Now was it the twenties, or thirties ?

Analog, beauty, Personal Pictures

the first of July I had two models coming over. A new experience to me, having to concentrate on several things at a time, and not much time to come up with ideas during wardrobe changes or pauses, there’s always another model waiting. We worked in a former furniture store. There have been final sales for a couple of months, so most places are rather empty. There are however a lot of different rooms and spaces, and a lot of different lighting situations, that’s what I like about a location like this. I had my lovely assistant doing hair and wardrobe assistance with the models, and she also keeps an eye on little details during the shoot.

I shot both Pauline and Laura apart as well as together. more to come. Pauline is a long time favourite, and she brought a lot of her friends to me in these last couple of years. Laura is one of them, you’ll meet her in my next post.

• Pauline •

 

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shot with Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR on Kodak T-Max 400 film.

this film is a little grainier than the Kodak T-Max 100, but for interior work you have to get a faster film than the 100 I mostly use. All images available light only.

Thank you Pauline, for being my model

Hair: Nathalie

Make up: Hanna E.B.

Strolling trough Paris with the Rolleiflex – Part I

Analog, Personal Pictures, street

we love Paris,

this means, Nathalie and I often go to Paris, and the more we go, the less we prepare our visit. We started using the ‘Vélo’lib’ bycicle’s (the city’s own public bycicle’s), an ideal means of transportation if you are not too scared to move along the traffic. (which can be ‘busy’ at moments)

this allows us to travel criss-cross, without limitations of public transports, and with the advantage of staying above surface (unless metro, which also has good service in Paris, but tucks you away underground).

I decided not to take a digital camera with me, and only look for opportunities with the twin lens Rolleiflex I have. It makes you less visible as a photographer, because you have a completely different body attitude (bent over looking from top into your camera) so people don’t notice you as much as they would when photographing with a reflex camera.

a first series of images I thought worth looking at:

 

 – (try to) follow the bride –

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 – Georgio Moroder is coming to town, but the letter spacing needs some fine tuning –

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 – Fondation Louis Vuitton –

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 – a book worth reading –LudwigDesmet_street-

 

Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR with Ilford Delta 100 Pro film.

thank you for watching, see you soon for some more images

 

ludwig

Working Collectibles – Agfa Isolette

Analog, Personal Pictures, photo gear

I have told you about a bunch of camera’s I could buy recently, this is the next chapter. I have shown you images from a Yashica TLR, A Rolleiflex TLR, the Voightlander Bessa I I owned many years now, here some images taken with an Agfa Isolette II.

The Camera is A nice folding viewfinder camera, which means it comes handy when folded, and will fit easily in any vest-pocket. (14 x 9,5 x 3,5cm) It takes standard 120 film rolls, easily available still in Belgium. It has a simple viewfinder with no indications in it of any kind, hardly a simple aid for compositing. It has an Agfa Apotar 1:4.5 f85 mm lens, and a Pronto shutter with speeds B – 1/25 up to 1/200s and a self-timer mechanism. It was made during the 50’s of the previous century. This camera can be found for a really low budget (50-75€ should get you a fine working camera), and as such, it is a perfect way to get into medium format film photography.

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What I find most difficult with this kind of camera, is focusing correctly. The focusing ring has a distance scale, so you will need to either measure subject distance, guess it, or get yourself a distance measuring tool of some kind. With the large negative format (57x57mm approx) you get a shallow depth of field, even with a not so small aperture as f4.5, so focus is easily a bit off, especially in close up work.

A beautiful niece in the first three images, and a couple of walking-by family pictures.

Taken on Kodak Tmax400 film.

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Pauline in the ballet room – Analog

Analog, beauty, Personal Pictures

hi there, it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me,
I would like to present you a new series with Pauline, you’ve probably seen her before in my work.
This time we worked in a new location in my hometown Ronse. The building of the Academy for word, music and arts. Currently the building is used by local clubs and associations that needed a place for meetings and gatherings.

