The birth of a model + the model’s story …

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

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!

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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/

 

 

Statue in my garden, full series

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

Hi there,

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!!

Ludwig

the treasurer

beauty, Personal Pictures

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.

Ludwig

Statue

beauty, erotic, location, Nude
I am not a photographer that creates standard sets, to create guaranteed results and a quick turnaround. Models that have been working with me know that. They come to my place, or to any location we have available at the time, and we start working. I never make very much of a plan, but try to be creative as we go.
This set however was planned, at least the experiment was, the outcome was not foreseen, but it turned out quite well after all.
Ingredients: some natural home building clay and water, a beautiful girl that is not afraid of an experiment, and a day of very hot weather.
• Statue •
 thanks for passing by,
Ludwig

Michelle at the flight club

Analog, beauty, location

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.

best regards,

come again soon, and if you feel like, subscribe to my blog!

Ludwig

 

fear of failure – girl with an attitude

contests, erotic, exhibition, Nude

hi there,

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 •

Lilith in Brussels – the film files

beauty, location, Nude

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).

 

• Lilith •

 

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

An apple a day … – the entire series

beauty, erotic, Nude

I had worked with Charisse before, we had met each other at an exhibit in Damme (B) where I had my work exposed, she seemed interested in my work and browsed trough my book attentively, we talked briefly and I gave her my card.

Early this year we agreed to work together again, and besides fixing a date, we also discussed what style we were going to work on. She told me she had found more confidence in herself and that posing went better since she had been working with another photographer intensively some time ago.

I have tried not to interfere too much in the posing, and had her work on her own flow of poses without interrupting her. She managed to ignore me, and we found a good subject to guide her: an apple I left in the studio since I had been painting there two weeks before that. I kind of lost a bit of its freshness, but Charisse managed to compensate for it 200%.

First I would like to show a little behind the scene’s video, fastforward trough the entire session, if you are a photographer, you might even learn something from my light setup:

Ludwig Desmet behind the scenes fine art nude photoshoot from ludwig desmet on Vimeo.

I am working with two camera’s here, one with the Sigma 50mm f1.4, the other with the Canon 100mm Macro lens. I have light all over on the left side, I work with the sun screens from time to time, and I have one large reflector panel on the right side (styrofoam board)

 

Then the images.

I think they came out particularly well, Charisse well understood my style and she worked on different poses in an endless flow, God, wouldn’t you want to be that apple? 🙂


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

images all shot at my studio in Ronse (Belgium)
Canon 5Ds and Canon 5DII
Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG and Canon 100mm f2.8 L Macro
1/250-400 f1.6 ISO 100 – 1/200 f3.2 ISO100

thank you for watching,

Ludwig

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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

Two days … building the exhibit

exhibition, Personal Pictures

two days to the exhibit in my own space.

 

you are all very welcome of course:

A little exciting it is.

from the 4500 invitations I received from my print shop (www.degrotearend.be) about 3500 have been dropped into local mailboxes in Ronse.

My book ‘LANDSCAPES – and other things that jump into my camera’ arrived yesterday. It smells fresh ink, but it looks great. I’m very pleased with the results and the selection of images I’ve made. The book ‘WOMEN’ I had from the previous exhibit stays unchanged

Drinks have been bought, but I have no idea how many people I should expect. I heard some rumours about people who were saying they would come, I have a Facebook event that some people confirmed on, but will it be 50-100-200?

The weather announces great, 21°C – 23°C is much more than we could expect here in Belgium around half October. I feel lucky!

The exhibit space is ready, the frames have been hung (without prints for now, I work with front-open frames that contain a support for the prints within. I will hang the mounted prints in the frames today. That means … all but one … Koert (my printer – laminator – finisher) called me last Friday that the largest print for the exhibit had suffered a fault during the mounting process (mount on Dibond). It is a landscape print of 50x150cm. So he had to order a new Dibond board to redo the print this week. No news till now. … keep the fingers crossed. By the way, I’m very pleased by his work! (www.fift.be)

Lighting has been fitted as well, called my brother in law (who is an electrician) for some help, he offered me a couple of up-lighters and smaller spots to add to the existing light in the room.

things that need to be done:

finish the digital presentation, set up a monitor for viewing, hang the prints, … relax a bit 😉

some impressions of the space preparations