fear of failure – girl with an attitude

contests, erotic, exhibition, Nude

hi there,

I had some very good news last week. I have received an invitation to be the guest artist for a rather well known exhibit next summer. All expenses paid. That is a première for me, and a pleasant one.

I have been checking out the list of guest photographers that have passed in the previous years of this very same exhibit. … some well known names, some great artists, some who I esteem way above my league. Then doubts started coming up … is my work up to this level, will I not be blown away by the other participants (selected by jurors and curated by someone known in the field of art photography) … It struck me rather hard, to be honest.

Take a deep breath, listen to my wife’s saying ‘you have been asked to be the guest photographer, so what are you still worrying about’ … I guess she’s right, so let’s go, … I enrolled in a mentorship program that starts next week. I had confirmed to this before this invitation came in. To be honest I had no real item to work on, till now. I will use this program to fine-tune my work, discuss my work, discuss the selection of images that will be exposed, maybe prepare a book that will go with the exhibit, … exciting times to come, I will keep you updated.

More great news came in this week, when the organizers of the ‘fashion nudes’ contest run by Normal Magazine (France) contacted me to send them the high resolution files of the images I sent in for the contest. This means I got selected in the pre-selection, and my work will be printed for the final jury. Jippiieeeee!!

One of the images I entered for the contest:

 

• girl with an attitude •

Strolling trough Paris with the Rolleiflex part III – talking about film photography (again)

Analog, street, Uncategorized

no I haven’t been to Paris recently, so these images are, well, from a while ago (late 2017), I have published a single image from this trip already, but here is a more complete set. All taken with the Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR, in dark and difficult light this time (interior, winter, …)

What is it that convinces me to shoot film from time to time? I talked about this before, but here’s one other reason, I started thinking about it listening to an vlog about Photokina, and how this is all about gear and how the big brands have missed the revolution on the mirrorless camera’s and now need extra marketing efforts (and lies) to get to pace with the competition etcetera, etcetera. … (Michael Zelbel from goodlightmag)

when shooting analog it makes me feel that I am not running into this treadmill of commercial marketing ‘have to sell’ rush that the mainstream photography world has become since it became a mass-product. Look at the average photography magazine on the book store shelf. Half of the pages will be about new gear that has reached the market, how the latest gear has reached new levels of ‘better’ since the last best camera. How it will improve your photography, become an extension of your eye, and even bring you the ultimate shooting experience. blah blah blah, I have been in marketing for a while myself … The other half will be divided in ‘how to’s’ on the use of the latest software updates to make that perfect camera shot even better, or how to use the latest lighting gear to enhance your vision and creativity. Duh. … If you are lucky, there is a small section in the magazine that will cover large exhibitions, and maybe some portfolio’s from photographers (a couple of pages from the 100+ total number of pages)

I am sure that the Rolleiflex came with its own sauce of marketing blahblah at the time it was launched, but that’s a long time ago and I’m not bothered with it. Even now, new film camera’s are still made, but have you ever seen an add for one? They don’t really push, they wait till you go looking for them and then you’ll find them.

I shoot this antique Rolleiflex camera, with black and white 120 film that exists for ages now, and no accessories. When I use it, I simply can not feel the need to rush to get my images on the web (FB, Insta, … ) because that is literally impossible, with the film needing to be developed. I don’t get stressed on having to recharge batteries, because it has no batteries. I do not have to decide which lens or focal length to use, because it comes with a fixed focal lens that is not removable. I even don’t have to decide to shoot horizontal or vertical, because the image format is square. I can allow myself to just observe my environment, look at what people do, try to capture moments, details, … that come to my attention. If I miss a shot because my gear isn’t up to date, well I missed it, maybe I will be lucky next time. …

long live simplicity (maybe I’m getting old 😉 )

The pictures, with a little word, so you can find out where I’ve been strolling.

