Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Nate

Nate "Igor" Smith


Posted in mac, photographer, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Nate "Igor" Smith and I am a blogger and photographer. I have been running for 10 years and have been doing it full time for a living for just over two years. I shoot drunk people, naked girls and whatever crazy shit that happens to be in front of me.

What hardware do you use?

I use a 15 inch MacBook Pro with the 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 4 GB 1067 HHZ DDR3. I assume that is all standard because I don't even know what it means. I am almost impressed with myself that I figured out where to look to find that out. I use the MacBook Pro to do all my emailing and uploading and pretty much everything but editing. I bought some random piece of shit PC from Dell Small Business because it cost like $400 and I hate editing shit on my Mac. And by editing I mean editing down images, thumbnailing images and watermarking images. When I do photo edits that require Photoshop I am back on the Mac. Oh, and I just got an iPad which I love more than I thought I ever would. It's been amazing to be able to pull my portfolio out of my bag and show it to people on the spot. I got it for Christmas and it has already gotten me work.

As far as my camera equipment I have a Nikon D700 and a Nikon D300 as a back up. My primary nightclub lens is a Nikkor 24-70 2.8. I love it to death but it gets very heavy and you can't use the on camera flash at 24mm. I use a Nikkor 24-120 3.5-5.6 when I don't feel like lugging the 24-70 around with me all day. I have a Sigma 70-200 2.8 Telephoto lens which I love for band photos. That thing is so close to the Nikkor version and like $1000 cheaper. I also have two prime lenses that I love. My wide angle 20mm 2.8 doesn't get as much use as it used to since I got the 24-70 but I have taken tons of great shots with it. I also have my 50mm 1.4 which is great for low light and pretty much a must have for any journalist. My flash of choice is the SB-800. I tried the SB-900 and hated it so I sold it and bought another SB-800. I power it with the Quantum Battery 1+ when I know I am going to be shooting all day or shooting really quickly. I also carry around with me the Yashica T4 35mm camera at all times and I usually have a Leica C-Lux 3 to shoot video or quick digital snap shots I know I am not going to use for anything important.

My 35mm cameras of choice are the Vietnam-era Pentax Atashi that I learned to shoot on and the Nikon N80 which was the first camera I ever bought myself. I tend to use the Pentax more because I have a 50 1.4 lens for it, but I use the N80 if I need to shoot 35mm flash stuff because the Pentax doesn't have a hot shoe.

And what software?

Would you believe that I used a freeware program called E-Z Thumbs to thumbnail all my stuff? For some reason I love its controls. I dial in a tiny bit of sharpening (between 4 and 11 out of 100 depending on my lens) and maybe a tiny bit of brightness (2 out of 100 max. 3 and it looks like shit) and I really like the stuff that comes out of it. I also shockingly use Photoshop 5.5 to do all my watermarking. Now I am positive there is a much easier and saner way to do it but I put all my horizontal images in one folder and all my vertical images in another and run batches in PS to put on the watermarks. When I try to do that in Adobe CS2 I have to hit return to okay the save every time. I really should be figuring out a better way to do this... Maybe you guys can help.

As I mentioned I do my editing in Adobe CS2 because pirating CS5 was way too confusing. My website's photo galleries are done in this horrible program called JAlbum. Actually that is unfair to JAlbum, it is a great program if you are dealing with a few hundred photos, but when you are dealing with 100,000 images it is a nightmare. I am working on a redesign of my site right now and the first thing we are dealing with are my galleries. For my social networking stuff I use TweetDeck and for messaging I use Adium. I use both Camino and Chrome for web browsing. I have different accounts logged into different browsers so I can be doing two things at once without logging out. I like Chrome better but I like the way Camino deals with bookmarks better. I also use Internet Explorer on my PC because I love that it has a built in FTP and I don't have to open CyberDuck every time.

What would be your dream setup?

Since I don't really know what the hell I am doing my dream set up is mostly about memory. I would love to shoot everything RAW but currently my computers can't deal with that and I don't have the money to afford the amount of hard drives that I would need to store 1000 30MB images every week. I would love to have a RAID drive set up that I could just dump everything and not think about having to do multiple back ups of everything. I would love to have a computer powerful enough to quickly edit RAW files and I would love to have CS5 and Lightroom and actually know how to use them.

I actually have day dreams about a proper computer set up and a proper office an even a website that functions the way I want it... It's pretty sad that in the early 90's I was the biggest geek I know and in the late 90's the first person I knew to have a website, but yet in 2011 I am a professional blogger who spends 10 hours a day in front of a computer who has no idea how to actually work the thing.

As far as my dream camera set up I am pretty happy with what I have. I mean I would love a few more fast prime lenses and I would love it if the d700 shot video as good as the Cannon 5D does but otherwise I am pretty happy. Clearly some crazy telephoto lens would be fun and it would be great if my SB-800's weren't so banged up but really that's it. I would rather have the D700 than the D3x. It's lighter and not as valuable. Even bringing the equipment I have out now scares the hell out of me so bringing a $7000 camera out to a night club would just be stupid. I don't need that kind of power.

I guess my biggest dream would be if the 24-70 was about half as big and had Vibration Reduction on it. If you make that lens I'll give you 2,000 for it tomorrow. Until then I will stick with what I got...