Becoming complacent in your digital workflow is one of the main reasons photographers tend to stick to the same systems and software. Under the guise of familiarity and fear of change, people stick outmoded software, in the case of Adobe, or flock to the newest offerings of a glorified phone company, à la Apple.


While the new Macbook Pros are anything but, Apple still has a hard time keeping them on their shelves. Why is this? The OS, although flashy, hasn’t really changed since 2013, only occasionally receiving the scraps from the latest iOS release. The company has prioritized the iPhone above all, and as of late last year, has no dedicated Mac operating system team. The hardware continually drags behind the competition and the ability to upgrade the machine becomes more abysmal each year, with everything becoming proprietary and soldered down.


Apple is essentially a hardware company that seems to be marketing to the amateur creative that are allured by the status symbol instead of the specs – you know the ones who rock ironic eyewear. Sure there is probably good money there, but Apple has gotten greedy and doesn’t seem to mind that its core demographic is disappearing. Some Mac users are sitting and waiting desperately for Apple to, maybe someday, release a real workhorse computer, one that won’t choke on the 50MP files of the Canon 5DS R. Other photographers, like Trey Ratcliff, are tired of waiting and are deciding to jump ship and switch to Windows.

On his blog, Stuck in Customs, Ratcliff describes his transition from Apple to Windows (on a 60-day photo adventure around the world with his family and kids, none-the-less). Ratcliff describes his main reason (among many),

I need a more powerful machine that can handle a LOT. I doubt I’m the only creative professional in this situation. Nowadays, my camera’s RAW files are bigger and I do a lot of video work as well. I simply need a workhorse.”

He goes on to add, “It’s too bad that Apple has chosen not to care so much about the creative professional; we were the ones that got them through the lean years. Oh well…

Ratcliff remarks that he used to build his own PC before making the switch to Apple. Now, returning back to Windows he chose a behemoth of a mobile workstation in the MSI WT72 6QN-218US. While his MSI may be overkill for most, photographers who have made the switch seem to love the offerings from Microsoft, Razer and Dell, especially their XPS 15 9550.


Other tools that helped his transition:

On his blog, Ratcliff, breaks down his transition into six steps from getting core apps up and running, organization and getting colors correct on screen. One particular detail to make note of is formatting. The transfer drive should be formatted as exFAT so that both Windows and macOS can read and write to it, FAT32 will not let you transfer files larger than 4 GB.

Switching systems can be a daunting task for those who are entrenched into a particular environment. Programs like Carbon Copy Cloner and Hedge for Mac help make sure all of you files (or at least the ones you want) make the transition. Make sure to check out the full breakdown on Stuck in Customs here.