Preview your images' true color and tone by tethering your camera to your computer
Use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 or 4 to capture remotely and process images as you shoot. Photo: Debbie Grossman
Tethered shooting can be a beautiful thing—having your camera connected to a computer as you photograph brings a host of benefits.
If the monitor is color-managed, you’ll be able to see a true preview of your images’ color and tone. Your photos can be copied simultaneously to the computer’s hard drive and to your memory card as you capture, so you’ll have a backup before you even finish shooting. Since your preview is on the monitor, you’ll have much more real estate for checking focus, and chimping on the larger screen lets you have a real sense of whether you’ve captured what you need.
Even better, with software such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, you can process all of your RAW files in real time, rather than after the shoot is over.
So if you plan to do something dramatic, like the RAW and black-and-white conversion shown here, you can adjust exposure, lighting, and composition using a more accurate preview of your finished product, instead of just relying on your imagination.
All it takes to shoot tethered is a camera you can connect to a computer (usually via USB cable), and compatible software. Try it first at home with a simple setup. If you want to shoot in the field, you can find accessories to help, from tripod mounts that support a laptop to screen hoods that hide the day’s brightness.
Here is a project to get you started shooting tethered in Lightroom, plus instructions for doing a preset RAW conversion as you work.