Hi, it’s been a while since my last post, I think this one will make it worth the wait.
• MUST READ •
you probably have noticed I worked together with Charisse a lot last year, I would like to show you some pictures from our first collaboration to our last one, as some sort of a tribute to this young woman, that in front of my lens, evolved from a shy and uncertain person, to a very self-aware and confident model.
I asked her yesterday to write down in her own words about our cooperations, and she did, Italic words is her writing.
We met at an exhibition in Damme, Belgium, she seemed interested in my work. She flipped trough my book ‘Women’ and showed even greater interest after that. We agreed to keep in touch.
Ludwig and I met on an exhibit in Damme, May 2016. He gave me a business card so that I could contact him if I would be interested in working with him. At that time I was an insecure model with limited experience, but the pictures he was exposing and the atmosphere they contained were very into my liking.
First shoot together, June 20, 2016. We met at Godshuis in Sint-Laureins, Belgium, and we shot a couple of rolls of 120 film, and a digital session. She was very shy at the moment, and there were too many people running around at the Godshuis, so we moved outdoors for the rest of the day.
Not much later, we agreed on doing a photoshoot at Godshuis in Sint-Laureins. He arranged a MUA because I wasn’t skilled in make up back then. I felt pretty nervous but he immediately put me at ease during my posing. He was very tranquil, careful, polite and made me adjust my poses in a very respectful way. He never made me do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. So it became pretty easy to feel comfortable and my confidence was slightly growing. This first shoot resulted in pretty images and we were both feeling content.
Second shoot together, she came to my place, I have an old, small confectioners workshop in my garden, and we did an afternoon session there. She showed more courage and confidence already. She hurt her leg while smashing the radiators with a big sledgehammer. April 5, 2017.
The year after that, we agreed on shooting a second time, this time in his “studio in progress” in Ronse at his place. Great, because no potential peeping toms. We started working in a similar theme like the first shoot, but after a while he asked me if I wanted to help him smash the studio. I got to put dirt on my face and Ludwig handed me a sledge hammer that was almost my own height in size. “Knock yourself out”, he said. So I smashed the huge radiator with it, resulting in a bruise and scratch on my leg. Ludwig was taking pictures of me doing so, on a safe distance. The images were very cool and tough looking, something a lot different than the romantic, elegant moods we worked on first. It felt good to work on different themes.
Third time around, I still had to get my ways around the studio, and we worked there for the first time. It was a very fruitful day, with an apple as desert 🙂 Charisse had changed, she had become very much aware of her female figure, and the sensuality in her poses was suddenly obvious. Februari 22, 2018.
Another year later, in February 2018, we decided to do a shoot once more, in his new studio. This time he asked me what I wanted to do, and I felt like taking the next step. Something more sensual, maybe even a little erotic. In the 2 months before that, I had the chance to express that side of me in poses and expressions, because I had worked with another photographer intensively. Now I wanted to do something with it in Ludwig’s style. Grown strongly and without any obligations coming from Ludwig, I got in an endless flow of poses, and he just let me work by myself, he let me be myself. It all resulted in an awfully long day for the both of us. Exhausted but extremely happy about the resulting images, we agreed upon working together a lot more in the future. Those mutual satisfied feelings gave me an enormous boost.
Shortly after that we met again, for a shoot in the castle I’m able to use as a location if I want to, here we shot ‘the beauty and the beast’, ‘the great great granddaughter’, and a lot more beautiful images. We are march 23d, 2018
Only 2 months after that, we got together again to shoot, this time in a beautiful little castle in Tournai. The shoot went like all previous shoots, except now we started to understand each other more and communicating got even better. It got easier to get into eachother’s minds and create images fitting in a certain theme.
5th shoot together, a hot summer day last year, and not really arranged long before, I just called to find out if she was available, and ready for an experiment, and a day later she took the train to Ronse again. Shot in my garden workshop, and outdoors. ‘when things get messy’ and ‘statue’ … July 3d, 2018.
After that shoot we had another shoot on a hot summer dat where we experimented with some leftover clay he had in his garage. The shoot contained the preparation (me mixing the clay powder with water in a big pot, with my bare hands), the execution (me rubbing the mixture all over my body, including my face, neck and hair) and the result (the drying of the clay on my body while I was sitting still on a big cube). The whole process was a lot of fun to do, getting all dirty and feeling like a child. Again, Ludwig made beautiful images of it. Afterwards I first got a cold shower from the garden hose and then I could take a warm shower.
