Several people have contacted me about how I make my photo paintings. It starts with a traditional bird photo and then I mask out the bird using Topaz Mask AI. Then I add a texture, a background or both and blend them in. Lastly I use Topaz Studio to create the painting effect.

Every few months I plan to give you a quick update on Topaz products. I have been using these products since January 2020, and I have come to rely on them for almost all of my post-processing needs once I get things organized and give each image a quick fix in Luminar 4.0. Then I move to Topaz for things like noise reduction, sharpening, enlarging, painting and more. 

Here is some exciting news.

Topaz Labs released a free update to Gigapixel AI. This update includes a model improvement for better results, a new single-image preview view, new zoom options, and the new “man-made” mode to better enhance the details in cityscapes, typography, and other images with clear outlines and sharp edges.

This update includes the new masking/selective adjustments feature where users will be able to selectively apply or remove noise reduction to certain areas in images. This feature can be found by clicking the “Masking” brush icon near the top of the screen beside the view options. This update also includes the “Low Light Mode” toggle option under the DeNoise AI model to treat severe or difficult-to-remove noise created in low lighting.

I know you all have heard me talking about Topaz stuff lately, and there’s a reason for it. The one good thing that has happened during the shelter in place order in my state for purposes of defeating COVID 19, I have actual spare time on my hands. And that means going over my old images and seeing if there’s anything I missed in my first culls or anything I liked, but didn’t think worked for some technical reason.

Well, here’s today’s shot and proof that there is a bright side to everything.

I photographed this bald eagle in the Cook Inlet of Alaska from a moving boat. The weather, and light were iffy. I was reacting to him swooping by and I slightly under-exposed him by about a third of a stop. (When photographing eagles I have to be careful to hold detail on the white feathers, which is difficult given the broad dynamic range between those feathers and the black feathers on the same bird.)