With the Rolleiflex in Scotland – Part II – Dunure

Analog, landscapes, location, photo gear, travel

See here for part one – Glentrool.

Coming from Glentrool, and taking the ferry in Ardrossan late in the evening, I could spend a couple of hours at ease in Dunure, a very small fishermen’s town a couple of miles south-west from Ayr.

That is one of the main joys of travelling alone, not being influenced by companions, to make way, or to discover more things on the go, but just decide for yourself when and where to stop. I had driven past a small road sign along the A719 pointing to Dunure, and then another one, and I saw the rooftops of the houses just along the coast, from this main road, so I decided to turn around and check it out. It proved to be the ideal midday stop. What you see in the pictures is Dunure Castle and surroundings, in some images you will see an island in the distance, (Isle of Arran). Some images of the harbour area, and the facade of the Harbour View Coffee shop, where I had lunch that day. It is the first place that shows up on Google maps when you zoom in on Dunure, and very well documented by pictures as well. Little did I know šŸ™‚ They provided me with a fine meal, and a place to charge my cellphone. Lovely lady-owner, very friendly and servile.

Time wasĀ all overcast when I arrived, but with sun coming trough after noon. A very enjoyable time there. I shot one roll of Kodak TMax400 with the Rolleiflex 3.5 6×6 camera.Ā So here you see the entire film, I have not made a selection, you see what I’ve seen and what I’ve shot.Ā Lab developed, home scanned and digitally redeveloped in Adobe Lightroom. You’ll notice some scratches on the left side of the images. These are probably from the lab, that’s why I decided to start developing film again myself. Oooo, it’s been like 25 years, exciting šŸ˜€

 

Film ‘scanning’ with the DSLR camera

Analog, Lightroom, personal tips & tricks, photo gear, Tips and Tricks

Ok, something I wanted to do for a long time:

On some fora, people have been asking how I scan my negatives, actually I’ve quit scanning, and digitise my 6×6 negatives with the Canon 5Ds high resolution camera, and a Canon 100mm Macro lens. For me it is quicker than scanning, I get a RAW negative file to work with, and I had all gear I needed forĀ building a simple setup.

I have been looking for a new scanner for a while, genre Epson V800, but found them to be a little too expensive for my taste and limited use. I already had this Canon 5Ds camera, and I had a Macro lens, so I wanted to give it a try digitising with the camera in stead. I’ve built this setup to do so, (actually writing this blog post has inspired me to make it even better) …

see images below …

ā€¢ I have two lamps (generic building LED lamps from a DIY store) that I point to the back, where I have a white foam board installed. I don’t care about the white balance because I work with black and white film, so I get rid of all colour anyway.

ā€¢ At a relatively small distance (30cm – 1 foot) I have a cardboard box, fixed to a base board (same white foam board, cardboard box taped to it), with a hole in the back end, a little bigger than the negatives I am working with. On the inside of the box, I have put a black paper, with a square cut hole in it, to better fit the actual size of the negatives. The front side of the cardboard box is open, and takes the camera.

ā€¢ I use a negative holder from an old scanner, but I cut the film frame a tad wider, to be able to see the negative’s edges all around. I kept the original diffusor window.

ā€¢ On the base foam board, I fixed a sort of slot (foam board strip with double sided tape fixing) that holds the bottom of the film holder, between the slot and the cardboard box. On top of the cardboard box, I fixed a second slot, that holds the top edge lid of the film holder, and I slide the film holder in from left to right (right to left on the images)

ā€¢ I put my camera to fit the film frame (with a little margin all around) and I have my settings to give best quality: ISO100, f8 1/6 sec … I vary shutter speeds based on the negatives I have (sometimes the negatives are a tad under- or overexposed, I try to have as much light as possible in my ‘scans’ without clipping the highlights). Low Iso for the least noise possible, f8 seems to be the limit aperture before diffraction sets in on this camera, shutter speed long enough to get rid of the flickering effect in the lamps. I work on a tripod and with a 2 second interval between mirror lock-up and opening the shutter. (standard available on the Canon 5Ds, to prevent camera shake due to the mirror flipping up)

ā€¢ I import the images in LR and reverse them by using the tone curve panel. In this same panel I also manage the white and black point settings by moving in the left and right corner point to where the histogram starts/ends, and eventually a lightening or contrast tone curve.

