Better When You Tether at Savannah Arts Academy

Posted by: on Oct 22, 2013

Better When You Tether at Savannah Arts Academy

This article was written by Kinte Taylor for the Better When You Tether series of articles by professional photographers who experience the benefits of shooting tethered in various shooting environments.


“…being able to preview raw images on a large format rather than a 3×3 display is critical for obtaining the shot that my co-teachers are looking for.” – Kinte Taylor

In my beginning

My passion for photography started in college when I took my first traditional photo class. Unfortunately, I took the class very late in my senior year and I was unable to continue taking any more classes. It wasn’t until I started teaching high school photography that my passion was rekindled. My first photo class was the basis of my knowledge, but by the time I started teaching, the digital era had been ushered in and I had to learn a new workflow along with a digital darkroom.

Savannah Arts Academy

At Savannah Arts Academy in Savannah, GA, we still primarily teach traditional Black & White darkroom photography, except when photographing promotional events for the school. I have been a big proponent of tethered photography for all high profile school events. Whether we are shooting for our annual Junk 2 Funk Fashion Show, the senior dance or our broadcast/video production majors group images for their films, being able to preview raw images on a large format rather than a 3×3 display is critical for obtaining the shot that my co-teachers are looking for. The dance instructor can tell if the position of a dancer’s foot is oriented incorrectly, the fashion instructor can tell if a garment is fitted properly or draped unfavorably when viewed directly on a computer screen.

Photo courtesy ©Kinte Taylor

Students in the program volunteer to photograph or assist in studio shoots which are primarily portraits on seamless backgrounds. Our school does not have a dedicated studio so we set up temporary studios wherever possible.

What the students utilize 

Students utilize Tether Tools Aero Master, and are equipped with the TetherPro USB 2.0 A Male to Mini-B 5 Pin-15Ft (4.6m) Gold Plated and TetherPro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Micro-B Cable. On each table, the students have the Aero ProPad for the Tether Table Aero. This provides a non-slip surface for laptops and the SecureStrap for Aero System provide added protection from the laptop being knocked off the table. 

For cable safety and any trips or slips in the studio, students have the Tether Tools Essentials Pack with the addition of the Tether Tools Organization Case (Large) to keep everything safe and stored correctly. 

They also use the Wallee Connect Kit, the Articulating Arm + Clamp Kit  and the TetherPro 30 Pin Dock Extender Cable for iPad or iPhone-3ft.(1m) to display poses for models to imitate.

When shooting outside, the Think Tank Photo Pixel Sunscreen eliminates reflections and glare on the laptop screen and keeps the viewing area dark.

Photo courtesy ©Kinte Taylor

I discovered tethered shooting when trying to speed up my workflow while preventing the continual stop-and-go during the shoot to show people images that were captured. I believe the practical applications of tethering in the classroom and professional situations are outstanding. Adding this element to the workflow greatly increases the quality of work produced. I believe it is much easier to tell if you have obtained a shot you can work with instead of thinking a shot looks good on the cameras viewfinder, only to find out later you missed some detail that was too small to be seen.

About Kinte Taylor

taylor-kinte-tether-tools-headshotKinte Taylor has been teaching Art in public school for seven years. The past five years have been in high school teaching photography and graphic design. His first two were in elementary school. During the summers Kinte has taught at art programs in Savannah, GA and Lugano, Switzerland. Prior to teaching Kinte worked as a videographer, a graphic designer and a web designer. His knowledge of the digital arts has brought an added advantage to his way of teaching. 

Connect with Kinte & Savannah Arts Academy

Click to view Kinte’s website & donor teacher profile as well as the Savannah Arts Academy Photo Gallery.