I’ve been continuing to experiment with processing. Not so much with Photoshop which has now become more or less the “legs” of my process, but with Topaz Studio. Last year, when it first emerged, it was hailed as a stand-alone program.
It wasn’t, at least not at that point. Since then, however, it has come a very long way. Not only does it incorporate all of my Topaz filters — a lot of them over a period of four years — but I can use it from inside Photoshop or as a stand-alone graphic processor.
It still lacks some of the simple things I need to use it all the time: a simple way to crop and level a photograph would be on the top. And a much less complicated way to save a processed photograph would be a huge help. Finally, some kind of sorting mechanism — like Photoshop’s Bridge — so you can find the pictures you want to use.
I use Photoshop for leveling, cropping, saving and sorting, but when Topaz Studio finally come of age, I will be glad to work with it. In the meantime, if you have the opportunity, check it out. If you already own Topaz filters, it might be free — I’m not sure anymore what the price structure is. Regardless, there’s a 30-day free trial. It might offer exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Topaz filters and studio work with other graphics program including Adobe’s Lightroom and Corel.