It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog. It’s not like I have been lazy or anything like that. In fact, I have been busier than ever. Sometimes fate can take you down a path quite effortlessly, and that’s what I believe has happened to me. For me, everyday is for learning, for improving oneself, and gaining new knowledge.
I have been busy shooting several projects. I had shifted away from the Plug N Play series a few months before they took a break themselves, to doing more work for individual clients. Weddings, portraits, products and a sweet sixteen birthday party thrown in for good fun. whenever I take on a project, I normally have two objectives. First, obviously is to capture a set of images that pleases the client. The other is to use the shoot as a learning experience for myself. Each shoot has its own set of challenges – technical, logistical and otherwise. All of the challenges I face contribute to me honing my craft a little better.
I recently took on a project to shoot a set of packaged products. Close to forty individual pieces of products, which had to be shot both individually and in groups. The biggest challenge was dealing with the repetitive nature of the shoot. I sometimes loathe repetitive, mundane activity. It can be boring, but it gave me a chance to develop a workflow that made the shoot flow almost seamlessly once I settled on my preferred set up. Shooting that many items can be strenuous on the eye. Peeping through the small viewfinder can be hard on the eye after several minutes. Even the 3″ LDC display on my Nikon D300s is really small to see the details of the images.
I found the perfect solution which really improved my workflow, gave my eyes a deserved break, and allowed me to get better shots. I decided to tether my camera to my 15″ laptop. I found an inexpensive but very worthwhile software called “CameraRC“. Its available for a wide range of Nikon DSLRs and they give you a free 30 day trial (which I’m using). It is one of the most practical pieces of utilities I have come across in a long while – apart from a cool app called Photo Tools for Android (more on that later).
CameraRC connects to the computer via USB and not only provides a larger display for previewing or reviewing your image (yes, it has live view), but it gives you acccess to all your camera controls right there on the laptop. This made it very convenient to review and adjust camera settings, review the composition and quality of the image without staring at a shrunken screen.
It has a very smooth learning curve. As long as you understand the features and controls of your camera, its a cinch to use. Within minutes of opening the software for the first time, I was navigating through the software like I’ve been using it for a long time. It has many features which I have not yet explored. I will be doing that in the next couple of day and weeks. The other great thing about it is the price. Standard license is $19.95 which gives you 1 year free updates. There is also the Lifetime version for $44.95 with a lifetime of free updates. You can install on two computers.
I’d encourage those of you who want to take a bit of stress out of shooting to check it out. There are other tethering software out there, including Nikon’s Camera Control Pro2. But that will set you back $180. I’ll invest in that when I outgrow CameraRC.
peace until next time.