I’m gearing up for my Lightroom seminar in Seattle tomorrow, and I was thinking of just skipping the blog post for today because I’m freakin’ beat. I’ve been shooting sunset and sunrise all week, and busy days of driving or meetings in between. But as I unpacked my bag in the Seattle hotel, I saw my Wacom tablet sitting there. It reminded me that I wanted to write a quick post about it because which tablet I use and why is, oddly, one of the most asked questions I get during my Lightroom seminar of all things.

I’m Writing This From a Photographer’s Perspective
First off, my favorite tablet comes from a perspective of a photographer who’s editing photos. I don’t paint. I don’t draw (although I wish I did). I don’t have any formal or traditional artistic uses of Photoshop. I say that because I think the larger tablets lend themselves better to people who do have traditional art experience. Using a pen/tablet for them, is as much about the feel of painting and moving your hand in large sweeping motions. But if you don’t come from a traditional art background, then you probably don’t have those habits and feelings around drawing.

Bigger Ain’t Better (for me at least)
Here’s how I see it. Bigger isn’t better here. The larger the tablet, the more you’ve got to move your hand and the further it has to travel as you move from one side of your photo to the other. For me, I’d rather just move my wrist. And I’d like to move it as little as possible. So for me, a small tablet works best. I actually used to use a Medium sized tablet and I still have one in my office. But it’s a little too large to travel with, so I started using a small sized tablet for the road. It fits right in my laptop bag and is easy to move around. But the more I travel the more I got used to the small tablet. Eventually, I started using it instead of the medium sized one.

How Does it Work with Lightroom?
Wacom tablets work great with Lightroom. The main advantage is the pressure sensitivity you get when using the Adjustment Brush. Rather than just blasting a full sized brush at everything, you can press harder or softer to control how much of whatever adjustment you’re brushing on.

I Use A Tablet for Everything Because I Just Like The Overall Feel Of It
During the course of the day, I’ll not only have a lot of people asking which tablet I’m using on stage but I’ll also have people ask if I use a mouse when I’m not in Photoshop or Lightroom. I personally don’t. I just like the overall feel of using a tablet. For me, whether I’m retouching in Photoshop, moving sliders in Lightroom, surfing the web or writing a word document, I feel faster and more accurate with the pen and tablet.

So there’s my feelings on the tablet that I use. I think as a photographer, the smaller tablets tend to work better. I do know a lot of people that use the Medium sized ones too and, honestly, they’re not that much larger than the small. If you’re always at a desk and not moving around much, then a medium sized one is a good bet as well. Either way, I swear by my tablet and using a mouse these days just feels awkward. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!


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