A different kind of Pauline.

people, Personal Pictures

You probably remember my posts with Pauline as a model, The Mansion shoot part I, part II and part III.

last Sunday I had another Pauline as a model. A little younger, but evenly charming to work with. In fact she had been also my subject for a free shoot somewhere in April last year. This time her parents asked me for the shoot. We met at the dance-school where Pauline has taken some dance classes.

I had told the mam before, that I’m not that much into children’s photography but she said she preferred it that way. She wanted a natural looking shoot, with no special extra’s.

For the technicians, not so much light in the dancing school, so an off-camera manual flash was used, to bounce some light from the ceiling. I use Cactus 5 trigger sets. All interior images with my trusted Canon 85 mm f1.8, the outside images (with the jacket) with 135 mm f2.0. On some interior images I used the Trigrip reflector in stead of bounced flash.

I’d like to share you these images. They each show a set of different facial expressions made during short communications between me and my model:


charlemagne-art_Pauline-8220 copy charlemagne-art_Pauline-8311 charlemagne-art_Pauline-8317 charlemagne-art_Pauline-8359 charlemagne-art_Pauline-8427


(you can click them to see them a bit bigger)



hope you like them, see you soon!

ludwig desmet alias charlemagne


The Mansion Shoot – prt II – The mirror & Curtain play

beauty, people, Personal Pictures


I promised you to post another part of the shoot today, so here it is.

This house is really full of marvelous decoration elements, so we tried to make use of them. The floor is covered up with thick plastic sheets, to protect it from damage during restoration works, so that was the only thing to avoid. some of the curtains are gone, but in this very particular room they are still there, and they offered a lot of different possibilities.

I hope you enjoy the images. I hope you are not bothered with the mild nudity in some of them. If you are bothered by the nudity, please continue here and have fun.

All images can be clicked for a bigger view.

Next week I’ll publish the last part of this shoot: The upper floor. Happy viewing!

see you soon!

Morning mood in old villa.

people, Personal Pictures

Hi there,
I’m very pleased to be able to share these images with you.
I did a model shoot with Lien, in the old villa where I shot the urbex shoot some weeks ago.

I did a call for models some weeks ago, on my Facebook Page, asking for models for a ‘natural beauty’ shoot. No make-up, no special hairdo, no flash or other light accessories. Just a female model, some sensual female clothing, a nice location and limited photo gear. Lien was happy to volunteer. Thank you Lien, it was a pleasure working with you, and you did really well!

Lien has never posed before, she’s a mother of two young boys and just a regular mom and wife. I think it is important to tell you this, because I want to stress on the fact that for a good shoot, you don’t need any specific experience or training. It is the photographers task to talk his model into the right poses, and I think we worked together very very well. I knew Lien before, she’s a daughter of a couple of good friends of mine, so she was quite relax from the beginning of the shoot, that helped of course. But, it could have been anyone, … really.

We have worked with some different clothing sets, in different rooms of the villa. It is really a wonderful place to work in as a photographer. I would like to say thank you here to Dirk, owner of the house, to let me in for these shoots. Thank you Dirk.

I will not tell a lot more about this shoot, except that we worked together for about two hours, we had great light, good atmosphere, and we could easily start all over tomorrow and come with another complete set of fine pictures.
All images taken with my Canon 5D II, and Canon 50 mm f1.4, Canon 85 mm f1.8 and Canon 135 mm f2.0 . I love fast lenses and wide open apertures. A limited gear setup like this allows working fast, and concentrating on poses and light. Post processing was done in Lightroom 4, that took me another 2 and a half hours for the entire set of 115 selected images. I’m sure I could work more on any of the images, but I’m not that picky on details. πŸ˜‰

Click on any image to view a larger version.

Comments are most welcome!

My website: charlemagne-art

Hope you come back soon!


