It you like blending texture layers with your images but don’t like the time spent doing that or if you’d like to try, there’s a new app from TopazLabs that makes the process a cinch – Topaz Texture Effects. Here’s a quick one-minute video that tells you all you need to know:

TopasLabs have a promotion on through the remainder of January where you can save $20.00 by entering the coupon code EASYTEXTURE at checkout. So, instead of paying $69.99 you only pay $49.99.

To get your copy, click here and enter coupon code EASYTEXTURE at checkout

I’ve not played with the product a whole lot at this point but I wanted to put this out so you could check it out and save some money if you want to simplify your own creative texture process.

Here’s a screenshot of the user interface – very familiar if you use other Topaz products:

Topaz Texture Effects Main Interface

Topaz Texture Effects Main Interface

Here’s a grid view of an effect browser:

Topaz Texture Effects Effect Grid View Browser

Topaz Texture Effects Effect Grid View Browser

And a texture manager panel:

Topaz Texture Effects Texture Manager Panel

Topaz Texture Effects Texture Manager Panel

As in other Topaz products, you can stack effects:

Adjustment Stack View

Topaz Texture Effects Adjustment Stack View

and make all sorts of other adjustments. And, you can save your effects to use on other photos rather than have to recreate them for each individual photo which is great if you’re producing an album on a theme. There’s also a community where you can upload your texture effects for others to use and download effects created by others for you to use.

Below are a section of sample before and after images, courtesy of TopazLabs:

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Beautiful moring in beech forest

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

Topaz Texture Effects Sample Image

An example of an early pioneer homestead circa 1700 in rural Prince Edward Island, Canada. An early Acadian home originally known as the Doucette house

To get your copy, click here and enter coupon code EASYTEXTURE at checkout

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Today’s photo, Phuket Sunset moves away from the recent desert theme to an ocean one but stays with the lack of green in the image. Taken in the early 90s, Phuket was transitioning away from the back-packer’s paradise of the 70s and early 80’s to the resort style place it is today. This photo was taken from Patong Beach. The main roads were in place by then but there were no mega resorts, the concrete for the earliest of those was being poured at the time. A sweep of Google Earth reveals that none of the places I used to stay still exist, swept away by progress or the tsunami of 2004 which sent a wall of water some 5m or 15 feet through where I was standing on the beach to take this photo.

A sail boat sits at anchor in the orange glow of s Phuket Sunset, Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand.

A sail boat sits at anchor in the orange glow of s Phuket Sunset, Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand.

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So here’s a shot of us approaching Tagrifet, looking through a window in the same Twin Otter featured in yesterday’s post. Can’t say I really know much about Tagrifet other than it was at one time occupied by the Italians when they ruled this part of Libya before WWII. The fort is curious to me because of it’s triangular shape. Sitting at one end of a low mesa, other photos I’ll post in the future show the barbed wire defenses on the plateau which otherwise would have been the easiest attack route. I’ve not found any reference to any WWII action here though the fort is mentioned in a book on the Long Range Desert Group. Situated about 50 miles north of Zillah, in the WWII days this was on a major route from Zillah to the coast though now it’s rarely traveled in comparison to the roads paved during the Ghadafi years. When I look at my photos from this period, and the faces of the Libyans I used to work with, I wonder what has become of them in the chaos of recent years.

Approaching Tagrifet, a fort in the Libyan Desert, in a DeHavilland Twin Otter.

Approaching Tagrifet, a fort in the Libyan Desert, in a DeHavilland Twin Otter.

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I recently came across this image of our re-supply DeHavilland Twin Otter in a desert takeoff from our camp air strip in the Haruj area of Libya. The Haruj is a large volcanic field in central Libya and contains the remains of about 150 volcanoes. In most places the black basalt gravel covering overlays a fine yellow sand – even gypsum in some places. Breaking the surface of the basalt gravel would send up choking clouds of fine dust such as the cloud raised in this takeoff. The image would have been taken in 1991 and is from a burst sequence of nine. I don’t have any of the underbelly of the aircraft so I’m guessing I ducked!

A DeHavilland Twin Otter in a desert takeoff from an airstrip in the Haruj, Libya.

A DeHavilland Twin Otter in a desert takeoff from an airstrip in the Haruj, Libya.

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Having lived in Paris for two years it’s certainly one of my most favorite cities. Much more compact that London, I find it to be a very walkable city. I took this photo of a window box while wandering semi-aimlessly around the Montmartre area of town, near Sacré Coeur. The original image is from 1998, scanned into Photoshop and then run through Topaz Simplify to get this effect.

I don’t have a wider view of this scene but I can imagine from inside that window, the colorful scene provided by the plants in the window box would brighten up what might otherwise be a view of another wall and window, just across the street or perhaps give the feeling from inside that one is looking out over a garden and not on the 5th or 6th floor of an aging apartment building.

A window box provide a splash of colour to this Montmartre building facade. Paris, 1998.

A window box provide a splash of colour to this Montmartre building facade. Paris, 1998.

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