How to shoot tethered using Lightroom

Few people realize that Lightroom can play an integral part in a tethered shooting workflow. In other words, you can connect your camera to your computer via a cable and have your shots immediately go to Lightroom rather than the camera’s memory card.

This setup can offer huge advantages. For starters, you can instantly see your shots on the large screen of the computer instead of the small LCD on the back of the camera, but it also saves time downloading images from your camera as the images are already in Lightroom.

So how do we do this?

Obviously, you first need a cable to connect your camera to your computer. You probably got one with the camera, it’s the same cable you use to download images from the camera. If you don’t have one, you can buy one from most computer and/or camera stores. Just check the connections in the computer (usually USB) and the camera (mini USB) and make sure you get one that is long enough for your setup.

You will need the software utility that “talks” to your camera. If you have Canon, that software is the EOS Utility which came for free with your camera. Unfortunately Nikon does not give their software away for free, you need to buy it. The software is called Nikon Camera Control Pro and you can get it at B&H for around $145. Here is the link

As I have a Canon, the following screenshots represents a Canon-specific setup.

In the Canon EOS Utility, you’ll need to identify the folder the EOS Utility will deposit the photos in. This is set up like in the screenshot below. I called this folder “incoming”.

EOS Utility Folder Location

Now we have completed the link between the computer and the camera.

Next is to setup Lightroom to watch this folder for incoming images. This is done in the Auto Import Settings under the FILE menu. First you need to “turn on” the Auto Import function, by selecting the first option, as seen here:

Auto-Import 

Then, you set it up in the Auto Import Settings . . . .

As you see below, I selected the “Incoming” folder as the folder to “watch”. That is exactly what Lightroom will do. It will sit there and monitor that folder waiting for anything to arrive. When you take a picture, the EOS Utility will save the picture into that folder where Lightroom will pick it up and process it, just like a normal IMPORT session.

The rest of the Auto Import Settings therefore look very similar to the normal Import settings. You specify a folder where you want Lightroom to put the image and you select the various other settings like presets and keywords.

Watched Folder

Now you are all set!

Connect your camera to the computer, launch EOS Utility and Lightroom and shoot away. Every shot will be automatically imported into Lightroom.

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This entry was posted in Lightroom Tips, Photography Tips.

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