Last week I installed a trial copy of the Topaz Impression plugin and process a few photos with it. This seems to be a powerful plugin that required me to update my graphics driver and it runs slow on my system (which needs upgrading, too) but my system is 6 years old now. That’s ancient by computer standards. Though a bit slow, I had no problems running it and it ran smoothly. The designers made it easy to access and it’s very flexible. There are numerous presets and each is easily customized by the user. This customization allows for an almost limitless number of possibilities for each file processed, giving you complete creative control over the process.
This plugin, unlike others, is not meant to enhance a photograph but rather to give it more of a sketch or painting look. I started with RAW files that were fine tuned in Lightroom before starting the plugin. Some of these photos included here have been modified after Impression was run.
Is it worth $100 (US)? I’m still in the trial period and I intend to see how useful it could be for my own style of shooting. I can see a lot of possibilities but I don’t want to rely on plugins to make photography interesting. I have to say it is fun to work with a tool like this and I might find room for it in the future.