I like to work with Pauline a lot, and this feeling seems to be absolutely mutual, seen the post that Pauline put on her wordpress blog recently: ludwig-desmet-the-ballet-room-and-the-old-theatre

We made some interesting images I think.

All shot with the Yashica 635 on Kodak TMax400 film, pushed 1 stop (shot as if it would be an 800 ISO film, and developed as such)

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thank you for watching.
I’m currently preparing three more shoots, so come back soon,

ludwig

Aude in the bathroom/bedroom – analog

Analog, beauty, Personal Pictures

First post on the newly hosted blogsite:

www.ludwigdesmet.com

(the old site will be updated for a little while though)

A small series of analog images with the Rolleiflex 3.5 Planar, Kodak TMax400 film.

 

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thank you for watching,

make sure to come again soon,

 

ludwig

Aude at Bart & Anja’s house – Analog

Analog, beauty

I have worked an entire day with Aude, so we did a lot of different things.

After the ‘Castle shoot’, both analog and digital, we went to see Bart’s house. A beautifully situated cottage house in the Flemish Ardennes. Thank you Bart and Anja, for having me in.

A new location is always a bit harder to work with, but gives you plenty new possibilities for images. Please enjoy these analog images, taken with an old Yashica 635 camera, on a dull grey day.

 

 

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and a ‘behind the scene’s image, remember, keep the lady warm.

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thank you for watching, have a nice year’s end all of you,

ludwig desmet

A coupe with Corry – Happy Xmas

Analog, beauty, location

My first 100% analog photoshoot. Shot with my Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR camera, on Kodak T-Max 400 film.

My model had taken the initiative to look for great clothing and accessories that fitted them well. Next to first time only analog, also first time with a model in a crowded place. Ik kind of enjoyed the public interaction.

I hope you like the images, thank you for watching, thank you Corry for being my enthusiast model on this drizzling day. Thank you Nathalie for the hairdo, thank you Hanna for the make up.

 

 

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please come again soon, for more images with this and other analog camera’s

The Lady at the Castle II

Analog, beauty, Personal Pictures

Another set of images taken on film.

The advantage of film is that it is slow paced. A lot of things need to be double checked. I still have a lot to learn, but with Aude I managed to get a decent amount of good shots. The weather was cloudy, so there where no hard contrasts and that helps. Shutter speeds need to be kept under 1/25s to get neat and sharp images, unless you are able to work on a tripod. For this shoot I partly worked with tripod, partly hand held.

These images ‘at the Castle’ are taken with my newly acquired Rolleiflex TLR with Carl Zeiss Planar 75mm f3.5 lens. I have the impression that the focus is a little more accurate than with the other Rolleiflex, and I manage to get a decently sharp image with the help of digital techniques. The images are taken on Kodak T-max 100 film. Click for bigger version.

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The castle is the ‘Chateau d’Anvaing’, nicely surrounded by its water surface. There are some giant trees and remainder ornaments in the immediate surroundings.

Thank you for watching, soon I will post another set with Aude, taken with another Twin Lens Reflex that has at least 50 years: the Yashica 635.

 

Ludwig

The lady at the Castle

Analog, beauty, location, Uncategorized

The story is told that there is a ghost swarming above the castle lake at night. It is there to protect the treasure of gold and jewellery, hidden in the waters of the lake.
I’ve never seen the ghost, nor have I any proof about the treasures existence, but it sure does great as a photo shoot backdrop.

I have a lot more images from this series, analog as well as digital, so visit this blog again soon to see the remainder results.

This image: Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR with Kodak T-Max100 film.

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Model: Aude

Make up: Heidi

Hair: Nathalie

 

photographer: Ludwig 😉

Justine in my garden – Analog

Analog, beauty, location, Personal Pictures

a series of images from late summer.

A perfect morning sun joined us this day. I took a couple of rolls of Kodak T-Max with me, along with my Rolleiflex 3.5

Still struggling with the focus system. I suppose that ‘autofocus’ was called ‘out of focus’ in those days. 😉

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Analog on the attic

Analog, beauty, Personal Pictures

Hi there,

I have been developing some negatives from last summer lately.