ā€¢ Then I further develop the image using the standard development panel and local adjustments (that takes the most ‘getting used to’ because all sliders work ‘negative’)

ā€¢ I remove dust and scratches in photoshop.

 

the images should clarify a lot:

the complete setup:

 

a look over the camera’s shoulder:

the negative holder removed to change the film strip

the back end of the cardboard box, notice the black paper frame on the inside, and the (modified today) film holder slot for top and bottom edge of the film holder.

film holder sliding in place, notice the top ‘tab’ being held by the slot

film holder in place, looking on the diffusor

Lightroom, tone curve for negative-positive conversion

I manage to scan a film of 12 exposures in about 15 minutes, with a resolution ofĀ at least 5000×5000 pixels. That is perfectly fine with me, and gives me all film detail, up to the grain in the film.

The study

Analog, beauty, Nude, portrait

there is a collection in this house, of wild boar’s, in all shapes and sizes, on paintings, sculptures, drawings, teeth, … everything that reminds of the wild animal living in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes has received its place on these walls, in this castle …

the study is the most quiet space in the castle, where one can stay all day without being disturbed. Old books are being well taken care of, and this place is not influenced by day-to-day matters.

Meet Eva Evian, my model for this day, experiencing the atmosphere of the place, enjoying the quite and calm of the day.

All shot on Kodak TMax400, with Rolleiflex 3.5 camera.

#everypictureastory

 

thank you for watching,

Ludwig

Paradise lost – the series

erotic, location, Nude

after the preview of a couple of months ago already, here’s the complete selection.

All images taken on film – Kodak TMax400 and Ilford FP4 Plus125

All shot with the Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR

assistance: Nathalie, Model: Carlotta Kah

location, some abandoned hotel in Corsica

 

ā€¢ Paradise Lost ā€¢

 

thank you for watching,

Ludwig

Sunrise

erotic, location, Nude

an early morning sunbath on some deserted beach in Corsica

Model Carlotta K.

ā€¢ Sunrise ā€¢

 
06:00 O’clock, we meet at some recognisable point on a coastal road in Corsica, it is still dark, but we see dawn coming in. We drive for about 10 minutes, then we have a 15 minutes walk to the beach. There is no one, yesterday the beach was crowded. We discuss different options and start working, I rarely have a preset plan, so we improvise a lot. There is a large log on the beach, we try different standing poses, then this pose lying back, the size of the log is perfect for her I take several shots, me flat on the ground, …
#everypictureastory

thank you for watching

Ludwig

tough decisions in life

Uncategorized

a little resume

I have studied to be a graphic designer, that led to a degree back in 1991. I have worked in several pre-press studio’s and a packaging design agency before starting my own company, not in graphic design but in 3D rendering services. I was rather successful, with clients such as product developing companies Barco, Melexis, SAS winches, Duco, Marketing agencies, artists such as Mark Manders, AndrĆ© Rieu, next to a lot of architects and project developers.

I loved being on the front edge of new products, developments, technologies, events, and being able to provide marketing material for these customers. I did this on my own, and home based. Very convenient, but in the end also very lonely as a job. Orders were sent by email, some explanation on the phone if necessary, and finished jobs were sent out by email as well, or by means of online data transfer sites like wetransfer. This meant that in the following years, I had no social contacts anymore. I went looking for a solution, and this showed up in photography. I had started a weekend class in photography when I had just left my studies, but never finished it. Honestly because I was a bit discontent about the chemicals being poured down the drain. (talking about film photography at that time)

But I never really quit photography, and with every job change, I looked for a job related to photography in some way. This has made me decide back in 2009-2010 that I wanted to pickĀ up classes again to further build my photography skills.

