So, with the short story challenge deadline looming large, I should be hunched over my keyboard, pounding on said keys, and crafting a wondrous tale . . . but, instead, I got photos of my first hawk since moving back to the mainland.

Folks, I’m out of practice, I tell you what, and not happy about it. I mean, I had sufficient shutter speed, pretty good lighting, and I wasn’t that far away. I didn’t control my aperture but that’s not normally a problem.

The one thing I did wrong was shoot from a running (but parked) car, leaning over the passenger seat as I twisted my torso to level the camera at the bird. I mean, it was wrong only insofar as it’s not an ideal way to shoot. But, had I gotten out of the car, I’d have missed the hawk because it didn’t linger long once I stopped.

Here are my first two shots as they came out of the camera, unedited and uncropped.

Not overly happy with the exposure and the in-camera processing but since it’s a RAW file, I’m OK with it because . . .

I did a post about The Topaz Labs Adjust AI offering . . . and I’m now following up with another post because Topaz Labs are running a contest (entry by July 1st) for the best use of Adjust AI.

The winner gets a copy of Adjust AI . . . which seems strange since the winner likely already has Adjust AI. Wait; someone could download a trial of the software and hope they win the software.

Regardless, I’m entering for the fun of it since I’m confident I will not win.

These are smaller versions of the photos I’m considering for the contest. When I choose the submissions-worthy photos I’ll send the full-size versions  . . . but, you can see all the full size photos right now by going to the SmugMug Gallery HERE.

So, the way this works, I will show the original and then show the version processed using Adjust AI.

It’s no secret I’m a fan of the various offerings from Topaz Labs and I just got notice of their latest offerings, Topaz Labs Adjust AI.

I should disclose that since I purchased the original Adjust plugin, I received this particular stand-alone program for free. The question then is this: would I pay the discounted introductory price of  $60 for this product? The regular price will eventually be $80.

Well, there are two paths to the answer and the first always leads to “Yes” because I buy their products both to support them and because they stand by their “free upgrades for life” policy (or, they have so far). Per my past experiences, even when their initial offering is perhaps a bit shy in quality and utility, within a short while, the updates and new releases have always risen to being useful quality products that I rely on in my photography workflow.

The other path involves actually trying the product and evaluating its usefulness as I did for their other AI products. That’s a trickier path because that way subjectivity lurks.