Adjust 5 review
Instead of buying two Photoshop plug-ins, one for HDR and tone-mapped images and another for retro effects, why not attempt to get both in one. That’s the rather ambitious focus of Topaz Labs’ Adjust 5. The well laid-out interface has a number of effects categories and then presets within each one. They cover classic tweaks, vibrant, HDR, film, toned, stylised, your own concoctions and the presets from Adjust 4. The idea behind most is to give your images a boost with colour, contrast and selective tone-mapping. Any preset chosen can be previewed and then adjusted with the global parameters plus the local adjustments. Here you can use edge-aware brushes to tweak areas of the photo. The finishing touches section adds diffusion, grain, transparency, warmth, vignetting, tone and a basic border. By tweaking these or adding extra features in, you change the preset which can then be saved as your own combination. Most of the adjustments are aimed at landscape images whereas the film-based retro ones are for portraits. If there’s any issue here it’s that the retro ones don’t have the grunge and damage of other apps, so if that’s your main focus, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
Here a second preset is being applied to an image using a vignette. The Curves are modified to retain the highlights
For those who want a general package though, this is one of the cheapest you can get. It boasts a decent range of landscape-boosting adjustments and throws some retro love in on the side.