Photography & Art


Topaz Studio as an Alternative to Lightroom


At this point, everybody knows that Adobe is probably busy working on the next version of Lightroom. Probably version 7? The expectation is that they will resolve the many issues that have users up in arms about the program. The mayor expectation is that the next version should be speedier that what we now have. It is my opinion, that this is an uphill battle... To increase performance in a catalog based workflow, you have to take into consideration, disk speed, memory performance, file sizes and a few other parameters that influence the speed of monolithic applications, like Lightroom.

Adobe also seems to be putting a lot of effort into improving their mobile presence...

While this work happens behind the curtains, other vendors are fulfilling the needs of users that are looking for an option to process their images and/or photos.

Programs like Capture One, OnOne RAW 2017, Pixelmator, Affinity Photo, DXO Optics Pro, Luminar and Topaz Studio have jumped at the opportunity to gain some of the ground that Adobe is losing. It's a great time to be in this industry with so many choices!!

I had the opportunity to get in early into the Topaz Labs (Topaz Studio) offer (I own the professional suite of their plugins) and was able to get the Pro version at a cheaper price.

The program is extremely capable and very easy to learn. With almost no direction, I was able to edit images and get them where I wanted them after just a few clicks.

Topaz Studio Presets
Topaz Studio Presets

The application also has a very large library of presets that are either, generated by the company or by a personal contributor that owns the program like you and me.

In other words, each person that owns the program can use all the tools provided by the program and others; like images and textures to create unique editing presets.

Those presets can then be saved and submitted to the Topaz Studio Library where other users can download them and use them in their workflows.

In essence, this ability allows the program to grow and become this enormous repository of user-submitted edits. Each one unique and completely free.

The program also allows you, as a user, to download and change said presets with your own settings and textures.

The possibilities are endless!!

Among the preset categories, you can find Action, Black and White, Duotone, Fine Art, Landscape, Portraits, Sunsets and Skies, Urban and Vintage Presets among many, many others.

The folks from Topaz Labs have really created a winner here!

Where can I get It?

The application can be downloaded completely free, the only requirement, is to get a free Topaz account. The basic adjustments include:

  • Basic Adjustments
  • Blurs
  • Brightness Contrast
  • Color Overlay
  • Dual Tone
  • Film Grain
  • Posterize
  • Tone Curves
  • Vignettes
  • and Image Layers

If you decide to buy the Pro Pack ($137.50 now, regular $274.86) you get the following:

  • Abstraction
  • Black and White
  • Bloom
  • Color Theme
  • Dehaze
  • Edge Exposure
  • Focal Blur
  • HSL Color Tuning
  • Precision Contrast
  • Radiance
  • Reduce Noise
  • Sharpen
  • Smudge
  • and Texture

As you can see, the application is pretty complete and that is not taking into account other things like: individual adjustment masks, opacity controls, and blending modes. Just the tip of the iceberg with regards to how capable this program is.

In addition to all the controls you get with Topaz Studio, you get complete integration with the rest of the plugins from the suite. Topaz Studio can be run as a standalone application or as a plugin for Adobe Lightroom and/or Photoshop.

Creativity in Topaz
Creativity in Topaz

This program can only get better, and with the recent news that Google is abandoning the Nik Suite of applications, Topaz Studio fill that hole as well.

If you will like to try Topaz Studio, you can do by following this link.

What do you think? are these programs enough? Do you use applications like this instead of Lightroom? leave a comment below and start the conversation.

Photo Credit:

Tina Rolf