107 cubic inches, this one has been published before on my blog. Waiting for service at the Harley-Davidson shop in Boulevard Beaumarchais.

the queue for the Irving Penn exhibit that ran in the Grand Palais in Paris

part of the exhibit on Irving Penn

preparing for a kite flight on the Esplanade des Invalides

taking a break from cooking – the chef at Café de Mars – Rue du gros Caillou

plagiarism at Fondation Louis Vuitton

smooth curves architecture by Frank Ghery (Fondation Louis Vuitton)

people enjoying the audio-installation at  Fondation Louis Vuitton

Me taking a self portrait at Fondation Louis Vuitton

time to prune the plants maybe? – artisan fleuriste at Rue Vieille-du-Temple

 

cheers, hope you come back here soon.

If you want to see more images taking with the Rolleiflex in Paris, look here

If you want to re-read a previous article about shooting on film, this is the place: shooting film

cheers,

Ludwig

 

Smooth curves

location, Nude

Could there be any greater resemblance? The curves of the female body and the smooth shaped hull of a glider. At least I sea beauty in both, I hope you too can appreciate these smooth curvatures.

Taken with the well appreciated approval of the gliders club director, and the willing club-handyman. Somewhere in the Netherlands.

• Smooth curves •

model: Michelle Alba

Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f1.4 A DG

1/500s f/1.8 ISO 100

 

Strontian

landscapes, travel

Do you remember this one? I do, I was wet and cold to the bone, and then I discovered this moss overgrown forest, and the rain calmed down a little. Something I couldn’t resist to.

• Ariundle National Nature Reserve – Strontian – Scotland •

0,3 sec f11 ISO100 Canon 5Ds with Canon 17-40mm @19mm

The Zinkae exhibit I took part in has ended yesterday,

a lot of people were a bit surprised not to see my women, well, I think it’s good to surprise people from time to time. 😉 See you there next year!

Lilith in Brussels – the film files

beauty, location, Nude

Travelling art-nude models mostly rent very small rooms, to make their travelling as cheap as possible. Shooting in their room is most often not an option. This one was different. Some other photographer booked her a spacious and very well lit room in the centre of Brussels, and for some reason he only booked the model for a very short period of time, so she had a couple of days available for other photographers. A bit of a last minute arrangement and I was of to Brussels. The room had a line of windows facing south/west, and every widow had its own curtains. A perfect spot for a shoot.

It’s a tedious process, developing, scanning, retouching the dust …

… but when the results are good, it’s all worthwhile. From a shoot I did in the beginning of june, taken with the Rolleiflex, on Ilford HP5 plus film (ISO400).

 

• Lilith •

 

Sunrays – a beam of light in a pitch black studio

beauty, erotic, Nude

A rough carpet, a little bit of sun, and a big black curtain to block te rest of it. That is all that was needed for this series with Charisse. I had a bit forgotten about this series, it was made the same day as we did ‘an apple a day’, and I was so fond about that series that this one got a bit lost. Here we go, all images taken with Canon 5Ds and 50mm f1.4 from Sigma.

The settings are very similar between images, shutter speeds varying between 1/400 and 1/500 and aperture f:3,5 or f:4.0. ISO is at 100.

Charisse feels confident enough to generate a series of sensual, intimate poses, and she hardly needs direction, except for keeping the sun ray in the right place on her body and face. The light is hard to manage in this kind of situations, only one rule: measure for the highlights, and don’t care about the shadows. This gave me these nice, contrasty images, with a little room for imagination and mystery. Thank you Charisse, for this very fruitful day!!

• Sunrays •

Want to get a shoot for yourself, contact me now for your life-changing experience!!

Goodbye summer time, exhibit closed.

exhibition, location, Nude

For the last day of the exhibit, i had posted an invitation on Facebook for a guided tour trough the exhibit. It was a cosy gathering, I gave visitors some inside, behind the scenes information, and people could ask questions about my work, my gear, the models, locations, etcetera.

