Tethered Photography 101

Posted by: on Jun 21, 2011

Tethered Photography 101

What is Tethered Photography?

Tethered photography is the process of connecting your digital camera to a computer with a cable, typically a Firewire or USB. You also can connect your digital camera and laptop wirelessly via an Eye-Fi Pro card. The computer device can be a desktop or laptop (PC or Mac) and an iPad or tablet.

Photo data bypasses the camera and a file saves directly to a folder that you’ve set up on the computer or external hard drive. The tethering software displays your image on the computer screen, where the photograph can be seen in detail. This is advantageous because:

  • It allows you to easily spot any distracting elements, focus and exposure issues, or unwanted reflections and shadows
  • You can readily identify depth of field
  • It is easier to make needed changes, create another image and evaluate results
  • You can instantaneously share images with clients, bettering client/photographer communication, feedback and shot discussion

Tethered photography is a shooting strategy that’s been around and utilized for years by advertising, fashion, and product photographers. Before the development of modern tethered technology, the process was cumbersome, expensive, and used primarily for studio work and high-end commercial photo shoots.

Fortunately, this technology is now more reliable, compact, and affordable. Practical developments in this type of photography means that countless professional, novice, and enthusiast photographers are now “shooting tethered.”

Our company, Tether Tools, is a design and manufacturing company providing innovative custom photography equipment and accessories for in-studio and on-location shoots. We are committed to being the premier tethering resource and providing the highest quality tethering and workstation solutions for photographers.

How to Shoot Tethered
So, how does tethered photography work? Following are some of the tools of the tethered photography trade that you’ll need.

Tethering software options:

A tethered photography workstation:

  • Our Tether Table Aero System provides a complete workflow solution with a variety of options for laptops, monitors and gear.
  • The Aero System’s LAJO-4 ProBracket allows you to mount a workstation on any tripod, light stand, Master Clamp, Master Arm, or other common photography support equipment.

Key accessories to help protect tethered photography equipment:

  • A JerkStopper maintains cable connections and protects computer and camera port damage
  • SecureStraps provide added security for your laptop
  • Aero ProPad’s cushioned, non-slip surface protects your laptop, lenses, filters, and any other items you need within arm’s reach

You’ll also need a TetherPro cable line and can use our cable connection service to find the best cable for your specific needs.

A lot of photographers like to shoot to an external hard drive for image portability and seamless back up, both in the studio and on location.  If this is your preferred set-up, you’ll want to check out the Aero XDC or XDC Duo.  Both are an ideal addition to your Tether Table.

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