Imaging USA 2020 – Top 7 Questions About Tethered Photography

Posted by: on Jan 24, 2020

Imaging USA 2020 – Top 7 Questions About Tethered Photography

Imaging USA came to a close this week, and photographers from all over the country and world are making their way back to their studios and sets equipped with insights, information and plenty of new gear. As a first-time Imaging USA attendee, it was inspiring to witness the passion, energy and ideas shared within the photography community.   

If you were at the show, you got to see several demos of well-known photographers using Tether Tools gear in their education workshops. For many attendees, those demos had them curious about how to best use a tethering workflow in their business. My colleagues and I fielded a lot of questions from new and experienced, photographers alike, and I wanted to share the most common questions we heard from people stopping by our booth. 

1. Do I just need a cable to get started?  

The most essential components required for tethering include 1. A camera that enables tethering, 2. tethering software and 3. A high-quality cable to quickly transfer images. Tether Tools is widely known for our signature high-visibility orange cables. If you’ve got the camera and the software covered, Tether Tools and its dealers can help you get the exact cable you need for the job.

2. I shoot with [name of camera]. What cable do I need?

As technology changes, new camera models and new computers include different types of ports. For example, the TetherPro Cable you purchased a couple years ago likely won’t work for the newest camera or laptop you bought at the end of last year. We make sure we meet those changing camera and device requirements. While we don’t commit every single camera and device variation to memory, we do maintain a robust gear compatibility database so you can find all the tools you need for your application.  

3. I’ve been shooting with your cables for years and love them, but when did you start offering all of this [motioning toward our expansive booth display]?   

While most everyone knows us for our cables, thousands of photographers have expanded their tethered capture workflow by tapping into Tether Tools’ full line of workflow solutions. Since the beginning, our focus has been on how we improve and enhance tethering by helping photographers improve their efficiency as well as their collaboration with clients. In doing so, we constantly think about the end-to-end process from connection to capture.  

For example, once you introduce the cable to your set, you need to ensure your equipment, staff and clients are protected. Cable management solutions like the JerkStopper and TetherBlock ensure an organized and safe set. To aid collaboration, we introduced equipment which builds upon your existing stock of tripods and c-stands to create modular workstations, including various display mounts. To help you maintain a high level of productivity, we offer a line of ONsite Power solutions so that all devices stay powered throughout your session. Plus, we’re constantly partnering with companies to bring you the best options for every component of your tethered workflow. We’ve even gone beyond cables to introduce wireless solutions, which I’ll expand on later.   

4. I bought the cable and it doesn’t work. Am I using the cable wrong?  

If you’re plugged into your camera and computer ports, refer to question #1 above to ensure your camera and software are capable of tethering. If you confirm that they are and need more help troubleshooting, get in touch with our customer service team by calling 888-854-6565.  We’ll be happy to get you on the right track.  

5. I shoot with Nikon and want to know how I can save RAW files on my card during my tethered session with Lightroom? 

This is a really specific question, and while we received really specific questions, this one came up quite a bit. While tethering is a great option for many types of photography including commercial, architecture, high-volume, sports and more, every photographer’s workflow has slight variations to suit their personal style. When tethering with Nikon cameras, Lightroom doesn’t allow you to simultaneously save files on the camera’s card and most photographers want to have that back-up. In order to enable this, while also letting you view images on your cameras screen in addition to your computer, we always offer Smart Shooter as a great option. Smart Shooter is a tethering software compatible with most Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras that tether. For Nikon users, it provides the ability to send JPEGs to Lightroom via a watch folder (also known as a hot folder) while letting you save raw files to your cameras card.

 6. How can I get those lights?

No, we don’t have lights in our current catalog of product, but we did have lights in our booth at the show. More than one visitor asked about them while probing us for insight on our products. Wasio Faces was in our booth helping us demonstrate our products while sending dozens of attendees away with brilliant new headshots. The light setup in our booth featured the Flex Cine Kit from Westcott, which are part of Peter Hurley’s HurleyPro line of kits. If you follow us on Instagram, you saw Peter Hurley make a couple impromptu adjustments to the setup while walking by.   

7. Tell me about the Air Direct

In case you missed the news, Tether Tools recently started shipping the latest advancement in wireless tethering. Visitors to our booth got to see it in action and wanted to know what makes it different from other wireless devices they are familiar with. We were happy to talk about the features that make it stand out. First, since Air Direct was developed to mimic the USB cable connection, your camera and software operate as if a cable were running between them. This means that rather than sending images to software dedicated to the camera or to the device, you’re able to send files directly into your tethering software including Capture One, Lightroom, SmartShooter, Darkroom and more.  

Plus, to keep your tethered workflow as seamless as possible, Air Direct gives you the ability to send raw files and JPEGs. Transfer rates for raw files depend on file size and where you are within the 200 ft max range from the computer (everyone asked that question next). Learn more about all the great features of the new Air Direct here.  

Thousands of attendees left Imaging USA geared out and ready to delight their clients at their next shoot. We were glad to play a role in that by helping hundreds of those attendees determine how to start tethering, or how to enhance their tethered workflow. Will you be next?  

Have questions on how to get started? Contact us via email or give us a call at 1-888-854-6565.