Photographer Tom Barnes shoot on location quite a bit. While he started like most of us using his eye glued to the viewfinder followed by a quick look at the LCD, he has now moved to tethered shooting almost exclusively. And while shooting tethered in the studio is a somewhat familiar and safe territory, shooting tethered on location can prove quite problematic:
When shooting tethered in and outside of the studio it was always a bit of a nightmare, you’d have loose cables, chargers and no stand or case to keep your laptop separate from the ground/surface so if somebody spilt a drink for example it would drown your computer/drives/cables etc.
To solve all the problems and to avoid the accidental spill, Tom build an on-location tethered station that is a hybrid between a Peli case and Optimus Prime.
Tom used a “being-ran-over-by-a-tank-proof” 1510 Peli case and filled it with goodies, all aimed at making his life easier on location. Even without spending time with Tom, a quick look at the Peli shows that it is under constant abuse.
The Macbook is sitting on the divider while rested, and while operating it is protected by a magnetically attached screen shade.
Just under the laptop, Tom keeps a huge 222Wh battery, which allows a full day run, as well as cables, 2 G-tech Evo SSDs (which we reviewed here), macbook chargers, a USB 3.0 hub, extra cables and all the extra cabling for the hard drives. This double level setup allows for a full day of work. It also provides a very neat and clean look when the setup is deployed. (there are even more goodies on the top part of the peli, head over to Tom’s post to see what he stores there)
If you were wondering how efficient this setup is just watch how Tom concludes a shoot:
At the end of a shoot I disconnect the hard drives and pack them into separate cases for security, having multiple copies in different locations means that my data is safe. Once I get back to the edit suite I can unload the files from the main SSD working drive by plugging it into the G-Dock on my desk, making the most of SSD and Thunderbolt. These SSD drives run at about 400mb/sec over USB 3.0 but when plugged into the G-Dock I get speeds of 480mb/sec over the thunderbolt connection….
…. There is also a small Wacom Intuos Pro graphics tablet for quick retouches or mobile office work (when I’m editing in hotels etc) Both of these are flat and stack up on top of the macbook pro which lets me just close the case on top of it all.
All in all a very efficient and tidy way of transporting and using a mobile office whether you are working in the studio with power or location without.
To learn more about this setup, or just to give a big thank you to Tom for sharing this, head over to Tom’s overview of the his miracle on location workstation.