Today’s Question: You referred to using a 4K monitor as your “primary display”, which I assume means you are using more than one monitor on your computer. Is this something you generally recommend, or do you have unique needs for multiple displays that wouldn’t apply to most photographers?
Tim’s Quick Answer: I do find it very helpful to have two monitor displays and recommend that just about anyone consider taking this approach. Two displays can be helpful in general when working on a computer, but I also find two displays particularly helpful when working in Photoshop, and to some extent helpful in Lightroom Classic.
More Detail: To be sure, a big part of why I find it helpful to have two (or more) monitor displays is that I often have a lot going on when I’m working on my computer. That is especially true when I’m presenting online, for example, when I’m sharing my primary screen with viewers but also monitoring the broadcast software, watching for questions from viewers, and more, all on my secondary display.
But even when focused on my photography workflow, I find two displays to be very helpful. In Photoshop, for example, I love being able to put all the panels on my secondary display while only having the general Photoshop interface and the image I’m working on visible on my primary display. This provides much more space for the image I’m focused on.
While I don’t use dual displays as often in Lightroom Classic, this is something that is possible and that can be helpful. Lightroom Classic supports having a secondary window on a second display, though the features are a little limited. However, this does make it possible, for example, to view a grid of all images you’re currently browsing on the secondary display while focusing on the current image in the loupe view on your primary display.
So, yes, I absolutely think using two (or more) monitor displays can be very helpful and would certainly recommend that photographers consider this approach. For example, if you are considering getting a new display you could keep the old display so you can connect both and test out the benefits of multiple monitors for yourself.