Every once in a while someone really thinks out of the box. I know a lot of people talk about it, and sometimes they come up with cool ideas, but seldom is it really thinking outside the box. One item that comes to mind is a product like the Wacom tablet. I have yet to find anyone who has used one who has told me, "I tried it, but I like working with the mouse better." It is a simple idea that makes working much easier.
Well I think that I have found a product here that really does speed up productivity when working in Adobe Lightroom 2. Editing images in Lightroom is great, but sometimes having to use your mouse to increase something like the brightness can be tedious. I have always thought there should be a better way. Now there is.
I have worked with products from Kubota Image Tools and have found them to be very productive, very intuitive, and very creative. Everything from the Pro Paks to the AutoAlbum, these tools have been all about improvement in productivity for professional photographers. A little secret — these products work just as well for non-professionals and just about anyone who wants to spend some time to learn them.
Kevin Kubota, the action hero behind Kubota Image Tools, has put together a truly remarkable product here called Kubota RPG SpeedKeys for Lightroom 2. RPG SpeedKeys is a standalone wireless keypad that is programmed to interface with Lightroom 2 and a number of Kubota Lightroom presets.
What do you need to run the Kubota RPG SpeedKeys? That's simple:
• Windows or Mac.
• Adobe Lightroom 2.
• Available USB Port.
When I first heard about this, my initial thought was, "Well, it sounds pretty cool, but how will it really work?" It took me all of about five minutes to install. It was very easy to do. Just plug in the CD and it walks you right through the installation. There are actually two things that you have to install. The first is the Kubota Lightroom Presets and then the RPG SpeedKeys interface itself.
Once that is done, all you have to do is open up Adobe Lightroom and select something that you want to work on. The keys on the pad are very well laid out and each fingertip button has three possible functions. There are two option keys which are larger but are very well placed, such that with a bit of practice, you can use one hand to get to any function.