Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Claire Hopkins

Claire Hopkins

Botanist, educator (Brilliant Botany)

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Claire Hopkins (pronouns: she/her), and I am a botanist and informal science educator. I run the website Brilliant Botany, a hub of plant science information that includes resource lists, merch and weekly YouTube videos. I spend my time updating the site, researching scripts, generating graphics and editing videos.

I also run a small Etsy shop selling knitted items, walk dogs and have a day job at a biotech company. In my spare time I knit, watch TV, walk my dog, and read. I love urban fantasy, The Great British Bakeoff, and makeup.

What hardware do you use?

For filming and photography, I use a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR with a 18-55mm lens, a Rode VideoMicro microphone, and a Parrot Teleprompter, all on top of a Polaroid PLTRI72 72" tripod. I currently use a Genaray Octolux Light. I use my iPhone 6 for taking photos, to run my scripts on the Teleprompter and check social media. I have an Opteka 10x Macro Conversion Lens that I occasionally use to get close-up photos and video of plants.

My computer is an iMac with a 21.5 inch display. It sits on my dining room table, surrounded by the files, stamps, and all of the other supplies I use to maintain my site and package merch. The floor is also covered in dog toys.

For keeping track of my schedule and tasks, I use a Compact Lavender Bliss Passion Planner with a Pilot Retractable Precise V5 RT pen. I'm lost without my planner!

And what software?

My Mac currently runs OS X El Capitan. For editing, I use iMovie, as I don't have particularly complex editing needs. I plan to upgrade to Adobe Premiere in the near future.

For graphics for my videos, website and merch, I use Adobe Illustrator and occasionally Adobe Photoshop.

For script writing, I use Google Drive, since this allows me to work on things wherever I am.

My website is hosted on Squarespace, and I use HootSuite to schedule posts to Instagram and Twitter.

What would be your dream setup?

Oh boy, my wish list is extensive. I would love a DJI Mavic Pro drone, allowing me to add cinematic shots to my videos. A MacBook Pro to let me to edit on the go. A Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens. A ring light to use as a key light. A lavalier microphone. A proper desk chair to support my back while I'm editing. Or perhaps just an experienced editor to do my editing, as it's not my forte!