Photographer Shares His Dream Retouching Workstation Setup

Warning: Intense jealousy and GAS may be felt while viewing this video. You have been warned.

Dani Diamond is no stranger to the photography community, with his unique style and incredible hand-crafted portfolio. In his latest video, he shares his dream editing station. And at first look, it is truly incredible: two Viewsonic 27" monitors, a high-end speaker system, a Wacom Mobile Studio Pro attached to a custom-built stand that also holds a Palette system, a full NAS setup, and of course, a Herman Miller chair. This list doesn't even include his custom-built PC which could probably be done in its own article.

Why Your Setup Is Important

Editing is a long, grueling task. Being able to work in an environment that is organized and comfortable to you will help make a more efficient workflow for your long hours of retouching. For me, I know a clean workstation where I'm not stacking things on top of each other goes a long way. For Dani, a comfortable environment means bumping EDM music out of a detailed sound system and using a NASA-like button setup to save an image.

Seeing this is making me think of my editing space in a completely different light. Maybe I need to purchase a water jug that's two feet from my desk for constant fill-ups or possibly one of those cereal dispensers you find in a hotel's breakfast lounge. No matter what, it is always inspiring to see what people can do with their desk space. If you're intrigued with what other people have done with their environments, a fun place to check out is Reddit's Battlestations subreddit.

And if you're interested in every specific item from Dani's workstation, check out his Kit.com page.

After watching this video, how do you feel about your editing space?

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19 Comments

Leigh Miller's picture

LOL....

I like it but the title is so misleading. I would have just said "Content Creating Desktop"...as most of these are present day.

Spy Black's picture

After years of freelancing in various locations with crude single monitor workstations with no tablets and bare bones calibration on which I've had to crank out millions of images to deadline, I find this rather amusing...

Cedric TOSONI's picture

Exactly! going from home to work has to be very complicated!

Jan Kruize's picture

A 10.000 dollar setup all calibrated in sRGB. Very importand because it looks the same on his phone. I'm off here. Really... i'm' off.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I know eh? All that money to look good on Instagram. And I was not aware that speakers are part of the retouching process, I should try that.

He has some great portfolio though (and he uses a PC).

michaeljin's picture

All that money spent and he couldn't buy a decent pair of nearfield monitors...

Alex Cooke's picture

I use the Rokits for my at-home music work and have never had an issue. Took a rough mix made on them into a Grammy-winning studio and it was clear they had done a good job. They're good bang for the buck.

michaeljin's picture

KRK Rokits are basically the nearfield monitoring equivalent of the Canon Rebel TI. You can certainly get professional results if you know what you're doing, but they're definitely at the low end of the spectrum and people mostly buy them because they're cheap and pretty. For most people it probably wouldn't make much of a difference either way since no monitor will really work properly unless you specifically design your listening space for it (which few home engineers will do).

user-206807's picture

Personally, when I retouch photos I only wear Jean-Paul Gaultier suits and A. Testoni shoes…
(Next time I will tell you about my underwear)

Marko Medić's picture

Pics or it didn't happen!!!!

Stuart Carver's picture

As someone who has been a DJ for 20 years, playing house music/soul/funk in the main, you completely lost me at ‘bumping EDM music out of a detailed sound system’

Firstly EDM is horrible, like really horrible. And Rokits, whilst being very capable home DJ monitors are nowhere near a detailed sound system, plus what’s the actual point of having pairs of them stood together? it’s not gaining a single thing.

The actual photo editing side of it looks decent enough and completely outdoes my 13” MacBook Pro and £5 wired mouse from Amazon.

That is far from a "maxed out" computer tower.

jacob kerns's picture

LMFAO

Because?

Is that the most intelligent comment you can offer. Or, alternatively you could elaborate as to why you think his workstation setup warrants such a response from you. Go on, push yourself, you'll feel much better for it.

jacob kerns's picture

Okay there white knight. Power supply is too low for that build. 1440p monitors for photo editing should of got at least got a 1 4k or higher res monitor. plus the junk Nzxt water cooler.

Fair enough on those points but don't you think LMFAO is a completely absurd reaction?

Edit: NZXT is highly rated in general actually.

jacob kerns's picture

I wouldn't trust anything from Nzxt to protect high-end components.

Does he only produce work in landscape orientations for social media? I would flip one of those monitors to portrait or have two landscape and one portrait...

Lee Christiansen's picture

Ok... this is a case where style is clearly more important than... well, anything....! I'd normally tear away from critiquing anyone's system - but this guy is putting it up on YouTube to boast...

KRK monitors aren't all that. (I much prefer my Genelecs), and having two per side is daft - and only introduces phase and refraction issues. And they're in the wrong position for quality audio, not to mention that woofer which doesn't seem to have adequate isolation from the wood floor - so I'll bet any neighbouring people are going to love him for that. (And the room acoustics... ahhhh....

Sooo many monitors - and not one of them are calibrated. I'm guessing the ones he rejected just didn't make his pictures "look good." And Viewsonic...? Please stop the boasting...

Why does he have an infinite range of monitoring positions...? It's all very fancy but there's one perfect position for a monitor in a perfect seated position - find it and leave it. (Unless you want something fancy to boast about).

I love Wacom and he does seem to have the same tablet as I love, and they're great. But why the addition of the MobileStudio? With all those screens and none calibrated, (and with the limited potential of the Wacom's gamut range), I wonder which he uses to actually choose the right image? And of course, yet another swingy stand for it - which wobbles... ha. (And £3000...? Not a good balance for those cheaper Viewsonics. Should have just got an Eizo CG319X and have it all - but better).

The PC is up for display so friends can wow about it. Ooh look at the flashy lights... And a boast of its amazing spec, far cheaper than a Mac... Except my MacPro with 12 cores, 64GB RAM, 8x USB-3 ports and an 8GB graphics card came in at under £2000 (custom built by MacBank in the UK) outstrips it - and I've never felt the need to boast on YouTube.

No blackout on the windows, so with all that lovely daylight coming in from the side, good luck with those blue walls, (if they're not already glowing from the PC lights.

Of course to a gear-head, you've got to have a Palette system. Just chase it around the room on your swingy Wacom stand, or do you use the other Wacom - because you can never have enough work surfaces.

I wonder how much money was wasted on a fancy table which has two rack systems built in that he can't use - well one of the racks does hold that huge mixer... ahem. Does look great though - which is what matters.

Can't help feeling the similarities between the teenagers who buy a Fiat Punto and pimp it out with a flashy, expensive, terrible sound system that vibrates the back of their head when driving. Great to get noticed, but really...?

If it makes him happy then great. I love my system and it makes me happy enough. But here is a difference between form and function. And if it is only the former - beware putting up a video boasting of it on YouTube, because some of us will notice. (But thanks for the laugh...)