The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Upgrading to a 4K Monitor

I'm in the process of getting back into photography which will mean a new camera, more on that in a later post. But the first step for me was a new computer, one with the horsepower to handle a modern day camera and its RAW files. Along with the computer comes a new 4K monitor. 4K is great for media consumption, right? Your characters on your favorite show or movie really look detailed and realistic. Scenery looks wonderful. Everything looks great, right? Wrong. You know what doesn't look great? That photo I took in 2012 that I thought was sharp but is very much not. I transferred over my past catalogs of photos over to Lightroom Classic and eagerly began opening up some of my favorite photos. At first I was happy with how the colors looked and how the scene was composed. Then I noticed it was a little soft. Well I had just gotten a new contacts prescription so that must be it. Changed to my glasses and the photos were even blurrier! I went through photo after photo and most ca

Topaz Adjust 5 (Photocentric)

If the Internet has proven anything else it's people don't like change, but adapt quick. For example, every time Facebook makes a change there's a new group formed calling for Facebook to revert to the old style of whatever they changed. It's vocal for about a week, then "new" Facebook is simply Facebook, and the whole cycle repeats itself every 6 months or so. Most websites are dynamic, changing things so it's expected that they change otherwise how else are they going to keep you coming back for more?

Desktop software doesn't work that way. Most desktop software sees a revision maybe every year, and that's if it's a small piece of software. So when Topaz Labs released their Adjust 5 I had equal parts excitement with the new features and hesitation because of some of the changes made in using it. Plus, I was just feeling really comfortable with Adjust 4. So what's new in Adjust 5?

Well, to start with are the number of preset filters. Where there were a handful in Adjust 4, there are... a lot in Adjust 5. So many that they needed to be separated by categories. You can select a preset, hit apply and call it a day, or you can use the preset as a starting point to further fine tune the look you're going after. This will take some getting used to for me. Often I enter Adjust not really having an idea of what I want to do with a photo, cycle through the presets until I find one that pops out at me, then go about tinkering. The last couple months I'd gotten a feel for what I can do in Adjust so I was able to go into Adjust with an idea of what I wanted to do. Guess I'll have to start over.

The other two features that are available is the ability to stack presets, and to brush an adjustment out. What do I mean by that? First of all I use Aperture as my primary photo editing software. It doesn't do layers like Photoshop does which gives more flexibility in applying edits to specific areas. With the ability to brush out an adjustment I can, for example, apply an adjustment that I like for the sky then brush out the adjustment for other parts of the photo. Then, with the ability to stack adjustments I can choose an adjustment for the ground and brush it out of the sky, thereby giving me the 2 adjustments I want.

I'm excited to try out these new features, but here's a first go around with another shot from the bridge I shot recently. I don't like the composition of this shot originally, but with a little work it comes out a little better.


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