Renew or die – my $10,700 post production setup

The pandemic has changed the way we live and work. In recent months my workflow had to adapt to this new reality. Even the type of work I do changed a bit.

With that, the demand to carry out all the creative and production processes from “home or studio” is ever stronger. And to do this, you have to adapt and renew yourself and your workflow. So I did.

These are times of change, complicated, but there are also new opportunities. So I decided to renew my entire post-production battle station adapting it to my unique needs.



Now, I spend much more time sitting in front of the computer; it’s hours of work, zoom meetings, and planning… So the first thing I decided to invest in was a good work chair that would keep me comfortable, cool, and productive. I did my research and tried quite a few models. In the end, I went for the COUGAR ARGO. It is a very well-built chair, very heavy, but very comfortable, adaptable and fresh… and also, I think it looks great! Cost: $500




During the confinement and with more time in front of the computer, I started experimenting with new software. Now I am exploring more video editing, digital effects, and even 3D software. This demands much more power on my computer. My iMac already needed to be renewed because although it worked well, it was already nine years old and was slow to fulfill the new tasks. So I decided to swap it for a new model.

There is a lot of hype around the new Mac M1 chip, but at the moment, the new iMac 27 inches has not been released, and I needed to make the change immediately. I decided then to purchase the 2020 iMac with the most powerful Intel processor available for the iMac: Intel 3.6 GHz 10 Core i9, with 64 GB in Ram and a 16 GB graphics card. Cost: $6,000

Input / Output

I also decided to renew my pen display. I have been working with Wacom Cintiq models for many years, and here I just changed my old 24-inch pen display for the new version, also 24-inch, but now 4K, and added the “ERGO” base that allows me to place and rotate the display in different positions. Cost: $2,500

Then I added a third display for color reference. This monitor specialized for photography is calibrated, and it allows me to switch with a button to several predetermined color profiles. Whether I am doing work to be printed or work to be shared on digital media, this monitor gives me the confidence that what I am seeing on the screen is very similar to what will be printed.

The display model I got is the BENQ SW271; Is a 27-inch 4K high dynamic range monitor. Cost $1,400.


Finally, the last piece of my new setup is a little “control panel” called the “Stream Deck.” I have programmed this control panel to accelerate and optimize basic functions such as One-button access to web pages, social networks, and folders. I also use it as a command control for some software functions—things like Zoom and Photoshop. I even use it to turn the lights on and off in my studio. Cost $300.

This whole new setup doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to create better projects, but it means that I can be much more productive and allow me to explore and try new things.

In the end, gear is at the service of creation and not the other way around. So for me was time to renew or die.

About the Author

Felix Hernandez is a photographer, digital and miniature artist based in Cancun, Mexico. He directs his Photography Studio “Hernandez Dreamphography,” where he develops creative projects and high impact images for advertising campaigns and branded content for international brands such as BMW Motorrad, Audi, Volkswagen, Nickelodeon, Wilson, Mattel, The Red Cross, TopGear Magazine, and Cadbury, among others. To see more of his work, check out his portfolio or Behance profile.

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