Curiously Playin’ Around

February 3rd, 2021

So, as I have mentioned previously, I am wanting to upgrade my trusty ol’ laptop here, as it is showing it’s age… still functions well and all, and does the tasks I place on it, but it’s limitations are just becoming more and more of a hindrance.

It’s a mid-2012 MacBook Pro 15″ Retina, with an Intel 3rd generation Ivy Bridge Quad-Core i7 2.6GHz processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.  And as I said, it’s seen me through the past nearly nine years, with seldom a hitch, aside from graphics card, and screen issues… screen was replaced awhile back, when still in it’s warranty phase, can’t remember the reason why now, as that was a half dozen years ago, but do believe it was a known screen issue with this model… and the graphics card issue, also a known issue with this model, where, for me, my external monitor I had, stopped being recognized, and failed to display and work.

The latter is mainly why I am wanting to upgrade, as the screen is not accurate enough to edit my photos on… which, a laptop screen already is far from the optimal screen one wants to edit photos on in the first place… but, namely my main issue is with the screen’s brightness, which you will see illustrated below.

That is really pretty much it, as the computer itself handles rather well any work that I do in Lightroom, or Photoshop, etc., and really have no serious, noticeable issues, workload/processing power wise.  Only other drawback I would say with the laptop, that I have come to have issues with, is the storage… which I know can be easily remedied with an external drive… but, would like to have it at least doubled, and possess a terabyte internally.

When Apple dropped a year or so ago, they’re looking to have crossover abilities with their iOS apps and Mac OS apps, and then late last year with the release of their own first M1 processor chips in their entry level Macs, I was sold right away in what it was I wanted to upgrade to, and that being their M1 Mac Mini.

My decision for such is still portability, as I am sure I will be gallivanting about the countryside once again, and the Mac Mini is just a two and half inch or so tall, seven by seven inch square… will have to add keyboard, mouse, and monitor, but still, something that is easily doable and portable.

That way I will have a current, and from all the rave reviews, remarkably capable and powerful processor, even for the first generation, entry level iteration of it, and will be more than I have been accustom to these past nine years with the Macbook here.  Plus, have had the 11″ iPad Pro, and I know Apple’s own chip is in that, and the power and ability of it, is screaming in what it can do and handle… so, know their first desktop chip is going to be even better than that… so, absolutely feel it will be more than adequate for my needs.

Also, one of the reasons too I want my upgraded computer to be the M1, is because of that cross-compatibility of the apps I mentioned earlier, namely, being able to use LumaFusion on a bigger screen, and even more powerful processor, which it already, again, screams on my iPad Pro, so know again, it will be even more so on the M1.

That last point though, getting to if I really need to get the new M1, and can just use the iPad Pro, and have that be my main tool for work?  The only reason it had not been so far, was because, yes it has the LumaFusion video editing squared away …

*** I know y’all are askin’ yourselves, “What’s all this video editing concern and talk about?!  We have seen absolutely no video content whatsoever from you, Jeff!  Ever!”  Yes, ’tis true… but, is something that I am (very) slowly migrating to integrating, and it will be something done by me in the future***

… but, as for my photo editing, yes, Adobe does have LR and PS versions for Apple iOS, and do have them on my iPad Pro… but, they are not the full desktop version in things they can do.  Though, had honestly never seriously tried them out… so, did so this past weekend… well, with Lightroom, not really Photoshop at all.

Experimenting was absolutely basic, I took a photo of my grey card, a ColorChecker, and my other grey card’ish exposure thingie –

As a demonstration to see how first, the colors rendered on the iPad, in comparison to the laptop, and to edit the image, solely to it’s tones and colors on both to see how rendered the same image.

So, above is the file straight out of the camera, and edited on the Macbook, for white balance, and so that the middle grey was exposed to middle grey, and that was it.  I already had done so when taking the picture, exposed off of the grey card to the left (which I have had for seriously like thirty years, and use to this day each and every time I shoot) to get the exposure reading off of, and also to balance out the grey scale with.

