Step Three: Tethered Capture
This feature won’t be of interest to many amateur shutterbugs, but professional photographers everywhere can rejoice over the new Tethered Capture option that lets you shoot your camera and directly import images into Lightroom for review and editing. The Tethered Capture features in Lightroom 3 only work with Canon and Nikon cameras at the time of this writing, but there’s no reason to believe that Adobe won’t support other camera via future updates.
As someone who used a number of tethered shooting options over the years for portrait and commercial clients, I can tell you that Lightroom 3 is the easiest tethered shooting solution I have ever used. Period. To shoot tethered, all you have to do is plug a USB cable into your camera and your laptop, open Lightroom 3, then select File, Tethered Capture, and Start Tethered Capture. It really couldn’t be simpler. A settings dialog box will pop up where you can give the shooting session a name (like Johnson Graduation Photos), choose what type of metadata is written with the images (such as your copyright information), you can then choose custom file names and choose the hard drive or folder where the files will be saved.
From there, Lightroom 3 will identify the model of camera connected, provide you with the shooting information (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc.) for each image captured, and you can either trip the shutter by pressing the shutter button on the camera or you can use the “Capture” button on the computer screen to take photos.
Step Four: What Do You Want To Do Now?
Between image importing, robust image editing controls, and the ability to easily shoot tethered, it might seem like Lightroom 3 has a lot to offer. But it doesn’t end there. The newest version of Lightroom also provides the three output options found in the previous versions of Lightroom: Slideshow, Web, and Print. This time, however, your controls over output are better than ever.
The Slideshow module not only provides the same easy-to-use controls for crafting slideshows of still photos with stylish transitions that can be exported as PDFs, but now you can export video slideshows. Lightroom 3 gives you the option to format your video slideshow for display on HDTVs with 1080p resolution or for uploading to YouTube. You can add opening and closing title screens, music and even watermark your images. It’s awe inspiring just how easy it is to make a quality slideshow with this software.
The controls for printing are likewise improved over previous versions of Lightroom. Sure, you can still make contact sheets, but now you can quickly adjust any image for printing at any size. If you run a studio and print multiple sizes of photos on a single sheet of photo paper, then Lightroom 3 makes it easy to create custom templates so you can get prints to your clients faster than ever before. Most importantly, Adobe radically improved (and simplified) the tools for watermarking images. Adding a watermark to your proofs is easier than anyone expects and you can save your watermark for use on any image.
Lastly, the Web module in Lightroom 3 allows you to publish your photos straight to the internet. You can select a template, enter your website information, select the text you want to accompany your photos, and add a copyright watermark. More importantly, you can specify the output settings to limit the quality of the enlarged view or tell the web gallery whether to apply additional sharpening to your images. Lightroom 3 lets you preview your web gallery in your web browser before you upload the images. After you’re satisfied with how the gallery looks, you can export the files to your computer or upload the gallery to an FTP server so your family, friends, or clients can start looking at your photos.