The exhibit is now over, I have no idea about the number of visitors in total, as I was present only now and then. The reactions in the guestbook are mainly positive, some very positive, some very negative. It always shocks me to see how some people are still very narrow minded about nudity, even if it is brought with delicacy and taste. Fortunately I have my wife who is very supportive in getting me over this kind of comments. 🙂

Visitors have very different ‘favourites’, but in this exhibit, one image has received a lot of praise. It was an image not previously shown, and here it was shown in the massive size of 110x165cm (44″x66″), hard to miss. People praised it because it had a lot of ‘naturalness’, it seems not posed and very natural, at the same time intimate, and casual.

the model is Kate Ri, the image is titled • greenhouse flower • it was shot in the Royal Glasshouses in Meise, near Brussels, on a cold day in January.

The image is still for sale, as is all my personal work, if you are interested, send me an email on ludwig(at)ludwigdesmet(dot)com

thanks for reading, see you soon!

Ludwig

 

Exmoor National Park in 20 images

landscapes, travel

Hi there, yes I travelled quite a lot this summer. I took a week off to do a little motorcycling trip to Exmoor National Park. I was not sure where to go, as I never make any reservations except for the Ferry, but I ended up riding to New Forest National Park on the first day, and then trough to Exmoor National Park for the next five days. (Lynton/Lynmouth). I took my Canon 5Ds with 17-40mm wide angle zoom and a couple of filters, together with my Siriu mini tripod.

I was really charmed about Exmoor National Park, I could still enjoy the last days of the hot summer period we had all over Europe, so I did not get too much rain. The landscape exist of roughly three different types: 1. The coastline with beautiful, spectacular at times, cliffs to the North, 2. The valleys with a diversity of grasslands divided by hedges and dense, green forests 3. The moors, with their wild grazing animals, scattered trees sometimes, and flowering broom and heather, at times overwhelming! I Stayed at the same camping spot for four nights, which gave me plenty of time to walk the very vast network of public footpaths. These walks, together with the short motorcycle trips in the region have given me a good idea of the overall character of the National Park, and gave me the possibility of taking pictures at ease during my walks. Last year I went to Scotland and I moved my tent every day. This lead to interference between ‘wanting to get somewhere’ and ‘wanting to take pictures’. I didn’t have this inner battle this time. Conclusion, a very enjoyable trip that gets me thinking about my next destination already.

I have not used the tripod nor the filters, except for the last day, when I was already back near Maidstone, where i started working on a new project (still in doubt of what the name should be) but I cannot show any images about that yet. So this is again a ‘very limited gear’ landscape reportage, enjoy:

for those interested in my journey:

I did 1820 kms departing from home in Belgium and back.

All images shown are taken in the little loop at the west side of the map.

For the motoring enthusiasts, this is my ride, packed with photo gear, camping gear, limited cooking gear, walking gear … :

thanks for reading 🙂

Ludwig

with Vita outdoors – why I still love shooting film from time to time.

Analog, beauty, erotic, location, Nude

from a while ago,

I shot with Vita Goncharuk in a public park near Brussels earlier this year. I was a bit worried about not having a location with full and agreed access, so we shot outside. The park is open to the public, and you might wonder if there are no risks of being caught. There is actually not really a problem as long as you are not shooting porn or really shocking the eventual witnesses. If you get caught by the owner of the place, you might get expelled from the premises, but they can’t file a complaint unless they can prove you did harm to their person/business/property.

Some people have been asking about public wandering around. First of all, get this agreed upon with your model. Most professional models don’t care much, some don’t like it. Vita didn’t mind at all. When somebody shows more interest than normal, I just go to them an say hello. I do a little chit-chat and then I give them one of my business cards and mostly they disappear after that, or they take some more (comfortable) distance. Some even send me an email about my website or my work afterwards. I even had one person sending me some behind the scenes images. (with Erika in Brussels)