Urbex shoot

architecture, Personal Pictures

Hi there, it’s been a while since my last post, but a lot has been going on here. I have been pretty busy with my Renderhouse jobs, and next to that, I have been assigned as a teacher for two evening classes in photography. YESSS!! I will be giving the basics of photography to one group (all about camera settings, exposure, composition basics, etc. …) and another evening class will handle Photoshop Lightroom 4 editing. I’m all excited, today is the first day I will be in front of one of the groups. …

I still found the time today to finish my urbex shoot post-processing from two weeks ago. I have been shooting in a place that has been abandoned for about two years I guess, but is still in pretty good shape. No vandals have passed by here (yet) The place is owned by one of my Renderhouse customers, and we made a deal. I would to shoot the ‘heart and soul’ of the villa as it is now, and then I can make use of of the location for future model/beauty shoots. Great, I love that kind of deal!

What you see here is the result of a 3 hour shoot, a short time of image selection, and about 3 hours of postprocessing. Hope you like them. click images to see a bigger size version of them.
Most of the images have been made with the 17-40 mm f4 L wide-angle zoom lens, some with 50mm f1.4, some details with 85mm f1.8. All on Canon 5D II.
Thank you for watching, please leave a comment if you feel so.

Come again!!



people, Personal Pictures


My wife Nathalie is currently studying to be a psychotherapist. She’s finished her first year now yahoooo!
One of the final presentations had to be a creative interpretation of a theme in the psychotherapist world. She choose disidentification. A difficult word, for explaining how anybody had different personalities in life. Sometimes we are parents, sometimes we are colleagues, sometimes we are student, … but even so with emotions: sometimes we are happy, mad, sad, or any other type of emotion you experience trough daily life.

Nathalie’s idea was to depict a series of emotions, from herself as a subject. Not an easy task, some emotional states are really deeply touching, but we tried, and she was very pleased with the results, as were her teachers!

Sadness – In thoughts

Balanced – pleased – happy

Strong – angry – feminine

all shots were done with a very simple setup: black cloth in the background, a softbox at the right side of the model, and a large reflector on the left side.
All taken with Canon 85mm f1.8

Cheers, see you soon,


Free shoot results

people, Personal Pictures, Uncategorized


some weeks ago I offered a free shoot to my FB and other followers (FB followers are more nearby than my blog followers) I wanted to show you some results. Berlinda won the free shoot, and she received her pictures already.

– she was very pleased –

So I asked her if I could post some images of her daughter, a real natural poser and fun to work with.

Here they come: All done with natural light and one reflector. 50mm and 85mm lens.ImageImage


Hope you like them too!



Lynn Studio shoot

people, Personal Pictures, photo gear

I wanted to share some pictures with you from my latest school work. Yes, I still follow classes in Photography. I’m currently in the people/portrait class, and the first studio shoot was to be done with one flashlight. We could use whatever modifiers we wanted, and we had to work towards a chosen sample image.

I had chosen this image as my goal for this assignment: I don’t know the photographer of this image, if someone knows, pls. let me know so I can credit the image.

I knew that it was going to be a fairly hard thing to get, this soft light coming from everywhere. I was pretty sure that I needed indirect light, so I chose for two huge reflector panels (Polystyrene boards, 1.20m wide at 2m heigh). I already had left the idea of lighting the background as in my sample image.
I had a perfect model for this picture, Lynn. She is a hairdresser, and specializing for make-up-artist, and she prepared herself the best she could, based on this example picture.
This is my setup:

I have been working with my 85 mm 1.8 in order to be able to just hide behind the reflector. Otherwise I had too much flare from the lightsource.

these are some results with this setup:

After that we tried a second alternative, the softbox, and one reflector to the left of my model. I experimented a bit with different positions for shooting, and different poses.

Result was quite satisfactory, so we decided to do a completely different setup, just for fun.
I wanted a very localized light, and I had no snoot available, so a gridded flash with barndoors did the trick.
I turned these images into BW because they made me think of these movie stars, longing for the hero to come back home.

Second half of the evening, we didn’t have the studio available anymore, so we did some freestyling in the hallway after that, with a reportage flash off-camera, combined with my Tri-Grip silver/white reflector. These are taken with the 135mm f2.

Hope you liked reading, feel free to comment!

