Wallpapers

wallpapers desktopI mentioned before, that though I share super ultra-wide wallpapers with you, I never have seen how they look like on a screen. Since I don’t have a wide enough monitor myself, I can’t try them out. But yesterday, I stumbled upon this photo on Reddit and of course, I immediately recognized one of my photos. And I’m sharing that photo here today with you, with the permission of the Reddit user phauk, whose computer setup this it. It does look great, doesn’t it?

If you use one of my wallpapers, not only the super ultra-wide ones, and have taken a photo of your setup, feel free to send it to me. The next time I do a wallpaper update post, I will include it.

And for today, how about even more super ultra-wide wallpapers for download. As always, these are all free for personal use and you can share them further, just link back to this blog. No commercial use without my permission.

Don’t forget to check out other available wallpapers:

New super ultra-wide wallpapers

There is no theme this time, I did a random selection. Even so, each one is from a different country. You have here Netherlands, France, Austria and Slovakia.

Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px

Topaz Gigapixel AI

I did an article about Topaz Gigapixel AI before, but with all of the recent updates, I thought I do one more. I am quite impressed by the results and have been using it right from when it was available. The ability to enlarge a photo by a lot, and still have a great result is just priceless.

Topaz Gigapixel AI

Today, I will go through some of the uses for it and will add a few more comparisons against photoshop at the end.

Different uses

There are few different uses for Topaz Gigapixel AI so let’s go through them.

  • Enlarging photos – Of course the most basic one is what it was made for, to enlarge photos. It works great for this and now, if I need to print one of my older, smaller, photos, I first enlarge it here. With the latest update, it also detects faces, to make the enlargement even better.
  • Enlarging drawings – While it works great on photos, the results with drawings are even better. Anything with sharp lines and bigger color areas is upscaled perfectly. Can’t really show an example, as I don’t draw and don’t want to use anyone else’s image, but if you try it out, you will be impressed.
  • Oversampling images – For this I did a guide here. By upscaling the image in Gigapixel AI and then downsizing it back to the original size in Photoshop, you will end up with much cleaner and sharper image.
  • Creating high-resolution photos form videos – I had few occasions recently, where I needed to make a printable photo from a video clip. I like to use Media Player Classic as my main video player, and in that one, I just hit Alt+I to save an image of the actual frame. Upscaling that in Gigapixel AI crates a very good quality image to further work with.
  • Upscaling videos – And while we are at upscaling one frame, you can upscale a whole video like that. Just search on youtube for Gigapixel AI upscaled videos. The process here is to first break up the video into frames, upscale those and then combine them back into video. I will not go through detail on this here, but here is one of the ways to do this.

As you can see, you can use it in quite a lot of cases.

Comparisons

Let’s look at few comparisons here. Just to show you how powerful it is. All are compared again a standard upscale in Photoshop, at 100% zoom. I upscaled smaller images here, so it’s easier to see the difference.

First one is a regular photo. Upscaled from 1580×1050 to 6320×4200. That’s from 1.6Mpix to 26.5Mpix. You can see the original file from which this was upscaled here.

The second one with a human face in the photo, as Gigapixel AI now recognizes faces. The difference here is really huge. Upscaled from 1350×900 to 5400×3600. That’s from 1.2Mpix to 19.4Mpix. You can see the original file from which this was enlarged here.

And for the last one, here is one enlarged from a video frame. So going from 1920×1080 to 7680×4320. That is from HD to 8K resolution.

As before, I would suggest you give this one a try, if you ever need to enlarge a photo. You can get a 30 day fully functional trial from the Topaz Labs website here.

Wallpapers

The number of wallpaper downloads is going up every day, so for those that like them, here are even more 4K ones.

All wallpapers are for free and can be distributed further, just link back to this site (of course only for personal use, no commercial use allowed without my permission).

Don’t forget to check out other available wallpapers:

4K wallpapers from Amsterdam

This time all the new ones are from Amsterdam, as usuall with 4K wallpapers, they are all in 3840x2160px resolution.

4K wallpapers from Amsterdam
4K wallpapers from Amsterdam
4K wallpapers from Amsterdam
4K wallpapers from Amsterdam

Cropping photos

Some people like to crop the photos they take, some don’t. I used to be in the second camp for a very long time. I would just never crop my photos, never change the aspect ratio. Only very rarely, when I needed to clean up the edges. But I changed my mind in the end. And today, I will share with you some of my reasons and thoughts about that.

To crop or not to crop

The biggest reason I never cropped my images before was that I always felt like I was losing something. I always tried to get the composition I wanted right in the camera. But over time I just found out this is not always possible. Especially when you start using prime lenses or some ultra wider or fisheye lenses, you will inevitably capture more than you want or need. And that makes for a lot of empty space, like the extra ground, extra empty sky, extra walls and so on, that just doesn’t make the photo better.

This is an example of this. This photo was taken with the fisheye lens, and the extra ground just added nothing to it. Removing it made the composition tighter, more focused on the subject of the photo. And yes, I removed the camera shadow in post-processing.

To crop or not to crop
To crop or not to crop

The second reason to not crop was that I like consistency. I like it too much. It just feels nice when you look through your photos and they all fit into a nice grid, all with a nice 4:3 ratio, perfectly aligned. I very rarely even took portrait shots, as they would not fit nicely. I know, it’s a strange reason. But then, when I started to do many vertoramas and panorama, this was no longer achievable at all. Every photo was different, everyone had a different aspect ratio in the end. So instead of my photos being consistent in size, now every single one is different. And I think it looks even better than before.

Almost each of my photos is now of a different aspect ratio.

To crop or not to crop

My last reason was the loos of quality. When you are shooting with a 12Mpix camera or even 22Mpix camera, cropping of half of the photo will degrade the quality quite a lot. But that’s really not the case anymore. Most of my photos now are 30Mpix to 100Mpix in size. I can crop away really a lot, and the quality is there. Also with the progress of the cameras and good sharp lenses, the quality of the photos is better, even if you zoom in. And with tools like Topaz Gigapixel AI, you can upscale you photo 2, 4 or even to 6 times the size, while still being of great quality. Gigapixel AI is probably the most impressive photo editing application I seen in a while.

This was a huge panorama, where I cropped really a lot from it. It’s still a huge image anyway.

To crop or not to crop
To crop or not to crop

In the end, it’s everybody’s own decision if to crop or not to crop your photos. But it’s much easier decision now than it was only a few years before.

Wallpapers

While looking through the stats of the blog, I can clearly see which photos are opened the most times. And no surprise there, the 4K and the super ultra-wide wallpapers are currently at the top all the time. Since the last time I updated the 4K selection, this time it’s time for the other one.

As always, these are all free for personal use and you can share them further, just link back to this blog. No commercial use without my permission.

Don’t forget to check out other available wallpapers:

Various super ultra-wide wallpapers

No single theme for the selection this time, just random various super ultra-wide wallpapers for you to download.

Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
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