Like many photographers, the one part of my photography process that I least look forward to is editing photos. It isn’t so much the process of editing but rather the amount of time that it takes. I would much rather be out in the field taking photos than spending my time in front of a computer. As a travel photographer, on average from an assignment, I would have over 5000 photos to edit through, which can take weeks. So, when I discovered TourBox, I was excited about it’s potential to speed up my workflow. I wasn’t disappointed.
What is TourBox?
TourBox console an easy-to-use piece of equipment that connects to your computer via a USB to speed up your workflow in various creative software. It does this by matching the shortcuts from the software you are using to various buttons and dials on the console. So, when certain combinations are used together it controls different things on the software you are using. Released in 2019 after two years in development and a successful Kickstarter campaign, TourBox has quickly become an essential part of many creator’s workflows.
It’s Perfect For Lightroom
Whilst you can use TourBox for other software, one of the best attributes is that it is designed to work seamlessly with Lightroom. Almost all my editing is done in Lightroom so being able to have a product that is programmed straight out of the box for use with it was a huge bonus. There was no need to program anything or have go through a complicated set up process. Just a simple installation of the relevant drive, the TourBox console application and a restart of Lightroom and I was ready to go.
Basic Editing Functions
I try to ensure that I capture my photos, as well as I, can in the camera as this generally speeds up my workflow. But every photo that I take will still require a basic level of editing. These are temperature, tint, exposure, and contrast. One of the first things that impressed me about TourBox was the fact that these four functions in Lightroom are easily accessible through the main buttons on the console. Pressing the top button controls the temperature, the tall button controls the exposure, short button the contrast and the side button the tint. Once pressed you simply turn the knob to adjust each of the above settings.
Easy Access For Other Sliders
Besides the basic editing functions, TourBox innovatively allows you to control the other 9 sliders such as clarity, vibrance, shadows etc by simply pressing the different directions on the Dpador with combinations of other buttons. For example, press the left button on the Dpad and you can adjust the “whites” by turning the knob. Or press the main top button and the down button on the Dpad and you can then adjust the “Dehaze” slider by turning the knob.
It might seem like a lot to remember but pretty quickly you’ll begin to get the hang of it. But don’t worry if you don’t.Because you don’t even have to remember the different combinations.You can have theDpad and its combinations stay on the screen to remind you of the options available when you click a button.
Simple H/S/L Selection And Editing
Another function of Lightroom that I regularly use to fine-tune my images is the H/S/L panel. This is especially important if you are using the latest cameras that I have found to boost saturation too much in certain colours like reds. Often, I tweak the colours slightly on my images to ensure that there are more natural-looking tones.
The TourBox scroll wheel is perfect for this. Pressing it down allows you to switch easily between the H/S/L functions. Scrolling the wheel then subsequently chooses the colours. You can then finely tune the colours using the knob.
This is something that I always found frustrating when using a mouse to adjust any slider. You simply don’t have as much control. So, I ended up having to type in the values to be able to tune the colour to the exact level I wanted. This of course becomes tedious and time consuming. The TourBox knob makes it so easy to really fine tune the exact values that you want.
Easy To Remember Combinations For Sharpness And Vignettes
I don’t ever really sharpen my photos before sending them to clients as they prefer to do that themselves based on where the image might be used. But occasionally I may have to sharpen the odd image. One of the things I love about TourBox is the easy to remember combinations for two functions I use less often. The sharpness and post-crop vignettes. Both are simply accessed by holding either the tall or short buttons and then turning the knob. So even if you haven’t used those functions for a while, you’ll still remember how to select them.
Customize It For Your Workflow
Every photographer is different, and your workflow might differ to mine. Another great attribute of TourBox is that it is incredibly easy to customize the functions based on your needs. For example, the preset function of the C1 button is to give you a before and after view. I rarely use this function, so I easily changed the C1 function to copy my setting from the “previous” photo onto the existing one. This is one of the functions I use most, so it works better for my workflow. There’s also a C2 button that I use to flag photos. You can customize all the different combinations to whatever works for you. So, you truly have the perfect companion for your editing.
Quicker, Easier And More Efficient
“I can just use the Lightroomshortcuts” you might be saying. The problem that I have found with using shortcuts is that firstly you have to remember them. Some shortcuts require 4 different keys to be pressed at the same time. You also have to move your hand off the mouse or trackpad and onto your keyboard as you need two hands for some shortcuts. Doing this 3 or 4 times for each photo isn’t an efficient way of working. With TourBox you can keep one hand on the console for pretty much the whole time. You can then utilise your free hand to access the keyboard or the mouse when you need to.
For example, I give my photos a star rating after I finish editing them. So, I can easily keep one hand on the console and press the relevant number with my other hand. Allthese small bits do add up to make your workflow quicker and more efficient.
It is incredible how much this small gadget has revolutionised my Lightroom workflow. I can now edit through photos much quicker and more efficiently than before. The best thing is that it will get better the more you use it as you will get quicker and quicker in selecting and adjusting the different settings. TourBox has now become an essential tool in my photography business.