Topaz Detail

by Johan J Ingles-Le Nobel
Last updated August 31, 2017


Topaz Detail is a superb detail enhancing tool that's always one of the first tools I use on any extreme macro image. It brings out detail and sharpens by adjusting micro contrast in a manner that no other imaging tool seems to be capable of.

Topaz Detail

Topaz Detail, probably my favourite software for photography projects. Brings out the detail in shots like nothing else I know. Click on photo and judge for yourself.

What's nice about Topaz Detail is that you can remember the settings that you used and store it as one of your memory presets. So by preserving a range of settings you can make sure that you get exactly the effect that you want.

Colour Shifts

One of the things about Topaz Detail is that it has very fine detail adjustment gauges. But by altering micro detail, you'll often have some colour shifts as well, and they can be tricky to control. This is perhaps why Topaz detail also includes some colour control adjustment gauges that enables you to bring the colours back to where they were before adjustment.

Topaz Detail Workflow

I personally always tend to use Topaz Detail in a duplicate layer of the original, and build it up gradually by having every setting at 0 and starting from the top down, detail adjustment first. The tonal sliders are usually the settings that make the most difference by making the colours pop; for whatever reason I find them easier to use than photoshop controls.

superb detail enhancing tool that's always one of the first tools I use on any extreme macro image

I've never had much use for the de blur tab as it seems to create a lot of background crinklies. Once you've got some nice settings then it's always worth remembering to save the settings as you'll find that it saves you time in subsequent works.

Topaz Detail 3

Topaz Detail 3 introduced as a free upgrade in December 2012 which is a substantial improvement on Detail 2, with localised detail brushing now included. This makes it even more effective in the hairy areas of insects, which is always quite a challenging area of an extreme macro image to work on. It means you can mask in an area, fiddle with the effect over that area and adjust it on the fly in a non-destructive manner.

pretty much the perfect photoshop plugin for extreme macro

Topaz works as a photoshop plugin and comes up as a menu item under the Topaz Labs submenu in filters. The only complication I've had is that System Mechanic, software I use to tune up my PC, will remove the license, but there is a way in System Mechanic to prevent that by selecting certain drivers never to be deleted. Other than that, pretty much the perfect photoshop plugin for extreme macro.

Topaz Detail Downloads