I could do some exams to skip some classes, as I was familiar with photography basics (from the two years I did previously) and with retouching (from my graphics background) and I sped up the process by taking two classes at a time. Very soon I could enrol a job into teaching Adobe Lightroom in the same institution I was following my own finishing classes. A kind of a strange situation but it turned out well as most of the students I gave classes to didn’t even realise I hadn’t finished my studies yet.

At the same time I started following classes again I also started portraying women, which led to the portfolio you can see on this website. This started as being very occasionally, but I got more and more into it, and tried to use every free moment of time to get a shoot planned.

Very soon I had a larger amount of classes to teach, and I tried being more selective in my clients/jobs in my self owned business, but nevertheless I worked like 4/5 in teaching classesĀ 3/5 in doing 3D rendering jobs and 1/5 self organised photography shoots.

Too much indeed, so last year in november I announced to all my clients for 3D rendering that I would finish this service, lookĀ for somebody interested in acquiring the client base, and only do photography jobs from 2017. I found nobody interested so I had to disappoint some of my customers for sure, some still are customers for photography services, one is hard to convince and stubborn in still giving me 3D rendering jobs. I announced yesterday that I will no longer be of service from 2018 on.

why tough decisions, well, 3D rendering services have long been a good source of income to me, and they still were in 2017, it has paid my photography investments in material, exhibition prints, workshop costs, … photography has grown slightly but not enough to compensate, since I have not enough time to really build up this service due to a lack of time.

This comes down to cutting one safety line before you have another one :/ … of course I have my classes that serve as a stable base income, but they are by far not ‘wealthy paid’ and getting noticed with my photography has proven to be a long and difficult process. I have had a good exhibit with some book sales and some large format print sales, just enough to compensate for the costs made (printing material, giving everybody a drink, making some new large format prints for the exhibit, …).

I would like to invest more time in artistic researches and getting further in analog photography. I am currently investigating the options for working on 4×5 inch format, requiring a large format camera and the need for development in house (till now I had my 120 roll film developed by a lab, but 4×5 film sheetĀ lab development isĀ out of budget)

A whole lot of words to explain why posting rate has dropped a little the last months.

ThingsĀ should takeĀ up again when I finished my last 3D rendering job šŸ™‚ if someone is interested in my earlier client base, just give me a call. The website is here: www.renderhouse.eu

Can’t post without an image, you will understand why photography is so much more pleasant than 3D, it is working with people rather than pixels :

 

 

Europe – Holland/Scotland/Corsica

exhibition, landscapes, location

It seems I have been shooting landscapes for ages, without really knowing what I looked for. I think now I have gotĀ a better understanding of the kind of landscapes I like, the kind of things I want to show. In my latest exhibit, next to a lot of sensual female portraits, I showed this triptych of landscape images:

Europe – Holland/Scotland/Corsica

 

I feel like in my beauty portraits, I can better express volume and light in black and white photography, hence the choice for converting them. In my landscape book, there are only three images in colour. TheĀ aboveĀ images are the result of both family travels and solitary motorcycle travels, and my love for photography.Ā Lucky me, to be able to do the things I love doing.

 

come again soon,

best,

Ludwig

Two days … building the exhibit

exhibition, Personal Pictures

two days to the exhibit in my own space.

 

you are all very welcome of course:

A little exciting it is.

from the 4500 invitations I received from my print shop (www.degrotearend.be) about 3500 have been dropped into local mailboxes in Ronse.

My book ‘LANDSCAPES – and other things that jump into my camera’ arrived yesterday. It smells fresh ink, but it looks great. I’m very pleased with the results and the selection of images I’ve made. The book ‘WOMEN’ I had from the previous exhibit stays unchanged

Drinks have been bought, but I have no idea how many people I should expect. I heard some rumours about people who were saying they would come, I have a Facebook event that some people confirmed on, but will it be 50-100-200?

