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. 

Star Effects

Without Star Effects on the Left. With a subtle dose of Star Effects on the Right.
Some plugins I don't use nearly as often as maybe I should. And, quite frankly, there are some I forget I have, except in those few instances where I see a shot and think such and such plugin will really spice things up. That's the case with +Topaz Labs Star Effects. It's not a plug-in I use daily, but when a shot comes up with the right features, it can be a lot of fun.

Basically Star Effects adds some oomph to your light sources. Think of it as bling for your lights. And you can control just how much oomph there is. As you can see in the photos above I think I went for a more subtle look. So how does it work? When you bring a photo into Star Effects it looks for light sources and marks them. You can control the threshold for what is and is not a lightsource, or you can paint them in or out. Then you can choose from various presets the look and flare of your stars. Everything from the type of star, halo effect, number of points, size, and color are adjustable. What I thought would be the hardest part, marking light sources, wasn't even a factor, with this photo anyway. The time consuming part was the fun part, experimenting with all the sliders.

This is a great tool for the holidays, and just in time for your holiday photos Topaz is taking 50% off their normal price of $29.99 and selling it for $14.99. Just head over to Star Effects and use the code "decstar" (no quotes). The deal is good through December. And if you want to see more of what this tool can do, check out the video.


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