” It’s About This Long By This Wide…

” It’s About This Long By This Wide…

I used to like secret codes when I was a kid – letters written so that no-one else could read them. No-one ever had anything secret to say, but we all knew dynamite ways to do it.

That’s sometimes what I feel like when confronted with the buttons on digital devices. They can be marked with F or Fn for ” function “, or C or CU for ” custom”. Occasionally you’ll get an “Ctrl ” marking or a ” P ” and then it’s a case of diving into the manual to see what the designers actually meant. We all appreciate the extended functionality of cameras and the fact that we can switch them around to match where our minds have gone and where our fingers can go to…but sometimes we need signposts to get there.

The Loupedeck Plus uses 18 buttons that can trigger various responses. We get an Fn, and then a crop of P’s, L’s, C’s and a couple of D’s. One of the D’s was re;ated to varying the size of a crop image and makes itself evident as soon as you turn it – you can’t forget what it does.

It has second cousins up in the P buttons as these are also concerned with cropping. When you’ve pressed the main control you can punch one of them and get a standardised ratio – some of which I had no idea were needed. From P1 to P8 you can order:

  1. 1:1 Instagram format
  2. 2:3 Kino system. What? What kino? Googling yielded nothing on the use of the word ” kino”. I think of this as the dear old postcard format that is native to my own sensors.
  3. 3:4 System. Or 4/3 system, if you like to think of it that way. Panasonic and Olympus cameras fit nicely into this.
  4. 4:5. This is linked to portraits – and it is a very restful and dignified aspect. Also as a historical aspect; the 4 x 5 film holder for sheet film. You can specify this as a recording format for some Nikon DSLR cameras as well. Great for two-up group shots. This is the go-to crop if you intend to print 8 x 10 traditional pictures.
  5. 5:7 Standing portraits, Again a traditional paper size and one that is still catered for for inkjet printing everywhere..
  6. 16:9 HD video display. A very useful ratio when you inow your viewers will see everything on the television screen.
  7. 16:10 Wide Screen Display.
  8. 8.5:11. This puzzled me until I realised it was an American letterhead design. They have inkjet paper made in this size as well.

In any case, they are unmarked, so for a little while you might be wise to follow my lead and add some sticky post-it note labels near the buttons – at least until muscle memory kicks in.

In all these cases you can modify what you’ve done further in Lightroom by scrolling down to the distortion control panel and adjusting vertical or horizontal movement. As soon as you have what you like you tap the Control dial down and it freezes it into the image.

However, don’t leave this section of the real estate – there are 8 scroll wheels just below the anonymous keys that can do marvels with digital files. If you have been suffering from wrongly-coloured pictures these are the go-to wheels.

 

 

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