In bed with Sue

Interesting Links

Last weekend I got a message on the ‘belgian weddings professionals’ facebook group about a 3 day online streaming course by Sue Bryce. Sue Bryce is what I would call a feminine beauty photographer, specialized in make-over shooting experiences. slightly based on the 80’s glamour, but totally reworked into a contemporary portrait style, with modern posing, make-up, hairdo’s etc. trying to create a unique experience for the women being photographed.
I took some quick glimpses of the course, in-between work, and I decided to immediately buy the course. At 99$ it is worth every penny. I’m only at the end of day one, in my viewing, and I’ve got tons of very useable tips already. Can’t wait to see the rest.

Sue’s website:

the link to the 3-day course: (sorry the price of 99$ was only during the course, now its some more)

I immediately used some of her posing tips in my first model shoot this week and I was very pleased with the results:

85/85 day 36-42

Personal Pictures, projects

6th week already for my 85/85 project. May I remind you that all previous posts have been updated every day during a whole week, so don’t forget to look back to earlier 85/85 posts to discover all images from that week.

Day 36 – 2012 02 03 – 13:24 h. – ISO 125 – f1.8 – 1/50 sec
One of our chickens had an off-day some days ago. … Can’t be a success every-time can it? With these quick changing, rather unusual weather conditions, I guess our hens lost track of seasons.
A quick setup on our wood dining table.

Day 37 – 2012 02 04 – 16:48 h. – ISO 125 – f8.0 – 1/80 sec
Belgium got surprised by snow yesterday. We had a new traffic jam record, about 1275 km, for a country of about 350 km long, that counts. πŸ™‚
Very cold these days, -12Β° C this morning. Took some pictures late this afternoon, during my ‘dog-walk’.

Day 38 – 2012 02 05 – 11:55 h. – ISO 100 – f1.8 – 1/160 sec
My wife is a hairdresser, and sometimes she cuts hair of her brothers/sister/mother, …
Here her oldest brother is waiting for a haircut. The image was quite a bit underexposed, but I managed to get this one out of it. Kinda liked the dramatic contrast in the face.

Day 39 – 2012 02 06 – No image, due to sickness.

Day 40 – 2012 02 07 – 19:28 h. – ISO 800 – f2.0 – 1/60 sec
I had a really bad day yesterday, sniffing and sneezing all day long, didn’t really have my mind into photography, …
But today we had our first real lesson in portrait photography. We had 6 flashlights set up in different classes all with different modifiers. We could only use the modeling light, so care had to be taken not to get blurry images. We worked in pairs, to be able to photograph each other as a model. Walter was my companion of the day. I judged this my best shot. Light with barn doors, large insulating board to the left, as a diffuse reflector. Walter used to be a school director.

Day 41 – 2012 02 08 – 20:04 h. – ISO 3200 – f2.5 – 1/1250 sec
And another B&W image today, our two boys brushing their teeth before going to bed. I had done some high iso shots in the kitchen just before, and I liked this setting, my oldest sun was aware of my presence, hence the ‘hi’ finger.
With the EOS 5D mark II, ISO 3200 is fairly useable for color images, perfectly usable for B&W.

Day 42 – 2012 02 09 – 19:51 h. – ISO 3200 – f2.2 – 1/100 sec
Played around with my camera just after supper. The boys were playing on the floor, and the cat came in. She just paused to sit just in between our two sons, as to say, here I am, and I don’t really care what you are doing. High ISO’s to enable faster shutter speeds indoors without flash. I normally use flash white balance, so this came out too much orange. I prefer not to correct white balance to a neutral white, for this kind of shots, because then you loose the warmth of artificial lights. That’s also why they sell warm white TL bulbs, …

85/85 day 29-35

Personal Pictures, projects

Day 29 – 2012 01 27 – 10:21 h. – ISO 100 – f2.2 – 1/400sec
The chickens in the backyard. They have no attention for me, since they just received their daily portion of maize. A rather difficult situation for the 85mm lens, with strong backlight coming trough the bushes. The lens hood helps a little but the purple fringing is still visible in the lower-left of the image. I mostly work with manual exposure and manual focusing, even so with these chicks.

