new behind the scenes video – Charisse black lingerie shoot

beauty, Behind the scenes Video, Nude

Hi there,

I published a new video to my Vimeo and Youtube channel today, you can see it here:

or 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)

thanks,

Ludwig

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

Strolling trough Cambridge with the Rolleiflex

Analog, street, travel

in my series ‘strolling trough … ‘ a new chapter, coming South from Scotland last summer I had a stop in Cambride, where I shot a couple of rolls of 120 film with my Rolleiflex.

I find the Rolleiflex to be a fairly good camera for street photography. Since you are looking down as a photographer, people don’t really notice you as being one, and you can stay unnoticed a little longer, enhancing the chances of taking a good shot. I got trapped once in this series, you’ll see 🙂

All shot with Kodak TMax 400 film, on a grey day.

 

Selfie time

Graveyard

Aftermarket

Mall security

Sale

Arbitrage

EAT.

Trapped 😮

Enjoyable time with friends. Not.

Cows on the bike path

 

And two more shots from a village called Osmotherley, near North York moors National Park (UK), where I camped the night before.

MG

Chinese warriors

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

107 Cubic Inches

Analog, Personal Pictures, street

well yeah, next to beauties of the human race, I also tend to have a certain adoration for mechanical beauties. …

Early november I was strolling the Paris Boulevard Beaumarchais, to look for camera shops, both secondhand an new, to see if I could find some information on view camera’s and to look out if there was something else that interested me, when I came across the Harley dealership situated in this same boulevard. I’m not especially fond of this particular brand of motorbikes, but the boulevard seems to have almost as much motorcycle dealerships as it has camera stores. I happen to like both equally 🙂 . I am however quite charmed about the beautiful finish of the Milwaukee brand, with the chrome, the air cooling fins, the valve push rods and so on. This is mechanics and beauty, and it expresses both power and lifestyle.

I just snapped a small detail of just a random bike parked outside, probably a customer’s bike, before or after servicing. It is in that understanding not polished and it has some weather marks on the chrome, let’s say it’s alive.

I took this picture with my Rolleiflex TLR, probably older than the history of the ‘low rider’ Harley Davidson model. Square frame image format, which I like the best. Image shot on Kodak T-Max 400 film, developed in Ilfotec 29 developer.

For the noobs, 107 cubic inches is the cylinder displacement volume of this particular engine, or 1753 cc, in other words, this is a big engine for a motorbike. It has plenty of torque, and as we now from H-D, “more than enough” horsepower.

thank you for watching and reading, come again soon, I have other images from Paris that I would like to show you.

 

Ludwig

Analog or digital?

Analog, people, Personal Pictures, photo gear, portrait

I have invited two people to my studio and did a small analog vs. digital test.

I have, for the first time ever, linked my studio flashes with my old Rolleiflex 6×6 camera, and shot a roll of images with it, next to my Canon 5Ds with 100mm Macro lens.

What about the outcome, is high res digital better than medium format analog?

I think quality wise that is a no-brainer, our new camera’s and lenses are waay, no waaaaaaaay better than the old stuff, they are sharper, AF is spot on every time,  they have less grain (or noise) (films shots done on Ilford FP4 Plus 125) and for sure less dust to retouch. Digital is more convenient, more flexible, more secure (with immediate feedback) … it seems to be more of everything.

Then why still use analog? To me it is more fun, more concentration, at the same time more relaxing, it lets you look forward to the results, it’s more challenging, … people react differently when shooting with a 60 year old camera, they are curious, they are amused, wondering what might be the result, … I also find the images to have some sort of ‘alive’ feeling, the out of focus area’s are more interesting, the framing is square by nature, which I love … although the last arguments might all be nostalgia.

Here are the images, the square ones are analog:

 

 

 

Film ‘scanning’ with the DSLR camera

Analog, Lightroom, personal tips & tricks, photo gear, Tips and Tricks

Ok, something I wanted to do for a long time:

On some fora, people have been asking how I scan my negatives, actually I’ve quit scanning, and digitise my 6×6 negatives with the Canon 5Ds high resolution camera, and a Canon 100mm Macro lens. For me it is quicker than scanning, I get a RAW negative file to work with, and I had all gear I needed for building a simple setup.

