a sunny morning with Agata in Paris

Uncategorized

Somewhere mid-July I had booked Agata Suduiko for half a day in Paris. I was there with Nathalie for a weekend and I always enjoy working with a model in a new environment. Paris is not really new to me but I never worked with a model there. I had not really prepared anything except that I had scouted several possible locations the day before, and we used none of them the day of the shoot 😉

I had never met Agata but we had some communication on social media. She knew I wanted to shoot in public places, fashion style, and she brought some clothing that fitted my plans well. As I did with Erika Albonetti in Brussels (click here and here to see more of that session), I worked solely on film for this session. I used the recently acquired Fujica GW690ii. I love working in a new environment because that tickles the inspiration and of course, Paris has a lot to offer in ways of decorative elements to work with. Enjoy this series of images! (bonus on the bottom of the page)

 

As Nathalie joined me for this session, I had a camera-woman available and I did a behind the scene’s video of the shoot. You can view it here on my Youtube channel. (including Dutch subtitles)

thanks for watching, please consider subscribing to my blog (use the grey + triangle on the bottom of the homepage of my site for this) or to my youtube channel if you prefer video instead of stills.

A quirk in the system – een foutje in het systeem

Uncategorized

(English text below)

Door een foutje in het abonnementen-systeem van mijn website is het mogelijk dat je al een tijdje geen bericht meer ontvangt als ik een nieuw bericht publiceer. Hierdoor heb je mogelijks een aantal berichten gemist. Dit zou nu terug in orde moeten zijn. 🙂 Excuus hiervoor. Blader zeker nog eens terug in mijn blog zodat je alle berichten nog eens kan nalezen.

Due to a quirk in the subscribers-system it is possible you haven’t received notifications for a certain number of posts, I’m sure you still wanted to read them, sorry for that but the problem should now be resolved. Make sure to check out my blog for catching up with the latest publications.

New Studio – first results

Nude, projects, studio, studio light setup, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

I have finally decided to create a studio space in an old factory building that is situated in my own garden. The building is not really in good shape, but it is more or less weather-proof and this should be enough to keep me running for the next couple of years.

What I did: Within the volume of the first floor (approximately 8 x 12 meters) I created a smaller volume, approx 4.5 x 8 meters that I have completely ‘re-finished’. I got rid of the roller shutters in the windows, I re-plastered the brick walls with natural clay, I put up a new wall in timber structure and re-painted the whole thing. I just finished a large double barn door this week. This ensures the poly-valence of the space. In case I need to bring in large items, that’s perfectly possible.

I wanted to keep the space as simple as possible, and I divided the long side in two halves, a dark side and a bright side. The dark side is handy if you want to have full control over your light, with virtually no light spill off the walls/ceiling. The bright half is interesting whenever you are looking for fill light on your subject.

There’s still a lot to be done, but last week I could do a first shoot in this new space, and I’m very glad my client Sofie has approved to use some of the images in this blog post. The session took about 3 hours and  I’m sure you’ll be as impressed with these results as I was. Sofie never posed before, she’s a natural! Thank you Sofie for your enthusiasm and your confidence!

Some of the images were taken with studio light (studio flash) and others were taken with available light only. All were taken with the help of ambient music 🙂

First a series with a single flash head, standard reflector with 20° grid aimed at a white wall. The grid limits the width of the light beam and creates a nice falloff on the wall. It creates a rather hard shadow. The flash light overrules any available light there might be in the space.

I found them to be very fashionable.

We continued with the same setup, single flash but I’m using another wall as background.

Below the white wall reacts as a perfect reflector for the models face. The shadow gets harder the closer the model comes to the wall.

As I have a dark side and a white side, I have one sharp black/white edge. I used a styrofoam board as a second white surface behind the model. Single flash with 100 cm octa softbox.

From the garden shed I recovered this old work bench, cleaned it up and it will now serve a second life as studio prop. Full of character, a ton of possibilities and well contrasting with the female curves. Two flash heads left and right, small square softbox 66 cm each. By removing the subject from the back wall I can keep the background perfectly black.

Another setting at the dark side, a single softbox slightly higher than the model, model laying down on a black trunk. Using the light as a feather light over the body. Styrofoam panels on the opposite site give just a hint of volume in the shadow areas.

And then at last, over to the bright side again, using available light only, and with the help of the white wall for fill light I get a beautiful overall light.

And last but not least, did we have fun? Yes, of course, we had a lot of fun.

Sofie wrote me in a message afterwards ‘Ludwig, thank you for making this such a wonderful experience … ‘ . Well, I guess that’s what this is all about. Making women feel great about their body, giving them the space they need to build self-confidence and then, as a privileged witness capture this beautiful moment in images.

