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The Advantage of Shooting Tethered

You know that tiny LCD screen on the back of your camera? Yeah, that one. That little screen is what we use to make critical decisions about our photography (like “is this photo really tack sharp” or “are my subject’s eyes both open”), but that screen (usually either 2.5" or 3" in size) is actually smaller than the screen on our smart phones. I know—crazy, right? No wonder we misjudge sharpness and quality so often—that screen is absolutely tiny. That’s why, if I’m shooting in a studio, I shoot tethered directly into my computer, so that way I see each image really large (at least at 8x10" size on my laptop, or larger on my desktop monitor) right as I take it. At this larger size, you can really see what’s going on in your photo (and how your lighting looks), and you can make adjustments based on a much larger-sized image, which makes it hard to look at that tiny 2.5" or 3" LCD display anymore. Tethering itself is actually very simple, just two steps: (1) Connect a USB cable from your camera’s mini-USB port to your computer’s USB port. (2) Now, you just need some tethering software. Luckily, Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom already has tethering built right in. If you don’t have Lightroom and you’re a Canon shooter, you already have the software you’ll need—it’s that EOS Utility software you got when you bought your camera (if you can’t find it, you can download it for free from Canon’s website). If you’re a Nikon shooter on a Mac, go to and download their excellent free tethering software. If you’re a Nikon shooter on Windows, go to If you’re a Sony Alpha-series DLSR Shooter, you can use Sony’s free Sony Camera Remote Control software.

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