Jenn – Black Coat

beauty, Personal Pictures

As I told in a previous post, a very cold day, cold wind, no sun … great light for a shoot.

A black coat, a set of nice lingerie and some sexy boots plus a very beautiful alley of trees as a background. That’s what we needed for this fine series of images. Hairdo: my wife Nathalie 🙂

Farmers went and came trough the alley, they must have wondered what we were doing there. I kept the car heating on, so Jenn could get warm in between different takes.

Taken with Canon 5D II and Canon 135 mm f2.0 (except second, with Canon 24 mm f1.4 L II), its been a while since I used this lens for a shoot, but it still is a nice piece of glass with great contrast and perfect sharpness wide open.

Jenn told me she didn’t look good in pictures, what do you think?

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And a last image with Rolleiflex 3,5 Tessar 75 mm on Kodak T-max 400 film.

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thanks for watching, come back again soon.

ludwig

Fien at The Mansion – about light.

beauty, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks

After our outdoor forest shoot, we had some time left for a quick session ‘at The Mansion’.

The Mansion is still my favorite location for indoor shooting, since it has so many possibilities. Whatever moment of the day, there’s always a room that has nice light, the building is free-standing, which means that there are windows all around, and some rooms have windows on three sides. So besides choosing my main light source, all I have to check is my own position, the position of my model, in respect to the multiple windows I have around me. I can shoot with a window in my back, and still shoot against the light with the window just in front of me.

On the attic, I have rooms with only a small light, on cloud covered days that becomes very similar to what a softbox would do. On sunny days, I have a light spot on the floor, which reacts as an indirect light, and I still get the ‘softbox’ windowlight. On sunny days I rather not shoot in straight sunlight, because of the huge contrast ratios between sun-lit area’s and shadow areas.

Some images to illustrate my explanations:

1. One of the attic rooms, a single window at the right of my model, cloudy day, no direct sunlight, a door opening just left of the image, you actually see the door at the left side. Gives me enough light to create that small rim light on the hair and body, and it adds just that little extra light on the floor, to make the rest of the body shape stand out.

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2. The office: A row of windows left as well as right from the model. Moderate light amount. There is an additional window light just behind the model, above the door. I added the extra bit of artificial light, available in the room. (some small bulbs) The artificial light creates a warm color cast, that can be annoying because the natural light is color neutral or blueish, depending on the weather conditions.

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Same location, but I changed position.

Now I’m shooting against the light, but also with the light coming from behind me.  The windows are big enough to provide a soft overall light, slightly coming from above, the windows in the back produce a very beautiful contour light all over my model. Note that I position myself in a way that my model is in front of a darker background, otherwise the rim light would get lost. (this was the first picture actually, Fien still has the hairdo from the exterior shoot.)

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3. The angels room. Named after a beautiful decoration above the wooden side panels, with angels and flower, …

I have my main window light just behind me, aimed west, this picture was one of the last, so not long before sunset. There’s two more windows on the right, one just behind the model, one a little further away. The window just behind the model was covered with curtains, so only the far right window remains. Again this window helps creating a nice hairlight and ‘sheds a little light’ to the back end of the sofa.

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4. The main entrance. Here my model actually stands outside, under the porch covering the entrance to the front door. This is perfect soft light for nice portraits. It is evenly distributed from above and from below, and it prevents hard shadows under the eyebrows. I have no backlight, but the glass in the front door provides a little definition of the hair contours.

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5. The stairway. The main light source here is artificial light, coming from above (slightly warm tinted) The rim light is coming from a window behind the model, higher up the wall, spanning from left to right. This gives the nice light on the hair, the side of the head, the cleavage and breast, as well as the wooden pillars. Again mixed light white balance, but to me it is ok.

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6. Also taken in the angels room, this time the model is standing where I took picture 3, back to the window, The window is big and high, providing enough light for an overall well lit image. Now we opened the curtains of the opposing window, giving a beautiful fill in light from the left.

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To all aspiring model photographers out there, I hope you learnt something from these short explanations.

To all the others, I hope you enjoyed the images.

