from another great collaboration with Charisse,
lately in Tournai, Belgium,
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:
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,
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’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,
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
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
• The birdkeeper •
Summer is long gone it seems, but this shoot was taking place on one of those hot summer days, when models do not hesitate to pose in lingerie or nude, sun will keep them warm.
The image was taken in a little castle near my hometown, on a shady terrace. The owner had opened the door and then vanished. Eva was in a good mood, the birds were singing all around.
Shot with my old Rolleiflex TLR, on Kodak TMax 400 film. Shooting on film is a strange thing, it is slow, expensive, delicate, cumbersome … but I love it. It makes the experience more real, and the waiting for the negatives makes you take some distance from your own work. It is always exciting to see the images coming, 3, 4 weeks after you’ve shot them.
have a nice Sunday afternoon,
Hi there, for a change a gear review post.
For landscape work I have been a pleased owner of a Berlebach report tripod for many years now. I have had a little issue with it last year, which has been solved amazingly well by the Berlebach company, see my post about it here: http://www.ludwigdesmet.com/2016/09/19/thumbs-up-for-excellent-customer-service-berlebach/
I have taken this tripod with me on my motorbike on many occasions, mostly when giving classes to adults, but it is not very practical because the tripod is big. When mounted it extends beyond the two big panniers I have on my large bike! (BMW R1200GS).
So I have been looking for a smaller tripod for last summer’s trip to Scotland, and for lighter travelling to Corsica weeks after that. I bought the Sirui T-005X with C-10S ballhead, from the T05X Series Traveler Ultralight
It is a lightweight, very compact package, weighs 0.8 kgs and has a maximum height of 137cm and a packing size of 33 cm. This makes it ideal for my motorcycle travels or when you are traveling light in any other way.
How did it fare?
I found it very well performing in quiet weather conditions. The image below is a behind the scene’s shot on a trip out, rain pouring down all day, overcast and not much light, so a tripod was mandatory for I had pretty long shutter times. 0,6s at f11 and ISO100 for the below image.
Image taken in Strontian, Ariundle, Scotland.
as you can see the tripod legs have several spread angle’s, which comes in handy on uneven terrain. The feet are very tiny at approximately 18mm diameter, so some care on where to put them is to be taken. Otherwise, the tripod gave me a perfectly sharp image.
When walking with the camera, the ball head clearly is too weak for a big DSLR (Canon 5Ds) even with a moderately light lens on it. (Canons 17-40 mm f4L, with a weight of 475g) The camera will start heading down soon, no matter how tight you fasten the head knob.
Otherwise, no complaints here.
In Corsica I stumbled upon a deserted hotel, that inspired me to do some long exposure shots. The weather was sunny with clouds, and a rather strong wind, with gusts up to 80km/h (45-50 miles), the building was partly surrounded by green area, with scattered trees. Still I chose to remove the center column of the tripod, for increased stability. (the center column only supported in a single point is the least stable element in all tripods) The removal of the center column is really easy, and the ballhead then screws directly on the tripod base, resulting a much stabler unit. I have no behind the scenes image of this setup so I’ll grap a marketing image from Siriu:
I still had the tripod set up with the legs fully extended in most images, and made perfectly sharp images with shutter speeds over 2 minutes: 121s f13 ISO125 and detail below. I have no images that show camera movements, so I think this is very good proof of the stability of this setup.
I find the leg opening/closing grips rather soft, and some seem to show some wear already, curious to know how long they will last. Also the camera plate is very small, this is clearly not aimed at DSLR users, but more towards the high end compact, light system camera’s. Fortunately the system is Arca Swiss compatible, so I can use my Berlebach dovetail type plates in stead. The ball head, although said to hold 4kgs, will certainly not hold its position when on the move. 4 leg segments are a bit long to extend, especially compared to my Berlebach, that has only two segments.
Very light, very compact, budget friendly, stable within limits, easy to convert to ‘without center column’, then it is even more stable. Not expensive, comes with a carrying bag.
I am very pleased with this little tripod, it fits my motorcycle panniers, it is very light, it extends high enough for my landscape needs and it is stable in light windy weather. I’m a bit afraid that heavy conditions will not be good friends with this tripod, but If you are looking for an easy to carry companion for night shots or occasional landscape work, I can recommend! And at a very fair price of € 109, it won’t break the bank!
In a castle somewhere in the French part of Belgium I found this treasure, hidden on the attic.
Model and make up: Eva Evian
Photography: Ludwig Desmet
Shot on Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG Art. 1/60s f 2.2 ISO 800
the complete series of this shoot will be published on august 15th.
thank you for passing by,
see you again soon,
We met at my last exhibit in Ronse. She’s not trying to hide her baldness, and wears it with pride. We agreed on a cooperation, she loved the pictures.
Alopecia is a disease that results in partial or total hair loss, for Marlies it is total.
Make up: Heidi
Shot in my atelier in Ronse/Belgium. It has been a long time since I used my studio flashes. This was the first time in my re-organized studio space.
A photoshoot for your own, please contact me at ludwig -at- ludwigdesmet -dot- com
all images shot on Canon 5Ds, with Canon 100mm f2.8 L IS Macro
thank you for watching, please come again soon, there’s a lot to publish, with landscape images from Scotland, Corsica, some more beauty shoots etcetera, …
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 shot this series of images in February, it took me some time to scan and develop the negatives, but here they are at last. I hope you like the story, I loved making it.
A big thank you to Rachel, for being a very patient model, on this cold and dull day. To Nathalie, for being my assistant, model hairdresser, camera-crew and guide. To Home Providentia, for giving me another opportunity to shoot at this unique location.
All images taken on Rolleiflex 3.5 camera with Kodak TMax100 and TMax400 film. Reproduced with a Canon 5Ds and Canon 100mm F2.8L IS macro, developed in Lightroom and Photoshop.
• teddybear blues or … the story of self realisation •
behind the scenes video of this shoot here: Shooting with the Rolleiflex
thank you for watching