Day 30 – 2012 01 28 – 19:54 h. – ISO 1250 – f2.0 – 1/30sec
I went to visit the Lightfestival 2012 in Ghent yesterday. Just a quick visit, because it was overcrowded and a not so pleasant experience because you just couldn’t get going. What we saw however, was rather impressive, and beautiful. Since there were so many people, I didn’t really care about taking good pictures, but this is one I took with my 85 mm. Handheld, so pushed the ISO’s quite a bit to prevent from camera shake. I have a quite steady hand for low shutter speeds, but this is about how far I can go with 85mm. 1/30th of a second, standing up without anything to lean on. The picture is not extremely sharp, but this is more due to the wide aperture and the high ISO number.

Day 31 – 2012 01 29 – 12:27 h. – ISO 3200 – f5.0 – 1/50sec
Played around some more with my new extension tubes from Kenko. This time I used the 20mm and 12mm together. My son is mad about the Cars-cars, and this was my subject during aperitif-time. Note the extreme shallow depth of field here, due to the very close focusing distance (guess about 30 cm approx. 1ft.) . Photoshopped the image for 5 minutes afterwards to give some more dynamics to it.

Day 32 – 2012 01 30 – 18:47 h. – ISO 160 – f2.2 – 1/50sec
Didn’t really find the time to take a picture today. My wife had a late meeting and I had to take care of cooking. Part of the menu can be seen here. Baked potatoes, yummie!
With a fast lens it is not really a problem to take handheld, no flash shots inside the house. with ISO’s at the low end, I managed to easily get 1/50th of a second. Have a good meal everybody!

Day 33 – 2012 01 31 – 18:17 h. – ISO 1250 – f1.8 – 1/20sec
I have done an entire shoot this afternoon with my 135mm, so I didn’t really have an image with the 85. I had to do some shopping at Bio-Planet Ghent before going to evening classes. This little detail on the parking lot struck me. A huge wheel of one of those gas-guzzling Range Rovers, and then this little tiny lost baby-shoe just next to it. A lot of things come to my mind then, …

Day 34 – 2012 01 01 – 20:11 h. – ISO 1000 – f8 – 1/200sec
I had a friend coming over yesterday evening, together with his lovely wife, and I had no problems convincing them to participate in my ‘Professions Project’. I had asked them before to bring something related to their profession. She did, he didn’t. Don’t count on the men, will you.
I have met Patrick in one of my earlier jobs, we were both DTP professionals, specialized in packaging prepress jobs. He on the Barco workstations, me on an Apple mac, with Artpro software (since then the two companies have merged their graphical systems and are known now under the name of Esko Graphics). I had a small loupe in my drawer, from those days of retouching images, dealing with dot gain compensation, plotting films, creating endless sleeve printing forms etc. … , … Thank you Patrick, thank you Veerle!

Day 35 – 2012 01 02 – 18:30 h. – ISO 640 – f4.5 – 1 sec
I had seen this shot before, even taken it, on one of my walks with our dog. Strong backlight from a sunset, with only the rails lighting up. It is freezing cold these days (-9 degrees Celcius at night) but we had some nice sunny days and that compensates. I had to be really careful not to shake the cam. I wanted the aperture a little closed for greater depth of field, and I didn’t want to push ISO’s too far. Kept the camera still on the bridge railing, with self-timed shutter release, to be sure not to move during the exposure.

So, this ends my fifth week. Are you still following? πŸ™‚

85/85 day 22-28

Personal Pictures, projects

Three weeks have passed since I started this project. I have taken 483 images with this blog project in mind, you’ve seen only 21. πŸ™‚
We have had some sloppy winter times, and today was not better. Rain almost all day long. It inspired me to this shot, my office window in ‘hydro-conditions’.

Day 23 – 2012 01 21 – 15:31 h. – ISO 640 – f2.2 – 1/50sec
Skipped a day in publishing, had a crazy workweek last week, and the result was that I didn’t want to spend time on the computer for publishing today.
A quick shot of my wife preparing for a birthday party in the afternoon/evening. Yes, the walls in our bathroom are olive green. :).

Day 24 – 2012 01 22 – 15:58 h. – ISO 100 – f3.5 – 1/125sec
My parents visited us today, and we did a short walk in very windy weather. I saw this traditional house surrounded by trees just popping up above the hill.

