(Performing Arts & Fine Art Illustrative Photography)
I'm a commercial photographer from Brisbane, with a focus on the performing arts - actor headshots, dance, live theatre production photography, and theatre advertising. My personal projects fall in to the fine-art illustrative category, and the skills and workflow I've developed are often applied to the theatre advertising work.
NZIPP 2020 Gold Award, WPPI Win, QPPA Gold. First image edited on Kris' EIZO.
Madly imagining and creating on his EIZO
The Gear - what and why
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.