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 •

Christian Coigny – Argentique

Analog, exhibition, Nude

It is becoming a bad habit of mine, visiting an exhibit at the very last moment.

So unfortunately again, this exhibit is over (till april 30th 2017), but he will be on show again in Brussels, really soon

Last Saturday I had the immense pleasure of visiting the exhibit of Christian Coigny in Tournai, Belgium. The exhibit was hosted by Event Particulier (www.eventparticulier.com) in the wonderful location of ‘Domaine de Graux’, where the organisation runs an event and exhibit centre since about two years from now.

Although I knew the work of Christian since quite some time (to be seen at http://christiancoigny.com) It has been a very joyful experience to see his prints in real life. The size of the prints varies from I think about 30×45 cm, over some larger 40×60 cm prints to about 2 m in size. All except for the largest sizes are genuine analog prints. Some 80 works were on display, all but 2 were black and white. Editions vary from a number of 30 for the smalles works, to 10 for the largest prints.

Both his ‘nature morte’s’ and his nudes are fantastic in terms of context, composition and light, and show an absolute mastery in all aspects involved. I was very charmed with the seemingly simple contents of the artworks, and with the almost out of this world serenity they express.

I decided to buy the book, and as this was the last weekend of the exhibit and the artist was present, I had it signed by Mr. Coigny. We had a short but interesting and very enjoyable discussion about photography, about men photographing nude women, and our (especially my) doubts and motivations. Very inspiring and interesting. We laughed a lot.

One quote I will gladly share with you:

“No matter if you know where you are going or not, you will eventually get there!”

Christian Coigny.

a portrait of the master:

… and then she started wondering …

beauty, location, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks

… 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.

My body my double …

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

one more before Christmas …

a tribute to feminine beauty, to art, to nature

• my body my double •

ludwigdesmet_kr

See you next week with an overview of my year in photography, some numbers and memories from 2016. Happy Christmas everybody and take care!

Ludwig

image details: Canon 5Ds with Canon 17-40mm f4 – 1/50s f4.0 ISO200

shot on location in the Brussels area, model and make up: Kate Ri

 

Pearls II

beauty, Personal Pictures, portrait

Remember ‘Pearls’ ? Wow, one and a half year ago already. Time to meet Pearls II, with beautiful Eva this time. Hope you like it.

• Pearls II •

ludwigdesmet_evdm-pearls-ii

 

Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f1.4 A DG. 1/80s f2.0 ISO100

Shot on location in Tournai – Belgium.

Model: Eva

Make up: Danitsha

Assistance: Nathalie.

Photography: ludwig desmet

dear David … I am sorry

beauty, location

I was sorry to hear about your death, earlier this week. I think your images have been a great inspiration to many young boys.

I mentioned you in a Facebook comment no longer than a few days ago. … ‘Unwanted David Hamilton effect’, as a comment on the below image.

What I am even more sorry about however, is that your death might be related to the accusations/assumptions made against your person, … for incorrect behaviour towards young, very young women. I think of that as a very very sad thing.

I feel sorry for all the models out there having been, or being wrongly treated by so-called photographers, mis-using the context of photography to cover up their abuse towards them.

• Kate in the greenhouse •

ludwigdesmet_kr-4469ds

about the image, and the (I won’t call it D.H. effect any longer) soft focus effect, it was created by extremely humid conditions (75% humidity and about 25°C) and a too cold camera coming from outside (5°C at most), immediately damping my front lens, again and again and again. Couldn’t wipe it off, it re-appeared after 10 seconds. … A lot of dehaze, extra contrast and clarity in LR kind of saved this image from deletion.

Model and make-up: Kate_Ri, styling by me.

Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50 mm f1.4 DG A

1/50s  f2.2  ISO100

ludwig

Erika – a little bit of fashion – in Brussels

Analog, beauty, location, people

I shot this entire day with my 60 year old Rolleiflex camera. Kind of stressy and awkward feeling to get home with nothing but some rolls of film. … I only found out in the evening that I didn’t even have a memory card in my digital camera. … I must have had some kind of enlightenment when I decided in the morning to go ‘all analog’ that day.