(big brass,timpani drum accompanied music in the background)
When You want to take Your photography to the Next Level, and prove to everyone what a post production digital master you are , YOU need theâ€¦â€¦
Wait..slow down…when you want to have some fun and start working on your photos in a new intuitive way, youâ€™ve gotta check out the Wacom Bamboo Fun.
Now weâ€™re no strangers to working on a tablet with photos. Using a pen to draw on, and make corrections on, a digital file, rocks.That’s the top line . Step away from the mouse for a sec. and pick up the more precise pen.
And when we say pen, we mean a sophisticated digital instrument that contains no ink, and reacts only to a special tablet electronically.
This new Bamboo Fun had me lost in it for almost 2 hours.
I had that once when I first played Halo, but at the end of that, I felt like I wanted my 2 hours of life back. Like eating a bag of sugar.
Not so here. I wanted to keep going. In the best way possible.
There is great bundled software they give you in the package, and weâ€™ll get to that in a minute.
I first fired it up with the newest version of Photoshop Elements (the included free version is the previous one) and brought some sample images in.
If youâ€™ve never used a Wacom system before youâ€™re in for a treat.
The install cd has a clear tutorial with a calming English accent, that walks you through all of the pieces included ( and there is a wireless mouse, too.)
You are given multiple tasks that you have to execute using the pen to tablet. It gets you familiar with the controls of the pen and the main deal here, the tablet.
Basically you will be using an electronic pen, and a tablet or drawing board to work on your photos in a more precise, directed manner. While a mouse will get you in the area, the pen gets you exactly where you want to be.
[photopress:wacomfullprodx.jpg,full,centered] (yes, you do get a wireless mouse, too.)
One of the new additions to this tablet is a touch wheel that lets you zoom in and out of your photo to do your correction or work.
Now I know how much everyone hates to read manual. The tutorial is painless, however you must develop the skills to use the pen for good, not evil (frustration).
I would liken it to the first time that Stark tries on his levitation boots, (at about 1:20), in the new Ironman movie. He knew he’d be able to fly , but just had to steady himself.
Too obscure? Too Pop-y?
Ok, how about it’s like riding a bike? A little wobbly at first and your hands want to go other places than where they should, as you get your bearings.
But itâ€™s a fast learning curve.
The software allows you to adjust the pressure sensitivity of the pen, because the harder you go, the bolder the pen stroke, and all that that can mean to your image.
One of the other features of the pen is that you just turn it upside down to erase what you did, if you need to.
And thatâ€™s what kept me on the Bamboo for a couple of hours. It is too much fun.
Plus, determination to do some work on a photo in a very natural way. It didnâ€™t take long. The zoom wheel is one of the best designs theyâ€™ve ever done. They also have some programmable buttons you can set for your style of working (backspace, next page, etc.)
Once you have your Bamboo Tablet (or any of their other ones) you can do a ton of stuff. Even sign digital documents.
One of the other pieces of software you get free is Corel Draw and Paint. Youâ€™ll see lots of familiar Photoshopâ€“esque menu buttons, so you should feel right at home.
Plus the Nik software will introduce you to some of the best plug-ins for you photo editing pleasure. Yep, you can keep adding new stuff to your Photoshop programs like filters or effects, and these are called “plug-ins”. Remember the programs included are the starter sets but should hold you for awhile.
And the whole shot is about $99.This is a lot of value right here.
Pros: good tutorial, well built, free software, packs easy
Cons: some software (Photoshop Elements) should be more current
Want less fun?
Just get the Bamboo and save $30.
But seriously, you’ll want the free software, right? fine it’s not free but $30 is a great deal.
So go for the Bamboo Fun - you get to choose colors and sizes too.
Oh, and this is a tablet you can travel very easily with: the USB cord comes off and the unit can slide simply into your laptop bag. Love that.
And then there was the other project I wanted to complete. And that was to sign this article.