First a series of images I took in a dark attic, on a dusk day. Ideal conditions for film-work with an antique camera. (Not!)

Hard to focus, hard to get shutter speeds high enough for hand held shooting. I worked with a 400ISO film and had to push it two stops (underexpose when exposing, then get a ‘pushed development’ in developing the film) to get a shutter speed of 1/15th of a second. I’m not really very fond of the exposures, because I think they lack grey tones. The images are very contrasty and full of grain.

All images Rolleiflex 3.5 75mm on Kodak TMax400 film.

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Come again soon.

ludwig

Da Castle shoot – analog

Analog, beauty

Some images from a while ago. Analog takes a little longer to process than digital. 🙂

Very hard circumstances for making pictures without a built-in light meter, with the light changing every minute. Sunny with scattered clouds. Luckily the film I use has a lot of ‘range’, so I could correct in scanning, when needed.

I enjoyed working in this castle environment very much. If any one of my followers out there owns his or her private castle, and I could use it for shoots, please shout. I will grant you my eternal gratitude and a free beer.

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I think these are the last images from the ‘interim model’, I hereby want to thank her again for stepping up for this life-changing experience.

thank you my dear audience for reading this post. 😉

ludwig

Ivana at the Mansion – Forgotten series of analog images – NSFW

beauty, Personal Pictures

When I have some more time on a photoshoot, I shoot some images on film too.

One of the rolls of film I’ve shot with Ivana never got published here. It’s a shame, since I think the images are worthwhile. I had been working hard to see the ‘real’ Ivana, not the model, read these posts to know all about it:

Part I

Part II

Part III

in this third part, I also shot some film images. A roll of TMax 400 film on Rolleiflex 75 mm f3.5 6×6 format.

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happy viewing.

See you again soon

Ludwig

The Castle shoot – preview

Analog, beauty, Personal Pictures

A single image from this same shoot (interim model/the engine Room) – in the afternoon we went to this nice little castle up the hills in Ronse. We could freely use the exterior and surroundings of the castle. A great new location. judge for  yourself:

Image taken with Rolleiflex 75 mm Tessar f3.5, on Kodak Tmax400

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soon more on this blog

thank you for watching

ludwig

the essence of youth – NSFW

beauty, erotic, Personal Pictures

Rolleiflex Tessar 75mm f3,5 – Kodak T-Max 400 film. Scanned on Epson Perfection 3170 Photo, retouched and developed in Photoshop and Lightroom CC.

Have you ever seen Sam Haskins book ‘Five Girls’ ?

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Thank you to the model, the location owner, the weather and my friend P. Z. for the camera.

Thank YOU for visiting my blog.

Ludwig

Pauline at SONS – Analog (NSFW)

Uncategorized

I haven’t published a lot from this shoot, because some non-published images will be shown at my upcoming exhibit, and I want to keep a small surprise for my visitors there. you have seen ‘Cirrus’ here before.

At the very end of the shoot, I shot a roll of film on my Rolleiflex. 12 shots, I like this one the best.

shot on Rolleiflex 3.5, Kodak T-Max 400 film.

Shot at the site of ‘Shoes or No Shoes’, with permission.

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thank you for watching. Any comments welcome.

ludwig

Pauline on film – NSFW

beauty, Nude, Personal Pictures, photo gear

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I told you before I would talk a bit more about the Rolleiflex I use for shooting on film.

The camera is a Twin Lens Reflex, built in the late 50’s, so the camera is about 60 years old.

The construction with the two lenses, of which the upper lens is for viewing only (viewing lens) and the lower lens is for taking the image (taking lens) has advantages and disadvantages. In comparison to the older camera’s that used flat film sheets, where one had to remove the matte focusing screen before putting in the film holder for taking the image, this camera allows to shoot multiple images without moving anything. There is a 45° tilted mirror behind the viewing lens, projecting a mirrored image on the horizontal focusing screen.

