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How to Use the Brightness Contrast Adjustment

Hi everyone! Today we’ll be going over the Brightness Contrast Adjustment in Topaz Studio. This Adjustment is very versatile and allows you to make subtle changes and extreme changes. I’ll be showing how both styles can work in a single image. It’s pretty amazing how a touch of this adjustment can dramatically change your image. So lets get started.

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Overview of the Brightness Contrast Adjustment

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Topaz Studio is a simple to use editing platform with Topaz Labs’ powerful acclaimed photo enhancement technology. It works as a standalone editor, a plugin within Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as a host application for your other Topaz plugins. It is free to use the program, all 1-click effects, and 10 Adjustments.

The Brightness Contrast Adjustment is one of 10 free Adjustments within Topaz Studio! Brightness Contrast lets users correct and update images with absolute control over the brightness, contrast, and saturation of an image. This easy to use, extremely versatile tool provides users with an array of possibilities. From inverted colors to bold contrast to soft and dreamy, Brightness Contrast gives you the ability to make your images come alive. Want to follow along as I show you how you can correct images in this beginner level tutorial? Grab this image and open it in Topaz Studio to begin!

butterfly[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Don’t have Topaz Studio? Topaz Studio is free to download! You can get it now by using the links below. If you need more information about Topaz Studio, check out this overview: Introducing Topaz Studio[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Free Topaz Studio Download

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Windows” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Ftopazlabs.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.exe|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Mac” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Ftopazlabs.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.dmg|||”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

What You’ll Need

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]This introduction tutorial is really easy to follow along with but you will need just a few things if you’d like to follow along with me:

1. Topaz Studio. You’ll need Topaz Studio on your computer if you’d like to follow along during this tutorial.

2. An Image. Grab the butterfly image above to follow along and try it out for yourself.

3. About 15 minutes. This beginner’s level tutorial will only take about 15 minutes to complete.

I’m going to teach you about each slider and what it does. Ready to try it out? Let’s get started![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47932″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

An open image in Topaz Studio. The Effects Panel, Scopes Panel, and Workspace Panel are all minimized for this tutorial.

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Adjustment Overview

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”47934″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The Brightness Contrast Adjustment looks simple with only 3 sliders. Don’t let the simplicity fool you! This little Adjustment is very powerful and can completely change the look of an image!

The Sliders and What They Do:

Brightness: Correct images or add artistic flare by changing the brightness of the image from pure white to solid black and anywhere in between.

Contrast: From intense contrast to dreamy and soft contrast to completely inverted, Brightness Contrast offers a variety of editing possibilities.

Saturation: From bold to subtle, desaturated to inverted, choose any saturation you like! The full spectrum of choices allows for bold colors, delicate hues, and artistic combinations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Step 1: Add the Brightness Contrast Adjustment

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]NOTE: We will not be using 1-click effects, the workspace, or the scopes panel. I have minimized these areas to make my canvas bigger. You can do this by clicking on the border edge arrow. To open them back up, click again.

There are a few different ways to add the Brightness Contrast Adjustment in Topaz Studio.

  1. Click the Brightness Contrast Adjustment icon in the Adjustment Buttons (pictured here). All 10 free adjustments are located here.
  2. Click the More Button in the Adjustment Buttons to show a list for all Adjustments. Click Brightness Contrast Adjustment to add it to your Adjustment Stack.
  3. Go to Menu > Adjustment >Brightness Contrast Adjustment to add the Brightness Contrast Adjustment.

We will be making changes to the subject matter (butterfly) once you have added the Brightness Contrast Adjustment.

Try it out: Slide each slider back and forth between -1.00 and 3.00 (1.00 for the Brightness Slider) and observe how the image is affected! To reset the slider just click the Slider Name or click Undo (bottom right hand corner of the program).

To make the butterfly bright and blue, simply make the following adjustments:
Brightness: 0.10
Contrast: 1.75
Saturation: -1.00[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47940″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

An extreme change with the Brightness Contrast Adjustment in Topaz Studio.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Once you have made the changes, go to the Blending Mode drop down and rollover the various names to see how the image is affected. Select Color.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47945″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

Use the Blending Mode to change the way the image is affected by the Adjustment.