Day 25 – 2012 01 23 – 21:50 h. – ISO 100 – f2.0 – 1/50sec
Enough ranting about my busy working days, let’s show you what I’m doing for a living. This means mainly, besides photography. I’m a self-employed 3D artist, specialized in technical illustrations and animations, working for product marketing, architectural visualization, concept designs, event media etc. and currently working hard to get a project finished for a Mercator exhibition, due for opening begin march. You can see here my main application window, with in the upper-left corner a finished render sample of a digital reconstruction of a 1541 globe, made by Gerardus Mercator, famous cartographer from the dutch lowlands. About the picture, took this quite ‘unprofessionally’ and I had to work slightly of focus, because otherwise I got this terrible ‘moirΓ©’ pattern all over the screen. you can see more of my work here: Renderhouse

Day 26 – 2012 01 24 – 12:16 h. – ISO 400 – f3.2 – 1/50sec
We have a dog and a cat, our cat’s called Zorro, although it’s a female. Our boys choose it’s name, and since she’s almost completely black, Zorro it was. Underexposed this shot 2 stops, to keep the black fur black. Still had to push ISO’s a little, to compensate for a slightly closed aperture. Our previous cat died in 2009, I used to call it our horrible character cat, but Zorro is not much better. I suppose it’s a cat thing.

Day 27 – 2012 01 25 – 14:32 h. – ISO 1600 – f4.0 – 1/100sec – 85mm 1.8 + 36mm extension tubes
Yesterday I bought the 50mm f1.4 lens from Art&Craft in Ghent. Canon does a little promo on this lens, 40 Euro’s off the regular price. I’ve been looking to buy this lens before, and this seemed the right moment. At the same time, I bought the extension tubes set from Kenko. a set of 3 tubes, 12-20-36 mm long. This allows for closer focusing with regular (non-macro) lenses. It passes information about aperture and even AF still works, provided you have enough light coming trough. You loose some light however, since your lens becomes longer. I took this shot of my new lens with the longest tube and my 85mm. Pushed ISO quite a bit, and developed a bit to force contrast and grainy look.

Day 28 – 2012 01 26 – 17:50 h. – ISO 400 – f1.8 – 1/80sec
This is the last day of my fourth week. Sometimes I get the feeling that I run out of stock. No more interesting subjects, but then again, I find something in my very neighborhood that I hadn’t noticed before, or that never got to my attention. Today, on my walk with the dog, I saw a metal panel, indicating the number from a high voltage electricity pole. Two sides of the base have this number plate, you can see the other one too. This picture was taken just after sunset, I kind of liked the color gradient.

Sanne modelshoot

people, Personal Pictures

Sanne is a model describing herself as a ‘Plus model’, this means, not fitting into the ‘ideal size’ category.

We had a fun shoot last week after someone else cancelled on this superb location. Sanne immediately jumped in to take this opportunity! Please enjoy these pictures. Click for bigger images!

The shoot was shot with 85mm, 135mm and wide angle 17-40 (last image). We had a large reflector and an off camera flash, used trough umbrella. Images were shot at ISO 500 – ISO 800 on Canon 5D II.

85/85 day 15-21

Personal Pictures, projects

Two weeks already. One picture a day, one lens, for 85 days.

Day 15 – 2012 01 13 – 10:38 h. – ISO 100 – f2.0 – 1/800sec
A simple orchid, on our window sill. My wife loves to grow orchids, this one is probably a cheap one from Ikea. Again at minimal focus distance, I should buy some extension tubes one of these days πŸ™‚ .

Day 16 – 2012 01 14 – 11:03 h. – ISO 100 – f2.0 – 1/640sec
We moved some wood logs this morning, and the boys worked together finishing off. We enjoyed the good weather on this saturday morning.

Day 17 – 2012 01 15 – 16:23 h. – ISO 100 – f4.0 – 1/250sec
An afternoon walk with my brother and his wife in the ‘pays des collinnes’ – the walloon counterpart of the ‘flemish ardennes’. Nice views, nice but chilly weather and plenty of sun. Overexposed about 2 stops to compensate for the backlight.

Day 18 – 2012 01 16 – 08:12 h. – ISO 100 – f4.0 – 1/30sec
We had such beautiful sky colors today, both in the morning and in the evening. Just after the children left for school this morning I went up the attic (where is my so called studio room) and grabbed this view from behind our house. You can see the flock of birds just setting of.
They gathered on the wire and made a lot of noise. I don’t know what made them leave. This image was taken at 1/30th of a second. Sometimes I dare go way below what is called a safe shutter speed. A steady hand and a window sill to pose your elbows can do miracles.