Of course viewfinder camera’s existed as well, but they had no visual reference of the focusing plane, or the sharpness of the subject when changing focus. A photographer using a viewfinder camera had to use the distance scale on the lens, and the not so trusty guesswork for camera to subject distance.

Both lenses of the this TLR move forward and backward while focussing, and so provide an identical image on the ground glass as the image to be expected on the film. Still, the smallest amount of inaccuracy of the lens focusing mechanism leads to bad focusing, and I believe this camera suffers at least some looseness in the forward-backward movement.

Dealing with this complex mechanism of focusing, meant also that these camera’s are mostly fixed focal length. Some camera’s came in different focal length versions, but camera’s with interchangeable lenses where very rare. (Except for the Mamiya C)

This camera comes with a 75 mm f3.5 lens, it also existed in a f2.8 version, usually much more expensive on the secondhand market. 75 mm on 6×6 film format has an equal viewing angle to a 38 mm lens on Full frame DSLR, or a 24 mm lens on a 1.6 crop camera, so a rather ‘wide-standard’ viewing angle.

The lens is certainly not paramount, and suffers heavily from flare, as can be seen in the images below (does somebody have a lens hood for this camera for me?). An aperture of 3.5 gives a good amount of image unsharpness on medium format. 2.8 would be nicer of course. The images lack a bit of contrast and sharpness.

Composing with the mirrored image on the focusing plane is a bit of a habit.

Shutter speed range is limited, from 2 seconds to 1/500th of a second, thus mostly limiting the wide open apertures in bright light. The mirror does not move, since it is not obstructing the film plane, so there are not vibrations from this side. Activating the shutter however demands some finger movement (unlike today’s DSLR’s where pushing the shutter entirely only takes some tenth of a millimeter) causing some hand stress and maybe movement unsharpness. Shutter speeds as long as 1/15th. of a second seem not possible to me without image shake. Maybe with some more experience.

The camera has a built in exposure meter, but it no longer works, so exposer should be metered with another camera, or with a hand held meter, I use the latter.

Film for this camera is widely available here in Belgium, both black and white and color film. Not sure about slides. Development is still available too, although it can take a while (1-2 weeks) before getting the negatives back. Scanning the negatives, as well as retouching them (from dust) is a tedious process.

The biggest advantages for me is that I spend more time composing, and checking out if everything is well in place before taking the image. It learns me to concentrate more on details, on exposure, on posing etc. … One roll of film equals 12 exposures, after that the fun is over. 😀 The fact that you see the image mirrored gives you a fresh view on your scene, revealing flaws in your image/composing remaining unnoticed as you set it up. (But I still have a lot to learn)

A second big advantage is that the images are square format. This gives me a more relaxed feeling when composing, and I believe that the images are more harmonious too. I kind of like this square format more and more. (This made me thinking about modifying a matte screen for my 5D mark II to indicate ‘square’ cropping).

changes I have had:

I had the original focusing screen replaced with a focusing screen with split prism and microprism focusing aids, and that adds to the accuracy of focussing with the camera.  I also had the shutter speeds checked out by the same specialist repair shop that also changed the focusing screen.

To be continued. Enjoy this small portrait series I made with Pauline lately – Rolleiflex 3.5E – Tmax 400 film.

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thank you for reading, see you soon,

Ludwig

Kimberly on film – analog vs. digital

beauty, Personal Pictures

I have shot some rolls of film now, during my beauty shoots, working with an antique 6×6 cm Rolleiflex with planar 3.5 lens on it. It takes 120 Roll film. Film is available in every better camera/development shop in Belgium, so that is no issue.

It has been revised for shutterspeeds, since the longer shutter speeds had some lag, and the shutter had tendency to stay open longer than the selected speed.

I also had a new focusing screen fitted to this camera, since the normal focusing screen provided only little accuracy in focusing. The new screen has  split prism, which is a great aid in focussing accurately.

Of course I still need to work a lot on swift handling and manipulating the camera, but for now, I’m pleased with what I’ve got.

