I took this photo in the middle of the afternoon yesterday. When I shot it, I was hoping for a silhouette, but in fact it was just a dull, overly pixelated image of the perfect Quail shot. (Anyone following my 2010 blog knows that these Quails are always teasing me.) So, with a little help from both Topaz and Aperture I was able to turn this into the shot I was aiming for in the first place.
Do I recall how I did it? Let’s see… In Topaz Simplify, I used Image CrispEdge, with the Brightness turned to -40. This turned into the 2 color photo. When I brought it back to Aperture, I had to use the touch up paintbrush in two areas that persisted in being the “wrong” color. I then turned the Blue Luminance all the way up and the Black Point up to 20, this darkened the sky and improved the silhouette. I then ran it though Topaz DeNoise to smooth it out, however there was still some residual blotchiness in the sky. I tried several things but Topaz Detail Edge Softener did the final trick. (Yes, this surprised me too!)
Here is the original as requested by Gisele!
Original before edits!