So much of what I do occurs before or after I actually take the photo. Here's a look at some of what I use for processing or just have come to rely on day in and day out. A bit further down, you'll find a Spotify playlist with some of my favorite music that I listen to while editing. There's bound to be some stuff you've heard and a good chance that you'll find some new music you haven't! I also fill you in on some of my favorite coffees and my coffee making process.
If you're curious about any other aspects that I haven't covered, feel free to let me know!
Processing - Hardware
Over the past year, I made the switch from the OSX environment to using all Dell hardware for my editing. It's easy to think that just getting it right in camera is enough, but the reality is that your work has just started. It's important to have the right camera gear and to nail everything in the field, but your work still has a ways to go. Here's a look at some of the hardware I've been using:
Dell XPS 15 9560 - This laptop has become an intergral part of my tool set. I use it at home and it comes with me every time I travel. In short, it's more powerful than most at home PCs, has an accurate 4K display that I have complete faith in, and a battery that lasts long enough that I rarely ever see a low battery warning.
You can read my full write up on the XPS15 here.
Dell UP3218K + Dell Precision 7720 - My at home editing rig. The UP3218K is a stunning 32" 8K display paired with a powerful mobile workstation. I've rendered out plenty of 4K and am working on 8K content with this setup.
You can check out my full write up on the UP3218K here.
Dell UP3218K - 32 8K Monitor
Processing - Software
Because I work on both stills and video, I subscribe to the entire Adobe Creative Suite. I don't use all of the software in it, but I do have it available if I need it. Here are a few that I do use
Adobe Lightroom - My primary software for keeping things organized and for batch editing. If I'm starting to edit a timelapse sequence, there's a good chance I start in Lightroom to apply edits for the entire sequence and then export the images.
Adobe Photoshop - Any of my more in-depth edits will occur in Photoshop
Adobe Premiere - The place all of my timelapse and adventure videos come together
Adobe After Effects - I'll occasionally use this to put together sequences or add some text animations
Skylum - Noiseless - A great plugin/standalone for reducing noise
LRTimelapse - Any time I have a timelapse sequence where there is a big chance in light throughout, I'll use LRTimelapse in conjunction with Lightroom. LRTimelapse alters the meta data and helps smoothly transition without flickering.
StarStax - I've used a few different programs over the years, but this one is my most recent go-to for creating star trail images.
Sequator - A great free program for PC that helps with aligning & stacking images to reduce noise.
I've been fortunate enough to work with and find some awesome companies throughout my photography journey.
Shoes: Forsake Range Low - Waterproof and lightweight. These are a bit newer in the Forsake line, but they were an instant favorite of mine. Forsake is a pretty awesome company that makes shoes for your normal day to your day out on the trail. A great company that I'm happy to work with.
Clothing: Rhone: I went from wearing Rhone gear when I could to making sure I could always wear it. Whether it's just a casual edit session or if I'm going to be out hiking, it's become what I plan on wearing.
Sunglasses: Zeal Optics - Radium Atlantic Blue - I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "I wish Zeal made a polarizer". I spent most of my life not stoked on the sunglasses I owned until I came across Zeal. They're also a company committed to helping protect our environment. Their glasses are made entirely using renewable resources.
SmugMug - I've had my site hosted by SmugMug for about 5 years now. I used to have a Wordpress site built that took much longer to update and took print orders that I would then send to the lab myself. It was fine when I wasn't very busy, but SmugMug handles pretty much everything I used to do manually and looks great while doing it. If you're interested in signing up, I'm happy to be able to offer a 15% discount by using this link.
Kalita Wave 185 / Katita 500g Carafe - My preferred method for making coffee at home. The Kalita is a flat bottom pourover device that allows for a more even extraction. I have a v60 and a French press as well, but they normally stay in the cabinet.
Lido 3 Hand Grinder - Medium to fine grind. Varies a bit depending on the coffee / coffee age. The Lido isn't cheap, but it's grind consistency is comparable to much more expensive electric grinders.
Hario Scale - Just a scale, but totally necessary for quality pourovers.
Fellow Stagg EKG Kettle - Definitely a bit of a luxury item, but I love this kettle. You can set the temperature you want the water at and walk away. It brings it to temp and holds.
Preferred Kalita Recipe -
22-25 grams of coffee (normally 22g, but for certain coffee I'll vary the amount)
350g of water at 200 degrees
Pour 50g of water and allow coffee to bloom for 30 seconds.
0:30: Pour in a circular motion moving out from the center up to 170g of water
1:00: Pour to 230g
1:15: Pour to 290g
1:30: Pour to 350g
If your grind size is dialed in, everything should be finished draining between 2-3 minutes
Go-to Coffees -
I've been really in to coffees from both Ethopia and Panama. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is finding new roasters and coffees to check out. Availability changes all the time, but here are a few favorites:
Drink Coffee, Do Stuff - (Tahoe, CA) Rwanda Nyampinga
Dragonfly Coffee Roaster (Boulder, CO) - Panama Elida Estate
Bird Rock Coffee Roaster (San Diego, CA) - Ethiopia Borboya
Penstock Coffee (Highland Park NJ) - Ethiopia Kayon Mountain
FYI - those Bird Rock links will give you a coupon for 10% off
Shooting / Editing Soundtrack
Music has always been a huge part of my life. Before I got in to photography, I played guitar in a touring band for a few years. I love finding new music, but I have a few go-to records that seem to play soudtrack to my long drives or edit sessions. Here's a short list followed with a Spotify link below!
Rocky Votolato - I've been listening to Rocky for well over 10 years now and if we've ever been in the car together, you've probably heard him, too. Pick any album at random, you can't go wrong.
Sigur Ros - Beautiful, ambient, Icelandic
Bruce Springsteen - They call him the Boss for a reason.
Olafur Arnalds - Mostly instrumental and full of beautiful string and piano parts. Also Icelandic.
A few others in no particular order: Frank Turner, Propagandhi, Pianos Become the Teeth, Comeback Kid, Hot Water Music, Bouncing Souls, Jimmy Eat World, P.O.S., CHVRCHES, Descendents, Dave Hause, Alexi Murdoch, and so many others
Here's a Spotify link to some of the more mellow stuff on the list
Head back to check out page one of this post via the button below. If there's anything else you'd like to see or know about, leave a comment below!