First Weekend With The New Toy

First Weekend With The New Toy

I fully confess to being as much as an amateur as many of the readers of this column – while trying to appear as much a pro as others. Neither of these categories are hard-edged…so I can let you into a secret.

I love a new piece of equipment as much as you do. And when I get one I will try to find any excuse I can to play with it. This is deadly when a new camera or lens appears in the gadget bag as I am then bugging the family and friends to pose or going out to take pictures I don’t need in places I don’t care about. Let’s not go into the business of the old days and slide nights when I was the photographic uncle with the trip to Fiji. My family would never forgive us.

But the new Loupedeck editing desk has been given a workout this last weekend and after a frantic Friday setting it up, the first actual work went through it. Not a lot, but enough to show me I’ve bought a good thing.

The installation was as easy as any of these things ever are. After a few clicks, downloads, a shutdown, and restart, the computer has accepted the new keyboard . The manual for it is on-line, so I took a few screen shots of bits that I wasn’t confident about, and stacked them to the side of the LR panel. Then I accessed an old studio shoot ‘s RAW images and started to play.

The deck doesn’t supplant the computer keyboard entirely, but you can stash the regular to to the side for most of the time – and you will find yourself reaching for the mouse very much less. There is even dedicated button permission on the Loupedeck for export at the end of things so have your destination ready before you start.

The deck’s basics – exposure, saturation, contrast, clarity, shadows, highlights, and vibrance are  all rotary knobs – very light on the touch but with a palpable little click – they are free-rotation devices with no hard end stops. The increments with which they operate are very small – for instance in the exposure they go up in steps of .05. Whenever you need to reset them you just press the knob and it clicks down to bring you back to where you started.

The other basic – the crop – is a little more complex. The big knob starts the crop sequence as soon as you move it one click – but doesn’t start to tilt the image horizon left or right until you advance it to the next click either way. Then it rotates things repeatably. If you want to crop the image you now dive to the smaller ” D1 ” knob next door to it and smoothly expand or contract. All good and then it gets better.

Tell ya tomorrow. I’ll promise not to get out the Fiji slides. At least not this time…

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