezia (Venice). I captured this image sitting in a butterfly position on the edge of the Grand Canal, near Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square). I LOVE the angle I captured – its unlike any other Venice photo I’ve seen (which is no small feat considering how many people photograph Venice each and every day)!

Now that you know a bit about this photo and why I love it, lets consider the processing.  The top image is the one that has been in my portfolio since 2009. I processed it in Lightroom, whatever the current version was at the time.

The bottom image was processed with today’s technology – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 and Topaz Clarity  Right away I notice a few differences – the colors pop a bit more, and, thanks to Topaz Clarity  there is more detail in the clouds, water, and the reflections in the bottoms of the gondolas. I didn’t do anything crazy with Topaz Detail, I simply applied the Landscape preset “Color & Contrast Boost II.”

This software has several controls that you can use to increase or decrease the effect of the preset (or create your own preset). For most images a preset is a starting good point, but I liked what it did to this image and ran with it.

So, what do you think? Do you have a preference between the two images? I definitely like what Topaz Clarity can do and am looking forward to its official release tomorrow!

If you’d like to add Topaz Clarity to your toolbox it will be released May 22, 2013. It will retail for $49.99 but will be available at a special reduced price of $29.99 through May 31, 2013 with the promo code “claritynew”.

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