Thank you for reading this blog post, If you are a photographer and interested in building your own space, I hope you’ve learnt something. If you are thinking about booking a shoot session yourself but you are not really sure what to expect, here you have it. In an afternoon’s time, you can have yourself depicted in beautiful, sensual, intimate images and never forget that moment!

 

 

Workshop Portrait with available light – results

beauty, Behind the scenes Video, location, personal tips & tricks, Uncategorized, Workshop

As I do conduct the workshop myself, I do not have very much time to make images myself, it is my absolute desire to help the participant as much as possible.

Nevertheless, I managed to make some good shots in between tuition, and here they are, in the hidden gems 2019 category, images from the portrait workshop.

Remember, all images taken with available light only, on the day of the workshop.

On the bottom of the page I’ll re-link the youtube video I made from this interesting day, go check it out!

 

behind the scenes on Youtube

thanks for stopping by, see you next Sunday!

Ludwig

The ‘I am’ video finally released

Behind the scenes Video, location, Nude, Uncategorized

You can see the video on my youtube channel:

It was a fun day, I didn’t really adapt my shooting to the cameraman, but still, there was some influence at least. I’m quite pleased with the results of this day, look for yourself, you’ll probably recognise some of the scenes from the video. The film shots are black framed.

Shot on film: (Rolleiflex Tlr 3.5 Planar on Ilford Film)

 

 

and then one more, as a tribute to the cameraman Franswa. You can see me make this shot at 4.52 in the film!!

 

thanks for looking, If you want to make sure to see everything I publish, you might consider subscribing to my blog. You can do this on the bottom of the welcome page, click the + sign.

 

 

The exhibit

exhibition, Uncategorized

is over, and I would like to thank everyone that has taken the time to visit my place and enjoy the show. I have received very good feedback and appraisal and even sold some works.

A couple of reactions from the guest book:

“Beautiful landscapes, that tend to meditation. Beautiful bouquets, turning decay into art, is an art in itself, that you master very well”

“You touched my soul”

“Congratulations, your recognizable style and impeccable finish, and yet innovative. Love the new landscapes”

thank you so much,

If you missed it, you might want to take a look here: https://youtu.be/hUG9H1m60T8

Ludwig

 

• Living sculptures •

Film photography from A to Z. (Video)

Uncategorized

if you want to get into film photography, but you’re not sure what it is all about …

well here’s a start. Looking at this film, you will get a good idea of all the steps involved.

(Talking about hybrid workflow here, film scanned to digital after the negatives are ready)

 

thanks for watching, please consider subscribing to my Youtube channel and/or to this blog, see you again soon!

Ludwig

Lightroom – UPDATE YOUR SKILLS – Workshops aangekondigd

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English followers, this is for my local audience, so in Dutch only.

De workshops zijn al een tijdje aangekondigd, maar ik was vergeten ze hier eveneens te vermelden, … tsss shame on me.

Deze workshops zijn NIET voor beginners bedoeld, maar voor mensen die al een tijdje met Lightroom aan de slag zijn, en niet meer helemaal zeker zijn of ze bepaalde functies helemaal goed gebruiken, OF zich even willen bijscholen in de nieuwste gereedschappen uit de Lightroom CC software. Met de eigen laptop kan je stap voor stap meevolgen wat ik doe. We overlopen alle gereedschappen, met nadruk op de nieuw bijgekomen functies.

Eéntje gaat over kleur-ontwikkeling, de andere specifiek toegespitst op ontwikkelen in zwart-wit.

LIGHTROOM COLOR

ONTWIKKELEN in KLEUR – meer info klik HIER

Zaterdag 06.07.2019
09.00 – 12:30 uur
Prijs: 79,- Euro  (BTW vrijstellingsregeling)
Deelnemers: Min 6. Max 8. (Bijna Volzet!)
Plaats: Studio Ludwig Desmet / Ronse.

Incl. versnaperingen en drankjes, koffie en thee.

 

LIGHTROOM BLACK AND WHITE

ONTWIKKELEN in ZWART-WIT – meer info klik HIER

Zaterdag 13.07.2019
09.00 – 12:30 uur
Prijs: 79,- Euro  (BTW vrijstellingsregeling)
Deelnemers: Min 6. Max 8.
Plaats: Studio Ludwig Desmet / Ronse.

Incl. versnaperingen en drankjes, koffie en thee.