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Masking

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”47947″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We will need to mask to make the subject matter the only affected area. Click the Add Mask Button next to the Adjustment name to add an Adjustment Level Mask. When you add masking it will default to white. Select Invert to make the mask black. Then select Brush. Since the mask is black we will need to brush in white. Change the Mask Density to white. Paint the subject matter white. You can change the Radius and Edge Softness to make the brush bigger or sharper. When you are finished, click Done.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]When you are done with the first Brightness Contrast Adjustment, select the Eye Icon to turn the Adjustment OFF.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Step 2: Add the Second Brightness Contrast Adjustment

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Go ahead and add a second Brightness Contrast Adjustment.

Try it out: Slide each slider back and forth between -1.00 and 3.00 (1.00 for the Brightness Slider) and observe how the background changes.

You can put the slider where you like them or use the same settings I used:
Brightness: -0.45
Contrast: 1.00
Saturation: 1.30[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47950″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

A subtle change with the Brightness Contrast Adjustment in Topaz Studio is easy to accomplish.

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Masking

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_single_image image=”47951″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Now we’ll need to mask to make the background the only affected area. Click the Add Mask Button next to the Adjustment name to add an Adjustment Level Mask. When you add masking it will default to white. Then select Brush. Make sure the Mask Density is black. Paint the subject matter black. You can change the Radius and Edge Softness to make the brush bigger or sharper. When you are finished, click Done.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]When you are done with the second Brightness Contrast Adjustment, select the Eye Icon on the first Adjustment to turn the Adjustment ON.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47958″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

The completed image: a subtle, yet dramatic background and a vibrant and bright butterfly.

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That’s It!

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]From bold and colorful to subtle and realistic, that’s everything you can accomplish with the Brightness Contrast Adjustment in Topaz Studio and how you can do it! I hope you tried out a few new things today and learned a little about the endless possibilities within Topaz Studio.

We’ll also be adding more tutorials and videos so be sure to give us a follow to learn more!

If you’d like to share your images with us, tag us on Instagram with @topazlabs and Twitter with @topazlabs. We’re also on Facebook and YouTube![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_separator border_width=”3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]

About Jodi L. Robbins

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8523″ img_size=”” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_circle_2″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Jodi is currently the Art Director of Topaz Labs. She has been an artist and photographer for over 15 years, starting with black and white film photography and alternative processing. After completing her BFA in Studio Art from Southern Methodist University and her Masters in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked in product photography for companies such as Heritage Auctions, Neiman Marcus, and the Dallas Cowboys.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_separator border_width=”3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Precision Contrast Adjustment vs. Topaz Clarity

Precision Contrast vs. Topaz Clarity

 

What is the Difference?

Are you trying to decide what is what and if you should buy or not? I had the same questions at first, too. This article weighs the pro and cons of each program, so you can decide what is best for your editing needs.

If you own Topaz Clarity and are trying to decide if you should invest in the Precision Contrast Adjustment, I would advise waiting. Unless you are just dying to have some new software to play with, the Topaz Clarity and Precision Contrast tools preform very similar functions. You may find Precision Contrast to be slightly redundant if you already own Topaz Clarity. We will continue to support our existing plugins. The updated functionality that Precision Contrast boasts will soon be implemented into Topaz Clarity.

While I do not suggest re-buying similar software, there are different things to take into consideration when deciding between them if you do not own either. If you are still curious about the differences or do not own either, please read on to make an informed purchase decision. Whichever you choose, I promise it will quickly become one of your go to programs.

Download and Try Them for Free

[vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]I can tell you all day about the pros and cons of each program, or you could try it out for yourself. We offer a 30 day free trial of all of our software. So you can stop reading right now and decide which one you like better, just by trying them out yourself. I’ve provided the download links for each program below.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Topaz Studio Precision Contrast

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Topaz Clarity

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Windows” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fopen_beta.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.exe|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Mac” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fopen_beta.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.dmg|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Windows” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fd2xkriaa67cpt4.cloudfront.net%2Ftopazclarity_setup.exe|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Mac” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Ftopazlabs.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazclarity.dmg|||”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row]

What do they do?

[vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]First things first, if you have never heard of either program, let me give you a small crash course on what each program accomplishes.

Each program has the ability to intuitively increase the contrast of your image. Typically, a contrast tool makes your darks darker and your lights lighter to create a higher contrast between shades in an image. The problem with most contrast tools is it is always a balancing act. You are either blowing out highlights or crushing shadows, since a contrast tool adjusts both your darks and lights of the overall image.

Each program features similar technology that allows you to independently control contrast by the varying degree of details in your image. Each algorithm analyzes your image and categories details as either micro, low, medium, or high contrast. We then allow you to adjust each one independently of one another. There’s no more balancing act in either program. While the do strive to achieve the same end result, they are each very unique.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column_text]

Appearance

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]The most obvious difference between the two applications is their appearance. Topaz Clarity, being the older of the two programs, has a slightly more dated interface. Upon starting each program, you will see each program features effects on the left-hand side and the sliders on the right-hand side. Topaz Studio has multi-document support, so you can have multiple images opened at once. Topaz Clarity only lets you adjust one image at a time. There is also a slight difference between the implementation of effects between the two programs. The effects on the left-hand side within Clarity only use Clarity technology, while the effects on the left-hand side of Topaz Studio contain multiple adjustments. If you wish to apply an adjustment that only uses Precision Contrast technology, you will have to click the drop down menu with the Precision Contrast Adjustment on the right-hand side of your screen.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47054″ img_size=”large” onclick=”link_image”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]

Topaz Clarity

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Precision Contrast Adjustment

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Functionality

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]The biggest difference between Clarity and Precision Contrast is the speed. The Precision Contrast Adjustment is lightyears faster than Topaz Clarity. I have both on my computer right now and the edits I make within the Precision Contrast Adjustment are instant. No waiting whatsoever. Edits done with Topaz Clarity seem to take quite a bit longer, about a few seconds for each change. I find myself getting very impatient sometimes. A deciding factor may be the system requirements. You can check out the system requirements for Topaz Clarity here and the system requirements for Precision Contrast here.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Features

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]This is where it gets a little hazy. There are perks for each program. Deciding which program best fits your needs will be dependent on your workflow. Here’s a comparison of the two programs:[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Topaz Clarity

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  • Requires a host editor, but it is a plugin with very focused functionality
  • More adjustment focused presets are available
  • Large grid view for viewing presets
  • Much Slower
  • Adjust Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity
  • A smaller range of control
  • Requires you to open multiple plugins to edit an image from start to finish
  • Effects can only contain the functionality contained in Topaz Clarity
  • Does not have a micro details color slider
  • Price: $49.99 USD

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Precision Contrast Adjustment

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  • Is part of Topaz Studio and can work as a host editor, plugin, or standalone
  • 6 adjustment level presets are available (does not include effects that use Precision Contrast)
  • Small grid view for viewing presets
  • Much Faster
  • To adjust Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity you need to add the HSL Adjustment
  • A much larger range of control
  • Is part of Topaz Studio, that contains all the technology needed to edit from start to finish
  • Effects have the ability to apply more than just one function
  • Has a mico details color slider
  • Price: $29.99 USD

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Gallery

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Here are some images I edited with Topaz Clarity or the Precision Contrast Adjustment, just so you can compare apples to apples for yourself. As you can see, Topaz Clarity’s output is consistently darker even though the settings are exactly the same. I hope this helps to demonstrate the difference between the two and gives you the information needed to purchase the contrast tool that best fits your needs![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]

Before

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Topaz Clarity

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Precision Contrast

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47211″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47214″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”47217″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Thanks for Reading!

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]That’s all I have for today! I hope this has helped to clear up the similarities about Topaz Clarity and the Precision Contrast Adjustment. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer, but instead what works best for your workflow!

We’ll be adding more tutorials and videos so be sure to give us a follow to learn more!

