How I blew my annual bonus!

So, anyone that knows me realises that I am a total gear head.  No nothing to do with gear boxes on cars, whatever current technological pursuit I am engaged in, I have to have the latest, most expensive, shiniest bit of kit available.  So, when I got my annual bonus at the end of March, I knew it was going to get spent in  a fairly rapid way, rather like pulling the plug out of the bath.

So what was I going to spend it on: camera, lenses, lights, computers, peripheries or a holiday?  Well the holiday would be nice, but fleeting, and I can’t really take a break from getting my photography business up and running just yet. On the camera front, there were some temptations – the Canon EOS-1Dx fits the bill of being shiny, new and expensive, but I don’t really need a dSLR that takes HD video (yet), and as a studio camera, my old 1Ds mk3 knocks the 1Dx into a top hat.  Of course, if my bonus had been really good, I could have invested in a Hasselblad H system camera, oh yeah, baby come and meet my 50MP beauty, but my bonus wasn’t that big.

So maybe a new lens.  Folks who know me from HK will recall that there was hardly a month went by without me investing some money in some glass; and, yes, I have been sorely tempted to buy the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L fisheye – but, its not a lens I would use very much, and, so, there had to be better things to spend my dish on.

“Let there be light”, surely a new lighting system would be useful, practical and fun.  Oh, yes, I would love to upgrade my Visatec lighting kit to some Profotos, or Broncolors.  At the end of the day, though, new lights weren’t going to make my job easier, or my sales better.

In the end, the one thing that bugs me is the amount of time I spend on touching up photos.  So the answer was to get a powerful computer that will suck the files out of my computer, a good monitor which will make sure the colours are just right, and something better to use in photoshop than a mouse.

So this is what I bought:-


So what do we have here?  Well, the desk and chair come from Ikea, and I am not sure which was worse; shopping at Ikea (yes, the store opens on Sunday at 10am, but you can’t actually buy anything until 11am!), or assembling the things.

The heart of my system is a refurbished Mac-Pro 2.4Ghz 8-core Intel Xeon, which is gorgeous, and its fast. Comparing this to my iMac is really hare and tortoise stuff.  To view the images, I went for an Eizo ColorEdge 24″ monitor.  Apart from the built in calibration and the fact it can be rotated 90 degrees to work on portrait photos, I just love this.  But, the real treasure in all this was the Wacom Intuos tablet I bought.  I went for the A4 size, and its great.  There is a bit of a learning curve, finding out what you do with one finger, two, three and four fingers, but the learning is quick, and when it comes to photo editing, you just have so much more control.  This is something I should have bought years ago.  If you edit photos, and you don’t have one, believe me go and get one right now!


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