 

 

Studio Light setup

studio, studio light setup, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

a long time ago I made some studio setup diagrams for this blog, … time to make a new one. First the image, it dates from a while ago, last fall I invited two friends to do some studio work. I rarely use my studio equipment for light, but in winter times it can be handy to have an alternative to available light sometimes.

the image:

I wanted Steven to get some sort of gangster look, cool looking, hood, sunglasses …

I wanted a soft light and deep shadows under the hood, so I went for some sort of symmetrical light setup, using two studio flashes with 60x60cm softboxes, and two large reflector panels to even enlarge the light source.

The setup:

it was only a matter of finding the good ‘depth’ position of the model, to create just enough light on the face, and keep the light only on the front.

another one without the hood:

 

thanks for watching, come again soon,

Ludwig

BLACK FRIDAY PROMO ON BOOKS

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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.

Women edition 2018 now 59,99€ was 79,99€
Landscapes and other things… now 93,75€ was 124,99€
Nude (in)cognito now 59,99€ was 79,99€
If you are an entrepreneur, you can get an invoice for your order of course.

(*payments received at last on 26/11/2018)

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

Analog, street, Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

part of the exhibit on Irving Penn

preparing for a kite flight on the Esplanade des Invalides

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

plagiarism at Fondation Louis Vuitton

smooth curves architecture by Frank Ghery (Fondation Louis Vuitton)

people enjoying the audio-installation at  Fondation Louis Vuitton

Me taking a self portrait at Fondation Louis Vuitton

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

 

cheers, hope you come back here soon.

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

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

cheers,

Ludwig

 

finding my way about in the new studio

beauty, Nude, people, personal tips & tricks, Uncategorized

I’ts been about a month that I have the new studio space available, it took me a couple of days to get the walls freshened up (two coats of paint) and a couple of weeks before I got some furniture and props ready and moved in, but I’m about to call it ‘ready’ for work.

I think it probably never be  a steady setup, because I want to keep some variation in my images, and variation will probably mean that I will bring in some new stuff from time to time and get rid of some ‘used’ furniture in the same pace.

Some observations so far just in case you think  about setting up your own studio space:

• I have windows (large) only on one side of the room. Not easy to work with, so get yourself some large reflectors to bring some light back from the non-window side of the room. I use styrofoam boards 120x180cm, painted black on one side.

• The wooden floor gives me a particular white balance in the space, some warm tone that is not easy to get right all the time.

• Too much light will kill you, or at least will often create overly bright images. I love to work with light and shadow equally, sometimes even more shadow than light. So I bought a large theatre cloth (6x3m) to cover up 2/3 of the windows when needed. I use additional styrofoam boards if needed to cover up even more window area.

• The space has sun-screens, I didn’t even notice when I agreed to rent it. These are great to work with when there’s direct sun falling in. The screens are fine woven, so they create no patterns, and they lower the light level not too much. They help evening out the hard contrasts in sunny situations. They are neutral in color. Perfect!

• The wooden parquet is kind of slippery, very good for moving around mattresses and large carpets without too much of an effort. For furniture I have a wheeled board for easy moving.

• The ceiling is at 2.90m, that is an absolute minimum. I have some curtain rails hanging up, they are kind of permanent, and sometimes they are hindering my viewing angles.

• I have an adjacent stock room, where I can move all unnecessary items (flash lights and their tripods when I don’t need them, drinks, clothing, background system, paint, cleaning materials, … Perfect again!

• I have brought in a large trunk (some kind of monastery huge heavy dark wood piece) that I use for quick storage nearby. It makes your stored stuff invisible, it is useful as a decor piece, there’s always something you might need in a minute, it’s there.

some images taken in the new studio:

2 white walls, a black wall, a wall with plenty of windows, and some creativity …

more to come,

 

best,

Ludwig

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

 

 

Angel

beauty, Nude, portrait, Uncategorized

An image that has been shot about a year ago, with the kind cooperation of Riona, my model for that day. I haven’t posted a lot of this shoot yet. It was on a cold december day, in an empty house with minimal heating.

Although she was clearly suffering the cold, she did not complain. We were all dressed in winter clothes, she was completely nude. Of course, as a photographer, you will take measures so the model can have some time off with a warm blanket or clothing, so she does not get ill in the process, but Riona has a very good understanding of what a cooperation is supposed to be like, of what a photographer has in mind and why a photographer would invest in a professional model. In doing so she has built a good reputation among photographers internationally. Besides her perfect work attitude, she has a very beautiful body. Not extremely skinny, and with beautiful female shapes. On top of that, she has an angel-like face, that is strongly emphasised with her white hair.

• Angel •

for those who find it interesting,

shot on Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm DG A – settings 1/50s f/2.0 ISO800

For those interested in working with Riona:

www.rionaneve.com

 

more info and a behind the scene’s look (also of this very same image) HERE