If you’d like to share your images with us, tag us on Instagram with @topazlabs and Twitter with @topazlabs. We’re also on Facebook and YouTube![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Free Download

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Here’s the links again incase you’ve decided that you’d like to try out one or both of our programs. It’s completely commitment free and I promise you, you wont regret it. The technology in both of these programs is amazing![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Topaz Studio Precision Contrast

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Topaz Clarity

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Windows” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fopen_beta.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.exe|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Mac” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fopen_beta.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.dmg|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Windows” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fd2xkriaa67cpt4.cloudfront.net%2Ftopazclarity_setup.exe|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Mac” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Ftopazlabs.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazclarity.dmg|||”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_separator border_width=”3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]

About Taylor L. Seaton

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_single_image image=”8720″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_circle_2″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/6″][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Taylor Seaton is a 2016 graduate from Angelo State University. While attending ASU, she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design and an area of emphasis in Business Management and Marketing. She also played volleyball at the collegiate level. She is currently the Social Media Manager at Topaz Labs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_separator border_width=”3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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How to Use the Precision Contrast Adjustment

How to use the Precision Contrast Adjustment

What is Precision Contrast?

The Topaz Studio Precision Contrast Adjustment is very different than your typical contrast slider. Before I was introduced to this awesome contrast tool, I thought all contrast tools were the same (silly me). Before we get into what’s so awesome about the Precision Contrast Adjustment, let’s talk about the typical contrast tool.

Contrast tools make your darks darker and your lights lighter to create a higher contrast between shades in an image. The problem with most contrast tools is it is always a balancing act. You are either blowing out highlights or crushing shadows, since a contrast tool adjusts both your darks and lights of the overall image. So if areas become overdone, you have to do some complicated masking and multiple layers to get a satisfactory result. That’s also another problem, the results are never wow…just good enough.

The Precision Contrast Adjustment features four unique contrast sliders that allow independent control of varying details in your image. The algorithm analyzes your image and categories details as either micro, low, medium, or high contrast. These four sliders then allow you to adjust each one independently of one another. I especially like this functionality because it allows me to bring out the details of clouds or water ripples without also amplifying background details. Another extremely unique quality of the Precision Contrast Adjustment is no matter how strong of an effect you add, there is zero artifacts or halo. It creates a completely natural effect. I think of Precision Contrast like the salt of cooking. It perfectly enhances what’s already there and you should always add at least a little bit to everything you are working on.[/vc_column_text][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Free Download

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]The Precision Contrast Adjustment is available within Topaz Studio as a Pro Adjustment. While Pro Adjustments are not free, Topaz Studio is completely free and there are limited functionality within the Precision Contrast Adjustment that is completely free. You can also try all the unlocked functionality for 30 days, completely commitment free. If you’d like to follow along with the Precision Contrast Adjustment, you can click the links below to download Topaz Studio.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Windows” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fopen_beta.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.exe|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Mac” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fopen_beta.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.dmg|||”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

What We Will Cover in This Tutorial

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]1. About Precision Contrast

2. How to Apply an Adjustment

3. How to Apply and Tweak an Adjustment Level Preset

4. How to Create Your Own Effect

5. How to Mask an Effect

6. How to Save an Effect[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Reading not your Thing? Watch the full Tutorial!

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Feel free to watch me work through all the features the Precision Contrast Adjustment has to offer. Every step outlined in this blog post is demonstrated in this video as well as the gallery images at the end of this posting. Hope you enjoy it![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9ZnojcrFn0″ align=”center”][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

1. What Makes up the Precision Contrast Adjustment?

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46522″ img_size=”large” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]We have wrapped all of our technology into easy to use sliders, so achieving the perfect contrast is so simple. After you apply the Precision Contrast Adjustment, you will see this 8 slider panel pop up in the adjustments panel (If you don’t, click the blue Try Pro link at the bottom of the panel). The first four sliders control the contrast of your image, the color slider affects the micro-contrast color, and the last three are traditional brightness, shadow and highlight sliders to ensure you have the perfect combination of lighting and contrast.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Breakdown of the Sliders

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46547″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]1. Micro:
This slider is great for enhancing very minute differences in contrast. Slight ripples, light clouds or smoke, and hair can be enhanced using this slider.

