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

new exhibit coming up

location

It’s official, I’ll exhibit the entire summer vacation in the magnificent building of ‘het GODSHUIS’ in Sint-Laureins. Great architecture, great pictures, I hope you find the time to enjoy this exhibit, it is open from June 30th till September 2nd. Every day, from 10am till 5pm. (except when there are large events in the building, you can find their event calendar here: http://www.godshuis.be/nieuws/ )

I will show 21 images, some never exhibited, some bigger than ever before.

You can combine the exhibit with an overnight stay at the location, they offer excellent rooms, there’s a restaurant, wellness, (also bookable without room) tea-room etcetera. The village of Sint-Laureins is also very well situated for a bikers out, or a walk along the canal.

Be there!

 

Landscape photography with a Fujifilm x100T

landscapes, location, photo gear, tests

A couple of weeks ago I was with another group at CĂ´te d’Opale in France, for teaching landscape photography to adults in the KISP.be photography program. I wanted to pack light on gear to be able to focus on helping out my students and still be able to take some pictures myself. This made me decide that for this weekend I would only take my small Fujifilm x100T, and my lightweight Sirui tripod, bought for motorcycle traveling. The camera has a 16Mp APS-c sensor and a fixed focal length lens of 23mm or 35mm equivalent if compared to full frame viewing angle. It has a relatively wide f/2.0 max. aperture, and closes down to f16. I have it equipped with the optional sunshade and an extra hand-grip. The hand grip features the same dovetail grooves for arca-swiss compatible tripods as the camera itself does. So the grip bottomplate becomes the tripod plate.

This post will not focus on pixel-peepers image quality, rather on user experience.

Images down below.

THE GEAR USED.

Fujifilm x100T with MHG-X100 grip and the additional sun shade from Fujifilm. I use a custom strap from an old light-meter if I remember well.

Sirui T005-KX, featured also in this article, where I commented on using it with my DSLR. As you can see the tripod has a two segment center column which I mostly do not use, for extra stability. I have not needed the extra reach on this trip, and by omitting it, the ballhead has greater stability.

PRO limited gear set:

First and most important difference with a complete bag full of landscape gear is of course weight. Taking with me a professional range full frame camera body and a couple of quality lenses + my Berlebach tripod is a physical challenge not to be underestimated. 5kgs of photo gear, 3kgs of tripod, a bag of at least 1.5kgs and some food and drink supplies easily brings 10-12 kgs on the scale. The x100T and the Sirui mini tripod together weigh about 1.5kgs. A light backpack with some water and food supplies and I’m off like a butterfly to the cliffs of Cap-Griz-Nez. So this was for me a huge benefit, I never felt tired physically caused by dragging around gear.

Second benefit, and directly linked to the first one of saved weight, is manoeuvrability on difficult terrain. When dealing with a heavy tripod, with an expensive camera + lens, with a backpack that has the remainder of your gear on the back, you are limited in movements, in places where you can get safely with all your gear, in where you want to drop your bag to get out your filters, or just another lens, … With my lightweight setup I could take camera and tripod in one hand, leaving my other hand free for climbing and rock balancing exercises without limitations.

 

CONTRA limited gear set:

What I missed the most was the variation I have in focal lengths when travelling fully equipped with my DSLR setup. Although I mostly have fixed focal length lenses (24mm – 17-40mm Zoom – 50mm – 100mm – 135mm), they still allow me great variety in compositions, in bringing out distant landscape details or in compositing out disturbing elements. I can go much wider (17mm vs 35mm is a huge difference in viewing angle) or much narrower if I need to. I never missed a lens longer than 135mm in my landscape work. (This could be solved by adding the wide angle and the telephoto extender lenses you can buy for this camera, but they are rather expensive, and you loose some portability)