And hopefully not the last collaboration, and certainly not the least, again in the studio on October 30th, 2018. Long time since I used flash light, so let’s get up-to speed again with some different settings. Charisse is always ready for some new things, she is physically limited due to a muscle disease, but she has never let me down in her efforts of making every shoot successful and worthwhile, she understands what I want to achieve as a result, but she’s not afraid of giving input if she things it would make images even better,
After that we had another shoot in the studio on a cold and rainy day, working on images based on the work of Andreas Bitesnich, but also a heavy make up and water combination theme. That’s what I like about the collaborations I’m having with Ludwig: the exchange and being open towards each other’s ideas, always trying new things in a style we both like, but especially the mutual trust we built in these past few years.
We have a very good relation with each other, but the professional level we work in stays very well maintained. In the mean time I got to know a lot of photographers with whom I got to work together as well, but Ludwig stays an absolute favourite to me. Because of his professional attitude, easy personality, and the endless respect he has towards his models and their limits and conditions.
Thank you very much Ludwig, for this amazing journey. I’m looking forward to keep working with you in the future.
Thank you Charisse, it is a pleasure working with you! I might do a book on you some day!
Some images you might have seen before, but I tried to show you some previously unpublished pictures too, as from a session there’s always a lot of material, so I cannot publish all, sometimes I forget about a series, sometimes when I review, new ‘keeper’s get my attention …
thanks for reading, maybe you might consider buying a large print from any of these? …
She can be found on facebook now as Sahri Nimi – https://www.facebook.com/sahrinimi/
not safe for work, except of course if you work in an open-minded place, which I hope everyone does. A little edgy maybe, glossy and slippery, these nudes I did with Sara Scarlet.
I’m enjoying the studio in these cold winter days. Shooting outdoors is not really handy now, especially if you want to do glamour or nude work … I put up the heating a little higher in the studio, and I can work at ease, without my model turning blue … so the blue you see here is purely a post-processing effect.
• Slippery •
Happy new year to all of you out there! 2019 already, and we only just forgot about the millennium bug it seems. Years fly by, so I wish you will all be doing things you love doing this year. Remember the Holstee manifesto: ‘If you don’t like something, change it, If you don’t like your job, QUIT!’ a bit scary isn’t it. … I hope you’ll find the courage and be brave enough to start new adventures.
About two weeks ago I went to the notary to cancel my company Renderhouse. …
OOPS … you can still find the remainders here: www.renderhouse.eu
Why did I? Because I couldn’t find pleasure in it anymore. Time for something new, something I love doing, something exciting, … I kind of feel freed of this burden that tied me up for some years now. LIFE IS SHORT. LIVE YOUR DREAM AND SHARE YOUR PASSION (also from Holstee.com).
I travelled a lot this year, I made a lot of beautiful images and I’m still in touch with my boys, so I guess I fulfilled last years aspirations.
I’m still working on my beauty portfolio, which has been accompanied by some other projects I’m working on, so my artistic work is getting more diverse again. I have had the studio for about a year now, so this permits to plan session even in winter time. The studio has proven very adaptive to my needs, so I’m pleased with it. I hope I can keep it for some more time (I rent a temporary space, until the owner of the place decides to start a new project on this location). I managed to get some experienced women (+50) in front of my lens, but more may come, working on this project has been surprisingly refreshing. The conversations with older women and how they feel about their bodies are very interesting and enriching. “The age of beauty, the beauty of age”, models wanted!! I have agreed with these women not to reveil any image before I get a complete series, so you will need to have some patience I’m afraid.
Thank you for your continued support in visiting this site and blog. It drives me to continue writing posts and publishing images. Some articles get more attention than others, but that’s absolutely fine with me. Last 365 days I could count 113.483 Visitors and 588.624 visits. That is roughly +20% visitors and +40% visits compared to last year.
You come from all over the world, with 179 countries represented in 2018, USA leading with 31.712 visitors, next comes Belgium with 11.487 visitors, then Ukraine, China, France, The Russian Federation and the Netherlands (4553). I found a new unknown (to me) country in the list : Saint Kitts and Nevis. 🙂
I have published 58 posts in 2018, and the visitors and visits chart looks like this:
The peaks are due to someone starting reading my blog, and not getting to bed at a decent hour. I can clearly see a change in activity when I add a new post, or when I’m more active on internet fora.