The weather announces great, 21Ā°C – 23Ā°C is much more than we could expect here in Belgium around half October. I feel lucky!

The exhibit space is ready, the frames have been hung (without prints for now, I work with front-open frames that contain a support for the prints within. I will hang the mounted prints in the frames today. That means … all but one … Koert (my printer – laminator – finisher) called me last Friday that the largest print for the exhibit had suffered a fault during the mounting process (mount on Dibond). It is a landscape print of 50x150cm. So heĀ had to order a new Dibond board to redo the print this week. No news till now. … keep the fingers crossed. By the way, I’m very pleased by his work! (www.fift.be)

Lighting has been fitted as well, called my brother in law (who is an electrician) for some help, he offered me a couple of up-lighters and smaller spots to add toĀ the existing light in the room.

things that need to be done:

finish the digital presentation, set up a monitor for viewing, hang the prints, … relax a bit šŸ˜‰

some impressions of the space preparations

Book Landscapes

landscapes, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks

for the upcoming exhibit I composed a book with my landscape photography … and other things that jump into my camera

I’ve used no texts except for the book dustĀ cover, where you can read this, it might be inspirational to some of you out there, seeking their way into photography. It merely explains the title’s sub-line:

ā€¢ I have long felt the urge to do something particular with my landscape photography, something outstanding and eye-popping. This has never led to satisfactory results because it was too often based on imitating other photographers.

This urge has changed over the years into a less stringent and stressful attitude and I have become to a point that I no longer worry about what to photograph. If Iā€™m out in the field I much more enjoy being there, and photographs seem to come to me instead of me seeking them. This is a big leap forward for my own peace of mind and my photography has become a lot more enjoyable since. At least for me. I can only hope that the results are enjoyable to you too.

You will notice that I am not seeking the spectacular views or the exuberant colours in a landscape. For me it is about the sky, the mud, the trees shaken by the wind or standing strong. Solitude, lost memories, but also joy and tranquillity. ā€¢

Ludwig

 

 

The birdkeeper

beauty, location, Nude

ā€¢ The birdkeeper ā€¢

Summer is long gone it seems, but this shoot was taking place on one of those hot summer days, when models do not hesitate to pose in lingerie or nude, sun will keep them warm.

The image was taken in a little castle near my hometown, on a shady terrace. The owner had opened the door and then vanished. Eva was in a good mood, the birds were singing all around.

Shot with my old Rolleiflex TLR, on Kodak TMax 400 film. Shooting on film is a strange thing, it is slow, expensive, delicate, cumbersome … but I love it. It makes the experience more real, and the waiting for the negatives makes you take some distance from your own work. It is always exciting to see the images coming, 3, 4 weeks after you’ve shot them.

have a niceĀ Sunday afternoon,

 

ludwig

 

With the Rolleiflex in Scotland – Part I – Glentrool

Analog, landscapes, photo gear

I have been on a motortrip to Scotland last summer, and I had quite some doubts for taking the Rolleiflex (analog camera from the late 50’s) with me, for sake of luggage space, camera safety, etcetera. I have to say that it gave me a lot of pleasure during my trip. It helped me to literally stay still from time to time, and to take the time to enjoy the landscape.

I have stopped in several places with the aim to shoot an entire roll of film in each place.

These images are from my first picture stop.

This place called Glentrool, and Loch Trool, and is located in Galloway forest park, Scotland. Here I shot a roll of Kodak Tmax400 film on a late sunny evening, I had pitched up my tent, cooked a simple but welcome meal after a day of riding (from York that day, over Barnard Castle, trough the North Pennines, along the Hadrian Wall into Dumfries and then Galloway forest park. The bike was filled up with gas for next day and I had some time left before the sun would set. First some images near the Glentrool Visitor Centre, just next to the river ‘Water of Minnoch’, where I met the first midges, then up on my motorbike again I followed a small andĀ bumpyĀ road up to Loch Trool. Despite literally a millionĀ midges by the lake, I kept going šŸ˜‰ . I had my mini tripod with me on the trip, and a wire shutter release, so I could shoot till late in the evening (the lake shots).

there’s more to come from this trip, stay tuned.

