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

Little House in the Valley

Valley Living
In the Valley
Today's shot is an unintentional re-shot actually. I had originally shot this valley almost exactly two years ago back when I was using the Canon SX10is, and had the chance to shoot it again, though not exactly remembering how the first one was composed. It's interesting to compare the two shots. Sadly the originals of most of my Canon work were lost in a horrible twin hard drive failure (computer and backup drive) so I can't look at them in full size. The scenery looks to be little changed over the past couple years, though it looks like the overhead lines have been replaced with what I can only assume are underground lines. Compositionally I think the two shots cover just about the same area, though with different lenses and sensors it won't be an exact match. I do remember purposely catching the road in the bottom left corner of this shot, though I probably purposely made sure to leave it out of the original shot. This shot was made up of five vertically, or portrait oriented, shots. I think there were also five horizontally, or landscape oriented, shots for the original one. I prefer the vertical orientation for panoramas as it gives you more options for cropping.

In processing the shots I took a very different turn. I took both of these shots in the middle of the day, so not the best lighting. In the original shot it looks like I made HDR brackets out of the DNGs that my SX10is was taking back then by just pushing the exposure sliders up and down respectively, then running it through my usual HDR routine. Doing HDR was my "I don't know what else to do so I'll HDR it" to get more out of my photos. Some parts of that original photo worked well, and others didn't. For this photo I did not HDR the photo and did some careful work in Topaz Labs Clarity and Detail and feel I got a more natural looking photo, though I'm still not happy with my skies.

It was fun to revisit a shot taken two years ago and to unknowingly seemingly take the exact same shot with a different camera, a tripod, and a more experienced approach to post processing. I think it's really helpful to a photographer to do this exercise every so often to see not only the differences a better camera can have but to see how their post processing tastes have evolved.


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