Jorge Quinteros’ Sweet Mac Setup
Who are you, what do you do, etc…?
I’ve always found the act of introducing yourself to be very intimidating because it’s something you often wished you had practiced more before being put on the spot but either way, my name is Jorge Quinteros. I’m an avid photographer based in Brooklyn who holds a BFA in Graphic Design and is employed as a manager for a major retail company. Try crunching that title into into a business card.
I’ve always been into the Arts and enjoyed documenting life through pictures and it’s that same natural interest that’s driven me to always want to travel and explore new places. While some prefer to enjoy experiences through their own eyes, I prefer to see it through my viewfinder firmly pressed against my face.
Once you’ve established what your passion is, you’ll find it difficult not using that as a source of inspiration for everything else you accomplish, hence my humble personal photoblog. This is where I share and sell some of my favorite photographs backdropped with a narrative of what when into capturing them. Equally exciting to curate is iPad Decór which is home to photographic wallpaper for your iPad based on personal travels and random outings of mine.
If a person’s stature as a photographer is dependent upon what they can do with any camera, in making the mundane appear interesting and using their imagination, then I confidently introduce myself as a photographer despite not having an official position in the industry. It’s the drive that will get me there.
What is your current setup?
- 15″ 2.16GHz MacBook Pro (pre-unibody model)
- Apple Aluminum Wired Keyboard
- Magic Mouse
- Griffin’s Elevator Stand
- SlimKey V2 Stand with USB 2.0 Hub
- Griffin’s Simplifi. It does what the name implies. It de-cluttered the space by charging both iPhone/iPod and downloading my photographs.
- JBL Creature Speakers. The perfect computer companion for setting the mood on those days when I can’t seem to get into writing mode.
Why this rig?
The last time I owned an Apple desktop was back when they were introduced in a variety of flavors. Mine was purple by the way and since then, I’ve happily been working with different laptop versions which began with a 12″ PowerBook to what I currently own now.
Everyone loves to be part of an environment where you have options and laptops offer that choice to pack-up and relocated to a nearest coffee shop for a change of scenery. With the configuration of my setup, I often forget that my computer is a laptop but the popularity of taking your work with you is a feature I’m not willing to give up by feeling tied down to a conventional desktop.
As a a retail manager, only 15% of my role includes working with a computer which has no internet connect and that’s shared by more than 4 people. My only connection to the web in those occasions is strictly through my iPhone 4. This is more of an incentive in takin g pride and effort in sprucing up my own computer space at home.
I’m seeing more photographs of people, specifically Mac users owning more laptops than ever before and utilizing them as if they were desktops by having a keyboard and mouse. I’ve yet to see this trait in PC laptop owners but for me, it’s an arrangement that carries a feeling of sophistication and although I might have added elements to work with, it’s an arrangement that feels as if I had taken something that felt uncomfortable in the first place. It’s probably the uneasiness of using a laptop keyboard and trackpad. I’m not a fan at all although during travels, these are the working conditions I put up with.
What software do you use and for what do you use it?
Lightroom 3: The software was developed from the ground up as a tool for more serious photographers and it’s one that’s served as perfect transition when I felt that iPhoto wasn’t offering much. I think as comfortable as you’re likely to become with a camera you’ve had for a long time, the same goes with sticking with a logical workflow for managing your photographs and to not get excited when something new comes along.
Photographers have special needs when it comes to handling their images and Lightroom has been an invaluable software that’s kept me sane on those days that would have driven anyone crazy in dealing with hundreds of RAW files. As far as processing goes, it’s through experimentation that I’ve managed to generate a decent collection of custom presets that I use if it’s required.
Photoshop: Being a photographer and not owning Photoshop is comparable to a carpenter not having an assistant in that you don’t always need it but it’s at hand when you do. It’s literally used for minor touch ups on images but mostly when I’m resizing photographs to upload at iPad Decór. I almost feel like I’m cheating the software because of how rarely it’s launched. Lightroom is king for me.
NetNewsWire: Upon first learning about RSS feeds, I was entranced with the concept of having news, personal blogs, and other odds and ends instantly materialize in a standalone program and the deal was sweeten knowing that I can retrieve it all straight from my iPhone as well. Hands down a brilliant piece of software although I can’t speak highly of it’s coequal iPhone version because I prefer Reeder as a choice.
1Password: If I were held at gun point and asked to write down the passwords to all my online service accounts, I would simply fold. Who has time to memorize all of them? That’s what 1Password is for. Their slogan should be “Don’t think about it. Just buy it”.
Notational Velocity: Everything I write is written in this software. It’s widespread acceptance among Mac users could never go understated because it’s simply that good. You can’t say enough great things about it without sounding repetitive.
BBedit: I’ll admit there’s far better aesthetically pleasing coding software out there than BareBones’s BBedit. Coda, Expresso to name a few but very much like Lightroom, I’ve stayed with what I know and I haven’t found a need to retrain myself in what I’ve already grasp. I’m far from a coder but from what I recall from Introduction to Web Design in college and from pure allure, I’ve learnt the basics of what’s needed to manipulate HTML and CSS to prettify my site.
How does this setup help you do your best creative work?
I wouldn’t say the setup itself induces a sporadic flow of creativeness because that type of feeling takes place when I’m out shooting, but it certainly helps translating the same comfort I have in using my camera to using my computer.
I don’t consider it something extravagant although friends would disagree but I’m finding that people who have similar configuration have one trait in common. They all have an affinity towards the arts, specifically graphic design, web design, music creation and of course photography. My response to the common question of why I use my laptop as a desktop is “It’s a creative thing.” Needless to say that among my social circle, there’s many that choose to work with what’s in front of them rather than configurate it and make it their own.
How would your ideal setup look and function?
At this point, I’ve learnt there’s no sense in believing you could have the latest of anything with regards to technology because every couple of months something smaller, sleeker and faster is released. With that in mind, I have my eye in upgrading to the newly-enhanced 13″ MacBook Air.
I’ve had my current 15″ MacBook Pro for 5 years and in the past I’ll admit that the ownership of several models of Apple’s top of the line laptop has always been driven in wanting to have the best of what they offer without necessarily having the justification to pay for all that power.
There sheer number of positive benchmark reviews from the new MacBook Air alone is what would make it an ideal setup to migrate to because it has sufficient powerful for supporting the type of work I do without having to pay extra the way I have been in the past for a MBP. I would imagine editing photographs on a 13″ screen could only be tolerated for so long so I would want to add an older generation 23″ Apple Cinema Display which I’m sure I could find for a bargain on Craigslist.
When I’m not managing my photographs in Lightroom, I’m going through NetNewsWire deciding which articles to quickly read or send to Instapaper and/or continuing to build upon the loose thoughts I began typing up on Simplenote for the iPhone to further finish in Notational Velocity while listening to some tunes.
And so, with the exception of dealing with a couple hundred RAW files, my computer usage is not that demanding that it would need a super computer. Which is why the new 13″ MacBook Air along with an external monitor would be an impeccable upgrade to what I have now.
More Sweet Setups
Jorge’s setup is just one in a series of sweet Mac Setups.