2. Low:
This slider enhances small differences in contrast, about twice the value of the Micro slider. The low detail slider works great for larger waves, storm clouds, trees, and textures.

3. Medium:
This slider enhances larger details. The Medium slider is great for adjusting images that feature natural elements like rocks, trees, or other organic material that have a heavier contrast.

4. High:
This slider enhances the highest of contrasts in images and is perfect for editing the darkest areas.

5. Color:
Sometimes, when adjusting contrast, color can be lost in small details. The Color slider selectively brings back those colors without affecting larger details of the image.

6. Brightness:
Easily update the overall image brightness by adjusting the Brightness slider.

7. Shadow:
Selectively manipulate shadows and dark tones within any image with the Shadow slider. Lighten all the shadows within an image by increasing the value of the slider or darken shadows and lowlights by decreasing the value. Any adjustment made will only affect the darker image tones and shadows.

8. Highlight:
Darken all the highlights within an image by decreasing the value of the slider or increase the brightness of highlights by increasing the value. The adjustment will only selectively affect the lightest areas of the image.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

2. How to Apply the Precision Contrast Adjustment to an Image

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46509″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]First things first, you’ll want to open an image. If this is your first time opening Topaz Studio, you’ll notice that there is a lot of empty fields. This is because you’ll need to open an image to get started! There is more than one way that you can open an image .

  1. Drag and drop an image from your computer into the program.
  2. Click Open (located in the Canvas) and navigate through your files. Select an image and click Open.
  3. Click Open in the menu bar. Select an image and click Open.
  4. Go to Menu > File > Open Image… and then select an image and click Open.
  5. Use your shortcut keys (such as Command O or Control O).

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Apply the Adjustment to Your Image

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46573″ img_size=”large” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]After you have successfully opened an image, you will want to apply the Precision Contrast Adjustment. This can be done one of two ways:

  1. Clicking Adjustments > Precision Contrast from the top Menu Bar.
  2. Clicking More > Precision Contrast from the Adjustment tool bar located on the right-hand side of your workspace.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Familiarize yourself with the Adjustment

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Don’t be afraid to play around with all the sliders. I can tell you all day how awesome this adjustment is and what it can do, but you aren’t going to see the true power of the Precision Contrast Adjustment until you play with it for yourself. Move the sliders around and see how each one affects your image. There is unlimited undo and redo if you ever need to use it![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Select a Preset

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46598″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]When you click the preset dropdown, you will see 6 presets that were created just for you from Topaz Labs. Each will affect your image differently. For this beach image, I chose Contrast Boost as my starting point. For many images, the presets look great as is. If you feel it’s a little strong for your taste, don’t forget that you can always turn down the opacity of each adjustment to make more subtle edits.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Step 3: How to Apply and Tweak an Adjustment Level Preset

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46594″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Whether you have full functionality or have limited functionality in the Precision Contrast Adjustment, you will always have access to adjustment level presets. You can access the presets by clicking the default menu from within the Precision Contrast Adjustment Panel. I have placed a blue box around the dropdown to the left if you’re having problems locating the dropdown menu. Select the preset that looks best on your image.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tweak a Preset

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46598″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]For being a one-click effect the Contrast Boost Preset does an awesome job, but I would like to customize this to my image. I like to use the presets as inspiration to get me started. I rarely ever just click and leave the adjustment as is. You can completely transform the effect with a little masking and tweaking. The best thing about this approach is I can create a great edit in under 5 minutes. There is no right or wrong way to go about this. Remember photo editing is an art and I strongly believe that art is in the eye of the beholder.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Perfecting a Preset

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46628″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Here are the changes I made to the Contrast Boost Effect. I just played around with the sliders until I created a result that I liked. This is the technique I use if I’m just wanting to do some pretty simple quick edits. The Precision Contrast Adjustment works as a great cornerstone to add other adjustments on top of. Again, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of just diving in and familiarizing yourself with this adjustment. You’ll find yourself photographing images later and thinking, “the details in this flower is going to look awesome with a touch of micro-contrast from the Precision Contrast Adjustment.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Here is the before and after:

