This article was written by Anders Espersen for the Better When You Tether series of articles by professional photographers who experience the benefits of shooting tethered in various shooting environments. Anders Espersen provides us with a behind the scenes video of a recent headshot he did for a client.
My entry into the digital world of photography was when I purchased an IMACON film scanner back in 1997. It was really a smooth transition into digital, because I was learning new aspects of the trade and setting myself ahead of the competition with these new possibilities at my own pace. Just a few years later the ideal choice was to go all digital with Leaf DCB2 and Leaf Volare – at least for all studio based work. Ever since then most of my work has been tethered.
Tethering of course requires more gear to set up but the advantage of being able to have full control, adjust, review and approve the images while they are being captured clearly outnumbers the disadvantages of carrying more equipment. It also slows down the process, makes me stop and think, re-evaluate and re-think before I proceed. For me that is a good thing!
Most of what I do I shoot tethered – and a majority of that with my Hasselblad medium format camera. Of course there are times and situations where it is either not convenient or possible for one reason or another – but for most types of situations it is.
For years on end I would always struggle to find a place to put my laptop when shooting on location. It has been the cause of so much frustration over the years trying to use available objects or self-made contraptions. The Tether Tools Aero Table changed all that! This is possibly the single most value added piece of equipment I have acquired in years. That and the Tether Tools JerkStoppers! Dropping the connection during an important shoot because you are moving your laptop around or because the cable is coming loose is the biggest stress factor of them all – especially with clients around. Trust me!
So when I go on a shoot, I always set up my workstation, secure the cables, and generally clean up the shooting environment to minimize the risk of someone tripping over cables. The better prepared I am the better the shoot usually turns out.
This shoot was a headshot in a series of many that I have done for this client. I have been to their offices many times and usually photograph more people at the time when I am there, but occasionally I set up the shoot for only a single person like in this case. As the format is strict, the task for me is to recreate the look and feel exactly as from any of the previous headshots. Not always an easy task to accomplish.
Setting it all up, testing, adjusting, shooting, selecting and breaking it all down again took about an hour and half. I captured the process with my Sony A7R mounted onto a Tether Tools PowrGrip® 4.5 in a 1400 images timelapse sequence controlled by the Alpine Labs Michron. Captured in RAW and processed in Capture One 8 for ultimate control. Not for any particular reason but just because you need to remember also to have fun while working.
Tethering is essential to my type of work and the workflow that I have incorporated so well over the years. The fact that you can view the images on a big screen instead of a tiny camera LCD and have your clients leave the shoot with confidence is paramount to continued success. Having useful and trustworthy gear on the set is crucial to the success of any shoot.
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Anders Espersen is a commercial photographer who is known for his meticulous approach to detail and image quality. Whether it is a corporate headshot, a landscape scenery or the interior of a car his goal is always the same – achieving perfection by means of experience and technology.www.espersenfoto.dk