I made a good business investment

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by dewey, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    If you go out and shoot for a day, and then do ALL of your Photoshop work the same day you're in better shape than me and you can skip this thread. :lol:

    What I caught myself doing was shooting for a day or a trip and then shooting more before I ever got to the Photoshop "sorting" those first shots. Gigs and Gigs of RAW files were piling up on my hard drive and the backlog was getting worse and worse. Each trip I take yields me more potential shots to sell, but if they never get processed, printed and framed then they'll always be just that - "potential" sales.

    I'd like to pass this advice on to you guys. I have always found myself looking for that next new lens, or body, or flash, or gizmo, but I never really looked for ways to improve my business or my productivity. This was a big mistake and I'm glad I caught myself.

    I've been looking at tablets casually for quite a while, but they seemed more like a novelty than a real tool to me. I figured if I could do it with a mouse what do I need to blow $100 on a pen and a tablet for? D'oh. I had the opportunity to try out a tablet while I was working my "day job" at a newspaper in Toronto. It seemed pretty neat, but it was a bit awkward to use. I still wasn't quite convinced.

    I was greeted a week later by a sale at Circuit City ($75 USD), so I had to buy one - figuring I would just return it a week later when it angered me. I have to say it is without any doubt the single best investment I have ever made for my photography. Using a tablet is tough at first - you have to fight the urge to use it like a mouse. After locking myself in a room for four hours I got the hang of it and I'll never go back.

    I bought the 4x5 - which is plenty big. This is a case where larger isn't better - but that's just my opinion - I'm sure some folks like the larger size. I'm in an airplane more than I'd like to be so I wanted a size I could use in flight - and the 4x5 is perfect. Using a tablet has cut my Photoshop time by about half - it's THAT much faster for me! There are also tweaks and changes I never would have fooled with before because they were too time consuming.

    This isn't an equipment review... I'll leave that to google. I just wanted to pass on a personal business experience - and lord knows we need every advantage we can get to make any money!

    You can find them for less than $100 USD and you can process images faster and get better images in the end! I love it!!!! If anyone has any questions about using a tablet just yell. ;)

    - Dewey
     
  2. tempra

    tempra TPF Noob!

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    I was just considering selling mine on ebay - suppose I need a room to lock myself into
     
  3. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    LOL - I forgot to mention I had to lock my hammer away... I was tempted to destroy the thing several times. I still have moments once in a while, but it's getting better and better. I started using the pen for everything, not just Photoshop, and I think that helped the learning curve too.

    -Dewey
     
  4. tempra

    tempra TPF Noob!

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    hmmm, better dig out the install CD and give it another go then.....


    Now where did I put that pen???
     
  5. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I was looking out those but didn't see how it helps that much.

    How exactly does it make things easier?
     
  6. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    For me it helps on several levels. It reduces the strain on my wrist. I work with computers by day, so any relief I can get from a mouse I take. I am able to lasso areas quicker and with more precision than I can with a mouse. I can use the brushes quicker and with more precision than I can a mouse.

    One example is a portriat I shot a few days ago... a beautiful baby boy covered with scabs, bruises, drool... normal 11 month old stuff. :lol: It took me less five minutes to erase all of his imperfections with the clone tool, another few minutes to select the backdrop, apply a blur, adjust the curves and I was done. Yes, all of what I just mentioned can be done with a mouse... that's what I did a few weeks ago. It's not just the speed, it's speed and accuracy.

    You can be more precise with a tablet, and they are pressure sensitive so I can adjust the amount of correction I am doing or the size of my brush on the fly which is amazingly handy. It's one of those things that once you use you'll never be able to let go of it. It feathers edges beautifuly.

    Another example; I just shot some evening fall leaves and I picked some out that I wanted to modify - it's very very easy to be very precise with the pen - I think it's just more natural to draw with a pen. This of course is AFTER you stop using the pen like a mouse, which is what everyone starts out doing I'm sure.

    It saves me time and I get better results because I am less likely to skip details because it takes too much time. I am a bit of a perfectionist (we all are to a degree right?) but I wasn't likely to spend hours on details that most would never notice, but now I can do those details in just a fraction of the time.

    I also find myself using better posture when I use my tablet... no more hunched over Dewey.

    I'm an Adobe trainer by day so maybe this is all just in my mind... maybe it just feels less like work to me when I use the tablet and more like art? :lmao:

    I should emphasize it takes more than $75 - it takes time to learn how to use it. It is amazing how much of a habit using a mouse is, and a pen/tablet is not the same action.

    -Dewey
     
  7. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I definately see one of these in my future they sound amazing.

    Now I just need to learn penmanship hahahah.... you don't want to read my writing
     
  8. JohnEBongo

    JohnEBongo TPF Noob!

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    Like many others, I too have a tablet........in a drawer! I have one question; when you say you had to learn not to use the pen like a mouse, what do mean?? Can you give an example of using it like a mouse and then how it supposed to be used. I would like to start using the tablet again.....

    Thanks
     
  9. .Steve

    .Steve TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure that I would be better than using the mouse. I am left-handed, so being cautious is kinda tricky with the right hand.
     
  10. morydd

    morydd TPF Noob!

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  11. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

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    What is this tablet you are talking about? Are you talking about a PC? or a pal pocket? How could you run photoshop on a $100 tablet?
     
  12. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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