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”46639″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”46645″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]I love how Precision Contrast was able to really bring out the details in the water and in the shadow area of the landscape. I also like how it didn’t overpower the grassy foreground and take away from the water.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

4. How to Create your Own Effect

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]For the next part of this tutorial, I’m going to use this cloud image. I love how the Precision Contrast Adjustment has the ability to bring out the details in clouds. If you ever have fog or clouds, I strongly suggest adding a little Precision Contrast. It does an awesome job bringing out details that you didn’t even know were there. It really does an amazing job transforming just ok images into really dramatic ones.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46648″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Apply the Precision Contrast Adjustment

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46661″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Like before, you are going to apply the Precision Contrast Adjustment to the image. This time, we aren’t going to choose a preset from the dropdown menu. We are going to create a custom effect from scratch.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Create a Custom Effect

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46789″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]I really wanted to bring out the texture in the clouds, so I really cranked up the strength of the adjustment. I don’t like how it looks on the subject of the photograph, but we will address that in the next step! The values I used for the cloud image are to the left.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

5. Masking an Effect

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46803″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]I really liked how dramatic the clouds are after applying the Precision Contrast Adjustment, but I don’t really like how it is impacting the subject of the photo. His skin looks a little weird and I really wanted the clouds to be the focal point. I don’t want as much detail brought out on the rocks, so I’m going to mask this effect out some.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Click on the Adjustment Level Masking Icon

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46805″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/6″][vc_column_text]Click on the adjustment level masking icon that’s located at the top of each adjustment panel. It is just to the right of the Adjustment name.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Select Brush Masking

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46806″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]I didn’t want to completely mask out the Precision Contrast Adjustment on the rocks and subject, so I chose to have my mask density at 0.33. Also, the brush masking has this awesome functionality called edge aware. So there is no need to create the perfect mask, just keep the edge of your subject between the green and red circles and it will do all the heavy lifting for you! It’s so awesome and a great time saver. While I won’t go into depth about our masking, you can read more about Topaz Studio Masking here. Once you are satisfied with your mask, just click done! If you need to tweak the mask at all, you can adjust the density as needed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]

Here is the before and after:

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Saving Your Custom Effect

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46824″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46825″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/6″][vc_column_text]Save and Share Your Effects. I really liked how this effect ended up, so I’m going to save this effect for future use! You can either save the effect as a preset level (top icon) or global effect (bottom icon). Global presets allow you to share your creation with others by selecting ‘Yes’ in the Public field. Your effect will be shared to the entire Topaz Community instantly![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Gallery

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]You can apply the same effect quickly and effortlessly by adding your new custom preset level effect to many images and then tweaking it to each individual image. This can be great if you took multiple images in similar light or are wanting to create a series of images that resemble one another. Here are some more before and after images I edited. Thanks for reading and hope you’ve gained a little more understanding of the Precision Contrast Adjustment![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]

Before

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46831″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46833″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46834″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46853″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]

After

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46835″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46836″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46837″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”46854″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Thanks for Reading!

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]That’s all I have for today! That’s all the basic functionality that is contained in the Precision Contrast Adjustment. From using pre-made effects to creating your effects, the Precision Contrast gives you the freedom to edit in the way that works best for you.

We’ll be adding more tutorials and videos so be sure to give us a follow to learn more!

If you’d like to share your images with us, tag us on Instagram with @topazlabs and Twitter with @topazlabs. We’re also on Facebook and YouTube![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Free Download

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Windows” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fopen_beta.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.exe|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Mac” shape=”square” color=”primary” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fopen_beta.s3.amazonaws.com%2Ftopazstudio_online_installer.dmg|||”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_separator border_width=”3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]

About Taylor L. Seaton

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_single_image image=”8720″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_circle_2″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”5/6″][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Taylor Seaton is a 2016 graduate from Angelo State University. While attending ASU, she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design and an area of emphasis in Business Management and Marketing. She also played volleyball at the collegiate level. She is currently the Social Media Manager at Topaz Labs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_separator border_width=”3″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][/vc_column][/vc_row]