valentine shoots available 😉
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,
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
I have invited two people to my studio and did a small analog vs. digital test.
I have, for the first time ever, linked my studio flashes with my old Rolleiflex 6×6 camera, and shot a roll of images with it, next to my Canon 5Ds with 100mm Macro lens.
What about the outcome, is high res digital better than medium format analog?
I think quality wise that is a no-brainer, our new camera’s and lenses are waay, no waaaaaaaay better than the old stuff, they are sharper, AF is spot on every time, they have less grain (or noise) (films shots done on Ilford FP4 Plus 125) and for sure less dust to retouch. Digital is more convenient, more flexible, more secure (with immediate feedback) … it seems to be more of everything.
Then why still use analog? To me it is more fun, more concentration, at the same time more relaxing, it lets you look forward to the results, it’s more challenging, … people react differently when shooting with a 60 year old camera, they are curious, they are amused, wondering what might be the result, … I also find the images to have some sort of ‘alive’ feeling, the out of focus area’s are more interesting, the framing is square by nature, which I love … although the last arguments might all be nostalgia.
Here are the images, the square ones are analog:
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, …
Hello there on this very first day of the year, I would like to wish everybody a very good start, good health and some dreams that get you moving.
A second ‘you’ to love, family and friends to care about, a safe home and a world that is ruled by peace.
2016 has been quite a busy year in photography for me, with three exhibits, a lot of photo shoots, and some portfolio presentations here and there. All this next to my daytime job and teaching evening classes, educating two boys and keeping the wife happy 😉 … quite busy indeed.
You have been an amazing audience in 2016, that is for sure. Since I switched this blog over to this domain (late january) it has registered over 45.000 (!) visitors and over 325.000 clicks. I would like to thank you all for this. What is even more fulfilling is the fact that my works starts to find its way to people’s home interiors. This means a lot to me, and certainly not only the small revenue coming from these sales.
Some images I gladly remember from 2016 to keep you warm until the new images for 2017 arrive.
I hope to see you all back this year, I held back some beautiful images from my latest shoots to start with in 2017. Also I bought some new gear that I will review here soon. Don’t hesitate to make comments, ask questions, … and keep enjoying beauty.
Happy New Year !!!
… and a very nice photographer.
Jane again, she got to grips with my old Yashica 635.
Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG A – 1/20s f4.0 ISO 320
thank you for watching, …
just a small reminder that a small selection of my work is to be seen till the end of August in ‘Het Godshuis’, Leemweg 11, 9980 Sint-Laureins, Belgium.
for fine art prints or shoot bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
some nice days in september allowed for some extra outdoor work.
the atmosphere in the garden was nice, the model was feeling good and relaxed. We spent some time here enjoying the sun an warm weather. The most difficult thing to tackle are the bright highlights. It is almost impossible not to wash out the highlights if you want some decent light in the shadow area’s. thats why it is actually much easier to shoot in a softly clouded sky situation than with bright light. Exposing for the bright highlights will give you near black shadows, exposing for the shadows will give you over-exposed hightlights.
I do not have an assistant with a sun-washer filter, so I often will shoot in a back-lit situation, with some highlight clipping in the bright area’s, and a lot of fill light in post processing. An alternative is seeking for the cover of a leaf tree, as we did in some images.
Elisabeth did great. Thank you. I hope you like the images.
Except last two (50mm Sigma) all images with Canon 135 mm f2.0 at f2.5
A former classmate from photography classes is currently still following courses in a different institute, to further expand his photographic horizons.
He came with the question ‘if I could figure out how to make a Corinne Vionnet image’ …
Corinne Vionnet has created a series of works, assembling a massive amount of tourists images (1000) into one single image. The resulting image is some kind of a condensed, time-spanning assembly of the tourist spot at hand.
I’ve tried to assemble similar style images with a limited number of beauty shots. These are the results.
I got interested in this technique, and I thought that I could make a ‘universal female portrait’, so I assembled 45 different images into one portrait. Image here under. Looks funny, but I liked the originals more.
This made me think about ‘Das Parfum’, the novel by Patrick Süskind, where the Jean Baptiste Grenouille tries to capture the essence of young women in a perfume, (he has to kill the women for his perfume) but instead of creating a perfume of youth, he became a monster. Not that the below image looks like a monster, but it is not exactly a beauty either. 😀 A lot is due to the different angles in which the original faces are oriented in the image. I need to try with ‘straight facing’ portraits next time.
I think I should experiment a little more with it, to see where I can get to with portrait work. Anyway, my friend was pleased with the results, and I have discovered something new. 🙂
thank you for reading,
I’m generally very careful about the integrity and privacy of my models. Usually when I shoot artistic work with a model I contact, I have my models sign an image release contract. This enables me to be able to publish the images on my personal web and marketing platforms (such as this blog), exhibits and book publishing. Mostly they still get the possibility to refuse image X or Y from a selection, if they think they are not beneficial to their personal image. Also they have the option to be published under a different ‘model name’ than their real name.
For people contacting me for a shoot, things are a bit different, they pay me for my work, and although I automatically get the image rights for the pictures I take, I do not have the ‘right of publication’ of them, without explicit consent of the person in the portrait. This is not contract bound, but on an ‘allow or refuse’ free decision of the client.
