Is it cheating? Yes. Does it look cool? Yes. So do I care. Nah. Not really.
I recently discovered the Impression suite from Topaz Labs, a photo editing software that adds various artistic looks to your photographs. The program can be linked with Lightroom too, which is very convenient. I tried it out with these landscape shots of Philadelphia.
Once up and running, you’ll have 100 impressionistic looks to choose from and an array of options to further customize those looks. Best of all, the editing can be done quickly and any adjustments you make to the stock options can be saved for later use. I took advantage of brush styles, sizes and overall looks: Pastel, Chiaroscuro, Van Gogh, Da Vinci Sketch, Oil Painting, Cezanne, Charcoal and a few more.
Below, a crop of the photo shows the brush strokes of the, eh hem, painting. Of a few painting/artistic programs I’ve found, I like Topaz Impression for its realistic brush strokes, ease of use, and savable, customizable options on top of an already large catalog of looks.
It’s not for everyone. But so far it’s giving new life to photos that I haven’t looked at in months. That’s worth something. And best of all, no messy clean up!