Tethered shooting is a useful technique with plenty of applications. Find out more about how it’s done – and how you can try it yourself with different kinds of software
Usually when we make a picture, a JPEG or RAW file is saved to our camera’s SD memory card. When we are back home, we can transfer these image files to our computers and have a good look at them – spotting any focusing errors and correcting any problem exposures or white balance settings in an image-editing tool, like Adobe Lightroom or Capture One.
But this isn’t the only way of working. You can also create images tethered, by linking your camera to your PC/Mac (either wirelessly or with a USB cable) so image files are saved directly to your computer as you photograph.
One obvious limitation of tethered photography is that you need to be near your computer. Making images in a studio is one place where it’s extremely useful: when working with stylists, make-up artists, and art directors, having images show up on the big screen in real time lets everyone involved see what’s happening, so they can make changes if necessary.
As well as collaborative working, shooting tethered lets you – the photographer – see that the image is looking exactly as you want. You can check for critical sharpness, get color looking right, and spot details that you’d miss on your camera’s screen.
How It’s Done
All FUJIFILM X Series cameras can photograph tethered. The first thing you need is a cable to connect your camera to a computer. The USB 3.0 cable that came with the camera in its box will work, though it’s not very long, so you might want to buy a 2m or 3m version. When you’re physically connected, go into your camera’s menu system, and scroll down to the SET UP menu tab. Choose CONNECTION SETTING > PC CONNECTION MODE and make sure this is set to USB TETHER SHOOTING AUTO.
Next, you’ll need software, and this is where X Series users are spoiled for choice with multiple options.
This professional-grade software is something of a standard in many photo studios, thanks to its speed and the level of control it gives you when you’re making images. You can control every aspect of the camera’s performance – from focusing and exposure to the Film Simulation mode of the image after it’s been created.
You can download Capture One Pro or Capture One FUJIFILM from captureone.com
Connect the camera and switch it on. Next, choose File > New Session, and fill in the details for your shoot, including where you want to save the images. Capture One creates a series of folders for each session and saves images in the folder called Capture.
For more details on using Capture One, visit phaseone.com/captureone
Adobe Lightroom Classic
If you are already a user of this popular application, it makes sense to choose it as your tethered software, too. As you photograph, images are imported right into your existing workflow, and can even pick up develop presets and metadata on import, saving you loads of time.
You’ll need the FUJIFILM Tether Shooting Plug-in, which you can purchase from the Adobe Exchange.
When your camera is switched on and connected, launch the application and select File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture. You’ll see a dialogue box that you can fill in before clicking OK to start creating.
For more details, see adobe.com/lightroom
FUJIFILM X Acquire
The beauty of this software is its simplicity. The app is small and fast and runs in the background, shuttling pictures from your camera over to your computer in a location you specify. And that’s it! If you want to see them on the screen as they come in, you can get your computer to open them into a viewer automatically from a watched folder using automation software.
You can download X Acquire for free here.
Your Next Steps
- CHALLENGE Give it a go! The next time you are shooting a portrait or still life, get plugged in and shoot to your computer. You’ll love the control this gives you! And post a picture of your set-up to social media using the hashtag #MyFujifilmLegacy. You can also submit your work here for a chance to be featured on our social media channels.
- DISCOVER How to get started with FUJIFILM X Acquire.