A big thank you to Fien for her confidence and cooperation. She never posed before, I think she did really well. Above that she’s a charm to work with. A big thank you also to the owners of The Mansion, for giving me continued access to this magnificent building.

see you again soon,

ludwig

Emilie at Hotel Remington – NSFW

beauty, erotic, Personal Pictures, Uncategorized

It has been a while since I first started thinking about how to define ‘fine erotica’ and what can be described as being erotic, and I still am not really sure how to describe it. I think it must be a mix of State of mind, sexual attraction, visual appeal and a lot of fantasy about the promise of an intimate relationships. For me erotica is not directly linked to nude, and nude is not per definition erotic. I think there’s a lot of nudity available on the internet that has little or no erotic effect, rather the contrary. And there are some (harder to find) very erotic, non nude pictures out there as well.

As a photographer it is not easy to find and keep that very thin border between ‘just another picture of a beautiful woman’ – fine erotica – ‘just plain vulgar’. And that is just what I’m trying to achieve in some of my photo shoots.

I think I have the necessary technical knowledge now, but there’s a lot more needed.

One of those things needed is a willing model, understanding your ideas and showing enough confidence to let you execute them. Not easily done these days, where all things including nudity, erotica and sexual arousal are hidden far away behind closed bedroom doors.

It will be a long search, and I feel I only have just started out.

This shoot was done with help of Audrey from Hotel Remington in Ronse, thank you Audrey, for keeping a room for us that day. Clicking on the name-link will take you to the website of this nice, charming hotel.

Emilie was ready. She understood the things I wanted her to evoke, and she did it. Thank you so much Emilie, for your confidence, your trust and the beautiful results we made together.

Emilie is not really sure about revealing herself to the world as being a nude model, so we agreed to show only ‘non recognizable images on this blog’. I hope you understand, and I hope you can enjoy these pictures.

 

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Sofie at the orphanage

beauty, Personal Pictures

The orphanage, it’s been a long time since I photographed there. I had no access to the Mansion that day, and the orphanage proved a welcome alternative.

It might not be as fancy or beautiful as The Mansion, it has character and atmosphere by millions, …

I met Sofie at a good friends wedding party early september, and asked her if she would like to be a model in one of my shoots. Mostly this question comes with some hesitation and fear. I might be the dirty old man, looking for some secret fantasies to come true. :p

After a week or so I got an email message that confirmed her interest, and that in fact it had been her husband that pushed her into this. He had been looking trough my images (on this blog-site) and found them to be beautiful and respectful. We met some weeks later. Sofie is not a model in the strict sense of the word, she never posed before, and was somewhat intimidated by the event. But she did very well, she managed to look straight into the camera with an expression of confidence and self awareness, and she had no problems following my posing instructions. I would call her a natural beauty.

Thank you Sofie, for your patience and thrust!

I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures.

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Come again soon,

 

Ludwig

Ivana at the Mansion – part III – the woman behind the model – NSFW

beauty, Personal Pictures

After working with Ivana for about an hour or two, it appeared to me that she hadn’t showed herself in the shoot the way she presented herself when ringing at my door that same morning.

So I wanted her to look NOT like a model for once. So in stead of asking her to convey a certain emotional state, or a certain strength or vulnerability or whatever look I had received from her, now I wanted her to show the real Ivana. Now THAT was a very hard think to do. And I think that is the biggest disadvantage of working with pro models, they kind of lost themselves in those hundreds and hundreds of hours of being someone else.

But I think we succeeded, and Ivana at last had me have an insight in her natural being. So here she comes, the real Ivana. I am proud, thank you Ivana!

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thank you, come again soon, please leave me your thoughts and questions.

warm greetings,

Ludwig

Ivana at the Mansion – part II – NSFW

beauty, erotic, Personal Pictures, Uncategorized

Another advantage of working with professional models is that they often have little or no reservations towards nudity, as long as it is tasteful and not in disrespect to their person.

Ivana is very used to posing nude, and I am getting used to working with models in a natural, unstressed way. I consider it a gift that my wife will let me work with these women, in a way that most people consider at least ‘unconventional’. (Certainly here in Belgium) On the other hand, I must say that in this growing process, I never really felt sexual attraction during these shoots. I think it would be no good idea to not keep control over your male instincts at these moments. That will certainly ruin your photography, and it will most probably ruin your reputation as a photographer. A lot of men asked me if they could assist with light setups in my shoots, but unfortunately I work with natural light only, so I don’t need assistance. 😉

I am very much inspired by the work of Radoslaw Pujan, and maybe you can find some of his influences in my images from time to time. He’s both an exquisite photographer (working mainly on film) but also a good storyteller in his image series.

