Tech Tuesday: Quit “Mousing Around” – A Wacom Love Story

4 Jan

When I attended the PhotoPlus Expo in NYC this past October, I wasn’t expecting to meet the love of my life. Well, that’s putting it a bit dramatically. Truth be told, I’ve thrown this phrase around a lot lately. For instance, my 35L 1.4 lens evoked that same reaction. As did almost all of my other prime lenses. When I first shot with my 5D mark II, I had a similar feeling of true smit. But I’ve never felt this way, this sort of passionate yearning, for a desktop item as I do for my Wacom Intuos.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you can relate to this quest: as a photographer, I am constantly looking for ways to streamline my post-production process. And by “streamline”, I really mean “find a magical way to eliminate it and make it vanish from my to-do list in one swift snap of my fingers”. Well, unfortunately, I haven’t exactly cracked the code on that yet, but I have found one tool that has (in that same miraculous spirit) helped me not only to breeze through the process more smoothly and efficiently, but actually enjoy it. And before I bash the world of editing too harshly, let me admit that I get a great deal of pleasure out of finishing my images. It’s part of the artistic process and I respect it. I really, really do. But after using the stylus and tablet I honestly don’t know how I ever survived as long as I have without it. In other words, if you enjoy editing even a little bit, you will start looking FORWARD to it with this product in your arsenal.

The Wacom Allure:

Wacom has an array of products in the stylus and tablet category, but it was the Intuos that sold me. While attending the Expo, I caught from the corner of my eye Weston Maggio giving a live tutorial in Photoshop on a projection screen with the Wacom Intuos. I was immediately sucked in. He breezed through cloning an enormous section of the image, quickly adjusted the brush size with a little spin of a wheel, zoomed in at 100% on the image to check his work and then with one more brief keystroke, fully completed his editing. I was in awe. Actually, I’m pretty sure he never even touched his keyboard.

How it Works:

The Intuos is a combination stylus, tablet and mouse. The tablet has 8 tabs that can be programmed and tailored to the keystrokes and commands that you use most frequently. It also has a wheel function with 4 customizable commands within it. You can customize these tabs differently for every program you work with depending on which keystrokes you use most often within each program. There are virtually an infinite number of possibilities to help eliminate flipping from keyboard to mouse – and while we’re on the subject – the elimination of the mouse itself is such an indescribable emancipation that you’ll likely never even use the mouse that comes with the tablet. The stylus is simply sublime. The control and precision it allows makes “mousing around” in CS5 seem like amateur hour. Also, I’m not sure if there’s medical documentation on this, but in my experience all carpel tunnel symptoms have ceased to persist since my switch. That alone is a reason to take the leap.

The Transition:

If you’re worried about the learning curve, there are countless tutorials available to help ease you in (this was the one I purchased) and it should only take a couple of days to get used to working with a pen in your hand and ditch your mouse-made habits. When you compare that to the hours upon hours of time you’ll save each day over the course of the months and years of editing you have ahead of you if you adopt a more precise tool, it’s a small sacrifice at the upfront.

So, if achieving a higher level of efficiency in your home office is on your list of resolutions for 2011, check out the Wacom product line. Chances are, you’ll probably kick yourself as I did for not getting on this bangwagon a long, long time ago.


5 Responses to “Tech Tuesday: Quit “Mousing Around” – A Wacom Love Story”

  1. Laura Briglia January 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    After NY I put it on my long list of gear I want! I received one for Christmas and have not set it up yet … you have motivated me to plug it in!

    • jennawalcott January 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

      Laura I’m so glad to hear it! You are going to looove it! 🙂

  2. Noelle January 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    I looooove this tablet. Can’t imagine going back. I had the Intuos 3 before and thought it was amazing but this one is even better! Highly recommend. 🙂

    • jennawalcott January 5, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      You know it! It is really amazing invention. LOL!

  3. Isabel January 6, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    I luuurrrvve mine!

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