Adobe Lightroom 3 Tethered Shooting

(Posted: 2010-06-08)

Adobe has just released Lightroom 3. Lightroom gives lots of photographers the ability post-process lots of photos in relatively little time - especially compared to full-on Photoshop modifications. I use it as a first parse for all of my photos so that I can quickly sort through the photos from a shoot, make minor enhancements, and delete any non-keepers.

Amongst a lot of improvements, there is one thing that Adobe has built into new latest version of Lightroom, which is tethered shooting. This is supported for a lot of cameras, especially the popular Nikons and Canon Digital SLRs. It gives the photographer a very robust solution for showing photos in real-time on a nice large display so that customers can see their photos and decide if they want to buy a print or not.

So this is a quick tutorial about how to get started with Adobe Lightroom 3's tethered shooting.

1.) Get yourself a copy of the latest version of Lightroom. Adobe offers a great 30 day software trial service. You can download the full version on their website, evaluate it and purchase it after 30 days if you like the software.

2.) Install Adobe Lightroom 3 on your computer.

3.) Launch Adobe Lightroom 3, and select File/Tethered Capture/Start Tethered Capure. See the image below:

4.) Enter a Session name in the required field, choose a file naming convention, and press ok.

5.) A new menu pops up, this is the tethered shooting menu. If you haven't previously connected a camera, it'll say this on the menu bar.

6.) Connect a camera to your computer via USB. In my case, I connected my Canon EOS 40D and it came right up in the menu. I haven't been able to test this with different cameras yet and could not find a list of currently supported cameras. So just have a go at trying it with your camera, after all you did just download a free trial of the software!

7.) Fire away on your camera, the photos will be stored on your computer as well as on your camera. Review the photos on the computer instantly and start editing them in Adobe Lightroom 3 right away, if you like to.

You can also use the large grey button in the Tethered Shooting menu to remotely trigger your camera. This comes in particularly handy for self-portraits and the like.

These are some quick test shots I have taken using tethered shooting in combination with my new on-camera umbrella. More about this later!

So has tethered shooting never been done before? Definitely not. In fact, it has been around for many years, but as far as I know, it has never been built into a photo editing software. Previously I have used the Canon Utility for remote shooting, it gives you a bit more functionality, like being able to use Canon Liveview mode and seeing the photo in real-time on your computer screen before hitting the release. Unfortunately, the software appeared to be quite unreliable, did not always orient the photos in the correct way and had many other strange quirks associated with it.

So I think having the core functionality built into the photo editing software will greatly improve my workflow and give customers a reliable way to see their photos in real-time.

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