The weather was splendid, the camera did very well, All shot on Ilford film, with the Rolleiflex TLR camera. I love the look of film, it gives a soft, rich tonality and it has some imperfections that are creating a romantic atmosphere. It has a natural grain, that adds to the softness of the images. The medium format (6x6cm) camera has a great shallow depth of field, (hard to focus though) and enough detail in the negatives for really big enlargements. It can’t beat the current 50Mpx camera’s, but its very close. I also love the time-span between shooting the images and having the developed film ready for scanning. The fact that you do not see results is a benefit for working slowly. When shooting digital, I get a little overwhelmed by the immediate results, which stresses me to shoot more and more and more. When shooting analog, I thing about every image, about light, about framing, about what to leave out of the frame and what to get into it, about pose, about a possible story, … I feel that I do not take the same amount of time when shooting digital. You shoot far less images when shooting film, but you get as many good ones than when shooting hundreds of digital images. … I experience a great feeling of joy when seeing the images on the developed film for the first time. They are a physical result, they have a more ‘real’ presence in my opinion than digital files. Film is not dead, at least not for me, and I’m sure for a lot of people with me. 🙂

I have about ten more films that just have been developed, but need scanning and retouching … come back again soon,

Ludwig

 

 

50+ ‘the Age of Beauty, the Beauty of Age’

Nude, people

Als primeur, een post op mijn blog in het Nederlands.

Ik krijg vaak het commentaar dat het gemakkelijk is om mooie jonge vrouwen op een mooie manier te fotograferen, maar dat ‘eens op leeftijd’, dat toch niet meer werkt.

Daarom ben ik een paar maanden terug begonnen met een nieuw project, ‘the Age of Beauty, the Beauty of Age’, waarin ik 50+ dames fotografeer op een vergelijkbare manier als ik met jongedames doe. Ik kreeg hiervoor al enkele dames voor de lens, maar ben op zoek naar meer kandidates hiervoor. Ik wil die in principe ook pas naar buiten brengen als ik een reeks klaar heb. Vandaag maak ik hierop een uitzondering, om het project wat een boost te geven, maar ook omdat ik net een getuigenis binnen kreeg die zo mooi is dat ik dat niet kan laten (met toelating uiteraard)om die te laten lezen. De foto hoort bij deze getuigenis, en lees vooral zelf de woorden van Amélie, onder de foto:

‘Of ik het zag zitten om mezelf bloot te geven, letterlijk dan’… daar kwam de vraag van één van mijn beste vriendinnen op neer in mijn mailbox . Een bevriend fotograaf was begonnen met een mooi project voor vrouwen van onze leeftijd, ‘Age of Beauty, the Beauty of Age’,…

Zij had het aangedurfd, het was een unieke belevenis zei ze. Ik las de tekst met uitleg van de fotograaf en hoorde haar ervaring en dacht in eerste instantie ‘dit durf ik niet’, zoals de meeste vrouwen denken als ze op een leeftijd gekomen zijn waarbij het lichaam niet meer is wat het ooit geweest is…

Wat ben ik blij dat ik mij heb laten overtuigen! Na een eerste gesprek met Ludwig wist ik dat ik dit avontuur met volle vertrouwen kon aanvangen, het was nu of nooit, en enkel met deze fotograaf. Ik had het met niemand anders aangedurfd.

De avond voor de grote dag kroop ik vroeg in bed om er de volgende dag op mijn best uit te zien, maar om middernacht zat ik alweer beneden… toch een beetje stress?

Die dag is er eentje geworden om nooit te vergeten, een unieke dag die steeds een glimlach op mijn gezicht tovert als ik eraan terug denk. Alles is zo vlot verlopen, ook al wist ik helemaal niet hoe eraan te beginnen, deze fotograaf maakt je rustig, laat je genieten van jezelf en de lens, soms vergat ik gewoon dat hij er was.

De resultaten zijn nog mooier dan ik verwachtte, heel kunstige foto’s met oog voor kleine details. Ook hier en daar een foto die mij wat confronteerde met mijn minder mooie kantjes, maar ik ben wie ik ben en zo sta ik ook op de foto’s, puur en soms een tikkeltje speels, een tikkeltje ondeugend 😉

Mijn man was enthousiast en wist meteen welke foto hij op canvas aan onze muur wilde. Ik twijfelde wel even om hem op deze plek te hangen; zichtbaar voor iedereen… maar hij hangt hier prachtig en wij zijn er beiden fier op!

