Steve Offutt’s Sweet Mac Setup
Who are, what do you do, etc…?
I’m Steve Offutt. I’m a father, wedding photographer, musician, and a staff member at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, a Christian Missions organization know as IHOP-KC. I work and live in south Kansas City. By day I co-lead and manage the goings-on within the IHOP-KC Marketing Department. On the side, I often find myself traveling and photographing beautiful weddings, couples, families, and occasionally rockstars and/or food.
What is your current setup?
At home I run a 27-inch 3.2 GHz iMac i3 with 1TB internal storage and 8GB of RAM. At the marketing office I pair my personally-owned 2007 MacBook Pro (2.33 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo, 15-inch) with a department-owned Apple 23-inch Aluminum Cinema Display.
Other key players:
- Apple bluetooth keyboards
- Apple Magic Mouse(s)
- Rechargeable AA-batteries
- 16GB iPhone 4
- Canon MP560 wireless printer (at home)
- 1TB Western Digital Firewire 800 external drive (also at home)
My home set-up sits atop a Galant series desk from IKEA that’s about 5′x3′. The iMac is flanked by two Lobbo series 40w lamps (also from IKEA). I have a knack for lighting, so I cant go without saying my current lightbulb of choice is GE’s Reveal series. They neutralize the typical yellow-ish tint from standard tungsten lightbulbs. Lastly, really nice chairs are cool, but I routinely spend my fun money on coffee and photography gear, so I’ve settled for the moderately priced Moses office chair (also made by IKEA).
For the photog nerds out there…the core of my photography set-up is this:
- Canon 5D MkII and a Canon 5D original version
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L
- Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS
- Canon flashes
- Pocketwizard triggers
- HPRC cases and ThinkTank bags
- Orbis RingLight
- Manfrotto mono-pod
Why this rig?
Well let me first mention how I came to this current setup. My pre-iMac setup was just the single 15-inch MBP mentioned above. It travelled to the marketing office everyday and was my main photo editing machine at home as well. I can’t believe that I used to do entire wedding edits on that 15-inch matte screen. However, as my photography has progressed so too has my post-production workflow and its demands. While processing a wedding or preparing a blog post I may have 100+ large files open at a time. Over the past few years the advancements of digital photography outgrew my MBP’s specs, storage space, and 15-inch screen. I found myself facing four challenges/requirements:
- I needed a bigger screen
- I needed an upgrade in processor, storage, and RAM
- I needed to keep at least one machine permanently at home for my wife’s use
- My budget was about $2,000
On paper it was pretty clear; I would keep using the MBP for day-to-day at IHOP-KC and add a powerful 27″ iMac on the homefront. Most of my friends stick with a laptop + cinema display set-up, so I wasn’t convinced at first, but after some initial research I realized that today’s all-in-one iMacs pack more-than-capable processors, huge internal storage potential, and ample hi-quality visual real-estate. I didn’t need another laptop and that option was mostly out of my budget range anyway. The iMac seemed to be the thriftiest choice of the entire Mac line. It met all my challenges/requirements and was within my budget.
The 2007 MBP is still in heavy use everyday. It gives me all the mobility and processing power I need in my Marketing Coordinator role. There never was any intent to retire or replace it with the newer iMac and thankfully maintenance has been minimal (one battery and both fans…thats it!).
My most recent and favorite addition to my home office set-up is a Canon MP560 wireless printer. For years I’ve hated the dust-collecting eye-sore that takes up two or three square feet of desk space and barely gets used. When my old gray box stopped working, it seemed natural to go wireless and free up some valuable desk space. My new printer now sits atop a 5′ bookshelf where it is mostly out of sight and more importantly out of the way! The biggest score is the happiness of my wife when she can now print things from anywhere in the house from our MBP without having to fire-up the iMac.
What software/apps do you use and for what do you use it?
- Adobe Lightroom: for cataloging and culling photos
- Adobe Photoshop: for the heavy lifting
- Adobe Illustrator: for making shapes
- TweetDeck Desktop: for managing twitter and facebook
- ProPhoto3: WordPress theme customization for non-coders
- WordPress: to make my website work and keep it current
- CyberDuck: for FTP (I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed)
- iLife: all of them all the time (except iPhoto)
- Safari: compasses guide you but foxes trick you
- SuperDuper!: for smart back-ups
- My Publisher: for designing wedding albums and photo books
- CrossProcess and ShakeItPhoto: my go-to iPhone photo apps
How does this setup help you do your best creative work?
I believe that a setup should facilitate an efficient workflow. I’ve noticed most of my Mac-using friends utilize a one-machine setup and it meets their needs — especially when the choice is laptop while on-the-go with a Cinema Display parked at home. However, I’ve found that investing in a multi-machine setup meets the needs of my family as well as my differing job descriptions and their requirements. With cloud-based apps and syncing technology, multi-machine setups are now easy to keep cohesive and consistent day-to-day.
How would your ideal setup look and function?
It’d be nice to add a Solid State Drive into both my machines, however I’m going to wait until the pricing comes down a bit. It’d also be nice to bring the online experience to my living room via AppleTV. All in all, I’m very happy with my set-up, though a set of pro studio monitors would be very nice.
More Sweet Setups
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