The gear you use to make a picture or write a story doesn’t matter, but people find this stuff fascinating, so here is a list of what I’m currently using – for both my editorial and photographic work.
You’ll find no affiliate links or sponsored listings here. This is just the gear I rely on to earn my living, no frills.
- Apple MacBook Pro 13″ (2012). My main production machine is a relatively elderly MacBook Pro, chosen due to its ability to be upgraded by the user. I’ve maxed it out with 16GB of RAM and dual internal 500GB SSDs. It’s starting to show its age for photo and video editing but still blazes through all other tasks. I have a selection of portable 1-2TB hard drives on the backup rotation.
- iPhone SE (64GB). I like and have used both iOS and Android. Ulysses is only available for iOS, which is a big factor for me. I wish the SE were waterproof!
- BenQ GW2765HT 27″ IPS monitor (2560 x 1440). A large and pretty decent IPS panel, good enough for photo editing. I have it mounted on an articulating arm next to the MacBook Pro, which I use as a smaller second screen.
- Apple Magic Keyboard. I used to be a mechanical keyboard person, until I realised I could type about 50% faster on Apple’s bog-standard wireless keyboard. Haven’t looked back.
- Apple Magic Mouse. It’s a mouse. Not much to say about it.
- Paper notebooks. Still a critical component in my workflow. I use paper for organising ideas, day-to-day task management and composing rough drafts. I use elements of the Bullet Journal system combined with my own approach (I find the Bullet Journal system too inflexible on its own). Since 2015 I’ve been using a weekly layout but I suspect I’ll be moving to a daily planner next year.
- Microsoft Word. I don’t love Word, but the editorial world revolves around it. I spend 80% of my working day in Word.
- Ulysses. The gold standard in Markdown editors is now subscription-only, to my regret, but it’s an indispensable part of my workflow. I use it for long-form writing.
- WordPress. The web runs on it… including this website and other sites I help edit.
- BBEdit. My text editor of choice for 20 years. Nowadays I mainly use it for website work.
- Gmail. Keeping everything in one email account helps keep me sane. I’ve been a Gmail user since 2005.
- Adobe InDesign and Acrobat. For editing magazine layouts and other documents, mostly from publishers.
- Dropbox. How did remote workers even do anything before Dropbox?
- Trello and Basecamp 2. For all my project management and collaboration needs.
- 1Password. Because I don’t like being hacked.
- ViewRanger, Gaia GPS and OS Maps. I use these programs for managing GPX files and digital maps. Each has different strengths and weaknesses.
- Fujifilm X-Pro2. I’ve used Fujifilm’s X-Series cameras since 2015, and the X-Pro2 occupies the top spot in the range along with the X-T2. I prefer the rangefinder style and optical viewfinder.
- Samyang 12mm f/2. This X-mount manual superwide prime lens excels at landscape and astrophotography.
- Fujinon XF 23mm f/2. A reasonably fast, reasonably wide and weather-sealed prime. A workhorse for mountain photography and many other tasks.
- Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4.0. The boring ‘utility zoom’. It’s actually a great lens capable of very good results.
- Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7. A vintage Pentax manual lens I’ve had for years. I don’t take it on the hill, but it’s great for product photography or the occasional portrait. Soft but full of character at maximum aperture. I use a Fotodiox adapter to mount K-mount lenses on the X-Pro2.
- Fujinon XC 50-230 f/4.5-6.7. On the occasions when I need a genuine telephoto – basic wildlife photography and tele landscape stuff – this gets the job done. The slow maximum aperture makes it mediocre for wildlife but it’s actually a decent lens for landscape.
- Adobe Lightroom. For image processing and photo organisation. It’s slow on my computer but I couldn’t function without it.
- Pixelmator. I find Photoshop overwhelmingly complex and bloated for my needs.
- Lowepro Nova 170 AW camera bag. My latest in a lengthy quest to find a waterproof camera bag for tough mountain conditions. I like the large capacity and all-weather cover.
- Pedco Ultrapod II compact tripod. A miniature (~113g) tripod used for ultralight backpacking.
- Slik Compact II tripod. A bigger tripod – still very light at 513g, but offering much more height than the Ultrapod.
- Vanguard VEO 235AB. My biggest tripod, weighing a hefty 1.5kg but offering far greater stability.
- Røde VideoMicro shotgun microphone. For my occasional forays into video.