This article was written by Steve Boyle for the Better When You Tether series of articles by professional photographers who experience the benefits of shooting tethered in various shooting environments.
Tethering for Muscle & Fitness Magazine
The other instance in which I tether on location is if the client is on set and needs to review the images. This shoot, for Muscle & Fitness Magazine, was at a gym in Queens, NY. The art director, photo editor and fitness consultant all needed to review the images as we shot.
“Tethering on location was essential for this shoot because the photo editor, art director and fitness consultant all needed to approve the shot before we moved on to the next. Tethering allowed the shoot to proceed smoothly and assure that everyone’s needs were met.” – Steve Boyle
The first shot usually sets the tone for the remaining images and workouts because there is adequate setup time for composition and lighting. Our first shot that day was a standard barbell curl.
We chose to shoot the model horizontally and from the waist up. Gyms are often crowded with equipment, and for a magazine that does nearly all of its shoots inside gyms, we sought out something different. The first shot came together in front of three exterior windows. Being tethered during setup allowed me to dial in the exposure of the windows and share my vision for the shot instantly with the other creative on set.
At the time, I was still working with my old tethering products and gaff-taped my connections. Now that I use the Tether Tools products, it’s much less of a worry for me. The cables are bright orange so you have a hard time missing them, but when you do, the JerkStopper prevents havoc.
I use a MultiCart R12 for transport of my equipment, but the cart, with optional Expandable Shelf, works great as a tethered workstation. The only improvement to my existing cart would be to mount an iPad facing away from the monitor so that the model can see the images too. Fitness models prefer to see themselves so they can correct such details as form and muscle definition between frames.
As the day progressed, we shot 10 exercises and one opener for the story. The opening image had to be horizontal and have plenty of room for text. We decided on an aerial view with the model doing a lying triceps extension. Without tethering, this shot would be extremely challenging and not even attempted on the fly while on set.
I have shot tethered from overhead in the past with great success as featured in this previous post. However, using a CamRanger in this situation would be ideal and require fewer cords, which can create clutter.
As a result of tethering on location, the crew left the set satisfied with the shoot and assured us that we captured everything to their specifications.
About Steve Boyle
Currently residing on the East Coast, Steve travels the country to create compelling imagery for advertising and editorial clients. When working with athletes he strives to capture their physicality, intensity, and inherent competitiveness.
Steve attended the University of Missouri and received a degree in photojournalism. Before beginning his freelancing career, he spent a year as an assistant & lighting tech for Sports Illustrated and briefly held a desk job as a photo editor at a fitness magazine.
His favorite pastime is sitting around a campfire and devouring a bag of peanut M&Ms.