How To Use Topaz AI To Improve Your Photographs

Don Orkoskey | April 4, 2023

How to use Topaz AI to improve your photographs

If you're like me then you sometimes, occasionally, every-so-often end up with a photo that is either a bit too noisy or not quite as sharp as you'd like which is why you should learn how to use Topaz AI to improve your photographs. What is Topaz AI? It's a great bit of software from Topaz Labs which you can run your photos through straight out of Lightroom in order to reduce noise and increase sharpness.

Full Disclosure: I am an Topaz Labs affiliate. This means I'm paid if you buy Topaz AI upon my recommendation. That said, I wouldn't have signed up for their affiliate program if I wasn't already telling many of my students to buy this program. I've been a long time user of a few different programs from Topaz Labs so I know the quality is high. In fact I bought one of their earliest sharpening tools Topaz DeNoise more than 10 years ago.

How To Use Topaz AI

When it comes to using Topaz AI to improve your photos it's really simple. If you're a Lightroom or Photoshop user you can use Topaz AI as a plugin allowing you to process your photos in Topaz without needing to first export them.

You can of course use Topaz AI as a stand-alone program as well. This is a great option if you're not using a product like Lightroom or are using one that Topaz AI doesn't work alongside like it does with Adobe products.

Improve Your Photos Automatically

When you open a photo in Topaz AI it will automatically begin to improve your photo. They call this process Autopilot and it honestly does a fairly good job on it's own. If you're unhappy with the results there are a lot of options you can tweak.

Take a look at this screengrab:

Topaz AI in action

You'll see that the program opens up your image at 100%. It also shows you a split screen of your unedited photo (with no noise processing at all) and the end results that Topaz AI will create for you. Additionally, you'll see all the tools on the right along with a full view with a focus box that you can move around up top.

Changing Settings in Topaz AI

To change your settings in Topaz AI you simply need to select the setting you wish to change and use sliders to adjust things. If your running a lot of other programs you may notice some lag. Just be aware of this if things lockup. Topaz AI is a fairly resource heavy program. If you've also got Lightroom, Photoshop, your browser, and whatever else open you might need to be patient.

Topaz Lab Settings

Some of the settings you can adjust include the noise reduction settings. This allows you to adjust the sensitivity of that noise reduction and the sharpness that you're giving up. Remember: Noise and sharpness are opposites. This means that you've got to find a balance between the two that looks good to you.

You can also change sharpness settings. This is where the AI shows up as Topaz is training the AI to better recreate areas of your photo with the eventual goal of being able to recover completely blown sharpness. Please note, it's far from being there at this point. I really love this program but I care about you all first. Therefore I'm going to tell it to you straight.


Don't think you can download this and recover completely out of focus subjects. This program works really well for things such as reducing the noise and finding some extra detail in bird feathers. It will NOT change an out-of-focus face to in-focus. One day maybe but it's just not there yet. That said, no program is. However, as you can see below, Topaz AI is as close as it gets.

Topaz AI improves Bernie Kozar

That is former NFL quarterback Bernie Kozar. He was at an event for the East Palestine train derailment. It was dark and my ISO was very high. You can see how Topaz's Face Recovery has worked to sharpen the areas around his eyes. Clearly the Topaz AI version is a huge improvement over the original.

Topaz AI Will Improve Your Photographs

So as you can see, Topaz AI will improve your photographs. Again, it won't work miracles, but it will come pretty darn close. As I said, I am an affiliate so if you enjoy my work and appriciate the educational materials I'm creating for you please consider using my link to purchase Topaz AI.

Don Orkoskey Headshot PhotographerAuthor: Don Orkoskey is the founder of LearnToTake.Pictures and the owner of WDO Photography in Pittsburgh. Don teaches photography classes and works full time as an event and portrait photographer. When not taking photos or teaching he can be found playing soccer or having adventures with his amazing wife.
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