Trolleys & Trains, HDR Express & Topaz Adjust 5

Trolleys & Trains

"Subway #4280" High Dynamic Range exposures, tone-mapped with HDR Express & further enhanced using Topaz Adjust 5 ©2011 Susan Candelario SDC Photography

If any subject lends itself and screams HDR Grunge, it certainly is one with dilapidation, rust & corrosion. For my subway window photograph above, I tonemaaped 5 exposures using Unified HDR Express. I wanted to pop the colors in the image and really bring out the  texture of the retired rusted subway train. So I called on the new Topaz Adjust 5 Plugin. I used the Spicify filter adjusting the Adaptive Exposure, Details & Color sliders to taste and checking the Process Details Independently checkbox.  By having Topaz adjust the details and the exposure separately (which is what that setting is for)  it gives you more control and flexibility as well as reducing the introduction of noise and artifacts in the image. While still in Topaz Adjust I applied a vignette using the finishing touches tab.

I love the fact that in the new version of Adjust 5, (soon to be released ) you can now apply more than one preset at a time as well as have the effects placed on its own layer in Photoshop.  Not only is this a great time saver, but in my opinion it allows you to expand on your creativity and photo enhancements by applying, adjusting and blending various effects all at the same time.  Those two features alone make the upgrade worthwhile for me. But of course they have also incorporated many more improvements than just those two features, which make Topaz Adjust even better than ever in version 5. See previous post with more details on the upgrade:   Antique Car HDR

Once Topaz releases the new version shortly, it will be a free upgrade to existing Adjust owners and they will be offering great discounts for new users as well. If you would like to try a free fully functional trial, you can do so by visiting the Topaz Labs Website by clicking here.

If you would like to try Unified HDR Express for your tone mapping and would like to receive a discount on your purchase, you can visit the website: Unified Color. Use the discount code of SDCPHOTOGRAPHY at check out for your discount if you decide to purchase the software.

The Trolleys & Trains Graveyard is a perfect venue for HDR images. You can view some additional images I created on a previous blog post here. I am looking forward to co-leading the upcoming Roamin with Roman Photo Tours workshop there on Saturday, December 3rd. Details can be found at the Workshops & Events page link.

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave me your comments and feedback.



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  • John - Have always loved the old means of transportation and you have captured it as you usually do…. Very well!!!

  • Anonymous - Hey Susan,
    I love your HDR style of processing your photographs. It’s evident that you treat each one on an individual basis and do an excellent job at it. Each one has a very distinct Susan style to it.

  • Oscar Dulzaides - Great shot . You made beautiful art of an old rust laden subway car with the effects. Greart work

  • Michelle - Only you can take a picture of something old and rusted and make it POP! Great Job, Kid!

  • Holly - Hi Susan,

    Just wanted to drop a line and let you know how much I enjoy your blog. Your work is magnificent and I only hope to get 1/3 as good photographs as you do one day.



  • Anthony - The look and feel of these colors are truly amazing.

  • Anthony - The look and feel these colors is truly amazing.

  • Roman Kurywczak - As usual… caught some details I walked by! I’ll have to pay more attention next month when we are there!

  • Bob Sayegh - I like the new feature that allows you to use more than one preset. Most of all, I love Spiciify. I have to resist the temptation to use it on every photograph.
    Your “Subway #4280” is a wonderful example of its use.

  • Ben Venezio - Great stuff. I am in over my Head. I am going back to Film

  • Dave Mills - Nice composition with the color really popping. Good use of HDR with an effective grunge look…well done!

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