What I Use


These are the tools I use in my professional and creative workflows. Inspired by uses.tech via the Syntax podcast.


macOS all the way!

Editor and Terminal

  • VS Code with the fabulous JetBrains Mono typeface.
  • Previously, I used Coda 2 for quite a few years.
  • Spaceship ZSH.
  • Locally installed Apache, PHP, and MariaDB. See the excellent tutorial on the Grav blog for setup instructions. Thanks to the use of Homebrew, this setup no longer breaks during major macOS upgrades (where files like httpd.conf and php.ini were frequently overwritten, requiring a trip into Time Machine). Docker has effectively make this setup obsolete; however, I’ve maintained this local AMP stack since 2007 across two MacBook Pros and countless OS upgrades, and it’s fun to pretend to be a sysadmin.

Desktop Apps

  • All the web browsers, including Brave
  • Affinity Designer for vector work
  • Docker
  • Paparazzi! for screenshotting websites. I still prefer a dedicated app for this rather than a browser extension.
  • SourceTree for Git. I sometimes prefer its layout to that of VS Code.
  • Postman for RESTful API design.
  • TablePlus for database visualization. After trying many such apps over the years, this is by far my favourite.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan, including Lightroom Classic for photo cataloging
  • Starry Landscape Stacker for photo astro-stacking
  • Backblaze for online backups (it even backs up my storage-expansion external SSD!)
  • SuperDuper! for local backups (in addition to Time Machine)


  • 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch (8-core Intel Core i9-9880H, 32 GB 2667 MHz DDR4 RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 4 GB, 1 TB SSD)
  • Previously, a Late 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (4-core Intel Core i7-4850HQ, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2GB, 512 GB SSD)
  • Before that, a 15-inch mid-2007 MacBook Pro (Intel Core 2 Duo T7500, 4 GB 667MHz DDR2 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 128 MB, aftermarket OCZ 120 GB SSD). The GPU in this laptop failed, requiring a logic-board replacement.
  • 27-inch LG 27UD68-W 4K Display
  • Ducky One 2 SF RGB White mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches. Being relatively new to mechanical keyboards, they really are game-changers.
  • Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Mouse 2
  • Desktop Windows PC: Intel Core i5-3570K overclocked to 4.2 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD, 3 TB hardware RAID 5 array (4 x 1 TB drives), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 4 GB AMD Radeon RX 580 4 GB (upgraded in April 2020). I built this in 2012 with the intention of upgrading parts as needed—only a strong need to upgrade has yet to present itself. Let’s see how long this old hardware will last before it gets converted into a Linux box. Used for browser testing and storage. I backup photos from my laptop to my PC’s RAID array via rsync:
alias photobackup="rsync -avzP --exclude '.DS_Store' --delete --backup --backup-dir="//Volumes/PhotosfromrMBP/backups/backup_$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M)" ~/Pictures/ //Volumes/PhotosfromrMBP/"
  • A Logitech G5 laser mouse (circa 2007) for my PC. Still going strong!

Camera Gear


Though a bit dated now, these bodies work very well for stills and are quite light and compact.


  • Sony E 16 mm f/2.8 pancake: very pocketable but with soft corners
  • Sony/Zeiss E 24 mm f/1.8: wickedly sharp and good in low light
  • Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8: an excellent medium length
  • Sony FE 70–200 mm f/4 G: quite sharp and much lighter than an f/2.8

Lately, I’ve been trying to challenge myself creatively by primarily shooting with a single lens for six months to a year.


  • GorillaPod
  • Circular polarizing filter