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Contax 645 Tutorial #3 | Camera Settings, Film Choices, Metering, and Posing

September 27, 2016

Contax 645 Tutorial #3 | Camera Settings, Film Choices, Metering, and Posing


00:07: Hey guys, what’s up? Welcome to Savannah, Georgia. We’re here on Jones Street, one of the most beautiful streets in the country. We’re about to shoot a real life engagement session with Alison and Nick. They live here on this gorgeous amazing street, so check it out. In this video, we’re gonna be covering three different things. Number one: What kind of equipment I bring to a film engagement session, film only. This is not a hybrid session. Number two: We’re gonna be covering my approach to engagement sessions. And number three: We’re going to be covering how to find a light. So, throughout the video, you’re gonna see me pose the couple, nine out of 10 times, I’m gonna have them backlit. Nine out of 10 times, I’m gonna be paying attention to ground reflections. Nine out of 10 times, I’m going to be paying attention to who’s in the foreground and who’s in the background. Especially here when we’re shooting on Jones Street, there’s gonna be a lot of cars and people in the background and I don’t wanna see any of that. I want it to seem like the couple is in this gorgeous street all by themselves and that we rented the street out for them, so check it out.

01:06: This first part of the video, I’m gonna show you guys what I bring to a film engagement session. Most important thing is back up equipment that stays in my truck. Number two: I bring my Contax 645 with a strap, and I also bring my Setwear pouch which contains film, contains light meter, my cellphone, sunglasses. We’re gonna take a closer peek inside. Okay guys, as you can see here, I’m wearing a Setwear pouch. This is not stylish. This is not leather. This is not anything like that. This is really 100% function. I really like this pouch ’cause of the material. This is gonna last forever and it’s not going to absorb sweat like leather does, so here we go. I have a light meter. I have my huge cellphone. I have sunglasses, keys, and all my film. Boom! This is all I need. Okay. I also have some bug spray ’cause this is Savannah. The cool thing about this pouch is that there’s space for everything. You can put your cellphone. You can put your keys, your wallet. Your sunglasses can go outside if you want. You can really do anything with it. And it kinda hooks up to your belt right here. So, really practical, really comfortable and I highly recommend using something like this.

02:30: I’m gonna go over very quickly about what kind of camera set up I use. If you want a more in depth description of my set up, there’s another video that you can check out right here in the description. We have a Contax 645. I have a nice collapsible rubber lens hood. I have a Maxwell upgraded screen. I have a UV filter in the front that’s gonna protect my lens. That’s pretty much it. Now holding the camera is gonna be Holdfast D-ring and I have here, this strap is a Holdfast strap, but it’s not a Money Maker. It’s actually just a shoulder strap for the Roamographer bag. I find it to be really comfortable and kind of the perfect size for me. I’m 6’2″. And now we’re gonna load this roll of Fuji 400/120. Okay guys, this is the back of the Contax 645. I’m going to open up this little latch. I’m going to press right here. We’re going to open these up. Boom! I’m going to peel that out, put it in my pouch, line these little suckers up. Boom! Keep my finger right there so we can keep a nice bit of tension. First we’re gonna put that through there. Keeping my finger here for the tension.

03:54: That little tooth right there, I wanna make sure that that goes as far back as possible to keep that really, really tight there. I want the film to stay really tight. Next, actually you know what? It’s not very tight right now ’cause I moved it. So, I’m gonna do that one more time, right there, perfect. Now it’s tight. It’s gonna go right here. Last but not least, that last click, you definitely wanna hear that. I’m gonna close. I’m gonna put that down and turn my camera on. I’m gonna half-press it. I’m gonna watch this wind. Boom! One frame, I’m on frame one. Since this is only 120, not 220, we’re going to have 16 frames for the 645 size. Okay guys, one really quick tip. Before an engagement session, make sure that you send the couple blog posts to your website where you talk about how you want the couple to dress for your engagement session. I think that’s really important to give them some direction on how to dress, what kinda colors of pick, what kinda patterns to stay away from. So that way, when you show up to the engagement session, you’re not surprised that somebody is wearing purple polka dots on a red dress.

05:08: Picking a location. So a lot of couples come to me and ask me where do I think they should have their engagement session. Nine out of 10 times, I’ll pick a park. We have Forsyth Park. We have Wormsloe which are two gorgeous parks here in Savannah. Sometimes couples wanna kinda stay away from that and they want something a little bit more urban. So, we’ll shoot on a street like this which is still a gorgeous street. It still have beautiful majestic oaks, but at the same time we see historical buildings. We see gorgeous cobblestones. So, you still get a mix of the two locations. One of the biggest benefits about an engagement session is breaking the ice with the couple. They get to know how you work, you get to know what kind of poses they’re comfortable with. You get to know what makes them laugh, what makes them uncomfortable, and I think that is a really big bonus before the wedding.

05:55: Alright, now metering. Just so you guys understand this. Rating, metering, and exposing are kind of three different things. I’m gonna be shooting Fuji 400, I’m going to rate that inside my meter at 200 ISO. I’m going to meter it, bulb in, at a 45 degree angle from the couple. So, you’ll see me do this a lot. I’m gonna come right here underneath their chin probably, which is gonna be the darkest area of the subject, I’m gonna meter right here. As far as aperture, my aperture will probably stay at 2.8, 95% of the time. Sometimes I’ll go down to 2.0, sometimes a 5.6, but I’d say 95% of my photos are taken at 2.8.

06:38: Now, talking about manual focusing real quick. If you’re transitioning from digital, you’re gonna have a little bit of trouble manual focusing at first, especially if you don’t have an updated screen. If your camera is 10, 20 years old, and your screen is 10, 20 years old, your focusing screen… That probably means it could be a little bit yellowish, it could be a little dark. So, getting an upgraded screen is a big, big plus. I have a Bill Maxwell screen, and it’s a bright screen and lets me see and focus very well. So, throughout the day, I’ll probably be doing manual focusing and a combination of back button focusing and I can talk about that a little bit later.

12:23 S1: Hey everyone, thanks so much for tuning in. I really hope you learned a lot. Don’t forget to like, follow, and share, and I’ll see you next time.

Thanks for watching Contax 645 Tutorial #3 | Camera Settings, Film Choices, Metering, and Posing! Check out my other articles for photographers like The Case For Film Photography,  Why Photographers Need A PDF Pricing GuideContax 645 Tutorial #2 | Camera Accessories, Film Loading and MoreContax 645 Tutorial #1 | Hybrid Wedding Photography Equipment, and many more in our Journal page.

Also go check some of my wedding photos to see some of my work at The Market At Grelen Wedding | Virginia Wedding PhotosDelta Plantation Wedding PhotosBelmond Maroma Cancun Wedding, Aldrich Mansion Wedding | Providence, RI to name a few. Don’t forget to check out my homepage for my newest wedding photography work.

Curious to see more?? Please watch tutorial #1 HERE and tutorial #2 HERE!

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