So thanks again, please keep visiting my blog, leave a comment if you feel like (moderated) and feel free to share my work to people you think might be interested!
some highlights of this year:
first session in the studio • inspiration • (note the books on erotic photography)
a series I was very fond of: • an apple a day • … with one of my favourite models
the bed’s too big without you, a very emotional series of images with Yana Mood.
fun in the studio, with a couple of young dancers, capturing dance in motion.
• Ra, God of sun • shot in a public park near Brussels. With Vita Goncharuk
my books finally available on my website-page ‘BOOKS’. I am currently working on a new WOMEN book, in which the images will be accompanied with text. Behind the scene’s information, funny things worth knowing, ideas and vision …
A last minute location, with Michelle Alba in the Netherlands.
Traveling to Côte d’Opale with students, to Bretagne (France) with my wife, and to Exmoor (UK) all alone. Experimenting with a new aspect ratio and enjoying the Fujifilm x100F.
An image shot on the same day as the ‘an apple a day series’ … • Sunrays •
Meeting Lilith Etch in Brussels, a wonderful apartment, here an image shot on film.
fun with clay in my back yard … • statue •
wintertime, looking for fine erotica in the studio …
Another new model, Emily, in an afternoon session both in the studio and outdoors, the latter image is shot on film, with the Yashica 635:
• the treasurer •
Male power in the studio, experimenting with light.
I hope you liked this post, you can find all these images in my last 58 posts, don’t hesitate to go looking for them 😉
It might be a good idea to check out my youtube channel and subscribe, you will see me and my models in motion over there 🙂 LUDWIG DESMET ON YOUTUBE
bye, and see you soon,
A long time ago I started a couple of posts called collectibles, old and forgotten (or maybe not?) film photo camera’s, but still working fine. Today a new chapter to this series, the Yashica 635 TLR.
This camera is a twin lens reflex camera, featuring a Yashicor 80mm f/3.5 viewing lens and taking lens. It has a Copal shutter with shutter speeds from B – 1sec to 1/500sec.
This camera is visually very comparable to the much wanted Rolleiflex TLR camera that I use often in my sessions with models, it has about the same size and weight, both have a waist level viewfinder and a back lid that opens from the bottom. This Yashica 635 has the the added benefit that it came with a 35mm film adaptor (next to the standard 120 roll film system) that allowed for a more versatile use. I have never used mine with 35mm film (I don’t have the adaptor), so I can not report about that. The use of 120 roll film is very straightforward, and very similar to the Rolleiflex camera. An empty roll goes on top, the film roll goes in the bottom and is guided with rollers towards the top roll.
A very important difference in both camera’s is that with the Yashica, the shutter is not linked to the film transport. I have been used to the Rolleiflex, and this camera prevents to fire the shutter twice in a row, so you have to transport film in order to be able to expose film. With the Yashica you have a separate shutter winder, so you can do as many exposures you want on a single sheet of film. This is an important difference, that caused me quite some double exposures lately, as well as some missed shots because the shutter had not been tensioned.
Quality wise, this camera produces good negatives, a bit softer maybe than those coming from the Rolleiflex, but certainly having a good sharpness (if you manage to focus right, which is hard to do with the old matte screens).
Now for some images taken with this camera. (a series I did on the local fair in Ronse a couple of weeks ago) All images on Ilford FP4 Plus 125 ISO rated as 100 ISO)
thanks to my model for the day, Emily, this was our first collaboration.
If you would be interested in buying a camera like this, they are very affordable, especially compared to Rolleiflexes.
thank you for coming by, come again soon for a year-round review about 2018
and he left me with some nice images.
I love walking the boundaries of erotica and art, I’m not sure how and where the limits are, but I kind of like these images. For me they are erotic, artsy, tasteful, beautiful. It’s winter in Belgium, and the weather forces me to work in the studio more than I would like, but this session boosted my confidence in the studio a lot. Some things could have gone better, I should have paid more attention to my light levels overall, but the division of light and the addition of water and the poses and the model worked out all very well. Working in the studio is a completely different game than working with available light outdoors, it has other challenges, it needs a totally different approach. I used a couple of different light setups, all based on minimal lighting, creating only highlights on the models body. I was inspired by the nude work from Andreas Bitesnich, and wanted to experiment within his style. I especially love the way he works with highlights accentuating the body shapes, and I was not really able to recreate what he did, but then I didn’t really care, since I created something new 🙂
Thanks to my great model, Charisse again 🙂 small and pretty, she never thought she could become a model due to her size, but is making her way trough faster than she could imagine I guess.