I gave a lecture last week in my hometown, and people asked about the advantages of working on film, in this era of high end digital camera’s. I will try to do an honest pro and contra list, based on my very limited knowledge right now.

Con’s for film photography with this particular camera (Twin lens reflex Rolleiflex (from somewhere in the 50’s of the preceding century):

It is a very slow paced form of photography, you need to load film, advance to your first frame, measure light with an external light meter, set your exposure accordingly on the camera, manually wind to next frame, …

It is hard to focus, even with the split prism focussing screen, I get a lot of ‘half sharp’ images.

It takes a while to get used to the left-right mirrored image, and the camera movements that are reversed in your viewfinder.

It has limited sharpness, partly due to limited lens quality, and limited film grain resolution. I have the impression that my scans at 7000 x 7000 pixels are not nearly as sharp as my images taken digitally on a Canon 5D mark II

There is no possibility to verify your results instantly. We are so spoiled with our digital camera’s, which have an immediate visual representation of your last exposure, that it is very difficult getting used to not having any immediate feedback at all.

It takes an awful lot of work to scan your negatives (I’m not talking about developing the negatives, because I have them developed by a lab). I scan the entire roll at lower resolution (similar to the old contact sheet) and then decide on the better images to make a high res scan only from the best. Even then, I’m occupied longer with a roll of 12 negatives, than with the 200 digital images I took.

It is quite difficult to get a good gray tones distribution in your scan. (that is probably me missing experience) I have an epson 3170 Photo scanner, which is ok, without being to expensive or cumbersome on my desk top.

In my case (taking B&W film rolls only) it is not possible to use different colors in the process of converting to black and white. With a digital color image, you can decide for every color tone, how light/dark it should be represented in the B&W conversion. Since I use black and white film, I have no color tones to play with. Film also gives you less play in exposure settings. Over a stop of wrong exposure, and you’re done with it.

Pro’s for film photography

It is a very slow paced form of photography (sound similar to the first con, don’t it?) which means you will be much more attentive before pushing the button. Remember, you only have 12 exposures on one roll, better get it right first time. I believe I have been more aware of composition and exposure settings than ever before.

My camera has a square format, which means you no longer have to deal with the horizontal vs. vertical question. What a relief, really. This has been such a comfort I couldn’t have expected it myself. I wish I had the possibility to cover up my viewfinder on my 5D II to only show a square format. I suppose you have noticed that in my last shoots already. I’m getting addicted to square.

Film grain is much nicer to look at than digital grain. Digital grain structure is getting pattern like when too obvious, film grain is absolutely random.

Medium format film camera’s are available at affordable prices (vs. digital medium camera’s, which cost a leg). A used Hasselbladt will be about 1000-2000 euro’s, a new digital middle format camera will be 10x as much.

These camera’s need no batteries. They have mechanical shutters. All you need is your camera and some rolls of film.

Its nostalgia, like a small kid you just keep staring at  your negatives when they are ready. Touching the film strip only by the edges, gently wiping of the dust before scanning, …

The negatives give a physical backup, no hard drives needed. I keep some glass negatives that are over 100 years old, they have suffered neglecting, but would have been spotless if well preserved.

Anyway, I also love the look of the images. It is as if these lenses give a different form of bokeh than the new digital lenses. It is hard work, and not so rewarding compared to digital photography, but it keeps some magic that the digital images no longer have. Maybe it is an idea, but for now I will keep experimenting with it, till I get a clearer understanding of the differences, and maybe I’ll quit, or I’ll get the money once to buy a digital equivalent when I get rich.

Some scanned images from the shoot with Kimberly at The Mansion from some weeks ago. Kimberly had been a model in one of my lectures at her school, and she has been waiting for her 18th birthday to get a ‘real photoshoot’ with me. I hope you enjoy the images. Click for bigger.

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Come back soon, for Kimberly at the mansion (the digital version). You’ll be able to decide for yourself then, which you like the best.

see  you soon,

Ludwig