I have been looking for a new scanner for a while, genre Epson V800, but found them to be a little too expensive for my taste and limited use. I already had this Canon 5Ds camera, and I had a Macro lens, so I wanted to give it a try digitising with the camera in stead. I’ve built this setup to do so, (actually writing this blog post has inspired me to make it even better) …

see images below …

• I have two lamps (generic building LED lamps from a DIY store) that I point to the back, where I have a white foam board installed. I don’t care about the white balance because I work with black and white film, so I get rid of all colour anyway.

• At a relatively small distance (30cm – 1 foot) I have a cardboard box, fixed to a base board (same white foam board, cardboard box taped to it), with a hole in the back end, a little bigger than the negatives I am working with. On the inside of the box, I have put a black paper, with a square cut hole in it, to better fit the actual size of the negatives. The front side of the cardboard box is open, and takes the camera.

• I use a negative holder from an old scanner, but I cut the film frame a tad wider, to be able to see the negative’s edges all around. I kept the original diffusor window.

• On the base foam board, I fixed a sort of slot (foam board strip with double sided tape fixing) that holds the bottom of the film holder, between the slot and the cardboard box. On top of the cardboard box, I fixed a second slot, that holds the top edge lid of the film holder, and I slide the film holder in from left to right (right to left on the images)

• I put my camera to fit the film frame (with a little margin all around) and I have my settings to give best quality: ISO100, f8 1/6 sec … I vary shutter speeds based on the negatives I have (sometimes the negatives are a tad under- or overexposed, I try to have as much light as possible in my ‘scans’ without clipping the highlights). Low Iso for the least noise possible, f8 seems to be the limit aperture before diffraction sets in on this camera, shutter speed long enough to get rid of the flickering effect in the lamps. I work on a tripod and with a 2 second interval between mirror lock-up and opening the shutter. (standard available on the Canon 5Ds, to prevent camera shake due to the mirror flipping up)

• I import the images in LR and reverse them by using the tone curve panel. In this same panel I also manage the white and black point settings by moving in the left and right corner point to where the histogram starts/ends, and eventually a lightening or contrast tone curve.

• Then I further develop the image using the standard development panel and local adjustments (that takes the most ‘getting used to’ because all sliders work ‘negative’)

• I remove dust and scratches in photoshop.

 

the images should clarify a lot:

the complete setup:

 

a look over the camera’s shoulder:

the negative holder removed to change the film strip

the back end of the cardboard box, notice the black paper frame on the inside, and the (modified today) film holder slot for top and bottom edge of the film holder.

film holder sliding in place, notice the top ‘tab’ being held by the slot

film holder in place, looking on the diffusor

Lightroom, tone curve for negative-positive conversion

I manage to scan a film of 12 exposures in about 15 minutes, with a resolution of at least 5000×5000 pixels. That is perfectly fine with me, and gives me all film detail, up to the grain in the film.

The study

Analog, beauty, Nude, portrait

there is a collection in this house, of wild boar’s, in all shapes and sizes, on paintings, sculptures, drawings, teeth, … everything that reminds of the wild animal living in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes has received its place on these walls, in this castle …

the study is the most quiet space in the castle, where one can stay all day without being disturbed. Old books are being well taken care of, and this place is not influenced by day-to-day matters.

Meet Eva Evian, my model for this day, experiencing the atmosphere of the place, enjoying the quite and calm of the day.

All shot on Kodak TMax400, with Rolleiflex 3.5 camera.

#everypictureastory

 

thank you for watching,

Ludwig

Europe – Holland/Scotland/Corsica

exhibition, landscapes, location

It seems I have been shooting landscapes for ages, without really knowing what I looked for. I think now I have got a better understanding of the kind of landscapes I like, the kind of things I want to show. In my latest exhibit, next to a lot of sensual female portraits, I showed this triptych of landscape images:

Europe – Holland/Scotland/Corsica

 

I feel like in my beauty portraits, I can better express volume and light in black and white photography, hence the choice for converting them. In my landscape book, there are only three images in colour. The above images are the result of both family travels and solitary motorcycle travels, and my love for photography. Lucky me, to be able to do the things I love doing.

 

come again soon,

best,

Ludwig

Book Landscapes

landscapes, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks

for the upcoming exhibit I composed a book with my landscape photography … and other things that jump into my camera

I’ve used no texts except for the book dust cover, where you can read this, it might be inspirational to some of you out there, seeking their way into photography. It merely explains the title’s sub-line:

• I have long felt the urge to do something particular with my landscape photography, something outstanding and eye-popping. This has never led to satisfactory results because it was too often based on imitating other photographers.

