Running... Again?

  If you know me you know there was a time about 10 years ago or so where I was running. A lot. At least 5 days a week and at least 5 miles a run. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t preparing for a race or a marathon. I just found myself enjoying the time spent running. I wasn’t obsessed with numbers, but I kept track of them all and liked seeing improvements in time and distances. It was good physical health and mental health. Then I tweaked my knee. Not bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it, just a tweak that told me I needed to back off of running for a little bit. So I decided on 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I aborted a run very early as the pain was still there. 2 weeks became 3, became a month, became 5 years. 

Topaz Labs Restyle Preview!

ReStyle Sample
Just 4 different presets, with the original in the middle
As I've mentioned many times here on the blog I'm a big fan of Topaz Labs plug-ins. So much so that the only ad on the site is for their web store. And, I should mention, if you purchase anything through that link on the right I do get a little something back from them. It isn't much, but I figured since I talk up their products a lot on here I would give this affiliate thing a shot. But another nice benefit for me, and in turn you guys, is I get to preview new products, and I have one to show today.

Topaz Labs ReStyle. I'm not sure how to describe it, but to say it has the feel of Instagram filters, but with a whole lot more power and control to them. ReStyle seems to tone your photos using 5 colors and an astounding 1,000 presets to choose from. My beta copy doesn't have all 1,000 (they told me, I didn't count) but the number included already was mind boggling. And all the presets have names to them. Seriously, who's job is it to think of 1,000 names for presets?

ReStyle Screen
If you've used a Topaz Labs product recently the workspace will look very familiar. The top left corner are your collections of presets sorted loosely by subject. Example: there is Architecture, Seascape, and Street, along with moody, for when you want to get all emo in your photography. Below the collections are the presets themselves. Under each name is a bar showcasing the colors used in the toning. It looks to me that the longer the color in bar the more impact that color will have in your photo. One standout feature I noticed was the ability to find other presets, regardless of collection, based on the preset you've currently selected. In the above shot I chose Desert Storm 1. Clicking the tags icon in the bar between the categories and presets I can see 15 other similarly toned presets, some not even in the Seascape collection. On the right are the tweaking controls to fine tune your photo just the way you like it with HSL (Hue, Saturation, and Luminous) controls, and basic temperature, overall saturation, and structure. Topaz looks to have also included the excellent masking tools found in Clarity with this letting you really control how and where your image is toned.

To be honest my first time playing around with the software I was wondering if I really liked it. I'm not a fan of Instagram, and I wasn't liking what the plug-in was doing to my photos. Then I tried changing the photos around and found that I quite liked how it worked for this simple shot of Pigeon Point lighthouse. I found myself trying on many different presets and enjoying looking at this photo in different ways. For me, this plug-in isn't for every shot. But what I did find is it helped unlock a little bit more creativity, and I'm looking forward to playing with it some more. I have an album of these shots you can check out here.

 Topaz Labs ReStyle should be released within a couple weeks and will be on sale for $29.99 through August 31, then it will jump up to $59.99. Keep an eye on my Twitter or Google+ feed for an announcement when it's live!

Update as of 8/8/2013, ReStyle is live. Click the graphic below to grab it, and use coupon code "restyleit" (without quotation marks) to get it at 50% off.


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