I admit, I am attracted to women more than men, that’s nature I suppose.
On the other hand, I rarely had the request for doing male nudes, until now. For me this was a premiere and an interesting experiment. Although I felt a little lost in what to photograph, and in the poses to work on, still I think we did a good session together. My model wanted to stay anonymous in the images, so that was a limitation to take into account.
I worked mainly with a low-key approach, but it was a continuous search for angles and light settings. We also experimented with some body lotion, and although I found it too greasy it did give different results.
Happy viewing, pls leave me your thoughts and comments below.
please enjoy with me these results from another ‘lazy Sunday morning’ session I did with Alisson this time. Below you’ll find a link to the behind the scenes video of this particular session.
you wanna see how the session looks like, behind the scenes:
check it out here, you’ll need a Youtube account, as it is 18+ and it won’t play outside Youtube:
remember these: … A little bit of fashion ? Those were all taken a couple of years ago in Brussels, when I met Erika Albonetti for a morning session. They were shot on film with the Rolleiflex twin lens reflex I have been cherishing for a couple of years now.
Time for a new ‘working collectible’, (although you’ve seen some results before with this camera here). The Fujica GW690ii, with a fixed 90mm f3.5 lens. Nicknamed the Texas Leica, it handles more or less like a Leica, but then one for big hands 😉
See the comparison with my Fuji X100f here, a big chuck of camera:
It is a viewfinder camera, but then in the medium format class, the negatives are with their size of 6×9 cm also huge in comparison with the X100f sensor size. (14.66 times bigger area)
This large format gives a narrower depth of film, so even with relatively closed apertures you still get narrow sharpness and softer backgrounds.
Like a lot of analog camera’s of older age, the Fujica has the shutter built into the lens, not in the camera. The shutter is a leaf shutter, a bit similar like an aperture, so opening from the center of the lens. The shutter speed is to be set on the lens as well as the aperture. focusing is manual and the viewfinder proves to be a lot more accurate than the matte screen on the Rolleiflex.
The camera itself is very simple in operation, there’s only a switch to be set to the right type of film 120 or 220, two shutter release buttons (one on top, one on the front side) and a film advancing lever (which you need to crank one and a half turn for a complete transport). There’s no built in light meter and no electronics at all, despite its rather modern looks and recent built year(1985), that’s rare. It has a built in frame counter (counts one unit per 10 frames) on the bottom of the camera. If the counter says 10 it has shot 100 frames. It also came in 6×7 (GW670) and 6×8 (GW680) film formats. These camera’s are well known for their robustness, with a fixed lens and so little things that can break, that seems logical. It weighs 1440 grams. It is frequently sold on Ebay, for prices ranging from €400 – €700.
As said before, focussing is a lot easier on this camera than on the Rolleiflex or for what its worth with the Voightlander Bessa I also have and which has the same film size but only a metering scale on the lens. With the Fujica I get every frame to be sharp (if I pay attention)!
Altough I still like the square format more, I’m ok with this 2×3 aspect ratio which we all know from current digital reflex camera’s. The number of shots per roll gets more limited though (8 in stead of 12) and thus you even need to be more attentive for each shot.
The images were made in Brussels, with Sofi ka, an Ukrainian model traveling Europe on a regular basis. We had a walk in Brussels in the morning, enjoying beautiful light in the city.
I shot this film in colour (Kodak Portra 160) and then another film in Black and white (see below). One film, alle shots: Sofi Ka in Brussels.
All negatives are ‘DSLR-scanned’ and converted to positives with Negative Lab Pro in Lightroom.
I also shot another film, which apparently was a gift from someone, and after further investigation by Ilford, the film turned out to be from 1992 … it came out all mottled and speckled, including the backpaper frame numbers in the negatives 🙁 bummer, although some people seem to appreciate the artistic qualities of it. …
Mjeah, maybe with a little bit of sepia colouring and some vignetting 😀 let me know what you thing
that’ll be all for today, thanks for reading!
As you might have seen I hosted two private ‘available light art-nude’ workshops in July. I had rented a flat in the historical centre of Ghent for a couple of days and I had two different models coming in. My second day participant wanted to find out how he could enhance his story telling abilities trough images. I had Violaine as a model (currently also on the front page of my website) and one of the sets we did was the ‘lazy Sunday morning’ set, in which I had Violaine improvise and pose without instructions, I had done this before with models I worked with multiple times, and I knew these images prove to be very genuine and ‘real’ looking. The idea behind it is that when you simply observe your model during her daily routines, you’ll get your story without having to invent one. I was not sure how Violaine would (re)act, but she wonderfully expressed her ‘lazy morning feeling’ over the course of about half an hour, without me or the participants’ need for intervention in the form of posing instructions or imposing our ideas. I had my participant move freely about the bed, and took the opportunity to grab a series of images from different angles at the same time. I think it was a very good experience for both participant and model, and I think the images are great.
