Switcher’s Dilemma: Photography on the Run

I love my new MacBook. It’s fast, it’s easy to use, it’s feature-packed, it’s now loaded with Photoshop Elements 4, it’s white, ands it’s cute. If I was single I’d be a babe magnet with my new MacBook. But I’m just an old fart with a great new toy.

Sometimes we have to be careful what we ask for. I bought my MacBook so, as a photographer, I’d be more mobile and effective in the field. Flexibility on the hoof. I haven’t been traveling much lately but I eagerly await that time, which is coming soon enough.

I can now compute without going downstairs to my studio. I’m writing this right now in the comfort of my living room / kitchen while my lonely PC and all of its equipment awaits me, momentarily sidelined. My Windows studio is where I do most of my image editing. I’ve got a 21″ monitor, card reader, printer, lights, Wacom Intuos 2 Tablet, Adobe Photoshop CS2, and enough photo paper to last me into the next millennium.

My hope was that I would be able to manipulate my images using my MacBook in much the same way I use my PC, and I’d be mobile. Slowly my consciousness is awakening. Reality is setting in. Folly becomes apparent as my experiences unfold.

I will soon be traveling with my new MacBook. In January I’ll be flying on Southwest Airlines to San Francisco and the 2007 MacWold Expo. I will become one of those travelers of whom I often made fun. I mean the guys at the airport and on my flight who can’t seem to keep their noses out of their computers.

I used to think that even if I had a laptop I’d still sit back and appreciatge “the joy of traveling,” taking notice of all the new faces and places, wondering about the lives traveling with me. Then there’s always looking out the window and marveling at mankind’s ability to fly this huge machine, which lasts a good ten minutes into the flight.

But my rugged individualism will take a nosedive as I become part of the computing masses. I guess wearing my pants up around my chest can’t be far off. I’ll have my face in my MacBook and hold my head up high (I have a very long nose) as I ignore my seat neighbor in favor of getting lots of work done in flight time. This is where reality sets in.

MacBook has some wonderful features. One of them is iPhoto. With this application I can manipulate images by colors, sharpness, depth, size, and brightness, among other features. And now I’ve added Photoshop Elements 4 for Mac which deepens and widens my photo imaging capabilities. That’s all well and good, but it’s the fine tuning of images which creates art and, hopefully, great photographs.

I actually had the thought of doing just that while en route. This would necessitate all the Wintel hardware I have in my home studio: printer, photo paper, card reader (possible), Wacom Intuos 2 Tablet, and good lighting. Plus I’d have to purchase another seat for the space I’d need to set up all this stuff. What was I thinking? That I would buy a MacBook and all my Photography On The Run problems would be solved? No! Problems NOT solved. There’s no way I can carry tablets and printers and papers and the other stuff I need to be totally equipped.

It’s not all bad. As a matter of fact none of it is bad. I can still do lots of preliminary image adjusting before I get to the detail work. That alone saves me oodles of time. And I have a safe place to store all of my images. The learning curve is long, and I must be patient (not my strong suit) as I wend my way through the world of digital photography using this new tool.

How hard is it to do the preliminaries, save them to disk, make a copy, and throw them on the PC when I get home? It’s not hard. It’s different. And I look forward to learning how to use this wonderful MacBook more efficiently, as it expands my abilities, and makes life even more enjoyable.


Leave a Reply