All images shot with Rolleiflex 3.5 on Kodak TMax-400 film. Shutter speeds and aperture settings vary.

thank you for watching,

Ludwig

part II – Dunure

Paradise lost – the Hotel

architecture, location

last month in Corsica we were looking for a model shoot location and we found out that just next to our vacation location there was an abandoned hotel. Flooded 7 years ago by the river running just next to it, it got deserted. Insurance companiesĀ still arguing about the responsibilities, the owners couldn’t afford to repair the damages and re-open the hotel.

It looked like an ideal location for a ‘stranded tourist story’ shoot, images will follow later.

This is how the building looked after 7 years of non-attention.

All images shot on Canon 5Ds with Canon 17-40mm f4L, Ā f13 ISO 125, shutter speeds vary between 66 and 184 seconds. (Big stopper filter forĀ the movement in the trees and clouds)

Sirui mini tripod – my thoughts + a color image from Scotland, and a black and white from Corsica.

landscapes, photo gear

Hi there, for a change a gear review post.

For landscape work I have been a pleased owner of a Berlebach report tripod for many years now. I have had a little issue with it last year, which has been solved amazingly well by the Berlebach company, see my post about it here:Ā http://www.ludwigdesmet.com/2016/09/19/thumbs-up-for-excellent-customer-service-berlebach/

I have taken this tripod with me on my motorbike on many occasions, mostly when giving classes to adults, but it is not very practical because the tripod is big. When mounted it extends beyond the two big panniersĀ I have on my large bike! (BMW R1200GS).

So I have been looking for a smaller tripod for last summer’s trip to Scotland, and for lighter travelling to Corsica weeks after that. I bought the Sirui T-005X with C-10S ballhead, from the T05X SeriesĀ Traveler Ultralight

It is a lightweight, very compact package, weighs 0.8 kgs and has a maximum height of 137cm and a packing size of 33 cm. This makes it ideal for my motorcycle travels or when you are traveling light in any other way.

How did it fare?

I found it very well performingĀ in quiet weather conditions. The image below is a behind the scene’s shot on a trip out, rain pouring down all day, overcast and not much light, so a tripod was mandatory for I had pretty long shutter times. 0,6s at f11 and ISO100 for the below image.

Image taken in Strontian, Ariundle, Scotland.

as you can see the tripod legs have several spread angle’s, which comes in handy on uneven terrain. The feet are very tiny at approximately 18mm diameter, so some careĀ on where to put them is to be taken. Otherwise, the tripod gave me a perfectly sharp image.

When walking with the camera, the ball head clearly is too weak for a big DSLR (Canon 5Ds) even with a moderately light lens on it. (Canons 17-40 mm f4L, with a weight of 475g) The camera will start heading down soon, no matter how tight you fasten the head knob.

Otherwise, no complaints here.

In Corsica I stumbled upon a deserted hotel, that inspired me to do some long exposure shots. The weather was sunny with clouds, and a rather strong wind, with gusts up to 80km/h (45-50 miles), the building was partly surrounded by green area, with scattered trees. Still I chose to remove the center column of the tripod, for increased stability. (the center column only supported in a single point is the least stable element in all tripods) The removal of the center column is really easy, and the ballhead then screws directly on the tripod base, resultingĀ a much stabler unit. I have no behind the scenes image of this setup so I’ll grap a marketing image from Siriu:

I still had the tripod set up with the legs fully extended in most images, and made perfectly sharp images with shutter speeds over 2 minutes: 121s f13 ISO125 and detail below. I have no images that show camera movements, so I think this is very good proof of the stability of this setup.