Enjoy!

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come back soon for another post!

Ivana – The model – at the Mansion – NSFW

beauty, erotic, Personal Pictures, Uncategorized

Ivana is an international working beauty and fine art nude model. She was in Belgium last september, and I took the occasion to work with her for a morning session at the mansion.

Working with professional models has advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest pro’s is that they very quickly understand what they need to convey in the image. If you want a certain expression or attitude in the image, most of them are quick in producing the look you’re after. Another advantage is that you can be sure they will be present at the fixed appointment date/time. Working with ‘facebook models’ sometimes lends to ‘no-show’ at the time of the shoot. (In excuse of Grandma’s dying and more of this stuff). Ivana also took care of her own make-up, hair was done by my wife Nathalie. Nathalie attended an entire shoot for the first time, and found it enriching and exciting. I was really ok for having her around, and so was Ivana. She’s used to having a whole team present at shoots, so she couldn’t be bothered less with only me and Nathalie around.

We worked in different themes, I’ll show you ‘the lady of the castle’ first.

for those wondering what NSFW stands for: Not safe for work – due to nudity involved.

All images available light only, Canon 100 mm Macro and Sigma 50 mm on my trustworthy Canon 5D II.

Click images for a bigger view.

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thank you for watching, next set coming soon,

Sanne at House Adelaïde – BW

beauty, Personal Pictures

A lot of models ask me if I will work according to a concept or a clear idea, I almost always point them straight to this website. I do not really work out much preparation in my beauty shoots. I make sure I have a location, sometimes I take care of some clothing, and that’s about it. Sanne asked me ‘three hours, is that not too short for a shoot?’, well, since I work with no artificial light, it is not, you’ll be tired after those three hours, because I make you do so much different things in this period of time. I love to work in House Adelaïde because it has beds, nice wooden floors, curtains, light from both sides of the building atmosphere and style. If you are looking for a luxury holiday home in Ronse, that’s the place to be.

A small selection of the morning session with Sanne, black and white.

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come back again soon for the color version 🙂

grtz, Ludwig

Lisa at The Mansion – Part III – Lingerie

beauty, Personal Pictures, Uncategorized

I have a good relationship with the people behind the Belgian ‘passion shops’ called Tutti Passi.

They provide me with lingerie and accessories, I grant them the use of some of my images. Make sure to visit their website to see what they have available. Have fun 😉

Just one word about natural light photography and why I prefer working this way.

The idea of using natural (also called ‘available light’) light is double for me.

1. It allows me to work quickly and without the fuzz of getting my gear just right for every room I work in, every different position I put my model in, … Getting this light just right, and then another light, and then a reflector, and then I need some more extension cable …

Working quickly allows me to direct my model in all kinds of poses, make her take different positions within a room, if I don’t like the light I can switch to another room, so she tends to forget it’s all about posing, and I get more natural, relaxed poses AND I get to make a lot more variations in a given amount of time. All the images with Lisa from this, the previous and the the post before that one are taken in about three hours of time. I would never be able to get such a rich variety of images if I were to setup lights every time.

It allows me to walk all around, and just analyze the available light in the room, and shoot from whatever angle I want to. I never have a light stand or a cable that is in the way. I don’t need to bother about light intensities or distances from my multiple light sources, … I have just the available light, and depending on where my model stands I will certainly need to adapt my exposure settings, but I only need to do that on my camera, and I’m good to go again.

2. I just don’t like it to drag all those flash lights and stands and cables etc. … I suppose I must have some kind of laziness inside me :p

Lisa in the beautiful lingerie gown I could lend from Tutti Passi, by Felice Art Couture

 

I’ll call the first image ‘Für Elise’, after all, I was named after a certain Ludwig Von Beethoven …

 

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thank you for watching

don’t forget to click for a bigger version of the last image, it’s worth it!

see you soon for next chapter 🙂

Ludwig

Lisa at The Mansion – Part II – Upstairs

beauty, Personal Pictures, Uncategorized

The mansion has 4 levels: a ground level that is fully restored, and fully equipped with furniture, curtains, beautiful light fixtures etc. A first level that looks like someone is currently moving in whilst doing a rebuild, with plaster on the walls, cables hanging from the ceilings, water pipes on the floor, just simple light bulbs protruding from above where the sink is supposed to be etc. … Another level that I call the attic, with dark rooms just below the roof. No plastering at all, you can directly see the roof structure and the shingles on the roof. There is also an underground level, which I haven’t used yet. Its cold, dark, dirty and damp. Nothing nice really, oh and it has doors with bars, maybe those might lead to something.

