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M7 for professional use - or how to cover a wedding


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Hi dear colleagues,

 

some time ago I asked what analog camera you would recommend for pro-use. I got a lot of helpful tips here and finally got a beautiful M7. Now I have shot my first full day wedding coverage with it. 

Tools: Leica M7 (MP viewfinder) with 35 Summicron IV and Artisan 50/1.1. Ilford HP5 pushed to 1600.
(colorimages on Canon AE with 50/1.4 - so just ignore them)
The film was developed in my guest-bathroom (na, now more a little foto-lab)

Over the time of 13 hours I shot 14 rolls of films with the Leica and delivered 400 images. 


I am in love with this incredible camera and could not wish for any better tool to make my job (0:

here you can see the images:

https://just-schmidt.com/analog-wedding-photography/


I have been shooting weddings with the M9 and M240 for 2 years now, so the transition was nearly a piece of cake.

Even the flash work went very well after I trained a bit at home and learned to remember some settings, even for off-camera-use. So I could extrapolate on the fly, depending on circumstances and distance.
 

Now I am probably going to get a M3 to take my 50, so that I do not need to change lenses.

 

have fun shooting,

heiko

Edited by frogfish
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Heiko - I looked at your film-shot wedding shots and randomly selected one of your digital-shot ones, "ocean" to look at. Although I love your overall style, my preference in this case is for the "ocean" wedding shots; but this preference has nothing to do with them being film or digital: I just happen to prefer a greater number of the "ocean" shots. I especially like your highest contrast shots in both of these wedding series — and, in this respect, I think that the highest contrast film shots are every bit as good as the ocean highest contrast shots. It's the lower contrast B&W film shots that I like less, but perhaps HP5 at 1600 is a bit more limiting in this respect. I suspect that the contingent aspect of film comes into play here; and you were particularly gutsy to shoot at 1600 for the first film wedding.

I am curious how the two weddings compared in terms of effort and time required for the processing of the images and printing of the albums. What I like in your digital processing is your lack of fear of blowing highlights, and this is visible also in your film shots, which I like.
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vor 11 Stunden schrieb Nowhereman:

you were particularly gutsy to shoot at 1600 for the first film wedding

haha, why do you think so? Especially to have ISO 1600 at my hands made it quite easy I feel.
And as this high contrasty look is what I like it was no problem...

heiko

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vor 11 Stunden schrieb Nowhereman:

I am curious how the two weddings compared in terms of effort and time required for the processing of the images and printing of the albums

It was about equal I would guess. 

When shooting digital I shoot more images. In the ocean wedding I had my wife shoot with me and we ended up with about 6000 images. Culling and then editing 1000 images is a lot of work. (If you like this wedding more keep in mind that it was much more picturesque then this German winter wedding and that we were two shooters in Australia)

The analog wedding required of course time to develop and scan the images, but I shot just 600 images, so the culling was very quick. Also, the images where much closer to what I wanted them to be, so nearly no post processing. As you do not have EXIF files you need to put the story in logical order by hand what is a pretty frustrating job.

At least after this one wedding I much prefer the analog workflow. I actually feels like photography (0:

 

heiko

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vor 3 Stunden schrieb Laurentß:

It's a beautiful set of images.

The married couple must be happy with the result.

Did you have the M7 on auto ss?

In such a stressful environment, I would make my life easier, but I wonder how you dealt with it.

I mainly depends on the light situation. If I have boring dull light I might shoot on auto, as I can change aperture much faster without changing the exposure. Therefore you also can very quick shoot some artistic blurred images and go back to normal without adjusting shutterspeed by hand.

However, whenever I have more challenging lightning, higher contrasts or other lightsoureces in the room I shoot manually. Also every time I use flash. This way you have much more control. Just set the exposure and forget about ist. 

 

heiko

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I like the shots.

you must be a very lucky photographer if you find a marriage couple who likes this kind of pictures. In the past, when I was professionally doing this kind of photography, the couples usually ordered “house, garden and kitchen” style photos. That might have been the reason I quit.

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vor 1 Stunde schrieb Gobert:

I like the shots.

you must be a very lucky photographer if you find a marriage couple who likes this kind of pictures. In the past, when I was professionally doing this kind of photography, the couples usually ordered “house, garden and kitchen” style photos. That might have been the reason I quit.

Mainstream taste is still what you describe.

It‘s a question of branding.

 

heiko

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7 hours ago, frogfish said:

...When shooting digital I shoot more images. In the ocean wedding I had my wife shoot with me and we ended up with about 6000 images. Culling and then editing 1000 images is a lot of work. (If you like this wedding more keep in mind that it was much more picturesque then this German winter wedding and that we were two shooters in Australia)

The analog wedding required of course time to develop and scan the images, but I shot just 600 images, so the culling was very quick. Also, the images where much closer to what I wanted them to be, so nearly no post processing. As you do not have EXIF files you need to put the story in logical order by hand what is a pretty frustrating job.

At least after this one wedding I much prefer the analog workflow. I actually feels like photography...

You're right, my comparison is not good because the ocean wedding was more picturesque — possibly better light as well. My conclusion is that you're so talented and experienced that digital vs film hardly matters, and the more compelling consideration is what you prefer doing.

6,000 digital images vs 600 for the film wedding is a compelling consideration for the extent of work involved; and I would imagine that creating the "story" from 600 shots without being guided or helped by EXIF data could actually facilitate creating the impact and achieving the expressive intent. If one thinks of photography as an art of selection, once when pressing the shutter and then, again, when selecting the images, starting with one-tenth of the number of images could also be an advantage: not only making the selection in post easier but, also, when shooting much fewer images you are likely to get into the "zen of the moment" more often. Sure, when you shoot 3,000 (one photographer) you might get some shots you would not have gotten when shooting 600 — but, it seems to me that by not shooting a huge number you there are likely to be more great shots to chose from (the zen moment again).

On why I thought choosing 1600 was gutsy for the first film wedding effort: I was thinking if you had a good amount of dull light, shooting 400 could be manipulated more easily to get acceptable results; but that thought comes from my having often had bad light when I was shooting film at 1600.

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Too conceptual for my wedding. As for my wife she'll say - whom did we hire?....

But we are both from film only era and time before tattoo covered beard and mustache wave was even born.

 

As for taking weddings photos professionally on film.... 

I know one ex-photographer who used to run two studios with freelancers and who personally covered  hundreds of weddings.

Once he saw me with film camera he called me as hipster and another day he wrote - changing to film? say goodbye to your family.

On the positive note, I meet one person in real Irish Pub some years ago. He was my parents age. He told me his days film photography was easy in Toronto. It was him, his buddy and Hasselblad.  They were taking outside snapshots of poor young couples, but money they made was good.

Back to real professional, he get divorced, let go his photo business, found new way of income, new family. And after using consumer DSLRs for a while, he wrote - hey, with this gear I could take wedding pictures, another day. I even seen him with film cameras as well :).

 

Edited by Ko.Fe.
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2 hours ago, frogfish said:

Sorry, don't get what you are saying (0:

why "conceptual"?

 

heiko

You are not the first one to take it on Leica and film.

https://www.ascoughphoto.com/jeff-ascough-wedding/

http://www.beneden.com/wedding/

http://stevetingphotography.blogspot.com/2010/04/pete-sineads-wedding.html

and this one. 

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143949

It was high end photography, story told, but now most of it is gone now.

 

Yours is obviously different. Looks like a mix of repetitive photos, some of them are OK, some have weak developing (of bw and color) or something else which makes them looks sloppy.

This is the concept I didn't understand.

 

 

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