Who are you and what’s your profession?
Hey, my name is Olivier Duong, I’m a Haitian-French-Vietnamese dude born and raised in Haiti. Profession? I’ve tried to get a job many times with other shooters and all, I’ve went so
far as to design a whole ebook for someone, explaining point by point how I could help their business, I never got anything! No call, nothing. I was getting nowhere, so much so
my wife told me she felt bad for me. So, tired of asking, I decided to go in business for myself.
I guess everything I do can fall under the banner of entrepreneur. I’m a pro photographer (I shoot weddings documentary BW style), a pro street photographer (I sell prints) and
I’m also a digital publisher. I’m originally a graphic designer and an all around web dude. Jack of all trades master of some I guess :)
What’s your rig?
I use to be a gear addict, buying cameras like crazy. Lost 1000s of dollars in all of that. Now I understand that less is more and actually makes you more creative (A principle called
limitation creativity). My main rig so to speak is my pocket, my Ricoh GRDIV and my HP200lx. I shot most of my photography and most of my prints on this.
For Pro work, my camera is the NEX7. I only use manual focus lenses, I got spoiled by the Voigtlander rangefinder lenses and focus peaking….when I hear cameras having super mega alpha EX ++ autofocus, I don’t really care :)
The focus peaking on the NEX7 is super accurate and easy. I have a Fuji XE1 that I also use as a pro camera. I had the intention of moving to the Fujis completely, but the XE1′s focus peaking pales in comparison with the NEX7.
I wanted an XT1, but it’s too SLRish in handling and the price didn’t make sense since you can get an A7 not too far from an XT1 body’s price.
Ironically enough, the XE1 is my go-to camera for everything else, I LOVE to use it. I never take my NEX7 out but for assignments, but the XE1 goes everywhere.
My Voigtlander 15mm Heliar is usually glued to it…what a dream! The Fuji Leica M adapter is truly an engineering marvel and performs well.
At weddings, the NEX7 usually does the job, the XE1 is the supporting member. For any other purpose it’s the XE1. If I don’t want to hold anything in my hands when I’m out, it’s the GRD IV.
As bag, I stay away from messenger style because it’s so bad for your back, but when I am shooting a wedding, a man’s gotta do what they have to do, I slap everything is a Lowepro Classsified 140. The best camera is the one you love, find the gear that works for you and run with it.
What hardware do you use?
Other gear include the Dell XPS15, a few minutes ago it just fell from a table. It got a nice dent behind the screen but everything works :) I use anOmnibook 300 to write everything. Back light screens are bad for your eyes, I use this baby to save me some eyesight and it’s distraction free. LOVE IT. I also have an HP200lx, I swap the memory between these two when I am out. Wrote this text on both of them.
Since the NEX7 nor the XE1 support dual SD cards for backups, I use a Hyperspace UDMA to backup my SDXC cards while on assignment. I hate it because the SD card cannot fit completely flush inside it. The Epson p7000 does not support SDXC cards so I have to do with it.
What software do you use?
Software wise I use Lightroom and other Adobe suite software. Just like gear I try to keep it simple stupid. I don’t do Lightroom plugins because It’s adding an extra step to the workflow.
I pass everything through Inspired Eye presets, either mine or my partner’s presets. For weddings I use these too but a lighter version.
I can’t live without Postbox, the best looking and most useful email client. I can’t recommend it enough and it’s dirt cheap for the email productivity it offers.
For organization, I think our lives are beyond the simple to-do or checklist stage. Mine sure is. I tried everything software wise and a 20 year old piece of software fit the bill. I wouldn’t be able to
run things without Lotus agenda. I write blog posts, articles, and everything else on it on my HP200lx or Omnibook 300.
What would be your dream rig?
My dream kit…I’ll say the A7 is pretty much spot on, but the market needs that in a rangefinder body. I also believe the market needs smaller and more compact lenses. The Fuji 23mm 1.4, Nex Zeiss 24mm,
would be prime examples why. That’s one of the reasons I stick with my rangefinder lenses. I say “The market needs” because I am content with what I have.
There will always be something I don’t have so I’d much rather focus on and use what I have instead of what I don’t. I’m much happier.
What’s your favorite photography quote?
I’d say “If your photographs are not good enough you are not close enough”. The problem with it is that many think that photography is therefore reduced to an exercise of getting closer physically.
My friends, a crappy shot is a crappy shot, far or near. Get closer to your work, put more of yourself in it and it will shine. That’s the photo Gospel I walk to.