Digital Image Processing
X-keys for Photoshop and Lightroom
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For anyone that says “I don’t have the time to learn this stuff”…usually that either means you are absolutely killing yourself, OR you are delivering substandard work.
- Prem Mukherjee
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How to Process a Wedding in Six Hours
This is an excerpt from a presentation Prem Mukherjee delivered at the 2012 Imaging USA conference in New Orleans titled "How to Process a Wedding in Six Hours"
Since we’re talking about efficiency, when we’re doing any image editing, we use tools that save us time. On the screen, these are called X-keys pads which are basically programmable keypads that you can add in any keyboard shortcuts that you want.
I have one keypad setup for Lightroom and another setup for Photoshop. All of my main tools that I use are added onto the keypad and you can add or change functionality of them any time you want. The keys themselves have little plastic caps that you can take off to change out the piece of paper that has the writing on it. You can change everything whenever you want which is great because my workflow is always changing and improving. I program all my main Lightroom tools on here along with shortcuts that open up tool palettes just to cut back on mouse movements. For Photoshop I have all my actions programmed in to different keys along with all of my tools that I use most often.
The X-keys offers two working layers, red and green. My primary tools are on the green layer and then I use the red layer to program in really basic things such as typing in my name, address, phone, fax, etc. I have a key that will create the HTML for a payment button that I can embed in an email to a client to receive payment via credit card. I have keys that do Alt, Ctrl, Shift, Space, etc. just to avoid having to move my hand back to my main keyboard. These tools save me a LOT of time.
Think about it this way. For me, I’m shooting about 80,000 images per year and editing about 17,000. If the images that I edit take me 3minutes to edit each image, that math comes out to 106 eight hour days of doing nothing but editing. Assuming working 6 days per week, that’s almost 17 weeks of just editing. If I can cut that editing time in half, I just save 8.5 WEEKS of editing. There’s a lot of work that can get done in 8.5 weeks OR a lot of play that can get done in 8.5 weeks. For anyone that says “I don’t have the time to learn this stuff”…usually that either means you are absolutely killing yourself, OR you are delivering substandard work.
About Prem Mukherjee
Prem is the owner and primary photographer for Arising Images, a wedding and portrait photography studio in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Arising Images offers professional photographic services for weddings, portraits, and fine art, as well as photography classes.