The images below are of course a selection of the shots made during this set, and selected to convey the idea we were after, but they all came naturally thanks to Violaine’s non posing qualities.
Please scroll down to the end for this weeks ‘specialty’ 😉
Now for the specialty of this week, from next month on, I’ll offer one free photo session every month* to you, my audience.
• The nature of the session (portrait, fashion, glamour, nude …) will be your choice entirely.
• These sessions will be either studio or outdoor sessions, digital or film, to my choice.
• The first session will be scheduled on Wednesday afternoon September 1st, and then every month after that on the first Wednesday of the month. Count for two hours, always in the afternoon as I eventually want to be able to shoot with available light.
• If you want to participate in a free session, send me an email at ludwig-at-ludwigdesmet-dot-com right away. First come first serve. Your subject line should read ‘free photo session’.
• Don’t be shy, you don’t have to be a model, you can bring a buddy if you’d like, and I’ll make sure you get some wonderful souvenirs, for free!
• Open for women and men, but only for adults.
*The session will result in a uncertain number of images, digitally delivered in a watermarked version, available for purchase if you’d like that.
Some of you may or may not know the series of children’s illustrated books about the life of tiny (no caps), a little girl going trough all kinds of adventures, domestic or somewhere in a near/far garden.
It was very popular at the time I was a kid, and very beautifully illustrated. Titles were very varied but always started with the name tiny, check out the titles below on the www and you’ll see what I’m talking about. They were largely translated and distributed worldwide.
tiny op de boerderij (tiny on the farm)
tiny vindt een poes (tiny finds a kitty)
tiny doet aan sport (tiny does sports)
tiny viert feest (tiny has a party)
and that inspired me to do my own series of images, with a girl named Lily (Lilith actually, but to make the story complete I call her Lily) In my stories Lily is not the overly enthusiast girl from the original series but a ‘nothing ever happens here’ version of her, sometimes showing boredom or unhappiness. I made this series during the summer workshop week in August 2019, Lilith stayed overnight and we had an hour left before the participants would show up. I used the Rolleiflex TLR to make these shots. Enjoy!
• Lily cleans the workshop •
• Lily goes cycling •
• Lily feeds the chickens •
• Lily gets firewood •
• Lily plays ping-pong •
• Lily makes firewood •
• Lily helps the plasterers •
• Lily gives water to the vegetables •
hope you enjoyed viewing this little fun series as much as we did making it, and sorry for not cleaning the dust speckles.
thanks to Lilith Etch for being my ‘stand-in tiny’
see you soon,
thanks for visiting,
I hope that everybody is fine and in good health,
thank you to my public, thank you to my audience, loyal followers and fans of my personal work.
2020 was not an easy year, with Covid measures that have made it largely impossible to photograph people outside the bubble of one’s own family. In the meantime, when regulations were a little less strict, I was able to schedule a number of sessions, both personal work and private sessions, and that was good, I experienced a lot of pleasure doing them, because photographing people is and will remain my favourite activity.
The Covid Lockdown also has had a positive effect. During the first lockdown I rolled up my sleeves and built a separate room for a studio within an outbuilding in my garden. The studio is now ready for use, 4.5mx 8m and 3m high, one side black, the other side white, offering a ton of possibilities. A cozy wood-burning stove has also been installed so that the space can be used in both summer and winter.
My private clients, from fine art prints and private photo sessions, as well as my commercial clients, for product and architectural photography, make it possible to continue financially. Thank you again for that.
Of course I look forward to the opportunity to have more contacts again, I would love to put workshops back on my schedule and I also get a lot of demand for this, but I do not really see possibilities at the moment. Time will tell whether this will be possible again soon. For those who are interested in this, please be patient until then.
please don’t hesitate to comment and share your thoughts trough any channel, instagram, facebook, my blog or email …
Another series of images I did with Riona Neve last summer, the one and only model shoot I did this summer, in between two periods of lockdown there was not much time and I was very busy finishing off the studio room …
We had this beautiful modern house with swimming pool at our disposal for the afternoon, and started with some classy images with long black pants and a black blazer, paired with the inevitable sunglasses of course.
I have finally decided to create a studio space in an old factory building that is situated in my own garden. The building is not really in good shape, but it is more or less weather-proof and this should be enough to keep me running for the next couple of years.
What I did: Within the volume of the first floor (approximately 8 x 12 meters) I created a smaller volume, approx 4.5 x 8 meters that I have completely ‘re-finished’. I got rid of the roller shutters in the windows, I re-plastered the brick walls with natural clay, I put up a new wall in timber structure and re-painted the whole thing. I just finished a large double barn door this week. This ensures the poly-valence of the space. In case I need to bring in large items, that’s perfectly possible.
I wanted to keep the space as simple as possible, and I divided the long side in two halves, a dark side and a bright side. The dark side is handy if you want to have full control over your light, with virtually no light spill off the walls/ceiling. The bright half is interesting whenever you are looking for fill light on your subject.
