Most of us have a fairly solid order of priorities in our lives. Family comes first, then photography, then everything else. For some folks, those first two are the other way around, but whatever allows us to spend more time with our family or our camera is a good thing.
I don’t really consider sitting at a computer to be photography, and as such, I want to spend as little time doing it as possible. So, I use shortcut keys. In this video, photographer David Justice shows us how much time we can save by letting go of the mouse and using keyboard shortcuts.
At first glance, the time savings on this particular edit, which was pretty basic, might not seem like a huge amount.
A minute and fifty seconds doesn’t really seem like a massive difference, but this was a very simple and quick edit. Not using hotkeys has still added 26% to the editing time. If you’re doing something a little more complex with lots of switching between tools, this extra wasted time can become a much higher percentage.
That’s only one image. If you have to edit a whole session and there’s 20 images, that’s well over half an hour saved. If you have several sessions you need to work on, it could save you a whole day of sitting at the computer when you could be out shooting or spending the day with your kids.
As mentioned in the video, keyboard shortcuts come in especially useful if you’re using a Wacom tablet, but even with a mouse they are a huge time saver. Much of my Photoshop work I can do with the mouse, and I’m using hotkeys often to speed up tasks.
When I do need to switch over to the Wacom, things get a little tricky for me, being left handed (I use a mouse in my right hand), but another option you can consider is a second completely custom shortcut keyboard.
For now, I just have to suffer with awkward claw-like manoeuvres when I need to use the Wacom, but a second keyboard would make life a whole lot easier, and still let me keep my regular shortcut keys for when I’m using the mouse.
If you don’t want to have to sift through the preferences and figure out what every keyboard shortcut is, here are all the default Adobe CC shortcuts for each of their products.
Creating your own actions in Photoshop for commonly performed tasks can also cut a lot of your post work time, and they can be bound to hotkeys as well.
How else do you speed up your post production workflow and productivity on the computer? Let us know in the comments.