Photo Stories

Photo Story: Boston Sunset Painted with Topaz Impression

I took this photo of the sunset over Boston and the Charles River in 2011.  I came across this photo recently and when I looked at it, I thought this would look really good as a painting.

Boston Sunset - Topaz Impression

Boston Sunset – Topaz Impression

So I took a few minutes and played around with the photo in Topaz Impression.  Topaz Impression is a plugin for Photoshop that turns your photos into works of art. 

Topaz Impression has over 100+ presets to get you started in creating your painting.  After selecting your preset in Topaz Impression, you can further tweak the settings in the Selective Parameters panel.

I processed this photo with the Chalk Pastel II preset.  The steps for how I further modified the photo are listed below.  For more information on Topaz Impression, see my blog post on the plugin.

Boston Sunset

Original Processed Photo


Camera:  Canon 7D
Lens:   Sigma 18-200 f/3.5 – 6.3 Lens
Focal Length: 96mm
ISO:  200
Aperture:   f/11
Shutter Speed: 1/100 of a second
Exposure Compensation: 0
Lighting: Partly Cloudy Sunset


  • Started with the Chalk Pastel II in Topaz Impression.
  • In the Selective Parameters Panel, I made the following modifications:

Stroke Section
Paint Opacity  = .05

Color Section
Selected Green and and increased the Lightness to .10
Selected Aqua and increased the Lightness to .20

Lighting Section
Set the Vignette Slider to .02

Texture Section
Added the Asphalt Rough texture and set the strength to .13

  • Exit Topaz Impression and Photoshop
  • In Color Efex 4, applied the Film Efex: Vintage and Vignette: Lens filters to the photo.
  • Used Viveza 2 to selectively lighten and darken areas of the photo.


Written by Martin Belan

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