I love using the dirty textured walls as a background in contrast to my models. Sometimes my models get a little bit textured too, by standing against the walls, but mostly they don’t care. Lisa certainly didn’t care too much.

A jeans short and a loose tank top. Lisa needed nothing else.

All natural light, 24 mm (first one only), 50mm and 100 mm. Canon 5D II

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thank you for looking, share me your thoughts and come back again for part III really soon.

Ludwig

Lisa at the Mansion – Part I – The Attic

beauty, Personal Pictures

Well, here they come. Lisa is a dancer, and she can’t keep from moving and being graceful and elegant. She’s also very well trained, and her body shows. The attic is dark, and cold and deserted, but it has window light that plays well with the curves and contours of a beautiful body. This is the first half hour of the shoot, and we still had to get ‘warmed up’, …

I feel it helps getting my models comfortable and at ease when my wife spends some time getting their hair done. They feel less vulnerable and helpless, knowing there is a third person involved and also I believe they feel less threat knowing that I have a relationship that works well etc. … Lisa at least felt at ease from the start of the shoot.

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images taken with 24mm (first one only) 50mm and 100mm

come back again soon.

Ludwig

Lisa at the Mansion – preview

beauty, Personal Pictures

A single image to get you all warmed up for the next few posts. Lisa at the Mansion. We met trough Facebook, we have tried to fix a date for a shoot on several occasions in the last two years, and then finally, at the end of august, Lisa came to Ronse for a beauty shoot. She did absolutely wonderful, I can’t wait to show you the results. The image below has received a 97.4 score by the 500px.com audience, and there’s a lot more images that have the same amount of tenderness, beauty and sensuality. Come back again really soon, and enjoy the rest of this wonderful afternoon photo session. Lisa told me when she saw the pictures: ‘amazing, that with so little equipment, you can produce this kind of result’. A great compliment for my available light photography, and another proof that you don’t need a ton of gear to produce beautiful images.

Image taken with the Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG Art 1/80 – f2.0 – ISO200

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Juliette at the Mansion

beauty, Personal Pictures

Another series at the Mansion. Juliette had seen my images on modelmayhem (I have a free account there, so my portfolio is limited to 15 images) and contacted me for a shoot early summer. It took a while before we could arrange a date. Juliette, like most of my models, had to travel quite some distance to get here. Worthwhile? Take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself. Juliette happy, me happy, … Thanks again to Nathalie for the hairdo, thank you to the owners of the Mansion, still granting me access to it whenever I want to shoot. Thank you Juliette for your patience and trust.

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All images except the last one available light only, Canon 5D II and Canon 100mm f2.8 IS Macro L/Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG Art.

Last image with additional Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash.

Thank you for watching, hope to see you again soon.

Kimberly at the Mansion – the digital ones

beauty, Personal Pictures

I’ve spoken about this shoot in an earlier post (in which I talked about the pro’s and con’s on film photography vs. digital).

But I yet have to show the digital images of this shoot with Kimberly. We fixed a date only a couple of days after she became 18. I generally don’t work with people under 18 because I don’t want any discussions with mad parents, or I do not want the hassle of somebody else having to sign the release contract I work with, and I don’t want to picture any nudity of a model under 18 (at least).

Anyway, here are the pictures, I don’t believe Kimberly posed in a shoot before, and she did really well, I think she has a very cute face.

I hope you like them. All natural light, at one of my favorite locations, The Mansion.

Hair was done by Nathalie, my wife. She’s joining in regularly for a hairdo lately.

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thank you for watching. Come again soon.

Ludwig – Ronse – Belgium

Souki at house Adelaide.

beauty, Personal Pictures

A new model, a new location.

House Adelaide, a luxury holiday house in Ronse. Click here for more info. Including jacuzzi, outdoor kitchen, Sauna, a private bar and cinema, and a lot more luxury for the guests to enjoy.

And my model Soukira, who had been following my work for a while, and then when she had the opportunity, volunteered willingly for this shoot.

Enjoy the images and experience how a dull and windy afternoon turns out not so bad after all.

