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 •

 

with Vita outdoors – why I still love shooting film from time to time.

Analog, beauty, erotic, location, Nude

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,

Ludwig

 

 

taking care of the vegetables

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

the tomatoes need a lot of water in this warm weather don’t they?

second shooting location after • flight club • the garden of the AirBnB where we stayed. Michelle is ready to do some role playing, and gladly gives the gardener a hand.

• taking care of the vegetables •

thanks to Michelle Alba for being my model on this very hot day, in a very hot glasshouse.

thanks to Bas for lending me her garden as a shoot location and for the hospitality all over the weekend.

Ludwig

when things get messy … preview

beauty, Nude, people

Charisse was here again today,

and people who have been following my or her work, know that this is about 100% guaranteed to deliver some stunning images.

We took benefit of the hot weather we have in Belgium these days and made a little mess with some leftover clay I had from the walls of the boys’ rooms on the attic.

Charisse is always in for a little experiment and I had been talking about the clay shoot earlier, so she sent me a text message a couple of days ago ‘about the hot weather and da da da  … ‘ . A hint not to be misunderstood.

this image is just a preview of the preparation, a preparation that I gladly took as a photoshoot occasion …

it got even messier than this, and much better as well 😉

make sure to come again soon, for the rest of this magnificent series, again.

The exhibit at Godshuis Sint Laureins (B) has started last Saturday, make sure to visit it if you can, more details in my previous post.

have a nice day,

Ludwig

Ra

beauty, location, Nude

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,

Ludwig

 

two for the price of one …

Analog, location, Nude

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

 

the camera:

the bed’s too big without you – the series

beauty, location, Nude
Bed’s too big without you
Cold wind blows right through that open door
I can’t sleep with your memory
Dreaming dreams of what used to be
When she left I was cold inside
That look on my face was just pride
No regrets no love no tears
Living on my own was the least of my fears
Bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big
Without you
Since that day when you’d gone
Just had to carry on
I get through day but late at night
Made love to my pillow but it didn’t feel right
Every day just the same
Old rules for the same old game
All I gained was heartache
All I made was one mistake
Now the bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big
Without you
Bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big without you
The bed’s too big
Without you
Without you
Bed’s too big without you
Cold wind blows right through that open door
author: Gordon Sumner for The Police

 

 

with the lovely Yana Mood, shot in an attic room in Leuven,

All images f1.8 at ISO 125, shutter speeds vary (1/25-1/200s)

Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG A

 

thank you for watching, don’t hesitate to leave a comment,

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

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.

 

 

Angel

beauty, Nude, portrait, Uncategorized

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:

www.rionaneve.com

 

more info and a behind the scene’s look (also of this very same image) HERE

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

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.

tough decisions in life

Uncategorized

a little resume

I have studied to be a graphic designer, that led to a degree back in 1991. I have worked in several pre-press studio’s and a packaging design agency before starting my own company, not in graphic design but in 3D rendering services. I was rather successful, with clients such as product developing companies Barco, Melexis, SAS winches, Duco, Marketing agencies, artists such as Mark Manders, André Rieu, next to a lot of architects and project developers.

I loved being on the front edge of new products, developments, technologies, events, and being able to provide marketing material for these customers. I did this on my own, and home based. Very convenient, but in the end also very lonely as a job. Orders were sent by email, some explanation on the phone if necessary, and finished jobs were sent out by email as well, or by means of online data transfer sites like wetransfer. This meant that in the following years, I had no social contacts anymore. I went looking for a solution, and this showed up in photography. I had started a weekend class in photography when I had just left my studies, but never finished it. Honestly because I was a bit discontent about the chemicals being poured down the drain. (talking about film photography at that time)

But I never really quit photography, and with every job change, I looked for a job related to photography in some way. This has made me decide back in 2009-2010 that I wanted to pick up classes again to further build my photography skills.

I could do some exams to skip some classes, as I was familiar with photography basics (from the two years I did previously) and with retouching (from my graphics background) and I sped up the process by taking two classes at a time. Very soon I could enrol a job into teaching Adobe Lightroom in the same institution I was following my own finishing classes. A kind of a strange situation but it turned out well as most of the students I gave classes to didn’t even realise I hadn’t finished my studies yet.

At the same time I started following classes again I also started portraying women, which led to the portfolio you can see on this website. This started as being very occasionally, but I got more and more into it, and tried to use every free moment of time to get a shoot planned.

Very soon I had a larger amount of classes to teach, and I tried being more selective in my clients/jobs in my self owned business, but nevertheless I worked like 4/5 in teaching classes 3/5 in doing 3D rendering jobs and 1/5 self organised photography shoots.

Too much indeed, so last year in november I announced to all my clients for 3D rendering that I would finish this service, look for somebody interested in acquiring the client base, and only do photography jobs from 2017. I found nobody interested so I had to disappoint some of my customers for sure, some still are customers for photography services, one is hard to convince and stubborn in still giving me 3D rendering jobs. I announced yesterday that I will no longer be of service from 2018 on.

why tough decisions, well, 3D rendering services have long been a good source of income to me, and they still were in 2017, it has paid my photography investments in material, exhibition prints, workshop costs, … photography has grown slightly but not enough to compensate, since I have not enough time to really build up this service due to a lack of time.

This comes down to cutting one safety line before you have another one :/ … of course I have my classes that serve as a stable base income, but they are by far not ‘wealthy paid’ and getting noticed with my photography has proven to be a long and difficult process. I have had a good exhibit with some book sales and some large format print sales, just enough to compensate for the costs made (printing material, giving everybody a drink, making some new large format prints for the exhibit, …).

I would like to invest more time in artistic researches and getting further in analog photography. I am currently investigating the options for working on 4×5 inch format, requiring a large format camera and the need for development in house (till now I had my 120 roll film developed by a lab, but 4×5 film sheet lab development is out of budget)

A whole lot of words to explain why posting rate has dropped a little the last months.

Things should take up again when I finished my last 3D rendering job 🙂 if someone is interested in my earlier client base, just give me a call. The website is here: www.renderhouse.eu

Can’t post without an image, you will understand why photography is so much more pleasant than 3D, it is working with people rather than pixels :