Next most missed was the Tilt-Shift lens I traditionally use on landscape trips. I often look for foreground elements in my compositions, to create depth in a wide angle view. The tilt-shift lens gives me the ability to get extreme depth of field in such cases, without the need for closing down the aperture too much. It also allows me to make stitched panoramic images with a horizontal viewing angle comparable to the 17mm lens. If I would need to limit my DSLR setup to one lens for landscape, it would be this lens: Canon TS-E 24mm f3.4 L II. (I’m afraid this cannot be solved with this setup)

Next thing I missed is the ability to do automatic bracketing, at least I couldn’t find it in the menu, I since have looked it up on the internet and it is perfectly possible to do AE bracketing in 3 exposures. Shame on me, I should have read-the-f*******g-manual. So I ended up doing manual bracketing for most of the time. (little tip, always use bracketing, even when not needed. the time needed for bracketing exposures is minimal compared to the time needed to find your composition, setting up your tripod, setting the focus correct, etc. …  different exposures will give you more choice for development afterwards). (Solved issue, the bracketing function is under the ‘drive’ button. I looked trough the menu’s only.)

Another thing I missed (because I don’t have it) is the ability to use filters on the Fujifilm x100T. The camera has a built in ND filter (3 stops) but this is not enough for flatting out water surfaces or for streaking cloud movements over a long distance. It does help to lengthen your shutter speeds a little when shooting at dawn or at dusk, but it is not enough in most situations with broad daylight. This could be solved by investing in a filter system for this camera, there are several systems available on the market, like for instance the LEE seven 5 system. (there are two pictures below with the sea flattened out, they are taken late in the evening at a shutter speed of 30 seconds.

that’s about it, the rest was comfort 😉

Oh by the way, there’s a lot of ranting going around about these system camera’s and battery life. I had two batteries, did not finish the first one the first day, which lasted from 6:31:51 am. (first picture) till 22:31:58 pm. (last picture). Of course I did not take a massive amount of images (92) because my main task is teaching, but in landscape photography I never do.

some images of our trip, with the occasional student in the frame.

I cropped all images to the same 2×1 ratio, I kind of like them that way.

 

Thanks for viewing, if you have any questions about this article, please comment, and on a side-note, after seeing my images of this weekend, I might sell this camera to buy its successor, the x100F, so if you are interested in buying mine, drop me a line.

Ludwig

 

 

Ra

beauty, location, Nude

Ancient Egyptians worshipped Ra or Re as the Sun God, he was one of the most important gods in the Fifth Dynasty (25th-24th century BC).

 

• RA •

The obelisk depicted here is one of modern ages (1968-1969) and was built in two ‘size’ stages, because the landlord found that the first one at 27m was not high enough. So he did aks the builders to build a second concrete formwork over the existing one, and ordered it to be 36m in height, which makes it final size bigger than the Paris’ Luxor obelisk at the place de la Concorde!

The obelisk is situated near Brussels, and was erected because the landlord loved the sunrise, but since he had changed his main room to the west side of the castle, he no longer had the sunrise in his room. That’s why he also wanted a large sun disk on the obelisk.

The park was meant to have a large water surface in front of the surface, but the owner died before completion of the surroundings and the lake was never realised.

thank you for reading,

Ludwig

 

DANCE ! – shooting some dance movements in the studio

personal tips & tricks, photo gear, Tips and Tricks

Hi there,

last weekend I had a meetup with Lisa and her friend, both dancers, she’s more into the classic dance, he’s more of a break-dancer.

I will show you some images, but I would also love to talk about the technique that I used to get to these.

first some images:

nice hey 🙂

thanks to both athletes, they had a good exercise session.

How is it done?

We wanted both the movement, and a good image of the static phase. I rarely work with flash but here it is absolutely needed.

this is the setup: I have one studio flash with large softbox on the left of the scene, providing the main illumination of the stationary phase. (flash) I have a second studioflash at the right side of the scene, providing a rim light at the moment of flash. I have a third flash on the camera, Canon does not allow to fire remote flashes at the end of the shutter time without a dedicated Canon flash. This is a Canon 580EX II and is used in manual settings at 1/64th of full power. It is merely used as a ‘master’ or ‘trigger’ for the studio flashes, synchronising on the second curtain, this means just before the shutter closes. I have available light from the right side, just behind me. (outside light, strong enough to make the motion trails during shutter time, but not to strong to overly brighten the environment. This is actually better done with a strong continuous light like a 500W halogen spot, but I don’t have one.)