All images with natural light only (and some bulbs here and there). Thank you to Soukira, for the patience and trust, and a big thank you to the owners of the house for granting me access.

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Thank you for watching, …

Ludwig – Ronse – Belgium

Pauline M. at the Garden of Eden NSFW

beauty, Personal Pictures

If i remember well, I think Adam and Eve met at the garden of eden.

I think they must have had a similar feeling as the one I had when I first saw this garden.

It is absolutely fabulous, and I love taking my models here. I can’t thank you enough, Sabine, for lending me the result of your hard labour and work.

Next chapter in the shoot with Pauline.

A great model, lots of character and willing to integrate my ideas in this shoot.

Thanks again Pauline, I enjoyed working with you.

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Come again soon for my next post, another before and after image, with Lightroom development tricks explained.

happy photography,

ludwig

Pauline M. at the Mansion

Uncategorized

Pauline is studying to be a drama artist. She also has some experience with photography. She contacted me trough a model website where I have some portfolio images. She’s originally from Liège, but residing in Brussels.

I loved working with her, she does not have the typical model figure, and although she was a bit shy at first she posed very easily and naturally, and that is mainly what I’m looking for in models.

We worked trough the afternoon, first at The Mansion, then at the Garden of Eden. I’m very happy to have some exquisite locations really nearby, as this gives me the possibility to combine as the day evolves, and eventually as the weather changes. I’m still thinking about finding some additional locations for extra variety and possibilities. Not an easy thing to do, but I’m working on it.

Pauline brought a friend for make-up, and my wife did her hair. She made me think of a classic film diva in some of the images.

I’ll post the images in two series, The Mansion first. The house has been decorated with new curtains lately, and I’m happily making use of them.

Gear list: Canon 5D II, Canon 100mm f2.8 macro IS L, Canon 24mm f1.4 L, Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG.

Hope you like the images, come back soon for Pauline at the Garden of Eden.

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Tatjana at Sabine’s house, B&W

beauty, erotic, Personal Pictures

Next chapter from this same shoot.

I have shown some images I took on film, some digital, developed in color, now some digital images, developed black and white.

You will probably notice that I use square format more often in my images lately. i think they have a more balanced frame, more stable and that fits my photography well.

That is probably also one of the reasons why I love working with the analog 6×6 camera. It frees you from the question of shooting horizontal or vertical. Peace of mind, really.

All in all I think this was a very fruitful shooting session, don’t hesitate to communicate your thoughts and ideas.

Model: Tatjana DN

Hair: Nathalie R.

MU: Heidi H.

Lingerie and mask: Tutti-Passi

Thank you to Sabine, for granting me access to her house for this shoot.

All images except fourth (Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro L IS) and last (Canon 24mm f1.4 L) are taken with the new Sigma 50mm 1.4 DG.

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I hope you enjoyed,

Ludwig

Tatjana at Sabine’s house

beauty, erotic, Personal Pictures

a series of color images I took at the house with the wonderful garden, in Ronse.

Sabine saw my work in the ‘Kunst omhulst in Villa 99’ exhibit, and she tracked me down on Facebook. Per return, I saw pictures of her garden and I immediately fell in love with the beauty and romantic feeling the garden expresses. I had a first shoot with Anna O. in the garden itself, and now her house interior was decor for this shoot with Tatjana. Sabine is a painting artist herself, and very open minded for these collaborations. Thank you Sabine, for having me at your home that day. Tatjana is a non professional model, but very experienced in model shoots anyway. She was really open to work with, and a lovely personality. We were so indulged in the shoot that we had to hurry to catch the train at the scheduled time.

Rain all afternoon, so we didn’t have the possibility to shoot in the garden that day, but the interior of the house proved very adequate for a ‘natural beauty’ shoot.

Make up: Heidi H.

Hair: Nathalie R.

Lingerie was willingly provided by Tutti-Passi, woman friendly pleasure shop.

Hope you like this small selection of images.

I will soon show a second series of black and white images from that same shoot.

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Images taken with Canon 5D II and Sigma 50 mm f1.4 DG Art and Canon EF 100 mm f2.8 Macro IS L. In the first and second image I used a strobist flash off camera to get some additional light. It is bounced on a reflector, right side from the camera.

Hope to see you again soon, don’t hesitate to leave a comment, ask questions or whatever.

Ludwig