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Exploring New Photography Equipment and Software: A Photo Journey

Exploring New Photography Equipment and Software: A Photo Journey

I have been searching for software that will allow me to tether my camera to my Ipad.
There are a number of programs that will allow me to tether to either a PC or a Mac. I have Capture One, ON1, and Lightroom and all will tether to my desktop. However I traded my laptop for the extra portability of an IPad., and while all of the software works on the IPad, none of them work in Live View. 
One of the big advantages to tethering is the ability to work in Live View. Live View is a game changer when it comes to product photography because you can actually watch your composition on a large screen while you are arranging the products on the set. You can see what your lights are going to do while you move them. And you can make sure the focus is exactly where you want it. You simply cannot do that through the viewfinder.

Which is why I really missed Live View when I went to the IPad. I had many of the advantages of shooting tethered, but the big one is Live View was missing.

Which means I have to take a photograph, wait for it to import, and then look at it on the screen. Then go back and make adjustments again in the layout again. It works, but it’s tedious and often times you end up settling for less that what you want, just because it gets down to where the changes are so little that it’s hard to adjust to perfection.

In the studio I can do that on the computer, but it is a two person job as I have to run a long cable from the camera to the computer, with one person sitting at the computer to make the camera adjustments and firing the shutter and the other making changes to the layout.

Today, I found some new software Helicon Focus and Helicon Remote. The software is designed to work in tandem to create images with incredible depth of field. Helicon Remote lets you pick your front focus point, your back focus point, and then it works out how many photographs it will have to take, each with the focus moved just a bit to create a set that has all of the image in focus.

You then import that series of photographs into Helicon Focus that will then stack the images and create a single image that covers your entire focus range.  
In this example you can see that while the front collar is in focus, the rear one is not.

With Helicon Remote I set the front focus point on the handle and the rear focus point on the front of the rear collar. The software then calculated that I would need eight images to achieve that. Then when I hit the button, it took all eight images shifting the focus point on each image.
I then imported the set of eight images into Helicon Focus and it created the following image.

You could do that in the past, if you had the patience and the editing skills, but it was time consuming and required great skill.

If you do much product photography where you are struggling with small apertures to try and keep everything in focus, then that alone makes it worth the price.
However, that was just a bonus to what I was looking for – being able to see the image in real time on my Ipad, and to control the camera from the Ipad.

This allows me to not only save time when composing a photograph, but in picking the moment when to press the shutter. That is what the coffee photo is all about. I am pouring the coffee with one hand, and triggering the camera with the other, all while watching the live image on the IPad.