freestyle shooting in the studio

erotic, Nude, studio light setup, Tips and Tricks

Two weeks ago I did a model call for a freestyle shooting session in the studio, just to try out some light setups and to not forget about working with studio strobes. Remember, 90% of my work is purely based on available light.

I had two models coming over, one male that I never worked with (lets call him Steven) , one female that I had regular cooperations with since about two years, lets call her Charisse 😉

Steven never modelled, he said the day before he came to me. Ok great, I told him, that’s cool, so we can find out if newbies can lead to great results. And he did, 200% he did. See for yourself:

 

the images above are all made with two studio strobes.

Then that same morning, after this first session I had Charisse arriving at the train station for pickup, and we started shooting early in the afternoon. A totally different setup, with both nude and non-nude work, of which I will show you only a small teaser for now. We did a lot of different things, with a lot of good results, so make sure you come back again soon.

 

 

thank you for stopping by, visitor of this blog. Consider subscribing if you like what you see. Come back again soon.

thank you Steven and Charisse, for being my interim models for the day, for your patience and your trust!!

Ludwig

 

ps. I: soon I will be on Patreon, where you can support my activities and get extra behind the scenes video’s, how to tips, and other benefits! Watch out!

ps. II: video: me cleaning the studio afterwards, here you can see more or less all I have in the studio. Limited stuff, a lot of creativity.

the treasurer

beauty, Personal Pictures

Sorry if you have been trying to reach this site and blog in the last 24 hours, it has been down due to a PhP update on the host’s side, and I am by far not a web-tech-geek, so it took me a moment to figure out what happened, and to fix things accordingly.

 

to compensate, a single image post.

I had this first collaboration with Emily two weeks ago, and we made some nice images. We worked in the studio first, to continue after that on the local city-square, where there was this fair going on. I shot two rolls of film on the Yashica 635. A first glimpse at the developed films shows that either there is something wrong with the film transport mechanism, either I have not paid attention and unintentionally double exposed some of the frames. To be continued.

• The treasurer •

thanks for watching, please come again soon.

Ludwig

Michelle at the flight club

Analog, beauty, location

from this summer, early in July, I was in the Netherlands with my wife and I could spend some time there photographing. I had a meeting with Michelle, and in a last minute arrangement I could shoot at the local glider plane club. Michelle had this very classy, classic looking set, a slim fitting skirt and a beautiful blouse, and there was this plane waiting for the thermal to build up. I shot a couple of rolls in this setting, this is my selection.

• Michelle at the flight club •

I had the film developed by a local lab here in Belgium, but I was not really pleased with the quality of the development, and the care they have (not) given to the films. Lesson learnt, better take time to do my own developing at home. This has cost me a lot of retouching spots, dust, scratches, and the results are only ‘just good enough’ for publishing on the web.

best regards,

come again soon, and if you feel like, subscribe to my blog!

Ludwig

 

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 •

Smooth curves

location, Nude

Could there be any greater resemblance? The curves of the female body and the smooth shaped hull of a glider. At least I sea beauty in both, I hope you too can appreciate these smooth curvatures.

Taken with the well appreciated approval of the gliders club director, and the willing club-handyman. Somewhere in the Netherlands.

• Smooth curves •

model: Michelle Alba

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

1/500s f/1.8 ISO 100

 

Strontian

landscapes, travel

Do you remember this one? I do, I was wet and cold to the bone, and then I discovered this moss overgrown forest, and the rain calmed down a little. Something I couldn’t resist to.

• Ariundle National Nature Reserve – Strontian – Scotland •

0,3 sec f11 ISO100 Canon 5Ds with Canon 17-40mm @19mm

The Zinkae exhibit I took part in has ended yesterday,

a lot of people were a bit surprised not to see my women, well, I think it’s good to surprise people from time to time. 😉 See you there next year!

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 •

 

Sunrays – a beam of light in a pitch black studio

beauty, erotic, Nude

A rough carpet, a little bit of sun, and a big black curtain to block te rest of it. That is all that was needed for this series with Charisse. I had a bit forgotten about this series, it was made the same day as we did ‘an apple a day’, and I was so fond about that series that this one got a bit lost. Here we go, all images taken with Canon 5Ds and 50mm f1.4 from Sigma.

The settings are very similar between images, shutter speeds varying between 1/400 and 1/500 and aperture f:3,5 or f:4.0. ISO is at 100.

