If you’ve been editing your photos with a computer and mouse you may be surprised to learn just how much better photo editing using Wacom tablets can be. With the right pen tablet, display and software, you can edit images far more easily, streamline your workflow and take your editing skills to the next level.
In our video tutorial below, Wacom Ambassador Dave Mallows demonstrates how using a Wacom tablet/display gives him far better control over masking, which is one of the most important tools for selective photo manipulation. Manipulating your images can transform a good photo into a great photo, perfect for sharing on social media and for satisfying home printing with your photo printer.
It’s recommended that you have a good grasp of the basics of photo editing, as well as understanding the difference between RAW Vs JPEG in order to get the most out of using a tablet.
Using a pen to write and making hand gestures are skills virtually everyone learns at a young age. Because of this, it feels second nature quite quickly once you’re familiar with using a Pen and tablet, regardless of whether you're an expert at editing photos using a keyboard and mouse.
All of the tablets listed below include pro tools, which let you work more intuitively, more quickly and harness many of the features included with the most popular photo editing software. Wacom Intuos Pro and Cintiq tablets include 'Standard Gestures,’ which work with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom straight out of the box. You can also apply tools to Camera Raw if that is your preferred editor, as well as when using Capture One and Wacom Cintiq for photo editing.
What’s more, certain built-in pressure-sensitive features such as brush strokes are only recognised when using a creative pen tablet or creative pen display. This means you may have been missing out on these features the entire time you’ve been working with a mouse.
These are widely recommended as the best tablets for photo editing:
The larger the tablet size, the greater the resolution you’ll have to work with, which is easier and more accurate, particularly when making detailed adjustments, using sliders and making pixel perfect updates.
Start by taking your mouse and putting it away in a drawer, so you won’t be tempted to reach for it out of habit when it’s slower going at the beginning. Once you’ve become proficient at using your new tablet, you’ll discover the many benefits which it offers. These include the ability to control flow and opacity directly with the Pen, and you’ll gain better control and greater accuracy over mask making, working with adjustment layers, dodging and burning, as well as painting.
The entire editing process is more natural than when using a mouse and you’ll become immersed in your images more readily during the process. You’ll also discover that your wrist feels less fatigued with a lightweight pen. You can set up customisable buttons on your pen for common tasks including undo or click, and set it up with an eraser tool where the eraser sits on the end. There are endless configurations to help you streamline your workflow and become more efficient when editing.
A Pen and tablet/display is a must-have, whether you’re a professional photographer bulk editing wedding photos for your client, a fashion, portrait or product photographer. They also make a great choice for anyone who simply enjoys editing their images, whether landscape photography, street photography or travel shots.
Watch the video where Wacom Ambassador Dave Mallows highlights some of the key advantages of using a tablet for editing your photos.
There are some dedicated accessories which help you to become even more efficient to consider adding to your specific tablet. Try the Wacom ExpressKey Remote if you are a power user, as it offers 17 customisable buttons to optimise your workflow. A flex stand or ergo stand make a great addition for creating an adjustable working platform for more comfort over extended periods of working.
Although there is a learning curve when moving from a mouse to a Wacom tablet the results you can achieve once proficient are a revelation, particularly for anyone who regularly edits their photos. The process is more comfortable, less fatiguing and you’ll gain greater control over many of the most commonly used tools including painting and masking.
By Nick Dautlich on 02/08/2022
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