I decided to try the Topaz Detail Trial version which is a free 30 day trail. It is a plug-in that works with my Adobe Elements 5 version of photo software.
I've found it pretty handy when editing some photos that I'd like a bit 'more' detail in than what the camera 'shot'.
You can adjust the amount of detail a lot or just a little. You can adjust color, exposure...hue and saturation. You can go wild or just use it a little.
It works well with some photos, and doesn't work well with other types. So you have to choose wisely.
It can be used creatively also, but I like to use it just enough to tweak a photo like the following Marsh Marigold.
This was an extremely difficult flower to shoot at the yellow petals reflect so brightly that it actually blows the sensors away in the camera. I had difficulty shooting these with film also, so it isn't just digital.
Here is the original:
Here is the tweaked version:
Then for fun, I took the following fungi shot and got a little creative with it.
For my photo book that I am working on, I will admit to using Elements, Picasa, and Topaz to bring out the best in my photos.
Most of the photos however, I am leaving alone.
After all, I hear my father leaning over me as I look through the lens, or peer at a photo that I have taken.
"Take your time, get the exposure right, frame it properly..."
He was a true believer in taking it 'properly' the first time. I grew up watching him labor over one shot at a time.
He still influences me every day.