A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Loupedeck: think of it as an alternative to your keyboard + mouse when editing in Lightroom. Or how they call it themselves: a photo editing console for Adobe Lightroom. And it caught my attention. It looked so easy, so different, it looked liked a more creative way to edit, if that makes any sense ;-).
Editing to me is quite a big part of my photography process, especially when shooting digital. Less when I shoot film, but there’s always some part of editing in Lightroom involved. And to be honest, I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with it. One the one hand, it lets me create the image like I had it in my head when shooting, on the other hand: it takes a lot of time and repetitive activities. An editing console like Loupedeck seemed like a fun and handy alternative to shake things up a bit. I decided to give it a try, collaborated with Loupedeck and a few weeks later the box arrived.
First impressions of the Loupedeck editing console
The Loupedeck is beautifully packaged. Really feels like a preset to open it, and I also really like the design of the console itself. I know for tools like these some people don’t care too much about the design and packaging, but to me, it plays a big part in my experience with a new product. The installing is as easy as it gets: you install the lightroom plugin and attach the Loupedeck console with the USB cable to your computer. An then you’re ready to go!
First you’ll be asked to set up the personalised buttons. Most of the buttons on the Loupedeck are already programmed but there are a few which you can link to your favourite and most used features in lightroom. For example, you could assign your different presets to the P1 t/m 8 buttons, and use the C1 turning knob for noise reduction or grain adding. Or choose something totally different. The choice is all yours!
Editing with the Loupedeck
Then it’s off to editing. I sat down, cleared everything on my desk and screen but Lightroom & the Loupedeck and started editing. And ofcourse, that takes some getting used to. But the Loupedeck really surprised me: after just one hour, it felt like second nature to me. And even though I was still searching for some functions and buttons from time to time, I actually edited the wedding faster than I would have before. And I think that’s not even about me being faster with develop actions, but more about getting rid of distractions.
Normally when I edit, I can’t stick to editing continually. I write some e-mails in between, check social media and so on… It’s easy because when you edit with your keyboard, it’s easy to switch between tasks. With the Loupedeck, I’m really dedicated to editing and switching to something else requires me to swap from the editing console to my keyboard, which makes it less likely (for me anyways) to do so.
Also, I can imagine when you spend more and more time with the loupedeck, you’ll actually get some small time wins per action which could result in less editing time for the same amount of pictures. To be honest, since I used it a couple of times, editing with my keyboard now feels slow and weird. I’m sold to the Loupedeck, especially when editing lots of pictures in one session.
Btw: you can use the Loupedeck for your selections as well. But only for Lightroom. Personally I don’t use this feature because I prefer to make my selections with Photomechanic.
Recap & Verdict
I’m really excited about using the Loupedeck console. Sure, it takes some getting used to (just like when I started using a Wacom Tablet for the first time) but the learning curve is not too steep. For me it makes editing more fun, less stressful for my joints and even faster. What’s not to like?
I find it a bit difficult still to remember which personalised buttons are linked to what functions, but I think I’ll place a sticker or something beside them, to help with that. To me, the Loupedeck is a welcome tool to improve my editing system.
Let me know if you have any questions about it! I’ll try to help :).
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