(Performing Arts & Fine Art Illustrative Photography)
EIZO Apac Ambassador Kris Anderson is a commercial photographer from Brisbane, with a focus on the performing arts - actor headshots, dance, live theatre production photography, and theatre advertising. Kris's personal projects fall into the fine-art illustrative category, and the skills and workflow he's developed are often applied to the theatre advertising work.
For those starting up in the arts, Kris shares a list of gear and why he chose it, as well as a step by step video on how he composited his NZIPP gold award image Senseless.
Training Video: Compositing 'Senseless'
Compositing Techniques - Kris takes us through a step by step demonstration
NZIPP 2020 Gold Award, WPPI Win, QPPA Gold. First image edited on Kris' EIZO.
Post Production Gear
MONITOR: EIZO ColorEdge CG2730 Switching to an EIZO monitor had a massive impact on my workflow. I tend to make visually dark images, so maintaining shadow detail can be a challenge. I found adding the EIZO to my workflow meant much better control over colour and shadows, and fewer surprises when printing. It's definitely shortened my edit-print-adjust cycle. I appreciate that colour and tone are uniform from corner to corner, and the automatic calibration means one less thing to do. I wasn't expecting my eyestrain to be lessened when I switched, but the difference was noticeable.’
DRAWING TABLET: WACOM Intuous Pro Medium: After friends swore by their Wacoms, I took the plunge. Initially found it very difficult to get into the groove of using a tablet. After a few days it just clicked; now it's the most natural thing in the world and I can't imagine editing any other way. The surface of my tablet is now developing a bit of character after millions of pen strokes!
PRINTER: EPSON SureColor P906 and P800: When you put a print in front of a print award judge, the print needs to be flawless, with excellent colour and detail, and lots of respect for highlights and shadows. Print judges are very fussy, and I say that as a print judge! Every award print I've made has been printed on an Epson, whether it was through a master printer like EV Photo, or in a late-night printing session at a friend's house. When the time came to invest in a printer for myself, it was unquestionably going to be the P800, and it's never failed me. I have just moved up to the new SureColor P906.
SOFTWARE: Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop: I pretty much live in Adobe Lightroom for live production images, Adobe Photoshop for the illustrative and advertising work, and a mix for headshots. Sometimes I'll jump in to Exposure for toning.
COMPUTERS: MacBook Pro, Windows computer: I have moved back and forth between Windows and Mac. I know this is a choice that inspires religious wars, and it's probably infuriating to hear me say "it doesn't matter to me", but it really doesn't. The tools I need work on both platforms. Right now I have a Windows machine as a beefy desktop (for heavy duty Photoshop work), and a 2013 Macbook Pro for mobile editing.
CLOUD BACKUP: Backblaze, DropBox
PHYSICAL BACKUP: off-site HDDs: I use a combination of cloud backup (using Backblaze for working files and Dropbox for client files), and physical backups (rotating backup HDDs stored off-site)
MIRRORED DRIVE: GoodSync (Windows), ChronoSync (Mac): My workstation drive with active and recently-archived projects is always mirrored to a portable external drive, using GoodSync (Windows) or ChronoSync (Mac). That way I can grab the drive and take all of my current work with me, make changes on the road or while out on a job, and have it automatically synchronise when I return home. I retire and replace that working drive annually.
I'm becoming more focused on ensuring I can be productive at my workstation for longer stretches. I'd been surviving on a beat-up second-hand office chair, which is crazy if you're sitting there for eight hours a day. Given the tens of thousands of dollars we spend on equipment, now I see it as essential to invest in a good chair that maintains back health. The sit-stand desk helps too, letting me vary my work position during the day.
My workstation space is very flexible - I have a Manfrotto AutoPole setup with paper backdrops; roll out a backdrop, and my workstation space is converted into a small studio space, which is handy for informal sessions or personal projects.