There’s still a lot to be done, but last week I could do a first shoot in this new space, and I’m very glad my client Sofie has approved to use some of the images in this blog post. The session took about 3 hours and I’m sure you’ll be as impressed with these results as I was. Sofie never posed before, she’s a natural! Thank you Sofie for your enthusiasm and your confidence!
Some of the images were taken with studio light (studio flash) and others were taken with available light only. All were taken with the help of ambient music 🙂
First a series with a single flash head, standard reflector with 20° grid aimed at a white wall. The grid limits the width of the light beam and creates a nice falloff on the wall. It creates a rather hard shadow. The flash light overrules any available light there might be in the space.
I found them to be very fashionable.
We continued with the same setup, single flash but I’m using another wall as background.
Below the white wall reacts as a perfect reflector for the models face. The shadow gets harder the closer the model comes to the wall.
As I have a dark side and a white side, I have one sharp black/white edge. I used a styrofoam board as a second white surface behind the model. Single flash with 100 cm octa softbox.
From the garden shed I recovered this old work bench, cleaned it up and it will now serve a second life as studio prop. Full of character, a ton of possibilities and well contrasting with the female curves. Two flash heads left and right, small square softbox 66 cm each. By removing the subject from the back wall I can keep the background perfectly black.
Another setting at the dark side, a single softbox slightly higher than the model, model laying down on a black trunk. Using the light as a feather light over the body. Styrofoam panels on the opposite site give just a hint of volume in the shadow areas.
And then at last, over to the bright side again, using available light only, and with the help of the white wall for fill light I get a beautiful overall light.
And last but not least, did we have fun? Yes, of course, we had a lot of fun.
Sofie wrote me in a message afterwards ‘Ludwig, thank you for making this such a wonderful experience … ‘ . Well, I guess that’s what this is all about. Making women feel great about their body, giving them the space they need to build self-confidence and then, as a privileged witness capture this beautiful moment in images.
Thank you for reading this blog post, If you are a photographer and interested in building your own space, I hope you’ve learnt something. If you are thinking about booking a shoot session yourself but you are not really sure what to expect, here you have it. In an afternoon’s time, you can have yourself depicted in beautiful, sensual, intimate images and never forget that moment!
On the carved wood box:
and a bonus image because you took the effort to come look on this page
always fun to combine digital and film photography, and get my ‘working collectables’ off the shelf again. This time I shot a roll on the Rolleiflex, and one roll on the Voigtländer Bessa 6×9 folding camera. The latter is even more difficult, as it has no matte screen to focus on, and a very tiny visor that ‘remotely’ gives you an idea of the framing of the shot. You might find a dust spot here and there, oops. I have the films developed in a standard photo lab, and then scan them just the way I scan my B&X films, with the Canon 5Ds and 100mm macro lens. I use Negative Lab Pro for converting them to positive, but I need to find my way around in that program. It’s good but I don’t feel I have everything in control yet. Rolleiflex images first, the square ones, then the Voigtländer images.
Both films Kodak Portra 160, enjoy!
when I met Julia in Brussels, the weather was really dull, but I shot some film images anyway. Dull weather is technically less challenging than the harsh sun, at least if there is sufficient light. I had no excess light but could manage to shoot the film at box speed, with the widest aperture of the Rolleiflex, f/3.5 … rather tricky on the focussing, but some of the images came out really well. Hope you like them. Shot on Ilford HP5 Plus
Julia Yaroshenko on the balcony, in the series of hidden gems 2019
thank you for watching and be sure to check out this blog next week, I might have more interesting images coming up
I did a call for locations in August last year, stating that I needed a beautiful location with swimming pool, in a private garden. I received 4 offers in a couple of hours 🙂
I have picked the one that seemed best suited for the occasion, and I got a doggy model as a bonus. The models did great together.
Model: Sahri Nimi, Jack, location disclosed 😉
thanks to the owners of the location, for providing willingly access
in the series hidden gems from 2019: Jack and Sahri at the swimming pool.
Remember, all images are available as a fine art print, send me an email if you need any more information, and … see you next week!
Same as last week, you’re getting spoiled, aren’t you 🙂
Some results I managed to capture during my own workshop Model/lingerie photography with available light. Models during this workshop: Riona Neve and Sahri Nimi – behind the scenes video at the bottom of this post.
All images are available as a fine art print, inquiries please send me an email.
Hidden gems 2019, workshop Lingerie with available light
behind the scenes video on my Youtube Channel
thanks for watching, make sure to come by next week!
As I do conduct the workshop myself, I do not have very much time to make images myself, it is my absolute desire to help the participant as much as possible.
Nevertheless, I managed to make some good shots in between tuition, and here they are, in the hidden gems 2019 category, images from the portrait workshop.
Remember, all images taken with available light only, on the day of the workshop.
On the bottom of the page I’ll re-link the youtube video I made from this interesting day, go check it out!
behind the scenes on Youtube
thanks for stopping by, see you next Sunday!