The birth of a model + the model’s story …

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

Hi, it’s been a while since my last post, I think this one will make it worth the wait.

• MUST READ •

you probably have noticed I worked together with Charisse a lot last year, I would like to show you some pictures from our first collaboration to our last one, as some sort of a tribute to this young woman, that in front of my lens, evolved from a shy and uncertain person, to a very self-aware and confident model.

I asked her yesterday to write down in her own words about our cooperations, and she did, Italic words is her writing.

—————————–

We met at an exhibition in Damme, Belgium, she seemed interested in my work. She flipped trough my book ‘Women’ and showed even greater interest after that. We agreed to keep in touch.

Ludwig and I met on an exhibit in Damme, May 2016. He gave me a business card so that I could contact him if I would be interested in working with him. At that time I was an insecure model with limited experience, but the pictures he was exposing and the atmosphere they contained were very into my liking.

First shoot together, June 20, 2016. We met at Godshuis in Sint-Laureins, Belgium, and we shot a couple of rolls of 120 film, and a digital session. She was very shy at the moment, and there were too many people running around at the Godshuis, so we moved outdoors for the rest of the day.

Not much later, we agreed on doing a photoshoot at Godshuis in Sint-Laureins. He arranged a MUA because I wasn’t skilled in make up back then. I felt pretty nervous but he immediately put me at ease during my posing. He was very tranquil, careful, polite and made me adjust my poses in a very respectful way. He never made me do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. So it became pretty easy to feel comfortable and my confidence was slightly growing. This first shoot resulted in pretty images and we were both feeling content.

 

Second shoot together, she came to my place, I have an old, small confectioners workshop in my garden, and we did an afternoon session there. She showed more courage and confidence already. She hurt her leg while smashing the radiators with a big sledgehammer. April 5, 2017.

The year after that, we agreed on shooting a second time, this time in his “studio in progress” in Ronse at his place. Great, because no potential peeping toms. We started working in a similar theme like the first shoot, but after a while he asked me if I wanted to help him smash the studio. I got to put dirt on my face and Ludwig handed me a sledge hammer that was almost my own height in size. “Knock yourself out”, he said. So I smashed the huge radiator with it, resulting in a bruise and scratch on my leg. Ludwig was taking pictures of me doing so, on a safe distance. The images were very cool and tough looking, something a lot different than the romantic, elegant moods we worked on first. It felt good to work on different themes.

 

Third time around, I still had to get my ways around the studio, and we worked there for the first time. It was a very fruitful day, with an apple as desert 🙂 Charisse had changed, she had become very much aware of her female figure, and the sensuality in her poses was suddenly obvious. Februari 22, 2018.

Another year later, in February 2018, we decided to do a shoot once more, in his new studio. This time he asked me what I wanted to do, and I felt like taking the next step. Something more sensual, maybe even a little erotic. In the 2 months before that, I had the chance to express that side of me in poses and expressions, because I had worked with another photographer intensively. Now I wanted to do something with it in Ludwig’s style. Grown strongly and without any obligations coming from Ludwig, I got in an endless flow of poses, and he just let me work by myself, he let me be myself. It all resulted in an awfully long day for the both of us. Exhausted but extremely happy about the resulting images, we agreed upon working together a lot more in the future. Those mutual satisfied feelings gave me an enormous boost.

Shortly after that we met again, for a shoot in the castle I’m able to use as a location if I want to, here we shot ‘the beauty and the beast’, ‘the great great granddaughter’, and a lot more beautiful images. We are march 23d, 2018

Only 2 months after that, we got together again to shoot, this time in a beautiful little castle in Tournai. The shoot went like all previous shoots, except now we started to understand each other more and communicating got even better. It got easier to get into eachother’s minds and create images fitting in a certain theme.

5th shoot together, a hot summer day last year, and not really arranged long before, I just called to find out if she was available, and ready for an experiment, and a day later she took the train to Ronse again. Shot in my garden workshop, and outdoors. ‘when things get messy’ and ‘statue’ … July 3d, 2018.

After that shoot we had another shoot on a hot summer dat where we experimented with some leftover clay he had in his garage. The shoot contained the preparation (me mixing the clay powder with water in a big pot, with my bare hands), the execution (me rubbing the mixture all over my body, including my face, neck and hair) and the result (the drying of the clay on my body while I was sitting still on a big cube). The whole process was a lot of fun to do, getting all dirty and feeling like a child. Again, Ludwig made beautiful images of it. Afterwards I first got a cold shower from the garden hose and then I could take a warm shower.

And hopefully not the last collaboration, and certainly not the least, again in the studio on October 30th, 2018. Long time since I used flash light, so let’s get up-to speed again with some different settings. Charisse is always ready for some new things, she is physically limited due to a muscle disease, but she has never let me down in her efforts of making every shoot successful and worthwhile, she understands what I want to achieve as a result, but she’s not afraid of giving input if she things it would make images even better,

After that we had another shoot in the studio on a cold and rainy day, working on images based on the work of Andreas Bitesnich, but also a heavy make up and water combination theme. That’s what I like about the collaborations I’m having with Ludwig: the exchange and being open towards each other’s ideas, always trying new things in a style we both like, but especially the mutual trust we built in these past few years.