The camera is set to bulb, on a tripod, and with a cable release. This is all part of a relatively simple preparation phase. 😉

Now comes the tricky part, how to get just the good shot? Simple: You activate the shutter time by pressing and holding the shutter button, let the movement roll and close the shutter when the movement has finished. Simple? Yeah, think again. Some movements only take a blink of an eye before they are gone, finished, over and out. For some movements you need to have the flash triggered exactly at the end of the movement, and you have to be aware that there’s a little ‘delay’ between pressing the button and the actual start of the shutter time. My best images came with shutter times between 1/5th and 2/5th of a second!

to illustrate the process of the Bulb-shutter time:

Easy, isn’t it. Well, both dancers have at least 20 times repeated every move, before I could define the right starting moment, and the right moment to stop. Then 10 more times to get the one lucky shot we needed. Maybe I’m getting old, or slow in reactions. 🙂

Make sure to have your models wear dark clothing, otherwise you’ll get a lot of messy blotches from the movement phase. You want them to wear light coloured clothing at hand or feet, unfortunately they did not have white gloves. The brighter, the more visible the movement trail will be.

 

some mistakes:

no movement visible – too little continuous light, only the flash fixes the image

cable release gets stuck, way too long exposure

start too early, left foot clearly visible in starting point, stop also a little too late, left foot is coming down already.

start and stop too late, left foot is almost up at start, and way over the best position at stop.

thanks for reading, it was fun to do, and I learned a lot about dancing

cheers, come back again soon.

 

Ludwig

 

Vita! for Life!

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

Let’s celebrate female beauty and the joy it brings us.

Let’s celebrate life and the good things it brings us.

 

My model of that hot summer day in april was named Vita, which stands for ‘Life‘ …

I have taken a lot of pictures with her, so more will follow, see it as a little preview.

Often I have to convince professional models not to pose, or in any way not to pose as a fashion model would do. I love it when they are not trying to seduce me or the camera, but in stead they manage to be just themselves, fierce, self confident, somehow unattainable women, living the life and enjoying their own bodies.

oh, and I have another thing to celebrate, I just saw today that in the last 365 days I had over 100.000 visitors on my site and blog. It was for the first time I noticed it. Thank you for being so present!

new behind the scenes video – Charisse black lingerie shoot

beauty, Behind the scenes Video, Nude

Hi there,

I published a new video to my Vimeo and Youtube channel today, you can see it here:

or here:

this is a condensed summary of a 45 minutes session of the shoot day I did with Charisse, you can figure out some of the light situations I make, see which poses get it to the final selection of images, etcetera. Learn by looking 🙂

for your info, all images were shot at f1.6, ISO100, Shutter speed 1/80 or 1/100s.

 

you can find more details about the reflector panels I use ‘by clicking here’

thanks for watching, if you liked the video, you might as well give it a thumbs up or subscribe to my channel(s)

thanks,

Ludwig

two for the price of one …

Analog, location, Nude

well yes, sometimes things don’t go as expected, certainly when shooting with an old camera and film, you are having no instant feedback and surprises occur 🙂

there is no automatic film advance stop, so you have to look for film frame numbers in the dark red window at the back of the camera. Clearly I saw something that wasn’t there.

shot with a Voightländer Bessa I 6×9 film camera, with Kodak TMax400 film, in a small roof flat in Leuven (Belgium)

Model Yana Mood, click for bigger version

 

the camera:

the bed’s too big without you – the series

beauty, location, Nude
Bed’s too big without you
Cold wind blows right through that open door
I can’t sleep with your memory
Dreaming dreams of what used to be
When she left I was cold inside
That look on my face was just pride
No regrets no love no tears
Living on my own was the least of my fears
Bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big
Without you
Since that day when you’d gone
Just had to carry on
I get through day but late at night
Made love to my pillow but it didn’t feel right
Every day just the same
Old rules for the same old game
All I gained was heartache
All I made was one mistake
Now the bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big
Without you
Bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big
Without you
Without you
Bed’s too big without you
Cold wind blows right through that open door
author: Gordon Sumner for The Police