Charisse feels confident enough to generate a series of sensual, intimate poses, and she hardly needs direction, except for keeping the sun ray in the right place on her body and face. The light is hard to manage in this kind of situations, only one rule: measure for the highlights, and don’t care about the shadows. This gave me these nice, contrasty images, with a little room for imagination and mystery. Thank you Charisse, for this very fruitful day!!

• Sunrays •

Want to get a shoot for yourself, contact me now for your life-changing experience!!

Goodbye summer time, exhibit closed.

exhibition, location, Nude

For the last day of the exhibit, i had posted an invitation on Facebook for a guided tour trough the exhibit. It was a cosy gathering, I gave visitors some inside, behind the scenes information, and people could ask questions about my work, my gear, the models, locations, etcetera.

The exhibit is now over, I have no idea about the number of visitors in total, as I was present only now and then. The reactions in the guestbook are mainly positive, some very positive, some very negative. It always shocks me to see how some people are still very narrow minded about nudity, even if it is brought with delicacy and taste. Fortunately I have my wife who is very supportive in getting me over this kind of comments. 🙂

Visitors have very different ‘favourites’, but in this exhibit, one image has received a lot of praise. It was an image not previously shown, and here it was shown in the massive size of 110x165cm (44″x66″), hard to miss. People praised it because it had a lot of ‘naturalness’, it seems not posed and very natural, at the same time intimate, and casual.

the model is Kate Ri, the image is titled • greenhouse flower • it was shot in the Royal Glasshouses in Meise, near Brussels, on a cold day in January.

The image is still for sale, as is all my personal work, if you are interested, send me an email on ludwig(at)ludwigdesmet(dot)com

thanks for reading, see you soon!

Ludwig

 

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

 

 

50+ ‘the Age of Beauty, the Beauty of Age’

Nude, people

Als primeur, een post op mijn blog in het Nederlands.

Ik krijg vaak het commentaar dat het gemakkelijk is om mooie jonge vrouwen op een mooie manier te fotograferen, maar dat ‘eens op leeftijd’, dat toch niet meer werkt.

Daarom ben ik een paar maanden terug begonnen met een nieuw project, ‘the Age of Beauty, the Beauty of Age’, waarin ik 50+ dames fotografeer op een vergelijkbare manier als ik met jongedames doe. Ik kreeg hiervoor al enkele dames voor de lens, maar ben op zoek naar meer kandidates hiervoor. Ik wil die in principe ook pas naar buiten brengen als ik een reeks klaar heb. Vandaag maak ik hierop een uitzondering, om het project wat een boost te geven, maar ook omdat ik net een getuigenis binnen kreeg die zo mooi is dat ik dat niet kan laten (met toelating uiteraard)om die te laten lezen. De foto hoort bij deze getuigenis, en lees vooral zelf de woorden van Amélie, onder de foto:

‘Of ik het zag zitten om mezelf bloot te geven, letterlijk dan’… daar kwam de vraag van één van mijn beste vriendinnen op neer in mijn mailbox . Een bevriend fotograaf was begonnen met een mooi project voor vrouwen van onze leeftijd, ‘Age of Beauty, the Beauty of Age’,…

Zij had het aangedurfd, het was een unieke belevenis zei ze. Ik las de tekst met uitleg van de fotograaf en hoorde haar ervaring en dacht in eerste instantie ‘dit durf ik niet’, zoals de meeste vrouwen denken als ze op een leeftijd gekomen zijn waarbij het lichaam niet meer is wat het ooit geweest is…

Wat ben ik blij dat ik mij heb laten overtuigen! Na een eerste gesprek met Ludwig wist ik dat ik dit avontuur met volle vertrouwen kon aanvangen, het was nu of nooit, en enkel met deze fotograaf. Ik had het met niemand anders aangedurfd.

De avond voor de grote dag kroop ik vroeg in bed om er de volgende dag op mijn best uit te zien, maar om middernacht zat ik alweer beneden… toch een beetje stress?

Die dag is er eentje geworden om nooit te vergeten, een unieke dag die steeds een glimlach op mijn gezicht tovert als ik eraan terug denk. Alles is zo vlot verlopen, ook al wist ik helemaal niet hoe eraan te beginnen, deze fotograaf maakt je rustig, laat je genieten van jezelf en de lens, soms vergat ik gewoon dat hij er was.

De resultaten zijn nog mooier dan ik verwachtte, heel kunstige foto’s met oog voor kleine details. Ook hier en daar een foto die mij wat confronteerde met mijn minder mooie kantjes, maar ik ben wie ik ben en zo sta ik ook op de foto’s, puur en soms een tikkeltje speels, een tikkeltje ondeugend 😉

Mijn man was enthousiast en wist meteen welke foto hij op canvas aan onze muur wilde. Ik twijfelde wel even om hem op deze plek te hangen; zichtbaar voor iedereen… maar hij hangt hier prachtig en wij zijn er beiden fier op!