I think there was nary a difference balancing out the color balance in LR, though when I did so, I did it off the middle grey swatch on the ColorChecker… but, as I have discovered, my Fuji X-Pro3 always underexposes no matter what… don’t think once I have yet taken an image, where I exposed off of the grey card, in the exisiting light, where it reads in the viewfinder window as being zero’d out and right in the middle of the exposure meter… yet, when I come into Lightroom, and crop to just the middle grey, I every single time, have to increase the exposure so that it is middle grey balanced!  Frankly puzzles and pisses me off that it does so, but, well, there it is.  Why I have gotten into the habit of ETTR a stop or two when I am shooting, knowing the camera’s tendency to underexpose, just so that when I get to it in post, it is more right on and accurately exposed.

Of course, may be the simple matter of, as I said, having had that grey card for thirty some years… it may not be exactly as accurate as it was, faded and whatnot, perhaps readin’ more a Zone VI-VII’ish, than middle grey… hm…

Anywho, another annoying thing about the Fuji, that I have already gone on about, is the color, and that the camera shoots in a film simulation, even if you do not want it to… why I created a ColorChecker profile for just the camera, that I apply when in post, which is the image her below, with the camera’s native color profile applied –

And yes, you can see a difference in the colors between the two above.

Okay, so anyway, did the balancing out of exposure and white balance, in LR on the Mac, and that was it.

Next, I brought the Fuji RAW file onto my iPad Pro (which I had to figure out how to do), and then did the exact same edits of balancing out the exposure and white balance in the image, and that being it –

Yes, I know and am aware that one hardly cannot see the difference from either one of the images above… but there is a slight brighter exposure to the iPad one, that is barely perceptible.  That is not the point though, the point is the screen when editing them, and have mentioned before, when I do edits on the screen, and then upload them to the site here, or onto the Twitterverse, and go to view the images on my phone, or my iPad, and see practically entirely different images, because I am now viewing it on my phone’s, or iPad’s, much brighter screen.

And to illustrate that, I took the three images below… the left is the original photographed items of the grey card, ColorChecker, and third exposure device thingie, atop the edited file in LR on my Macbook screen, and the edited file in LR on my iPad Pro… the one on the left is exposed and balanced off of the grey card in the existing room light of my apartment… the middle off of the Macbook screen… the right, off of the iPad Pro screen –

I know, this is far from a scientifically, technically accurate experiment, but close enough to illustrate.  Both screens are maxed out in their brightness level.

Anyway, all that, just to illustrate the difference in screen brightness of each. And how editing on my laptop, is not optimal for doing so, as the end result is not how I worked it to get to, from doing it on the laptop screen.

And since I cannot have an external, photo calibrated monitor to work on the ol’ laptop… and because I could just as easily get a photo calibrated monitor for the iPad Pro… I however concluded, though even though I learned that LR on the iPad was actually more robust and full of the features found on the desktop, it still doesn’t have all, like being able to apply that native camera color profile… which frankly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I have the Fuji, that wouldn’t be an issue at all… but, alas…

Also, sometimes I want to lovely black and white an image, and my go-to Silver Efex Pro is desktop only… and what work that I do use Photoshop for, even though I never did really try out the iPad PS version, I know that it won’t be a full-fledged as the desktop version… which really isn’t a big issue, because I am not like a total photo manipulation artist kind of creator… but, do on occasion, need that functionality…  Plus, throw in all the other desktop apps, as well as file management of a desktop…

Plus, I am sure I could get accustomed and used to it, but found editing on the touch screen iPad just a little annoying… again, most likely because I have become so accustom to editing scores and scores of images, over the past decade and a half on a desktop, that I just like doing it that way.

So, really, all of this just wasted time, playing around experimenting, to just say that I am not going to go the iPad Pro route, and going to still end up getting the M1 Mac Mini, a photo color calibrated monitor, keyboard and mouse, to replace my trusty ol’ Macbook Pro that has seen me through my work for the past nearly nine years.

Yes, I do currently have too much time on my hands.  Which is really another reason I was seeing if I could just get by doing the iPad Pro route… as the money I had been planning on using towards getting the new Mac Mini, may now have to be used instead to bloody fuckin’ survive and pay the bills, as I have yet to attain a stupid fuckin’ money-job to suit my tastes.

So, who knows… will see… gotta love me.

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