 

 

with the lovely Yana Mood, shot in an attic room in Leuven,

All images f1.8 at ISO 125, shutter speeds vary (1/25-1/200s)

Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG A

 

thank you for watching, don’t hesitate to leave a comment,

Ludwig

 

the great-great-granddaughter

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

I found another castle lady willing to pose nude for me in her residence:

shot in a castle in Belgium

 

• The great-great-granddaughter •

1/13 sec. f/5.0 at ISO400

Canon 5Ds with Canon TS-E24mm f/3.5 L II tilt-shift lens

Strolling trough Cambridge with the Rolleiflex

Analog, street, travel

in my series ‘strolling trough … ‘ a new chapter, coming South from Scotland last summer I had a stop in Cambride, where I shot a couple of rolls of 120 film with my Rolleiflex.

I find the Rolleiflex to be a fairly good camera for street photography. Since you are looking down as a photographer, people don’t really notice you as being one, and you can stay unnoticed a little longer, enhancing the chances of taking a good shot. I got trapped once in this series, you’ll see 🙂

All shot with Kodak TMax 400 film, on a grey day.

 

Selfie time

Graveyard

Aftermarket

Mall security

Sale

Arbitrage

EAT.

Trapped 😮

Enjoyable time with friends. Not.

Cows on the bike path

 

And two more shots from a village called Osmotherley, near North York moors National Park (UK), where I camped the night before.

MG

Chinese warriors

An apple a day … – the entire series

beauty, erotic, Nude

I had worked with Charisse before, we had met each other at an exhibit in Damme (B) where I had my work exposed, she seemed interested in my work and browsed trough my book attentively, we talked briefly and I gave her my card.

Early this year we agreed to work together again, and besides fixing a date, we also discussed what style we were going to work on. She told me she had found more confidence in herself and that posing went better since she had been working with another photographer intensively some time ago.

I have tried not to interfere too much in the posing, and had her work on her own flow of poses without interrupting her. She managed to ignore me, and we found a good subject to guide her: an apple I left in the studio since I had been painting there two weeks before that. I kind of lost a bit of its freshness, but Charisse managed to compensate for it 200%.

First I would like to show a little behind the scene’s video, fastforward trough the entire session, if you are a photographer, you might even learn something from my light setup:

Ludwig Desmet behind the scenes fine art nude photoshoot from ludwig desmet on Vimeo.

I am working with two camera’s here, one with the Sigma 50mm f1.4, the other with the Canon 100mm Macro lens. I have light all over on the left side, I work with the sun screens from time to time, and I have one large reflector panel on the right side (styrofoam board)

 

Then the images.

I think they came out particularly well, Charisse well understood my style and she worked on different poses in an endless flow, God, wouldn’t you want to be that apple? 🙂


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

images all shot at my studio in Ronse (Belgium)
Canon 5Ds and Canon 5DII
Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG and Canon 100mm f2.8 L Macro
1/250-400 f1.6 ISO 100 – 1/200 f3.2 ISO100

thank you for watching,

Ludwig

body patterns

beauty, location, Nude

As it is difficult in wintertimes (temperature!) to shoot in grand locations, exquisite gardens or castle halls, I have been working a little more on emotions and body-poses lately. Enjoy this wonderful image I made with Yana last thursday. This was shot in a small attic living room, we had to move a little furniture around to be able to capture the best light in the spot I wanted it, but I think this worked out quite well. An overhead roof window and some ‘available Swedish furniture’ was all that was needed to make this image look well. Remember to look at the light, and pose your model accordingly 😉

Thanks to Hanne for providing the last minute location, I hope you could still find your stuff after all the moving around with things.

Thanks to Yana for being my wonderful model.