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

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 Côte 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

 

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!

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

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.

 

 

3x3m hotel room shoot

beauty, location, Nude, Uncategorized

I arrived at Leuven train station at about 11 O’clock, the people from the hotel had guaranteed me that I could do an early check in at about 13:00hrs. That was the time that I had fixed for the model and the make up lady. They pointed me a different building than the adres on the website, about 100 meters further. They gave me the entrance key.

I should ask the cleaning lady to clean my room first. … No it was not cleaned yet, yes, she would take care of it right after she finished a room on the upper floor. (3rd, I was on second) I had the time to get my gear out of the car and have a quick bite.

Fifteen minutes to one, and I’m back at the hotel. I get pointed to my room, it is available …

… at least if you can call this a room, it is more like place for a bed, and half a meter around to manoeuvre around it. How on earth am I going to do a photoshoot here. There’s no room for movement, there is no free wall, and there is no light. It is freezing cold outside so that is no option, even worse, it is a dark grey day.

How to shoot in a really tiny Hotel room, on a dark winter day?

Both the model and the make up lady are more or less on time, so we can start preparing. I get them installed by the window, when the chair is between the bed and the window, there’s no more room to pass besides it. … this promises no good …

No panic though, I’m thinking about the options, outdoors, at 3°C, rather not, … dark corridors in the hotel, no light at all, … public places other than this, … probably not for the sake of clothing changes …

move the beds … move the beds, … are they fitted to the walls, no, that’s great, let’s move the beds: We moved the beds to the ‘entrance hall’ of the room, so we acquired a 3x3meter ‘free space’ to work in, talking about luxury.

(3D rendering below, showing a before and after situation, done by me, I still own and run www.renderhouse.eu remember 🙂

On the far left is the entrance door and hallway, upper left corner, the black chunk taken out of the volume is the bathroom, then the ‘main room’ with two single beds and window at the right, three night reading lamps (one on each side of the bed, one over the small table.)

And look, there’s a heart in the lighting pattern, that was unintended, but definitely good sign. It was Valentine’s day the day before I wrote this post …

It helps having a patient model in such cases. I worked with Pauline several times now, and we’ve got a good mutual understanding. She will express her goals, I will try to relate them to mine and we proceed from there.

I tried using off-camera flashes, but those gave me very hard and overly bright light, with no interesting light patterns.

We ended up using only the reading lights, (one of them can be seen above, next to Pauline) to create some kind of theatrical look, sometimes I used a plastic bag to make the light source a little bigger and hence soften it a bit, but that was our only source of light for these images:


It was rather important to have the lights positioned accurately, as you can see the shadows are really hard, due to the small size of the lights. In the last images I had to tweak the blacks a little in post production, but they came out quite well. The light sources had a really narrow beam, and they gave very little spill within the room.

A couple of hours later, we moved back the beds, nobody noticed anything, me happy, my model happy …

 

Settings on the first series of images (1/10s f3.5 ISO 400 – Canon 5Ds, Sigma 50mm f1.4 A DG)

Settings on the upright pose with curtain background (1/80s f2.8 ISO 1600, 50mm f1.4 A DG)

Settings on the nudes (1/8 f4.5 ISO1250 – Canon 5Ds with Canon 100mm f2.8 macro IS L)

I was rather surprised how sharp the images came out at 1/10th with no stabilisation 🙂

best,

thank you for reading

 

 

NEW STUDIO SPACE!

beauty, location

Hi,

quite a while since my last post, great news, exciting changes.

no more doubts

no more last minute panics

no more goosebumps

no more begging other people

I’ve got my own dedicated shooting studio !

I’ve rent a space in my home town, 6 x 11 meters open space, 3m ceiling height … nice oakwood parquet floor, big windows south side …

Started gathering decor elements and painting about two weeks ago, and yesterday I had my first shoot there. It takes a bit of getting used to, where do I have good light, what are the best looking lines, etcetera, but I’ll manage to make this into a fine shooting space!

enjoy this first image of yesterday’s shoot

• inspiration •

 

thanks Valérie, for being my ‘test’ model in this new space.

thanks Joyce, for being my make up artist,

settings: 1/100 f2.8 ISO250 – Canon 5Ds with Canon 100mm f2.8 L Macro IS

Cacti

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

cactus (plural: cacticactuses, or cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. (From Wikipedia)

A small series of images I did about a year ago together with Kate in some semi-public glasshouse. The glasshouse was the only place where it was more or less hot enough to do nude work, and Kate didn’t care about the public character of the place, we met only very limited people, and managed to keep out of sight of most of them, at least we think.  😉

Taken with the Rolleiflex 6×6 TLR, on Kodak TMax400 film.

hope you liked that,

come again soon,

 

Ludwig

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 🙂 They provided me with a fine meal, and a place to charge my cellphone. Lovely lady-owner, very friendly and servile.

Time was 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. So here you see the entire film, I have not made a selection, you see what I’ve seen and what I’ve shot. 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 😀