Tuesday, December 1, 2020

I am addicted to this new inexpensive photography tool

I have to admit something to all of you...I have been using a new tool on my main editing workstation for the last 6 months and only mentioned it on my Zoom meet ups. I have been meaning to write a blog post about it, but just have not gotten to it. Well...until now.

The product is called the TourBox and it has become an essential part of my workflow now. The company contacted me at the beginning of the year and offered to send me one to try. They said that they had a product that would help save time in my editing by customizing buttons and dials for commonly used tasks. I agreed to try it but did not have high expectations. I figured that this would be another gimmick that I would try a couple of times and throw in a box never to be used again. But I was definitely wrong.

The first thing I noticed was that the product was packaged really nicely which made me think that this company took this product seriously. I removed the TourBox from the box and noticed that it had some serious weight and a really solid build. The buttons and dials all moved with precision. Not what I was expecting.

Then the big questions was: What would this do for me? 

As many of you know, I do almost all of my culling and retouching using a combination of Photo Mechanic and Adobe Photoshop. I do not have a mouse on my editing computer, instead I rely solely on the medium sized Wacom Intuos graphics tablet. 

So...my right hand is usually holding the Wacom stylus, and my left hand used to work the keyboard to select the Photoshop tools, brush sizes and more. 

Now my left hand rests on the TourBox and I have most of my common commands programmed to the TourBox buttons and dials. It works with Mac and Windows and comes with very intuitive software for customizing the device. I have one dial set to control the zoom level, another set to control brush size, and buttons set for commonly used tools like the healing brush, clone tool, the undo command and others. There are many knobs, wheels, and buttons on the top and side of the device. I even have a different set of shortcuts for different applications on my computer, and the software automatically knows which program I am using and switches the commands without me having to do anything. 

I did not even know that I was becoming addicted to this product until I had to unplug it one day to plug in another USB device. I started to retouch some images and immediately became frustrated without having the simple controls of the TourBox. It was plugged back in immediately and has not been removed since.

The price of the TourBox is $159 which makes it a pretty inexpensive tool in the photography world. And since it helps me work faster and more efficiently, I think that this is a great value.  I thought I would share this with all of you, since it could be a great holiday gift for you or your photography friend. 

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