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A picture of Boone Speed

Boone Speed

Photographer, climber

in mac, photographer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a photographer. I travel fast and light and shoot a lot of climbing, ski, adventure and travel related stuff for companies like The North Face and Patagonia. That's where I got started because of my climbing background. Now I also shoot for Adidas, Nike, Fila and others in a similar style.

What hardware do you use?

I shoot Canon. I have a 5d2, a 7d and a 60d. I rely on a 24-70 2.8L for the bulk of what I do. It's heavy but the results are worth the weight. I also have a 16-35 2.8 L II but I don't like it. I'll use it if I'm hanging from a rope and I need the range, but I'll use my 14mm 2.8 for wide shots and my 24mm 1.4L II as much as possible. I can't say enough about my 24. It's a desert island lens. That and my 90mm 2.8 Tilt/Shift. I shoot most of my portraiture with a 50mm 1.2L. I also routinely carry a 17mm f4 Tilt Shift lens which is incredible. And finally, I have a 70-200 2.8L II Lens but it's too heavy to carry much of the time. I put as much of this gear as I need for any given gig in my Lowepro CompuPrimus AW pack.

For lighting I have two different kits I use, both of which are compact enough to easily carry into the backcountry. My first choice is my Profoto D1 500 Air strobes which can't be beat, unless video is being shot simultaneously (which is often the case these days). That's when we bust out the Ikan 500 LED lights. They're perfect fill light in the shade or when the sun's going down. And whether I'm powering my Profotos or the LED's I use Vagabond Mini batteries by Paul C. Buff. These are a godsend. Less than 4lbs each and can fire the Profotos 2x/second. I use Manfrotto carbon fiber tripods and their lightweight lightstands as needed.

Because most of my work is on the road, I rely mostly on my iPhone 4 to keep me in the loop and organized. I've stuck with ATT service in order to take my phone internationally. For all heavy lifting I have an Apple MBP 17" i7 loaded to the max. In order to keep all my stuff straight it's my only computer. When traveling I back everything up on external Lacie eSATA drives which I carry with me at all times. When I get back to the office I hook it up to an Apple 30" cinema display and back everything up again on a Drobo.

For gear to get from A to B or for rigging high-angle shots, I use BlueWater Ropes and Black Diamond Equipment carabiners, harnesses and other technical gear.

And what software?

I use Adobe Lightroom 3 for cataloging and post-processing images and Adobe CS5 suite for other creative endeavors (although I've found every version of Creative Suite to be not only expensive but riddled with bugs). I prefer Safari for browsing and Apple's iCal and Contacts to sync between devices. I'm using Twitter and Instagram to share thoughts, inspiration and location.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would start with a new Canon camera body, one that's small, that uses the same battery as a 5d2, has a full frame sensor (or larger), shoots 12 frames per second (at 18+ mpxls) and 720p video (while shooting stills). Dreamy I know, but you asked. My MacBook Pro would be even faster with 1tb or more of solid-state memory. I'm hopeful that the new Thunderbolt connection is all its cracked up to be, which should save time. And finally a lighting setup as lightweight and portable as LED's but without the falloff. My fingers are crossed for these to exist in the near future. Oh, and Adobe software without bugs.