 

The downsides:

I find the leg opening/closing grips rather soft, and some seem to show some wear already, curious to know how long they will last. Also the camera plate is very small, this is clearly not aimed at DSLR users, but more towards the high end compact, light system camera’s. Fortunately the system is Arca Swiss compatible, so I can use my Berlebach dovetail type plates in stead. The ball head, although said to hold 4kgs, will certainly not hold its position when on the move. 4 leg segments are a bit long to extend, especially compared to my Berlebach, that has only two segments.

The pro’s:

Very light, very compact, budget friendly, stable within limits, easy to convert to ‘without center column’, then it is even more stable. Not expensive, comes with a carrying bag.

Verdict.

I am very pleased with this little tripod, it fits my motorcycle panniers, it is very light, it extends high enough for my landscape needs and it is stable in light windy weather. I’m a bit afraid that heavy conditions will not be good friends with this tripod, but If you are looking for an easy to carry companion for night shots or occasional landscape work,Ā I can recommend! And at a very fair price of ā‚¬ 109, it won’t break the bank!

 

Ludwig

 

 

The last ray

Analog, beauty, erotic, location

ā€¢ The last ray ā€¢

 

shot withĀ Rolleiflex 3,5Ā on Ilford Delta Pro 100 film

model and make up: Eva Evian

thank you for watching, I scanned about 170 negatives this week, so there’s much more images coming (Scotland analog, and several beauty shoots analog)

see you soon,

Ludwig

The Necklace – NSFW

beauty, Nude

ā€¢ The Necklace ā€¢

 

As I said in my previous post, sometimes you find marvellous accessories while working on location, this necklace I found in a beautiful Castle Villa in Ronse (Belgium) is one of them. They don’t make them like this anymore, not the necklaces, not the villa’s. (the villa is for sale by the way šŸ˜‰ )

Shot on Canon 5Ds with Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM

model:Ā http://www.modelelinetandt.com

make up: Joyce Denoyette

All images available as fine art prints, for enquiries: ludwig -at- ludwigdesmet.com

thank you for watching

Ludwig

flower girl

erotic, location, Nude, portrait

ā€¢ Flower girl ā€¢

I’ve read an article recently in ‘Chasseur d’Images’ , a French photography magazine, with the latest issue covering some articles about nude photography. They stressed quite a lot about being well prepared and having some shots ready in your head or even sketched out on paper, …

I’m afraid I don’t really agree šŸ˜‰ One of my biggest pleasures in this kind of photography is improvisation, inspirationĀ of the moment, going with the flow, … I seldom prepare ‘shots’. My main preparation consists of up front communication with the model, about style, level of nudity, clothing and other practical issues, and finding a good location for the shoot. I have since I started doing this work built up a set of available locations, so I can vary and I don’t have to return to the same locations often. This keeps me sharp and the images different every time. This is the second set with Eva Evian in a remote castle in Belgium. We found a vase with dried flowers and started working with them. I hope you like the images. All shot on Canon 5Ds with sigma 50mm f1.4 DG A. All on ISO400, other settings vary.

Come again soon!

Ludwig

 

 

 

Scotland – Black and white

landscapes

A visual report of my 2017 Scotland motor trip.
As you know, I was originally much more involved with landscape photography than I do now, but I still enjoy being in wild open spaces, and I have a hard time forcing myself NOT to stop after every corner when on my motorcycle.
For those interested, this was my route: (Ā© Routeyou)

All images taken with Canon 5Ds and Canon 17-40mm f4L, converted to black and white in Lightroom.

 

for analog pictures from this trip, start here

thank you for watching, I used a small kit of extra gear on this trip, a mini tripod, next I’ll do a short review of it.

ludwig

A treasure on the attic, …

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

as promised here by the full series from this part of the shoot with Eva Evian,

ā€¢ A treasure on the attic ā€¢

all images shot on Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50 mm f1.4 DG Art or Canon 135mm f2.0 L
all at f2.2 ISO 800, shutter speeds vary.

come again soon,
Ludwig