Day 19 – 2012 01 17 – 13:56 h. – ISO 100 – f2.0 – 1/15sec
This strange thing called optics. I wanted to do a shot with my other great lens, the 135mm. thought of a product shot first, but then I changed my mind and wanted to do something with the wide aperture of this short telephoto lens. At f2, it seems like the lens has no aperture, and is just a wide open tube with some glass elements in it. Then I was curious if I would have been able to get a subject in focus trough an open lens. As you can see, I have to focus quite far in front of the lens, to get the subject sharp. You can probably calculate how far you subject needs to be, when the lens is at infinity, then how far your camera need to be etc. … but I’m just not into maths today. Taken on the wood floor of my home studio, with natural light falling trough the roof-window.

Day 20 – 2012 01 18 – 18:55 h. – ISO 1600 – f2.2 – 1/25sec
I had another very busy day in my 3D-animations business, so I only got to photography just before dinner. At home we have a stove, yes such an old-fashioned wood burning stove. To say more, in our living room it is our main and only heat source. This means we have to get wood every couple of hours to keep it going. It is not only used for heating the room, but sometimes also for keeping food warm, or even for cooking. The large pot you see here is the famous flemish stew, softly simmering for tomorrows dinner. We’ll bake some sausages then to complete.
I had to push ISO’s really high up to keep it steady, to 1600 ISO, but the 5D mark II copes well. Corrected the white balance partially, to keep the warm home feeling a little in the image.

Day 21 – 2012 01 18 – 18:27 h. – ISO 500 – f1.8 – 1/40sec
During my walk with the dog today, I tried some different things, panning was one of them. I shot this ‘mobylette’ at 1/40th of a second, just long enough to get some movement in the surroundings, and short enough to keep things sharp. I should exercise more if I want to use longer shutter speeds. Pushed ISO to 500 to get enough light. Cropped the image a little in post-processing, and I pushed the exposure 2 stops. With the streetlights you get a terrible color cast, but I didn’t want to remove it, otherwise all color disappears from the shot.

85/85 day 8 – 14

Personal Pictures, projects

So I’ve successfully finished the first week, and almost forgot to make a picture today πŸ˜‰
Some might have taken a look at the Exif data and noticed that the hour was not correct, well actually my camera is still in summertime, and we’re using wintertime now. I choose to show the correct time instead of camera time.

Day 8 – 2012 01 06 – 17:33 h. – ISO 125 – f2.0 – 1/25sec
I had taken my dog for a model, (didn’t like it though, he wanted to take on his daily walk and was too nervous to sit still) and whilst processing the images, the sky colors dramatically changed into a very nice color gradient, which I couldn’t leave unphotographed.
As a coincidence, the neighbor just got home when I grabbed my camera and got near the window. I had just the time for one shot before the car lights went out. Here it is:

You’ll certainly see the dog in a later post or update in this project when I lack subjects again. Expect another image tomorrow.

Day 9 – 2012 01 07 – 14:26 h. – ISO 125 – f2.2 – 1/800sec
I was in Oudenaarde this afternoon and I just wanted to do a quick snap of the 16th century town hall for today. Unfortunately there’s an ugly covered ice rink installed just in front, so here’s a quite unusual angle of this magnificent building, showing some of the detail that has been put into it. We had a bright and sunny afternoon, this is the shaded side, but indirectly lit by the buildings behind me. The light fixtures look a bit awkward, sorry for that, not my fault.

Day 10 – 2012 01 08 – 18:32 h. – ISO 1250 – f1.8 – 1/30sec
I only got the opportunity to take a picture today on my walk with the dog. After sunset already, so pitch-black sky, no moon showing up (full moon today). Promised you to show my dog, the day before yesterday. At the end of the walk, he’s mostly willing to pose. I had to push the ISO quite a bit, to make a handheld shot possible. 1/30th of a second, but possible with a steady hand. Hope you like my dog (the shot is something else). He’s an 8 years old sheltie or shetland sheepdog, and a real cutie. His name is Balou, we adopted him good two years ago. Horrible color shift due to the streetlamps, but I kept it in deliberately, because otherwise the balou lost all color too.

