Tether While You Photograph

Hello everyone,

I was in a meeting last week and we started talking about Adobe Lightroom 3 and its capabilities, particularly about tethering while you shoot. (Hooking up your camera to the computer to view your shots as you work).  I thought to myself, “I have never written about tethering, weird, because it’s a huge part of my photography life”.  I remember when tethering was too technical, yuk!  I am happy to say that Adobe Lightroom 3 has made it so much easier for us; thank you Adobe!  If you work in a studio environment and especially work macro, tethering is a must.  Why take the time to shoot and see later that if you just tweaked the light a smidgen or changed the aperture a bit, the whole shot would have made an amazing difference for you and your clients.

So today I really don’t need to write on the details of how to tether because it is soooo easy, I’m just writing this article to remind you to Tether!  But if you want details check out this great video:


Basically, you plug in your camera to the computer using your USB cord or you can tether wireless too.  Here are two videos I found on YouTube:



Today I used a laptop for easy movement of the computer.  I like tethering for lighting and aperture control but when it comes to tethering on a laptop, wait to color process your work on a better calibrated monitor like the NEC widescreen.

Connect camera with computer.

Next, open up Adobe Lightroom 3, click on File/Tether and it will prompt you to name the shoot.  Just read the pane, it’s that easy!  I know that Apple Aperture also has this capability, but I don’t use Aperture so I won’t talk about it, but if any of you do comment to this post and let us know how you like it?

Open Lightroom 3 - tether

View the changes I made:

First shot

My change:

Second shot

You can also check to see if your focus is were you want it by viewing it on your computer screen…love this!

Check your focus up close on your computer screen.

If you need to color correct on the spot…it’s so easy!  Another amazing Lightroom tool. 🙂

I really like to use the before and after pain.

One more thing…check your manual on your Camera; my Canon must be on PC Connect in order to tether.

Below are some examples of my shots from the day.

Changed color of rose for a project:



Developed for a black room:


Some fine art work too:


If you’re not tethering now, definitely try it.  Not only do you see what you’re shooting,  you can develop at that moment and export what you want to your clients.  Play with the controls in Lightroom…it’s so much fun!! I feel like I’m looking through my loupe back in the good old days…or were they?  I have to debate on that statement because I absolutely love this capability!!



Just a reminder we now have a monthly newsletter.  You can subscribe here and Happy Valentines Day to you all!!


9 Comments on “Tether While You Photograph”

  1. […] I use Adobe Lightroom to make basic changes to the photograph. Make sure your photograph is not under or over exposed.  If you shoot tethered you will see on your computer how the shots are going.  Make your exposure corrections while you photograph.  You can read up on my  Tethering link here. […]

  2. Interesting technique… I’d never heard of it before!
    You’ve got some great photos there: I like the middle rose with the spiral in particular. I find the lighting really enhances all the layers and the spiralling motion! Excellent work!

  3. Josh Simons says:

    Hi Janice – Thanks for the great article on tethering. We are big fan of it here at Tether Tools. Have you tried either of the wireless techniques you linked to? If so, wondering if they worked well for you.

  4. I love dipping into your stuff – you are like a breath of fresh air. thanks for all the hints and tips. Just beccause I don’t respond everytime, does not mean I am not watching, listening and looking at your posts.

    Keep them coming. Una

  5. Great post! Lightroom rocks!

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