Aan Ludwig en zijn vrouw: jullie zijn beiden prachtige mensen die een heel mooie kijk hebben op het vrouw-zijn, bedankt voor deze fijne dag. Ik had dit waarschijnlijk nooit gedurfd toen ik jong was en strak in het vel zat, maar nu kom ik met plezier nog een keertje terug.

Aan mijn vriendin, bedankt om mij een stukje van mezelf te leren kennen dat nog ergens verborgen zat, zonder jou had ik deze mooie ervaring nooit gehad.

Aan alle vrouwen met een jaartje meer, niet twijfelen, eens kennis maken, genieten van een mooie dag, in ruil krijg je een mooie herinnering voor de rest van je leven en een boost voor je zelfvertrouwen!

Zo hoor je het ook een keer van een ander, dus dames, jullie zijn welkom !!

groeten,

Ludwig

 

Bretagne in 20 pictures

landscapes, travel

I had a nice stay with my wife in Bretagne (France) this summer, and we surfed on the hot summer days that covered all of Europe in July. A lot of sun and a cool sea-breeze made the weather perfect for hiking and discovery. It was the first time I was in Bretagne, and I have discovered a different part of France, one that I haven’t met yet. Here ‘la douce France’ is to be taken literally. The people are nice, the landscape is beautiful and divers, the food is excellent, with fresh oysters and mussels and fish as much as you like, the climate is moderate and tourism is present, but not overwhelming. We haven’t hurried to see all the main attractions, but we really plunged into it, enjoying all our senses.

I have photographed mainly with the Fujifilm x100F, all images except two were shot with this camera. I have liked working with it a lot, it takes some time to get used to the fixed focal length, and sometimes you would want a little wider view, or a little narrower, but I didn’t matter too much.

I have chosen for a 2:1 image aspect ratio, I like it for landscape, sometimes I would even choose 2.5:1, but for the sake of uniformity, I kept one aspect ratio in this series. This also meant skipping some images that were shot vertically. For people who have never visited Bretagne, I hope this series will be a good appetizer for your visit. Enjoy, feel the sun and the atmosphere, smell the sea and hear the seagulls scream!

For those who wonder where these images were taken, you probably have recognised the Mont-Saint-Michel, one of the ‘incontournables’ (must see things), all the other images are taken west from there, up to Plougrescant along the cost, except for the last image, which was taken at Lanvellec, showing a part of the garden of the ‘Château de Rozanbo’.

Oh, and I had a hard time selecting only 20 images, there’s so much more to see 😉

thanks for watching, comments or questions always welcome!

Ludwig

taking care of the vegetables

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

the tomatoes need a lot of water in this warm weather don’t they?

second shooting location after • flight club • the garden of the AirBnB where we stayed. Michelle is ready to do some role playing, and gladly gives the gardener a hand.

• taking care of the vegetables •

thanks to Michelle Alba for being my model on this very hot day, in a very hot glasshouse.

thanks to Bas for lending me her garden as a shoot location and for the hospitality all over the weekend.

Ludwig

Flight club

beauty, erotic, location, Nude, people

somewhere in the Netherlands, I could say, they have a very particular flight club, with nude hostesses and so on, … but alas, it was only for this single occasion that Michelle posed nude at the gliders hangaar.

I had no clue as to where to shoot, just up to two days before we had our meeting. I started looking on Google Maps, just to get an idea of the surroundings, and to look for an eventually interesting spot. I could find three possible locations: 1. the place where we stayed (I accompanied my wife to The Netherlands since she wanted to take a weekend course there) had a big garden, with a very funny glasshouse (to be seen in the next image I will be posting) so that could become interesting. 2. There was a very beautiful garden and antique glasshouse at a event location just next doors. 3. I noticed a gliding plane terrain at about 5kms distance from where we stayed.

