… 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,
from a while ago,
I shot with Vita Goncharuk in a public park near Brussels earlier this year. I was a bit worried about not having a location with full and agreed access, so we shot outside. The park is open to the public, and you might wonder if there are no risks of being caught. There is actually not really a problem as long as you are not shooting porn or really shocking the eventual witnesses. If you get caught by the owner of the place, you might get expelled from the premises, but they can’t file a complaint unless they can prove you did harm to their person/business/property.
Some people have been asking about public wandering around. First of all, get this agreed upon with your model. Most professional models don’t care much, some don’t like it. Vita didn’t mind at all. When somebody shows more interest than normal, I just go to them an say hello. I do a little chit-chat and then I give them one of my business cards and mostly they disappear after that, or they take some more (comfortable) distance. Some even send me an email about my website or my work afterwards. I even had one person sending me some behind the scenes images. (with Erika in Brussels)
The weather was splendid, the camera did very well, All shot on Ilford film, with the Rolleiflex TLR camera. I love the look of film, it gives a soft, rich tonality and it has some imperfections that are creating a romantic atmosphere. It has a natural grain, that adds to the softness of the images. The medium format (6x6cm) camera has a great shallow depth of field, (hard to focus though) and enough detail in the negatives for really big enlargements. It can’t beat the current 50Mpx camera’s, but its very close. I also love the time-span between shooting the images and having the developed film ready for scanning. The fact that you do not see results is a benefit for working slowly. When shooting digital, I get a little overwhelmed by the immediate results, which stresses me to shoot more and more and more. When shooting analog, I thing about every image, about light, about framing, about what to leave out of the frame and what to get into it, about pose, about a possible story, … I feel that I do not take the same amount of time when shooting digital. You shoot far less images when shooting film, but you get as many good ones than when shooting hundreds of digital images. … I experience a great feeling of joy when seeing the images on the developed film for the first time. They are a physical result, they have a more ‘real’ presence in my opinion than digital files. Film is not dead, at least not for me, and I’m sure for a lot of people with me. 🙂
I have about ten more films that just have been developed, but need scanning and retouching … come back again soon,
It’s official, I’ll exhibit the entire summer vacation in the magnificent building of ‘het GODSHUIS’ in Sint-Laureins. Great architecture, great pictures, I hope you find the time to enjoy this exhibit, it is open from June 30th till September 2nd. Every day, from 10am till 5pm. (except when there are large events in the building, you can find their event calendar here: http://www.godshuis.be/nieuws/ )
I will show 21 images, some never exhibited, some bigger than ever before.
You can combine the exhibit with an overnight stay at the location, they offer excellent rooms, there’s a restaurant, wellness, (also bookable without room) tea-room etcetera. The village of Sint-Laureins is also very well situated for a bikers out, or a walk along the canal.
Ancient Egyptians worshipped Ra or Re as the Sun God, he was one of the most important gods in the Fifth Dynasty (25th-24th century BC).
• RA •
The obelisk depicted here is one of modern ages (1968-1969) and was built in two ‘size’ stages, because the landlord found that the first one at 27m was not high enough. So he did aks the builders to build a second concrete formwork over the existing one, and ordered it to be 36m in height, which makes it final size bigger than the Paris’ Luxor obelisk at the place de la Concorde!
The obelisk is situated near Brussels, and was erected because the landlord loved the sunrise, but since he had changed his main room to the west side of the castle, he no longer had the sunrise in his room. That’s why he also wanted a large sun disk on the obelisk.
The park was meant to have a large water surface in front of the surface, but the owner died before completion of the surroundings and the lake was never realised.
thank you for reading,
last weekend I had a meetup with Lisa and her friend, both dancers, she’s more into the classic dance, he’s more of a break-dancer.
I will show you some images, but I would also love to talk about the technique that I used to get to these.
first some images:
nice hey 🙂
thanks to both athletes, they had a good exercise session.
How is it done?
