K&K Photography Tips – How to shoot in tethered mode

Everyone, welcome to our 2nd installment of our Photography tips. Today we will be talking about shooting in tethered mode. For people who are not familiar with the term, it is simply to capture the pictures directly to a computer. We will discuss the setup, in this particular scenario, we will be using a Nikon D200, but most DSLRs are compatiple, depending on the Camera control software in which you are using.

First of all, we will go through the requirements. You will require : A Camera (DSLR or other compatible camera), Tripod, Computer (laptop is recommended), USB / Firewire Cable, Camera Control software, Workflow software (We will be using Adobe Lightroom 3). We will not focus on lighting today, since we want to go over the configuration.

First of all, you will need to install the camera on your tripod pointing in the direction where you will capture your shots. Attach the USB / Firewire cable from the camera to your computer or laptop. At this point do not turn on the camera immediately, since you will require to install the different software in order to detect and shoot from the computer.

The camera control software is of utmost importance in this whole setup. Without it, you will not be able to capture the pictures from the camera on the computer. We personally use Camera Control Pro, which you can find at Vistek, Henry’s or any other camera store. If you don’t feel like purchasing a software that is that pricy, we recommend going with alternatives listed on this website.

After choosing and installing the Camera control software, in this instance Camera Control Pro from Nikon, you are now ready to start the capture from your computer. Ensured that your camera is set to “PTP” in your camera settings, then start Camera Control Pro and you will see that it will be waiting for camera detection. Now’s the time to turn on your camera, ensuring that the cable is well attached on both ends. Camera Control Pro takes a couple of seconds to recognize the camera, then voila – you shall be able to shoot from your computer, while your camera is on a tripod.

That being said, some people wants to automatically import the pictures to their digital workflow software. With minor little tweaks, you can easily manage to import your images directly to your digital workflow software (in this case, Adobe Lightroom 3), and even import them with a specific preset.

First, in Camera Control Pro (or alternative) software, change your download location to a new folder. Then, open Lightroom, and click on File -> Auto Import -> Auto Import Settings. In the new dialog box, you will change the “Watched Folder” to the folder that you are downloading to pictures from Camera Control Pro. Then, in the “Destination Folder”, you will choose a new folder to export the new images. Once you  tweaked the File Naming to your liking, you can choose an automatic Preset so that the pictures are imported consistently with the same preset. Once all the settings are ready for your auto import, either click “Enable Auto Import”, or if you wish to enable it later, you can do it from File -> Auto Import -> Enable Auto Import.

You will now see that whenever you take a shot from Camera Control Pro, after a couple of seconds, the image will appear in your Lightroom Library.

That’s how it’s done folks! No secrets, just basic configuration!

Comments with you questions, if you have any! We will answer them to the best of our knowledge!

Stay tuned guys, more to come very soon!

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1 Response to K&K Photography Tips – How to shoot in tethered mode

  1. This is an excellent post and may be one that should be followed up to see what the results are

    A companion emailed this link the other day and I will be eagerly anticipating your next article. Keep on on the world-class work.

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