The Rig: Derek Clark
Who are you and what’s your profession?
My name is Derek Clark and I’m a documentary photographer in Scotland UK, where I live with my wife and our two kids. I’m a member of The Kage Collective, an international group of photographers focused on visual storytelling and documentary work and in 2012 I was awarded UK Professional Photographer Of The Year in the News Category for a photo from a story shot in Italy called Running Into Darkness. Most recently I have been shooting a story on orphanages in the Philippines, which will be forever etched in my memory and work that I would like to continue in some way.
I also have a passion for black and white street photography and have a dedicated street blog at 35mmStreet.com
When I’m not being a photographer, I’m usually playing tenor saxophone, something I’ve been doing for almost 30 years. I also have a thing for analog and VA synthesizers.
What’s your rig?
My main rig is the Fuji X system. At the moment that kit consists of an X-Pro1, X-E1 and an X100. My Fuji lenses are the 14mm f2.8, 18mm f2, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 60mm f2.4 and the 18–55mm f2.8-f4. I’m a prime lens shooter, but the 18–55mm zoom is a great travel lens. I also have a Nikon D800, 24mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4, 70–200 f2.8, 3x SB700’s, 3x SB800’s, SU800 commander unit and a handful of light modifiers. The Nikon kit gets pulled out mostly for portraits, but I’m doing less of that these days. The lack of a fast long telephoto from Fuji means I need to have the Nikon 70–200mm available, otherwise I might abandon DSLR’s all together.
What hardware do you use?
My main computer is a 27″ iMac hooked-up to a Drobo with 4TB of hard disk space, but I’ll need to double that soon. I use a Wacom Intuos 4 wireless tablet (soon to be upgraded to a Pro) and a Logitech G13 game controller as well as an apple mouse and trackpad. I use the G13 mostly for selecting and flagging in Lightroom plus navigating through modules and working in survey mode.
My setup for travelling and editing on the go, is an 11″ MacBook Air, 1TB Freecom Thunderbolt drive and a couple of 250GB drives for backup. I believe that backing up is important and should be forefront in our workflow. On my recent trip to Asia, my photos were on three different drives and one of them traveled back on a different flight. If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing!
What software do you use?
I use Lightroom and Photoshop CC, only hoping on to CC recently when it became really affordable for existing PS users. I also use the Nik Collection, especially Silver Efex Pro for black and white. I tend to make my own presets for Lightroom, rather than buying packs.
What would be your dream rig?
The Fuji X series killed my lust for Leica, so I’m lucky enough to be shooting with the gear I love. I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any new cameras this year, just lenses. But I’m eagerly awaiting the 56mm f1.2 and the X-Pro2 when they arrive next year. My big wish for the X-Pro2 would be a dedicated ISO dial on the top plate. The lack of minimum shutter speed in auto ISO is a huge flaw in the fist generation bodies, so that’ something that needs sorted I would also love it if Fuji would bring out a long lens with a wide aperture, something with an equivalent to a 70–200mm or a fixed 200mm (full frame size), but they would have to be at least f2.8. Variable aperture lenses should be a thing of the past IMO.
What’s your favorite photography quote?
The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong – Susan Meiselas
I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers – Mahatma Gandhi