INTERVIEW with Heidi Ekstrom, Business Development Manager at Topaz Labs ,
about the use of Topaz Plugins in B&W Fine Art Architectural Photography & more.13/
First, let me tell you that the image you see here is the new banner for Topaz BW Effects 2 and is a multiple awarded image and part of my series Ode to Black (Black Hope) V – Persona Black. Needless to say how proud I am and I can’t thank Topaz Labs enough for the honor.
The goal of this spotlight is to help B&W Architectural photographers (and not only them) to get to know better the Topaz Labs plugins, which I can highly recommend as top quality tools in processing any kind of image but especially the kind of images that I’m creating – B&W Fine Art Architecture.
If you want to purchase any of the Topaz products at any time, keep in mind you can use my discount code “juliaannagospodarou” for 15% discount by ordering here https://topazlabs.com/shop/ref/49/
Also, very soon I’ll be back with a surprise: a new review for a Topaz Plugin!!
And now let’s see the interview. Thank you so much for your time, Heidi! It was a very helpful and enlightening interview.
Julia Anna Gospodarou – Q1. You are a worldwide leader in the field of editing software, with 14 products available in the Topaz full collection, covering everything one would need to do while editing an image, which means more plugins than any other photo-editing plugin producer. What was the idea behind such a refinement of the plugin offer?
Heidi Ekstrom – A1. Each of our products has a very specific purpose such as detail enhancement, exposure adjustment, or selective contrast enhancement just to name a few. By breaking the plug-ins down in this manner, it allows photographers to easily select the right plug-in for their image and to quickly make the correct adjustments. An added benefit of this is that it enables photographers to purchase the specific type of image enhancement software they need, rather than paying for a bunch of added features they might not have a need for.
Julia Anna Gospodarou – Q2. What do you think about the future of B&W photography? Do you think creating good plugins for B&W converting, like the Topaz BW Effects 2, can help B&W photography be accepted in the digital era as a new type of photography, with new principles of processing, and not be tributary to the way B&W images used to be captured and developed in the analog era? In other words, can a good B&W converter revolutionize B&W digital photography?
Heidi Ekstrom – A2. I truly believe the answer to this question is yes. When digital photography first arrived on the scene there was a common notion that digital B&W photography could not hold a candle to B&W film photography, however new advancements in camera and software technology are changing peoples’ perception of digital B&W photography for the better. As technology improves, the quality of B&W digital photography is also improving, producing sharper and cleaner images with the full tonal range. There are many artists who are producing stunning B&W photography that certainly takes B&W photography to the next level, and the future of B&W photography looks bright.
Julia Anna Gospodarou – Q3. Which Topaz plugins do you think would be the most useful for an architectural photographer working in B&W?
Heidi Ekstrom – A3. Many of our plug-ins are useful for architectural photographers working with B&W, but the top three plug-ins I would recommend are B&W Effects, Detail, and Clarity. B&W Effects is our B&W conversion software that allows you to have complete control over the conversion including exposure refinement, toning, and selective adjustments. Detail is a great output sharpener for making sure intricate architectural details don’t get lost in the image. And finally, Clarity allows you to selectively adjust various levels of contrast in your image, allowing you to create beautiful midtone contrast, which is essential for B&W photography in general.
Julia Anna Gospodarou – Q4. Do you have in mind any project related to promoting B&W Fine Art architectural photography?
Heidi Ekstrom – A4. In addition to sponsoring workshops on B&W fine art architectural photography, we also feature photographers working in this genre. This month our newsletter and website will feature the work of Joel Tjintjelaar who is known for his beautiful B&W architectural photography. You can sign up for the newsletter here: http://www.topazlabs.com/list/
Julia Anna Gospodarou – Q5. What would you say to the participants to the Athens Fine Art Architectural Workshop?
Heidi Ekstrom – A5. First, it’s an honor to be a sponsor for this year’s workshop. I’m excited say that we will be giving each participant their own copy of B&W Effects 2. We hope that along with the great instruction you will receive during the workshop, you will find that B&W Effects helps you take your images to the next level. If you have any questions about the software please let us know. If you’re interested in getting a head start we have some great B&W Effects tutorials on our YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com/topazlabs Have a wonderful workshop!
Hope you enjoyed the interview and that you learned some useful things.
FURTHER STUDY RESOURCES
FINE ART BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY, ARCHITECTURE PHOTOGRAPHY, LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY
You can find more resources about fine art black and white photography, (en)Visionography, long exposure photography and architecture photography in my extensive collection of photography tutorials. To receive my future tutorials directly via email you can subscribe to my website.
Learn more about how to create fine art photography, from vision to processing and the final image in my video course From Vision to Final Image – Mastering Black and White Photography Processing, in my video tutorial Long Exposure, Architecture, Fine Art Photography – Creating (en)Visionography, in my book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography, or by attending one of my workshops.
To study with Julia Anna Gospodarou personally, find out about our
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Julia Anna Gospodarou – Founder – (en)Visionographer
Founder of (en)Visionography™ and creator of Photography Drawing™, internationally acclaimed fine art photographer, architect, educator, and best-selling author, with 25+ years experience in photography and architecture, Julia Anna Gospodarou is a leader in modern fine art photography who shaped with her work the way architecture fine art photography looks today.
Awarded more than 100 times in the most important photography competitions worldwide, two-time International Photography Awards IPA Photographer of the Year, World Photography Awards SWPA, and Hasselblad Masters Finalist, her work was widely exhibited and published internationally.
With a passion for the world’s civilizations and speaking five languages, Julia was always in the avant-garde of thinking as an architect and a photographer, constantly pushing the limits of what is possible, constantly reinventing herself as an artist and an individual. Her huge love for travel and discoveries and her passion for teaching, art, and photography led her to become in the past one and a half decades one of the world’s top-rated fine art photography educators and workshop organizers.