Aan Ludwig en zijn vrouw: jullie zijn beiden prachtige mensen die een heel mooie kijk hebben op het vrouw-zijn, bedankt voor deze fijne dag. Ik had dit waarschijnlijk nooit gedurfd toen ik jong was en strak in het vel zat, maar nu kom ik met plezier nog een keertje terug.

Aan mijn vriendin, bedankt om mij een stukje van mezelf te leren kennen dat nog ergens verborgen zat, zonder jou had ik deze mooie ervaring nooit gehad.

Aan alle vrouwen met een jaartje meer, niet twijfelen, eens kennis maken, genieten van een mooie dag, in ruil krijg je een mooie herinnering voor de rest van je leven en een boost voor je zelfvertrouwen!

Zo hoor je het ook een keer van een ander, dus dames, jullie zijn welkom !!

groeten,

Ludwig

 

Flight club

beauty, erotic, location, Nude, people

somewhere in the Netherlands, I could say, they have a very particular flight club, with nude hostesses and so on, … but alas, it was only for this single occasion that Michelle posed nude at the gliders hangaar.

I had no clue as to where to shoot, just up to two days before we had our meeting. I started looking on Google Maps, just to get an idea of the surroundings, and to look for an eventually interesting spot. I could find three possible locations: 1. the place where we stayed (I accompanied my wife to The Netherlands since she wanted to take a weekend course there) had a big garden, with a very funny glasshouse (to be seen in the next image I will be posting) so that could become interesting. 2. There was a very beautiful garden and antique glasshouse at a event location just next doors. 3. I noticed a gliding plane terrain at about 5kms distance from where we stayed.

I didn’t really have to contact the first possible location, I would see it the next day, and could find out that in fact the glasshouse was particular, and interesting. The event location responded me within the hour that they had a marriage event the day I would meet Michelle, so this was a no-go. The flight club chairman responded me that he was ok with the idea, and that I could meet him the morning I had my appointment with the model, but that it would be difficult to shoot after midday because then they have a lot of flights going on. We met at 11:00 am and shot till about 1:00 pm, first clothed, on the runway with a parked plane (film photography, so not yet available) then nude at the hangaar. We had a willing assistant during the time of shooting and nobody else seemed to care. The assistant also figures in this image, together with two other club members. His daughter used to work as a striptease girl in theater shows. They are chatting about the club and I thought they might make an excellent backdrop. Michelle didn’t care either, as long as nobody started staring or taking pictures with cellphones … All went well, we said goodbye afterwards and went on shooting in the garden after that.

• flight club •

a huge thanks to the chairman and the assistant of the flight club, both requested not to mention the name of the club for privacy reasons.

Ludwig

Turbulence and Crisis

exhibition, landscapes

hi all,

just a little message to announce a next exhibit participation, a group exhibit with the Zinkae photoclub in Ghent. This time I will be exhibiting not my usual subject ‘women’, but I will propose two series: ‘Turbulence’ and ‘private’ … Private will show a limited series of 3 images about our tendency to shielding ourselves from the outside world, in order to protect the personal living environment. Fences, doors, security camera’s, hedges … etcetera. …

‘Turbulence’ will show 4 images reflecting a personal view on landscape and nature photography. The inherent structures in nature, that seem largely turbulent on a small scale, lead to a certain order on a bigger scale. Disturbed fractals versus clear equations, and how these structures show themselves to us. Brought to you in delicate black and white images.

TURBULENCE III

the invitation for the exhibit:

 

then what about Crisis?

Well, things are getting tough, and If I want to continue my work as I do now, I will need to cut some costs, or find a new form of income. I am currently working on it, but of course your help would be welcome too. That’s why I have included a Paypal button on the welcome page. You can donate any amount, all is welcome, (I chose 5€ as a standard) and it will help to pay the costs of exhibiting, models, film, travel, …  this is the button: (this one is active too 😉 )


The exhibit in Sint-Laureins is still on and running, so you can go take a look, every day, 10-17hrs, till september 2nd.

 

 

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

 

DANCE ! – shooting some dance movements in the studio

personal tips & tricks, photo gear, Tips and Tricks

Hi there,

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.

 

some mistakes:

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.

 

Ludwig

 

Vita! for Life!

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

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!