Mac Setup: The iMac Studio of a Photographer & Musician

Jun 14, 2014 - 6 Comments

The iMac setup of a musician and photographer

This weeks featured reader setup comes to us from Iain S., who has a great Mac studio for his work in photography and music production. Let’s jump in and learn a bit more about this workstation:

What hardware composes your current Mac setup?

iMac setup of a photographer and musician

What do you use your Apple gear for?

I work mainly on photography, landscapes being my thing. The large screen allows me the space to work at high resolution for larger prints.

As a predominantly live musician the ability to record ideas quickly and mix them down to send to other band members before rehearsals saves so much time explaining and trying ideas.

My job involves timetabling hours in the educational establishment where I work, and having the ability to have an Excel spreadsheet and a calendar open and visible at the same time very often saves what is left of my sanity.

Can you offer some insight into how the Mac and hardware gets used?

I switch from my two main interests Photography and music. The second monitor in portrait orientation is a great place to hold all the different menu bars, mail programmes, etc. If I’m working on photos the side monitor is ideal for Bridge, with Photoshop or Lightroom running on the main monitor. I guess if I start selling more photos I will buy a better monitoring system.

Having the iPad and second monitor is great when recording new song ideas, as the logic control surface allows quick mixing and smooth slider control. As my musical ideas are just notes for development with the full band, my monitoring set up is basic but enough to hear how the mix is working.

iPad dock setup on a keyboard stand

My trusty MacBook Pro is an in the field computer that allows me to do work on photographs on visits to more distant locations. It’s also an ideal way of recording vocals in a studio, rather than hiding in a sleeping bag at home because the family are screaming at each other in the background =] (kidding!)

What apps are must-haves? What are some of your essential apps?

Lightroom and Photoshop are a must have. I don’t get into the argument that manipulation is cheating. Having seen the Ansel Adams retrospective with different prints of the same photo. I think we all manipulate.

Logic and Adobe Audition are great ways of recording ideas or spicing up rehearsal recordings. Microsoft Excel and Word are necessary evils, and though I love Pages, the compatibility issues with word still bug me.

Do you have any tips or life hacks you want to share?

My only tips are, that if you have valuable recordings or photo libraries, back up, back up the back up, and back up the back up. I’ve lost too many photos in the past and now am maybe obsessive in the opposite direction.

Share your own Mac / Apple setup!

Want to share your own interesting Mac setup with OSXDaily? Follow these guidelines, which is basically to take a couple of good pictures, answer some questions about the hardware and how you use it, and mail it on to our groupbox at

Not ready to send in your Mac setup but just want to check out some more? Don’t miss our past featured Mac setup posts!


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Posted by: OSXDaily in Mac Setups


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  1. Doug says:

    Lain S. Hmmm. Wonder if that’s a nod to Layne Staley or just coincidence ;) nice setup! I rock the 17″ mbp too! They need to reintroduce the size!

  2. Me says:

    Can sou tell me more about your USB Hub?

  3. Chris Cheng says:

    Lots of pedals too on the ground what are they for?

    Any photography pictures to share from the portfolio?

  4. Sean DeLuca says:

    A 17″ MBP! Oh how I wish Apple would still make the MacBook Pro at 17″, especially now at Retina resolution. That was a true portable workstation with no comparison, a shame it was discontinued.

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