Prequel of a whole series about this theme.
Hard waking up, realising you are alone in bed. …
• the bed is too big without you •
Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm DG A
1/100s f1.8 ISO 125
Shot in a tiny bedroom in Leuven, Belgium
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
an early morning sunbath on some deserted beach in Corsica
Model Carlotta K.
• Sunrise •
06:00 O’clock, we meet at some recognisable point on a coastal road in Corsica, it is still dark, but we see dawn coming in. We drive for about 10 minutes, then we have a 15 minutes walk to the beach. There is no one, yesterday the beach was crowded. We discuss different options and start working, I rarely have a preset plan, so we improvise a lot. There is a large log on the beach, we try different standing poses, then this pose lying back, the size of the log is perfect for her I take several shots, me flat on the ground, …
thank you for watching
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,
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, …
… 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 •
just a short message to let you know that I have been published with a short interview and a series of images in ‘modellenlandmagazine’. The magazine offers a platform for models, photographers, stylists and make up artists to showcase their work.
you can read, and especially watch the issue here:
my interview starts on page 210
it is always good to see that models bring their own ideas and clothing along on a shoot.
Next to being a source of variation and new ideas, it can also be a challenge do make something work that was not really in your mind-set when you started the shoot. We had shot early that afternoon in ‘the orphanage’, a huge former orphanage I guess, now rented as guesthouse for large groups. The weather was very dull and grey, and besides that it was raining and cold. Not really a nice environment to be in as a model. Rachel also brought some ‘Charleston inspired’ clothing and accessories, and we tried them out in my own home space. As there was very little light, and I wanted to create an evening atmosphere, I switched on the ambient lights in the hallway and staircase. These lights being very dim and not really at an ideal height for lighting a model. I rather not use flashes as they make the setup cumbersome and slow, but here I could not do otherwise, so I also installed two monobloc studioflashes. You clearly see the effect of one light (right of the model – 80cm octa) the other one is left of me, (60×60 softbox) in the room next to the hall way (there’s a triple entry door with glass inserts that filters the light softly into the hallway). The flashes are both at low power settings since I still wanted to use a rather wide aperture, for less depth of field. there’s a light setup at the bottom of this post.
the image is shot at 1/125s f2.0 ISO200. Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm Art. By using flashes I managed to dim the daylight even further, to an acceptable level that just keeps a small reminder of the structures in the window framework at the end of the hallway.
A big thank you to Rachel, for being my model on this day, and to Nathalie, my lovely assistant.
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 •
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
as a final setup on the Sacha Leyendecker workshop (yes, I can still learn a lot too) we had a mattress and some white bed linen and a very enjoyable – wasn’t it Rubia? – down bed cover.
I tried to create an atmosphere of comfortable well being in this series. Rubia is a professional model and she understood the idea well. The advantage of professional models is that they know very well how to move to have a good looking pose, the downside of it can be that they are very hard to be photographed as their real personality. They often get some kind of ‘model layer’ that gets in front of their person. This was not the case with Rubia. We had a long talk before the shoot, that helps to get barriers down. We both got very relaxed before the shoot started. I rather have the habit of giving quite some direction to my models, Sacha asked me to try to let Rubia do her own thing, easier said than done, this set is the result of a mixture of ‘self induced posing’ and ‘directed posing’. See here for the technique used to create the high key effect.
Bad lighting conditions (dark) which means high ISO settings, but a nice set after all.
All images Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50 mm f1.4 A DG
1/60 f2.2 ISO 2000
Thank you for watching, come again soon,