… to break up monotony of everyday’s scheme …
Lilith Etch in Brussels,
Shot on my 1958 Rolleiflex TLR with Kodak TMax100
you are welcome to comment, see you again soon,
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).
I published a new video to my Vimeo and Youtube channel today, you can see it here:
this is a condensed summary of a 45 minutes session of the shoot day I did with Charisse, you can figure out some of the light situations I make, see which poses get it to the final selection of images, etcetera. Learn by looking 🙂
for your info, all images were shot at f1.6, ISO100, Shutter speed 1/80 or 1/100s.
you can find more details about the reflector panels I use ‘by clicking here’
thanks for watching, if you liked the video, you might as well give it a thumbs up or subscribe to my channel(s)
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,
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.
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 🙂
thank you for reading
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
• Flower girl •
I’ve read an article recently in ‘Chasseur d’Images’ , a French photography magazine, with the latest issue covering some articles about nude photography. They stressed quite a lot about being well prepared and having some shots ready in your head or even sketched out on paper, …
I’m afraid I don’t really agree 😉 One of my biggest pleasures in this kind of photography is improvisation, inspiration of the moment, going with the flow, … I seldom prepare ‘shots’. My main preparation consists of up front communication with the model, about style, level of nudity, clothing and other practical issues, and finding a good location for the shoot. I have since I started doing this work built up a set of available locations, so I can vary and I don’t have to return to the same locations often. This keeps me sharp and the images different every time. This is the second set with Eva Evian in a remote castle in Belgium. We found a vase with dried flowers and started working with them. I hope you like the images. All shot on Canon 5Ds with sigma 50mm f1.4 DG A. All on ISO400, other settings vary.
Come again soon!
Goodlightmagazine, an online magazine specialised in photography lighting techniques has published an article by me about photographing nudes with available light. It contains a lot of examples, what to look for in a location, some basic rule explanations and very well crafted light diagrams.
make sure to check it out here: http://www.goodlightmag.c
just fill in your email address and you’ll be granted a free download of the current issue.
Personally I’m not very fond of the magazine layout, but the content is very good 😉
a sample of the first two pages of this 9 page editorial below:
… it is something I try to repeat to myself every day
the exhibit was good, a lot of people passed by to see it, despite the very good weather we had in these weeks. It was a pleasure to talk to so many people about photography in general, my work in particular. I have received compliments, appraisal and suggestions, they are all welcome. Still, doing what I do remains an investment in time, energy, money and other resources so I have to stand firm and not surrender.
the quote is by Abraham Lincoln.
• be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm •
Make up: Heidi
Photography: ludwig desmet
Canon 5Ds with Canon 135mm f2.0
1/125s f2.0 ISO 100
I had a hard time figuring out how to pose Riona in the bathroom, but once I decided to get her feet warm in the bathtub, things all became simple. See this link for a behind the scene’s movie from this shoot: BTS with Riona Neve.
Not only is Riona a charm to work with, she also has a wonderful figure, and we worked out some fine poses in this setting.
These are my favourites from this series, I hope you like them as well.
The light is not modified in any way, there’s the large visible window at the left side, there’s a similar window right from the bathtub. This semi-back light gives a very fine definition of the volumes on the body. The windows are tinted slightly green, I left the image colours to reflect that in the final developing. It matches well the green curtains and wall colour.
image settings below,
Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG A
1/30s f2.0 ISO400 – beware of camera shake!!
… and then she started wondering, why she didn’t get these letters he promised to send her. Was he killed in battle? Had he forgotten about her, or probably he couldn’t find the time to write to her. These questions filled her with doubt and restlessness, even more because she was unable to reach to him …
Shot on a one-to-one workshop with Sacha Leyendecker in his available light studio.
Model and make up: Rubia Stri
Photography: me for sure.
shot on canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG A
settings for the main image: 1/80s f2.0 at ISO800
and then especially for Valentine’s day, complete series:
What I’ve learnt from the workshop:
Don’t be afraid to shoot at higher ISO settings if you need to to keep your shutter speeds safe. Play with light to create volume and atmosphere. Get some music into your studio to set a good mood. Create visual triangles in your images for dynamic compositions. Use props to create a setting and invite the viewer to imagine his/her way into the story.
What I didn’t agree on with Sacha (sorry Sacha, I think our styles are rather different, so the approach is different too): he told me to just have the model do whatever she likes to do, and what she feels comfortable with. I tend to interfere more with my model, and direct in certain ways (I also often work with non-professional models, maybe that’s why. Pro models are very much aware of what they look like, and how to move to get good shots).
I was very pleased with the results of the workshop. I was happy to meet Rubia, who is from Brussels by the way, and I had a very pleasant day for sure! Thank you Sacha, thank you Rubia!
thank you for watching.