We wanted both the movement, and a good image of the static phase. I rarely work with flash but here it is absolutely needed.
this is the setup: I have one studio flash with large softbox on the left of the scene, providing the main illumination of the stationary phase. (flash) I have a second studioflash at the right side of the scene, providing a rim light at the moment of flash. I have a third flash on the camera, Canon does not allow to fire remote flashes at the end of the shutter time without a dedicated Canon flash. This is a Canon 580EX II and is used in manual settings at 1/64th of full power. It is merely used as a ‘master’ or ‘trigger’ for the studio flashes, synchronising on the second curtain, this means just before the shutter closes. I have available light from the right side, just behind me. (outside light, strong enough to make the motion trails during shutter time, but not to strong to overly brighten the environment. This is actually better done with a strong continuous light like a 500W halogen spot, but I don’t have one.)
The camera is set to bulb, on a tripod, and with a cable release. This is all part of a relatively simple preparation phase. 😉
Now comes the tricky part, how to get just the good shot? Simple: You activate the shutter time by pressing and holding the shutter button, let the movement roll and close the shutter when the movement has finished. Simple? Yeah, think again. Some movements only take a blink of an eye before they are gone, finished, over and out. For some movements you need to have the flash triggered exactly at the end of the movement, and you have to be aware that there’s a little ‘delay’ between pressing the button and the actual start of the shutter time. My best images came with shutter times between 1/5th and 2/5th of a second!
to illustrate the process of the Bulb-shutter time:
Easy, isn’t it. Well, both dancers have at least 20 times repeated every move, before I could define the right starting moment, and the right moment to stop. Then 10 more times to get the one lucky shot we needed. Maybe I’m getting old, or slow in reactions. 🙂
Make sure to have your models wear dark clothing, otherwise you’ll get a lot of messy blotches from the movement phase. You want them to wear light coloured clothing at hand or feet, unfortunately they did not have white gloves. The brighter, the more visible the movement trail will be.
no movement visible – too little continuous light, only the flash fixes the image
cable release gets stuck, way too long exposure
start too early, left foot clearly visible in starting point, stop also a little too late, left foot is coming down already.
start and stop too late, left foot is almost up at start, and way over the best position at stop.
thanks for reading, it was fun to do, and I learned a lot about dancing
cheers, come back again soon.
Let’s celebrate female beauty and the joy it brings us.
Let’s celebrate life and the good things it brings us.
My model of that hot summer day in april was named Vita, which stands for ‘Life‘ …
I have taken a lot of pictures with her, so more will follow, see it as a little preview.
Often I have to convince professional models not to pose, or in any way not to pose as a fashion model would do. I love it when they are not trying to seduce me or the camera, but in stead they manage to be just themselves, fierce, self confident, somehow unattainable women, living the life and enjoying their own bodies.
oh, and I have another thing to celebrate, I just saw today that in the last 365 days I had over 100.000 visitors on my site and blog. It was for the first time I noticed it. Thank you for being so present!
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)
well yes, sometimes things don’t go as expected, certainly when shooting with an old camera and film, you are having no instant feedback and surprises occur 🙂
there is no automatic film advance stop, so you have to look for film frame numbers in the dark red window at the back of the camera. Clearly I saw something that wasn’t there.
shot with a Voightländer Bessa I 6×9 film camera, with Kodak TMax400 film, in a small roof flat in Leuven (Belgium)
Model Yana Mood, click for bigger version
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,
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
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:
more info and a behind the scene’s look (also of this very same image) HERE
A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. (From Wikipedia)
A small series of images I did about a year ago together with Kate in some semi-public glasshouse. The glasshouse was the only place where it was more or less hot enough to do nude work, and Kate didn’t care about the public character of the place, we met only very limited people, and managed to keep out of sight of most of them, at least we think. 😉
Taken with the Rolleiflex 6×6 TLR, on Kodak TMax400 film.
hope you liked that,
come again soon,