Photography by Chris Skelton
Promotion: You'd think time and place wait in perfect harmony till Chris McLennan arrives to photograph them. Of course, it's a little more complicated than that, thanks to HP
Name a travel destination anywhere in the world and Chris McLennan has probably been there. The Auckland-based photographer travels widely to capture stunning landscapes, top resorts and local adventure sports on film. He's one of only 16 photographers worldwide featured in the Lowepro Loweprofessionals 'showcase' catalogue, and one of just eight regional Canon EOS Masters. Clients in over 30 countries have flown McLennan in to shoot images that describe their tourism brand, whether it's a skier mid-jump, a climber high on a mountain face or the sunset over a Greek island.
What a sweet gig, eh? But being an award-winning travel photographer isn't just about luxury hotels and island beaches. McLennan spends much of his time battling bugs and border patrols. On site he faces extreme temperatures, uncooperative scenery, wind and humidity.
Photographers know they're only as good as their tools. So how does McLennan travel light and still get that great shot?
Your studio is the world. How do you get the shots without lugging around crates of expensive kit?
I used to carry an external monitor around with me, which was a logistical nightmare and really expensive—especially when flying to far-off destinations. The key for me now is my powerful HP 8730w Mobile Workstation notebook with DreamColour technology. This allows me to edit on location. It's the first laptop I have seen that has a screen capable of accurate calibration.
What's back in the office, in Auckland?
I use a 30-bit, 24-inch DreamColour monitor with the Colour Calibration Kit connected to a very powerful HP Z Series Workstation. The colour accuracy and consistency of the DreamColour monitor teamed with the Z Workstation makes working on large image files a pleasure. Working as a professional in a competitive international market I am somewhat of a perfectionist.
What do you look for in good equipment?
It's got to be easy to use, totally stable and cost effective—but a lot of technology is these days. What really makes the difference is the ability to edit on the DreamColour laptop on the road, so I have the colour consistency through my complete system.
We're used to seeing photographers lugging Apple-branded kit around. But you've selected HP—why is that?
This is the question a lot of people ask! Most of my work is done on the road and I have yet to see any laptop that can compete with the HP 8730w: its screen is superior to anything else I've seen or found reviews for, it's fast and has plenty of storage space it is perfect for my requirements. To give you an idea of graphics and processing performance, a lot of people out there may not be aware that the movie Avatar was created on HP machines.