Thank you for visiting, I will soon have my own Patreon page, where you will be able to financially support my work! You will be able to choose between a set of tiers that I’m sure will please any of tastes. Be it just supporters, apprentice photographers, or collectors of art-nude!
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
looking for a Christmas present?Black friday promo:
-25% on all orders till 24/11*
you can find more info about my books here: http://www.ludwigdesmet.com/books/
Send me a message for your orders on ludwig(at)ludwigdesmet(dot)com.
Two weeks ago I did a model call for a freestyle shooting session in the studio, just to try out some light setups and to not forget about working with studio strobes. Remember, 90% of my work is purely based on available light.
I had two models coming over, one male that I never worked with (lets call him Steven) , one female that I had regular cooperations with since about two years, lets call her Charisse 😉
Steven never modelled, he said the day before he came to me. Ok great, I told him, that’s cool, so we can find out if newbies can lead to great results. And he did, 200% he did. See for yourself:
the images above are all made with two studio strobes.
Then that same morning, after this first session I had Charisse arriving at the train station for pickup, and we started shooting early in the afternoon. A totally different setup, with both nude and non-nude work, of which I will show you only a small teaser for now. We did a lot of different things, with a lot of good results, so make sure you come back again soon.
thank you for stopping by, visitor of this blog. Consider subscribing if you like what you see. Come back again soon.
thank you Steven and Charisse, for being my interim models for the day, for your patience and your trust!!
ps. I: soon I will be on Patreon, where you can support my activities and get extra behind the scenes video’s, how to tips, and other benefits! Watch out!
ps. II: video: me cleaning the studio afterwards, here you can see more or less all I have in the studio. Limited stuff, a lot of creativity.
things are calming down a little here, with fall offering less possibilities for shooting outdoors, I have to get back behind the computer to finish some series shot earlier. You might have seen a first image here.
From the series I did with Charisse, early this summer. It was very hot that day, and I decided to play around with some natural plaster (easy and soft on the skin) outdoors.
this is my final series, definitely something I want to explore more when the weather allows for it.
• Statue in my garden •
thank you for watching!!
Sorry if you have been trying to reach this site and blog in the last 24 hours, it has been down due to a PhP update on the host’s side, and I am by far not a web-tech-geek, so it took me a moment to figure out what happened, and to fix things accordingly.
to compensate, a single image post.
I had this first collaboration with Emily two weeks ago, and we made some nice images. We worked in the studio first, to continue after that on the local city-square, where there was this fair going on. I shot two rolls of film on the Yashica 635. A first glimpse at the developed films shows that either there is something wrong with the film transport mechanism, either I have not paid attention and unintentionally double exposed some of the frames. To be continued.
• The treasurer •
thanks for watching, please come again soon.
I have been doing some interesting studio sessions this week, but the images need some more work before I can publish. First this, fall is coming and I’m happy to live in some of Flanders greatest landscapes, the Flemish Ardennes, or in dutch ‘De Vlaamse Ardennen’. the region is well known among foreigners for the Belgian cycling classics that come by here every spring. Kwaremont, Koppenberg, Kruisberg, Patersberg, … all cobblestone climbs from the best of bicycle races, and certainly famous from the ‘tour de Flandres’.
Just next to some of those climbs you can find Flanders most beautiful forests, lying on the hills that have been left behind when the rivers Schelde and Leie sculpted our land.
Below you can see the result of yesterdays afternoon walk trough one of the finest forests.
All taken with Fujifilm X100F on a Siriu T-005-KX mini-tripod. All at ISO 200, varying aperture and shutter speeds.
• Fall is coming – Hotondberg •
thanks for watching,
see you soon for some more work!!!
from this summer, early in July, I was in the Netherlands with my wife and I could spend some time there photographing. I had a meeting with Michelle, and in a last minute arrangement I could shoot at the local glider plane club. Michelle had this very classy, classic looking set, a slim fitting skirt and a beautiful blouse, and there was this plane waiting for the thermal to build up. I shot a couple of rolls in this setting, this is my selection.
• Michelle at the flight club •
I had the film developed by a local lab here in Belgium, but I was not really pleased with the quality of the development, and the care they have (not) given to the films. Lesson learnt, better take time to do my own developing at home. This has cost me a lot of retouching spots, dust, scratches, and the results are only ‘just good enough’ for publishing on the web.
come again soon, and if you feel like, subscribe to my blog!
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 •
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.
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
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
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!
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).
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!!