How Tethering Can Help Capture The Ideal Outdoor Adventure Photoshoot

Posted by: on Sep 02, 2020

How Tethering Can Help Capture The Ideal Outdoor Adventure Photoshoot

My approach to life and photography has always been free-spirited, down-to-earth and real. Believe it or not, I became a photographer by chance because I was hit by a car while skateboarding in college. During the difficult season of recovery, my Dad gave me a camera and that changed everything. Suddenly, I wasn’t focusing on myself (and my own problems) but on the world around me. This shift in focus helped me to heal, grow and change.

Photography not only saved me from the despair that comes with chronic pain, photography gave me hope. This experience is one I hope to share through my photography and why I try to shoot with an optimistic and free-spirited eye. Photography has changed my life and now my goal is to give something back through photography and teaching. Recently, I was on location in Santa Barbara, California for an outdoor adventure shoot with a friend of mine where we wanted to achieve a grandiose portrait of him atop the mountains with the oceanside view behind him. I strived to have the necessary setup that would give me the ability to nail down the focus of my shot, dialing in the correct exposure, effectively posing and directing the subject and intentionally composing the frame—all while on location.

With the help of a few Tether Tools products (The Power Management System and the Air Direct Wireless Tethering System), I was able to quickly capture the shots and make my vision come to life! For me, these two Tether Tools products are absolute game changers!! They help me stay in the moment and simultaneously make a few essential adjustments to exposure and compensation that in the long run make all the difference in the world. If you’re interested to learn more, read on!

Photo Credit: Chris Orwig

Setting Up My Mobile Tethering Station

Because I was out on location, my setup was an important part of this shoot. Outdoor shoots require a lot of movement, and because of this, I needed a setup that would complement the kind of photos I wanted to take. In addition to my Sony camera, my setup consisted of the Tether Table Aero, the D-Tap Battery, AC Power Supply and the Air Direct.

The D-Tap/AC Power combination and Tether Table Aero worked great as a portable workstation to give me power all day long. Having a MacBook on-location enables me to frame and compose my shots more confidently knowing I’m in focus and files are saved directly to the hard-drive. I find that tethering to a larger screen such as a laptop allows me to see the shot, make the necessary adjustments and get the shot more often and in less time.

Being a Sony shooter on an outdoor photography shoot, I needed a something that would let me use my tethering software. I also needed it to be wireless. These two requirements had me looking to use the new Air Direct Wireless Tethering System. I ended up using the Arca Clamp for L-Bracket solution provided from Tether Tools to mount the Air Direct System. This enabled me to free up the hot shoe mount on my camera for anything I may need while on-location.

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Photo Credit: Chris Orwig

Staging Unique Photography Angles and Perspectives

Visually through my eyes and where I’m situated, I felt like my initial shots would align with what I had in mind—having my subject be positioned in a way where the ocean would be dramatically shown in the background. However, when I reviewed the shots through my computer, the subject was getting lost in the background. Because I wasn’t relying on small screen on the back of my Sony, I was able to review the image quickly with my tethered connection to realize my camera was situated too high and my subject too small within the composition. Putting my subject above the ocean line allowed my subject to sit closer providing a much better lifestyle shot. I switched out my lenses and positioned myself in a way that would capture both the subject and background the way I had envisioned. In photography, taking shot after shot after shot is mandatory but with tethering, it takes the guesswork out of what each shot looks like.

Photo Credit: Chris Orwig

Review, Review, Review

Taking shots on location can be tricky when you don’t have the right setup. Reviewing images can be even trickier when you just have a small screen (the back of your camera) to go by. With my portable tethering setup, I’m able to  have consistent power to review and edit as needed throughout the entire shoot. This is invaluable when you have your client on set as well. The ability to review the image with your client results in better communication, better shots and quicker results for your client. It also can develop into better referrals for your photography business.

Traditionally I would have done this with a cord, my camera and my MacBook or would have done without tethering altogether. Today with products like Air Direct, ONsite D-Tap Battery and AC Power I’m able to recreate my studio setup wirelessly as I need it. The freedom to take my workflow where my photography takes me enables me to create the photos that connect in a meaningful way.

To connect with Chris Orwig or to see his work visit his website at