My recommendation is that after you’ve set up the camera and lighting equipment, you should mark a spot on the floor where the model will stand. This makes it easy for everyone (photographer and model) to visually see the focus point and posing point. Also, I recommend using a wider-angle lens than you normally would. I found a couple of times that sometimes my subjects were slightly out of the frame. Remember that since you are using the iPad to snap the photos, you won’t be recomposing in the camera each time.
The screen on the iPad doesn’t show a live view of the scene, but rather you see the images on the iPad after taking the photo. Once you’ve taken the image, the file transfers via USB cable to Capture One Pro on your laptop. Then, the iPad accesses the file via the wireless network so you can see it on the iPad screen. Once the file has loaded to the iPad, you can easily pinch-zoom in and out to check lighting, focus, and composition. The iPad is truly an amazing chimping tool.
In fact, using the iPad to chimp (view) your photos introduces an entirely new “problem” when shooting. Since the iPad has such a beautiful interface, you can’t help but look at your images on the big screen. Many times I found myself zooming in/out rather than taking photographs of my model on the other side of the lens. To be honest, it is quite distracting the first time you use the iPad for photography. You really have to train yourself to keep your mental focus on the subject, take your photographs, then look at them after the poses are finished.
The big advantage of using the iPad in the studio of course is the immense collaboration that takes place between all the people on the set. In my case, I was working with a bunch of children and parents during my test of the technology. Most of the kids hadn’t ever posed before and needed a lot of direction for how to hold their hands, tilt their head, etc. Using the iPad to show what they just did and then suggest alternatives was incredibly helpful. In the studio, everyone flocks to the iPad like moths to a flame. There’s always a crowd around the device and everyone wants to hold it. This is true for adults, kids or the photographer!
A few times during the shoot the iPad didn’t respond to input and I had to disconnect from the server and reconnect. This process took a couple minutes to sort out and slowed down the flow and energy in the studio. My hope is that reliability with improve so that the entire process is seamless. However, as you all know, anytime you work with wireless networks, you run the risk of a disconnection every once in a while.
Even with a few glitches during my real world testing, I loved using the new version of Capture Pilot. It added an entirely new dimension to my shooting and greatly enhanced the interaction between the models and the photographer. I found Capture Pilot with camera control to be a useful working tool in the studio. Being able to adjust the major functions of the camera directly from the iPad screen is a great technology and having the benefit of the large iPad image review was extremely helpful when judging critical focus and composition.
Capture Pilot integrates with most of the current digital cameras on the market today including the Nikon D3 series, D700, D7000, D300/D300s, etc. Of course, it also integrates with Canon, Phase One, Leaf and Mamiya cameras.
You can buy Capture Pilot here:
Price is $14.99.
(Mike Hagen is Director of the Nikonians Academy (www.nikoniansacademy.com). He also runs his own professional photography business Out There Images (www.outthereimages.com/blog).
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