My Desk Setup Tour 2019

My Desk Setup Tour 2019

My Desk Setup Tour / What’s on My Desk?

The last time I did a desk setup tour was back in 2013, called My Digital Darkroom in two parts. Part I and Part II.  A lot has changed but then it really hasn’t. Long gone are the large stacks of CDs and DVDs on the floor. The 2008 MacPro is currently sitting in the garage I’ll do something with it one day. I replaced my 2012 MacBook Pro and 2008 MacPro with the 2019 15 inch model.

The Desk.

For this 2019 desk setup, I am still using the same desk I bought from Office Depot back in 2006. The Realspace Onyx Matrix Desk I actually like this desk because of the black glass top and space gray sides that match the laptop. the downside with having a black glass is that you have to clean it pretty much every day. It’s also falling apart, had to go to Harbor Freight Tools to replace the cheap plastic wheels.  Soon I’ll be upgrading to a bigger sit/stand desk.

The glow behind the desk.

The Philips Hue Light Strip. The led strip is to white and is on 12 hrs a day and is automated. At night it dims to a nightlight and in the morning it turns on to bright orange, letting me know its time get my butt out of bed. It works with HomeKit and has a great app so when I come home I can ask Siri (yeah I still use Siri) to turn the lights on an off.

The Displays.

I’m STILL using the old BUT the greatest apple displays they ever made, the matte finish Apple 30″ Cinema Displays. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use them anymore because of the DVI connectors. The older 2012 MacBook Pro had two Thunderbolt 2 ports so all I needed was to use Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter. But going from the 2012 MacBook Pro to the 2018 with four Thunderbolt 3 ports you have to get a USB-C to Mini DisplayPort Adapter.  these monitors are only 1080p which are just for me since I’m not doing a lot of videos. The only thing that I have that can record 4k video is my iPhone. so I just record in 1080 and it’s working just fine. (for now).

The Computer.

The computer is the 2019 15 inch MacBook Pro. 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, 1TB SSD, 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 and the Radeon Pro 560X. Of course, I had to get it in space gray. My previous computers from Apple were boring silver.  I’ve never used the touch bar before now. Most people have a love/hate relationship with them, but for me I like it. It’s come in handy a few times.

The Keyboard and Trackpad.

The keyboard is the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. to the left the Magic Trackpad 2, which I really don’t use. Both works off Bluetooth and the batteries last forever. I did have some lag due to interference when I was using the Anker 10 Port USB hub. Possible upgrade, get them both in space gray color.

The Mouse

Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse. This mouse is great because it works on any surface. I started using this one over the Apple Magic Mouse because of that reason. Also, I like the shape of it in my hand. over Apple’s. Tech Armor

The Phone

iPhone Xs Max (space gray).  Probably one of my favorite things I bought in 2018.

Apple iPhone Ballistic Glass Screen

OtterBox SYMMETRY CLEAR SERIES case is a must-have for protecting this $1100.00 investment. 

The Dock

OWC 12-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock (space gray). This is the secret to having the two Cinema Displays while only using a single cable to the Macbook.  It has an SD card slot, a headphone slot and USB 3.1 in front. In back are 2 Thunderbolt 3 Ports a Display Port and 4 USB 3.1 ports as well as gigabit ethernet. This is a must-have, Thunderbolt 3 cable into the MacBook Pro is all you need. 

Side note: I still have to use the power cable plugged into the laptop for it to charge. I tried it without and I get the “not charging” status. 

Shuttle Pro V.2

Countor Designs Shuttle Pro V.2 This thing is such a pain in the ass to program because the interface is so outdated. It is great for Photoshop, Lightroom, Final Cut and basically whatever you want to program it. It’s Universal so it works with almost any program. PC or MAC compatible. If you want to know a little more click here.


Apple AirPods. I take these with me almost everywhere I go. The gym, school, everywhere. I keep them in a protective case I found on eBay.

iPad Pro

iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil (not shown). I’m still using the 9.7 inch iPad is small and perfect for class. In class, I am mostly using the GoodNotes app and the Apple pencil. It is the non-LTE version and because there is no Wifi in class there are no notifications or distractions.  When I’m not in class is mostly sitting on a Lamicall stand.  I love the Ring Doorbell app for when you want to see who is at the door without getting up. Its housed in an OtterBox Defender Series Case.

Also under the stand sits some business card of The Macy’s Girl printed by the best business card company, MOO.

Field Book.

These Field Notebooks are amazing. there is always one nearby in case I need to write something down or forget what bill I just paid.

The Pen of Choice.

The Pilot G2 Limited pen with the bold 1.0mm ink is by far my favorite pen to write with.  It also comes in a cool space gray.
Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil, (gun metallic) is the pencil of choice.

Raid Storage.

TerraMaster D5-300C USB3.0 This is soon to be upgraded.  This is storage the first two slots have 2 10tb Seagate IronWolf NAS Hard Drives in a raid 0 where store my photos. (yes, I keep a back up). the rest are 2tb Seagate IronWolf NAS drives for iTunes (music and movies) one for videos and one for Time Machine. 

Its USB type C but its USB 3.0 and I want some ThunderBolt 3 speeds so either the Promise P3R4HD12US Pegasus3 R4 OR TerraMaster D5

Most likely the Pegasus3 because this one used to disconnect a lot. not as much now that it’s plugged into the OWC doc.

Solid State Drive.

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Great external or internal hard drive. I take this to class with me. I also use one for backups. After each photoshoot, I copy all the RAW files onto this drive just for safeguard in case I delete something by accident. I’ve been known to do that. the enclosure is the ELUTENG External USB C


The Apple iSight webcam. I can’t plug it into anything because of its old Firewire 400 connection. I still have the original packaging and everything. Although I can’t use it, I just can not get rid of it. (like all my old iPods and iPhones) Great review on this camera click here.

Not Snown.

Wacom Intuos Pro. This is a must-have for any photographer who edits their photos. 


Donte Tidwell Photography is a Los Angeles Photographer.

Donte Tidwell Photography specializes in boudoir, portrait, fashion and fine art pictures.  To see more work from Photographer Donte Tidwell, check out his website at or visit the facebook or instagram Contact Photographer Donte Tidwell

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