This one has to be done, right? It's my preferred tethered shooting digital workflow for commercial product and still life photography. I want to say it right now; this is not for everyone and it is by no mean what is the best for you. Also, I think it's worth mentioning that I have taken great inspiration from Peter Belanger's workflow explanation blog. So, let's start.

I do all the tethering stuff with my little 13" MacBook Pro using Capture One Pro 8.1. It's really great. My camera of choice is a Sony a7. So, upon opening the software, I set up a new shooting session (Command + N) with the default file structure and, as the location, I choose the Desktop for the ultimate speed and easy-to-find-later-ness. Not to forget, I check the boxes beside Pack as EIP when importing and Pack as EIP when capturing in the Image tab of the Preferences dialog box hidden under the Capture One menu so it’s simpler to share files between computer using my NAS. EIP (short for Enhanced Image Package), is a file format developed by Phase One (the folks who are producing Capture One Pro) that basically bundles the RAW file, its ICC (International Color Consortium), LCC (Lens Cast Calibration) and custom settings together.

Going over to the capture settings, I leave everything at default except the All Other in the Next Capture Adjustments where I set it at Copy from Last. This is in order so I can adjust a file’s settings (contrast, exposure, saturation, white balance, etc…) and have them copied over a new file as soon as it comes in.

While I shoot, I preserve a Google Keep note of the images I’ll use in the composite in post. I also rate those files 5 stars so I can find them much faster when comes time to export ‘em.

In the background, I have a Goodsync job going on. It basically analyzes the session folder created earlier and makes a duplicate of it on my 3TB NAS for permanent storage.

I may use Onde Rulers to make sure the perspective of what I’m shooting is right. It allows me to place rulers on the screen and measure a lot of things. Otherwise (which is the majority of the time), I utilize the basic vertical and horizontal only guides built-in Capture One Pro.

Okay, let’s say I’ve done the photographing thing and I’m ready to go in post-production. Two choices are presented to me; I can either do the retouching and what not on my MacBook Pro or on my custom-built Windows desktop where C1P is installed too (I’ll just open the session file from the NAS). I’m noticing that the Mac will get to do more of the work because I just prefer the OS and the fact that work can be done anywhere. When the computer got chosen, I then select the files for post and press Command + E to open the Export dialog box. Command + E isn’t to default shortcut for this action but I set it that way because that’s the one Lightroom uses and so it’s easier on my side (go to Capture One > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts… and modify them as you wish). My go-to process recipe is to store the files in the Session’s Selects folder with the Naming section untouched. I export a PSD file with a 300px/in PPI and tell Capture One to open it with Photoshop CC as soon as the export is complete. I use ProPhoto as my ICC profile as I get the maximum color data possible with that one. Scale is kept at the default 100%.

Finally, once all the Photoshop work is completed, I save three version; the Photoshop file, a full-res JPEG, TIFF or PNG (depending on the clients requirements) or all three, and a Web optimized JPEG using the Save for Web (Command + Alt + Shift + S) command set to only output the file in the Web-friendly sRGB color space. All of them go to the session’s Output folder.

That’s it! Thanks for sticking that long and if you have any questions don’t hesitate and drop a comment below so others can all beneficiate from it.


P.S.: I say that I use Lightroom in my NAS blog post. That was because, at the time, I did use Lightroom as my image editor/manager but I now switched to Capture One Pro 8 because it’s much more advanced.