I made a series of portraits of this lady here. If I asked here, would it be ok if I post an image of this series on my blog, she said ‘no problem, as long as it stays anonymous’.
So here she comes: ‘The mysterious lady from the Brussels region’
Canon 5D mark II, Sigma 50 mm f1.4 DG A, 1/80 s – f1.4 – ISO 400
thank you for reading
I told you before I would talk a bit more about the Rolleiflex I use for shooting on film.
The camera is a Twin Lens Reflex, built in the late 50’s, so the camera is about 60 years old.
The construction with the two lenses, of which the upper lens is for viewing only (viewing lens) and the lower lens is for taking the image (taking lens) has advantages and disadvantages. In comparison to the older camera’s that used flat film sheets, where one had to remove the matte focusing screen before putting in the film holder for taking the image, this camera allows to shoot multiple images without moving anything. There is a 45° tilted mirror behind the viewing lens, projecting a mirrored image on the horizontal focusing screen.
Of course viewfinder camera’s existed as well, but they had no visual reference of the focusing plane, or the sharpness of the subject when changing focus. A photographer using a viewfinder camera had to use the distance scale on the lens, and the not so trusty guesswork for camera to subject distance.
Both lenses of the this TLR move forward and backward while focussing, and so provide an identical image on the ground glass as the image to be expected on the film. Still, the smallest amount of inaccuracy of the lens focusing mechanism leads to bad focusing, and I believe this camera suffers at least some looseness in the forward-backward movement.
Dealing with this complex mechanism of focusing, meant also that these camera’s are mostly fixed focal length. Some camera’s came in different focal length versions, but camera’s with interchangeable lenses where very rare. (Except for the Mamiya C)
This camera comes with a 75 mm f3.5 lens, it also existed in a f2.8 version, usually much more expensive on the secondhand market. 75 mm on 6×6 film format has an equal viewing angle to a 38 mm lens on Full frame DSLR, or a 24 mm lens on a 1.6 crop camera, so a rather ‘wide-standard’ viewing angle.
The lens is certainly not paramount, and suffers heavily from flare, as can be seen in the images below (does somebody have a lens hood for this camera for me?). An aperture of 3.5 gives a good amount of image unsharpness on medium format. 2.8 would be nicer of course. The images lack a bit of contrast and sharpness.
Composing with the mirrored image on the focusing plane is a bit of a habit.
Shutter speed range is limited, from 2 seconds to 1/500th of a second, thus mostly limiting the wide open apertures in bright light. The mirror does not move, since it is not obstructing the film plane, so there are not vibrations from this side. Activating the shutter however demands some finger movement (unlike today’s DSLR’s where pushing the shutter entirely only takes some tenth of a millimeter) causing some hand stress and maybe movement unsharpness. Shutter speeds as long as 1/15th. of a second seem not possible to me without image shake. Maybe with some more experience.
The camera has a built in exposure meter, but it no longer works, so exposer should be metered with another camera, or with a hand held meter, I use the latter.
Film for this camera is widely available here in Belgium, both black and white and color film. Not sure about slides. Development is still available too, although it can take a while (1-2 weeks) before getting the negatives back. Scanning the negatives, as well as retouching them (from dust) is a tedious process.
The biggest advantages for me is that I spend more time composing, and checking out if everything is well in place before taking the image. It learns me to concentrate more on details, on exposure, on posing etc. … One roll of film equals 12 exposures, after that the fun is over. 😀 The fact that you see the image mirrored gives you a fresh view on your scene, revealing flaws in your image/composing remaining unnoticed as you set it up. (But I still have a lot to learn)
A second big advantage is that the images are square format. This gives me a more relaxed feeling when composing, and I believe that the images are more harmonious too. I kind of like this square format more and more. (This made me thinking about modifying a matte screen for my 5D mark II to indicate ‘square’ cropping).
changes I have had:
I had the original focusing screen replaced with a focusing screen with split prism and microprism focusing aids, and that adds to the accuracy of focussing with the camera. I also had the shutter speeds checked out by the same specialist repair shop that also changed the focusing screen.
To be continued. Enjoy this small portrait series I made with Pauline lately – Rolleiflex 3.5E – Tmax 400 film.
thank you for reading, see you soon,
When I met Pauline at a hotel room in Ghent, the sun was shining brightly. This led to a difficult light situation, with very high contrasts in the room. (Contrast ratio 10/1 sunlit: 1/500s f2.0 ISO100 – shadow: 1/50s f2.0 ISO100) You either have to stay out of direct sunlight, or be very careful working into it. The key here is to make sure that your exposures are good for the sunlit areas, and certainly not overexposed. This can be done by spot metering the lit area’s and fixing your exposure to that metering. This gives you dramatic contrasts, and a perfect light situation for the ‘hide and reveal’ kind of images. The situation became even more tricky later on, as thick clouds began to block the light more often than not. All images with Canon 5D II and Sigma 50 mm f1.4 Art.
I loved working with Pauline, she’s full of character, she has confidence in me as a photographer, and she’s willing to play with the camera. Of course her drama lessons add a lot to that.
see you soon for some analog images from this same shoot. I shot two rolls of T-Max 400 film that same afternoon.