This urge has changed over the years into a less stringent and stressful attitude and I have become to a point that I no longer worry about what to photograph. If I’m out in the field I much more enjoy being there, and photographs seem to come to me instead of me seeking them. This is a big leap forward for my own peace of mind and my photography has become a lot more enjoyable since. At least for me. I can only hope that the results are enjoyable to you too.

You will notice that I am not seeking the spectacular views or the exuberant colours in a landscape. For me it is about the sky, the mud, the trees shaken by the wind or standing strong. Solitude, lost memories, but also joy and tranquillity. •

Ludwig

 

 

With the Rolleiflex in Scotland – Part I – Glentrool

Analog, landscapes, photo gear

I have been on a motortrip to Scotland last summer, and I had quite some doubts for taking the Rolleiflex (analog camera from the late 50’s) with me, for sake of luggage space, camera safety, etcetera. I have to say that it gave me a lot of pleasure during my trip. It helped me to literally stay still from time to time, and to take the time to enjoy the landscape.

I have stopped in several places with the aim to shoot an entire roll of film in each place.

These images are from my first picture stop.

This place called Glentrool, and Loch Trool, and is located in Galloway forest park, Scotland. Here I shot a roll of Kodak Tmax400 film on a late sunny evening, I had pitched up my tent, cooked a simple but welcome meal after a day of riding (from York that day, over Barnard Castle, trough the North Pennines, along the Hadrian Wall into Dumfries and then Galloway forest park. The bike was filled up with gas for next day and I had some time left before the sun would set. First some images near the Glentrool Visitor Centre, just next to the river ‘Water of Minnoch’, where I met the first midges, then up on my motorbike again I followed a small and bumpy road up to Loch Trool. Despite literally a million midges by the lake, I kept going 😉 . I had my mini tripod with me on the trip, and a wire shutter release, so I could shoot till late in the evening (the lake shots).

there’s more to come from this trip, stay tuned.

All images shot with Rolleiflex 3.5 on Kodak TMax-400 film. Shutter speeds and aperture settings vary.

thank you for watching,

Ludwig

part II – Dunure

flower girl

erotic, location, Nude, portrait

• 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!

Ludwig

 

 

 

Scotland – Black and white

landscapes

A visual report of my 2017 Scotland motor trip.
As you know, I was originally much more involved with landscape photography than I do now, but I still enjoy being in wild open spaces, and I have a hard time forcing myself NOT to stop after every corner when on my motorcycle.
For those interested, this was my route: (© Routeyou)

All images taken with Canon 5Ds and Canon 17-40mm f4L, converted to black and white in Lightroom.

 

for analog pictures from this trip, start here

thank you for watching, I used a small kit of extra gear on this trip, a mini tripod, next I’ll do a short review of it.

ludwig

Strolling trough Paris part II – shooting with the Rolleiflex

Analog, street

this is from a while ago.

Visiting Paris is something I love a lot. I have been there many times now, and I feel no real urge anymore in visiting particular places or monuments, and I enjoy more and more just being there, and observing people, looking at things happening, or seeing things being just things.

Documenting with the old Rolleiflex helps me being a more attentive observer. Trying to shoot whatever presents itself is a challenge, but is also fun and maybe a bit contradictory, a very relaxing thing to me. It is a mixture of being an observer, and in a certain way being part of the city life.

Next to this, it is also a way to get socially engaged in a certain way. I get many conversations when shooting with this old camera, from people interested in what camera it is, how it works, if it is still able to find film etcetera etcetera. I try to go unnoticed, but that is difficult sometimes, and I don’t mind.

All shot on Rolleiflex 3.5 and Kodak TMax 400/100 film.

thank you for passing by.

 

Ludwig

 

be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm

beauty, erotic, Nude

… 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 •

image details:

model: Elise

Make up: Heidi

Assistance: Nathalie

Photography: ludwig desmet

Canon 5Ds with Canon 135mm f2.0

1/125s f2.0 ISO 100

 

smashing the studio …

beauty, location, people, portrait

… to bits and pieces.

first time shoot in my home spot ‘studio in progress’ and after doing some fine art nude work I have put a big sledge hammer in the hands of the model. She did very well and acted convincingly. So much she even hurt herself as one of the metal pieces from the radiator punched her skin. Oops … Thanks for the help Charisse!

She loved it, and totally forgot about posing. 😉

• smashing the studio •