We have a very good relation with each other, but the professional level we work in stays very well maintained. In the mean time I got to know a lot of photographers with whom I got to work together as well, but Ludwig stays an absolute favourite to me. Because of his professional attitude, easy personality, and the endless respect he has towards his models and their limits and conditions.
Thank you very much Ludwig, for this amazing journey. I’m looking forward to keep working with you in the future.

Thank you Charisse, it is a pleasure working with you! I might do a book on you some day!

—————————–

Some images you might have seen before, but I tried to show you some previously unpublished pictures too, as from a session there’s always a lot of material, so I cannot publish all, sometimes I forget about a series, sometimes when I review, new ‘keeper’s get my attention …

thanks for reading, maybe you might consider buying a large print from any of these? …

 

 

She can be found on facebook now as Sahri Nimi – https://www.facebook.com/sahrinimi/

 

 

• Slippery • in the studio – NSFW

beauty, erotic, Nude, studio

not safe for work, except of course if you work in an open-minded place, which I hope everyone does. A little edgy maybe, glossy and slippery, these nudes I did with Sara Scarlet.

I’m enjoying the studio in these cold winter days. Shooting outdoors is not really handy now, especially if you want to do glamour or nude work …  I put up the heating a little higher in the studio, and I can work at ease, without my model turning blue … so the blue you see here is purely a post-processing effect.

• Slippery •

eros was in the studio – NSFW

erotic, Nude

and he left me with some nice images.

I love walking the boundaries of erotica and art, I’m not sure how and where the limits are, but I kind of like these images. For me they are erotic, artsy, tasteful, beautiful.  It’s winter in Belgium, and the weather forces me to work in the studio more than I would like, but this session boosted my confidence in the studio a lot. Some things could have gone better, I should have paid more attention to my light levels overall, but the division of light and the addition of water and the poses and the model worked out all very well. Working in the studio is a completely different game than working with available light outdoors, it has other challenges, it needs a totally different approach. I used a couple of different light setups, all based on minimal lighting, creating only highlights on the models body. I was inspired by the nude work from Andreas Bitesnich, and wanted to experiment within his style. I especially love the way he works with highlights accentuating the body shapes, and I was not really able to recreate what he did, but then I didn’t really care, since I created something new 🙂

Thanks to my great model, Charisse again 🙂 small and pretty, she never thought she could become a model due to her size, but is making her way trough faster than she could imagine I guess.

 





Thank you for visiting, I will soon have my own Patreon page, where you will be able to financially support my work! You will be able to choose between a set of tiers that I’m sure will please any of tastes. Be it just supporters, apprentice photographers, or collectors of art-nude!
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

Ludwig

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.

fall is coming

landscapes

hi there,

I have been doing some interesting studio sessions this week, but the images need some more work before I can publish. First this, fall is coming and I’m happy to live in some of Flanders greatest landscapes, the Flemish Ardennes, or in dutch ‘De Vlaamse Ardennen’. the region is well known among foreigners for the Belgian cycling classics that come by here every spring. Kwaremont, Koppenberg, Kruisberg, Patersberg, … all cobblestone climbs from the best of bicycle races, and certainly famous from the ‘tour de Flandres’.

Just next to some of those climbs you can find Flanders most beautiful forests, lying on the hills that have been left behind when the rivers Schelde and Leie sculpted our land.

Below you can see the result of yesterdays afternoon walk trough one of the finest forests.

All taken with Fujifilm X100F on a Siriu T-005-KX mini-tripod. All at ISO 200, varying aperture and shutter speeds.

• Fall is coming – Hotondberg •

thanks for watching,

see you soon for some more work!!!

Ludwig

 

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!!

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

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

new behind the scenes video – Charisse black lingerie shoot

beauty, Behind the scenes Video, Nude

Hi there,

I published a new video to my Vimeo and Youtube channel today, you can see it here:

or here:

this is a condensed summary of a 45 minutes session of the shoot day I did with Charisse, you can figure out some of the light situations I make, see which poses get it to the final selection of images, etcetera. Learn by looking 🙂

for your info, all images were shot at f1.6, ISO100, Shutter speed 1/80 or 1/100s.

 

you can find more details about the reflector panels I use ‘by clicking here’

thanks for watching, if you liked the video, you might as well give it a thumbs up or subscribe to my channel(s)

thanks,

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 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

finding my way about in the new studio

beauty, Nude, people, personal tips & tricks, Uncategorized

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,

 

best,

Ludwig

3x3m hotel room shoot

beauty, location, Nude, Uncategorized

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 🙂

best,

thank you for reading