I didn’t really have to contact the first possible location, I would see it the next day, and could find out that in fact the glasshouse was particular, and interesting. The event location responded me within the hour that they had a marriage event the day I would meet Michelle, so this was a no-go. The flight club chairman responded me that he was ok with the idea, and that I could meet him the morning I had my appointment with the model, but that it would be difficult to shoot after midday because then they have a lot of flights going on. We met at 11:00 am and shot till about 1:00 pm, first clothed, on the runway with a parked plane (film photography, so not yet available) then nude at the hangaar. We had a willing assistant during the time of shooting and nobody else seemed to care. The assistant also figures in this image, together with two other club members. His daughter used to work as a striptease girl in theater shows. They are chatting about the club and I thought they might make an excellent backdrop. Michelle didn’t care either, as long as nobody started staring or taking pictures with cellphones … All went well, we said goodbye afterwards and went on shooting in the garden after that.

• flight club •

a huge thanks to the chairman and the assistant of the flight club, both requested not to mention the name of the club for privacy reasons.

Ludwig

Turbulence and Crisis

exhibition, landscapes

hi all,

just a little message to announce a next exhibit participation, a group exhibit with the Zinkae photoclub in Ghent. This time I will be exhibiting not my usual subject ‘women’, but I will propose two series: ‘Turbulence’ and ‘private’ … Private will show a limited series of 3 images about our tendency to shielding ourselves from the outside world, in order to protect the personal living environment. Fences, doors, security camera’s, hedges … etcetera. …

‘Turbulence’ will show 4 images reflecting a personal view on landscape and nature photography. The inherent structures in nature, that seem largely turbulent on a small scale, lead to a certain order on a bigger scale. Disturbed fractals versus clear equations, and how these structures show themselves to us. Brought to you in delicate black and white images.

TURBULENCE III

the invitation for the exhibit:

 

then what about Crisis?

Well, things are getting tough, and If I want to continue my work as I do now, I will need to cut some costs, or find a new form of income. I am currently working on it, but of course your help would be welcome too. That’s why I have included a Paypal button on the welcome page. You can donate any amount, all is welcome, (I chose 5€ as a standard) and it will help to pay the costs of exhibiting, models, film, travel, …  this is the button: (this one is active too 😉 )


The exhibit in Sint-Laureins is still on and running, so you can go take a look, every day, 10-17hrs, till september 2nd.

 

 

BOOKS Page added to this website

beauty, erotic, Interesting Links, landscapes, Personal Pictures

hi,

for your convenience, and for those who like my work but are at this moment not in the possibility to hang a print of a nude woman on the wall of their living room, my work is also available in book format.

I added a page in the main menu, BOOKS where you can order any of my books, I currently have three listed on my page, if you click further to my Blurb bookstore, you may find four.

The books are well printed and well finished, I picked the best suited paper for my work, and a book size that is handy for all.

A present, to someone else or to yourself, an add-on to your book collection, a source of inspiration, or just some support for me, all reasons are good to go shopping today 😉

 

thanks,

Ludwig

 

when things get messy … preview

beauty, Nude, people

Charisse was here again today,

and people who have been following my or her work, know that this is about 100% guaranteed to deliver some stunning images.

We took benefit of the hot weather we have in Belgium these days and made a little mess with some leftover clay I had from the walls of the boys’ rooms on the attic.

Charisse is always in for a little experiment and I had been talking about the clay shoot earlier, so she sent me a text message a couple of days ago ‘about the hot weather and da da da  … ‘ . A hint not to be misunderstood.

this image is just a preview of the preparation, a preparation that I gladly took as a photoshoot occasion …

it got even messier than this, and much better as well 😉

make sure to come again soon, for the rest of this magnificent series, again.

The exhibit at Godshuis Sint Laureins (B) has started last Saturday, make sure to visit it if you can, more details in my previous post.

have a nice day,

Ludwig