Day 11 – 2012 01 09 – 14:02 h. – ISO 125 – f2.5 – 1/200sec
Very busy day at the office today, lot’s of job to be tackled. Just took a moment off to get some pictures in the garden. A shortcoming of the 85 mm is that the minimal focus distance is about 85 cm, which is a little long for close-up photography. This little dehydrated apple wants to fall into the empty, but the stalk won’t let loose, …

Day 12 – 2012 01 10 – 08:34 h. – ISO 500 – f4.5 – 1/80sec
One day late with publishing today, sorry for the inconvenience πŸ˜‰
I have had a very busy day yesterday. A business meeting in the morning that took a little longer than foreseen, and an unexpected shoot in the afternoon (model had cancelled, but I found another model in extremis, two hours before the shoot). In-between I had to finish my bundle of projects for evening classes. In the evening the evening classes, and this morning, when I loaded the images from yesterday’s shoot, I had an unexpected ” DISK FULL ” message. :O Some strange sky I photographed in the morning. Just about 200 m from my house.

Day 13 – 2012 01 11 – 16:50 h. – ISO 125 – f2.8 – 1/60sec
As a photographer you always will see your own pictures treated last. I’m so happy that at last I found time to do a selection on my 2011 summer holiday pictures, and ordered a photo book. It fell in the mailbox today. I just noticed that I didn’t get an entirely sharp shot here, too excited to look trough the book probably.

Day 14 – 2012 01 12 – 16:25 h. – ISO 100 – f2.5 – 1/80sec
A quick shot while I was waiting in line on the bridge at the end of my street. Opened the passenger window to take this one. This is the train line going to Oudenaarde. Kinda liked the ‘windows’ showing the track and train.

with this one I finished my 2nd week πŸ™‚
Sometimes it’s hard to make an image, but it forces me to go out and photograph, and that is definitely a good thing.

thanks for reading.


85/85 day 1-7

Personal Pictures, projects

Day 1 – 2011 12 30 – 09:01 h. – ISO 100 – f9.0 – 1/200sec
At last some sun in the morning, after an entire week of ‘flat grey’ sky. View from my attic window, eastward.

Day 2 – 2011 12 31 – 16:36 h. – ISO 400 – f4.5 – 1/60sec
During my walk with the dog, I try to spot interesting subjects. Yesterday I saw this window, no interior light, only a christmas tree. Rather dark outside already, so I had to push ISO a bit, to get a stable shot. I still wanted some depth of field, so I slightly closed aperture, to f4.5

Day 3 – 2012 01 01 – 13:22 – ISO 1600 – f2.0 – 1/100sec
Difficult light situation on our new years pizza party. cold light coming from outside, warm light inside. I took this shot of my wife during aperitif time. I wanted to shoot without flash, so I pushed ISO to 1600. Thanks to the 5D II this is not really a problem. I almost always use manual focusing, so also on this one. I have to say that this is barely possible with the standard focusing screen and wide apertures, so I switched to the Eg screen on my 5D.

Day 4 – 2012 01 02 – 10:00 – ISO 200 – f1.8 – 1/80sec
Wide open for this morning shot of the rose (brier?) in our garden. We have exceptional warm weather, but very wet for this winter.

Day 5 – 2012 01 03 – 14:21 – ISO 200 – f1.8 – 1/500sec
Been to Paris yesterday, for a yearly meeting with Dr. Valenti from San Diego, Eye therapy specialist. We had our appointment at 16:30 but we left early at home to do some sightseeing in Paris. Though I’ve been to Paris many times, I’ve never noticed this footbridge before. It’s called the ‘passerelle des arts’, an both its railings are filled with ‘luck lock’s’, some with only names on them, some with a message on them, … literally thousands of small locks fixed to either side. The kids were quite astonished, me too. In the background you can see the ‘Institut de France’.

Day 6 – 2012 01 04 – 17:43 – ISO 2000 – f3.2 – 1/50sec
Today I was in the Mercator Museum in St-Niklaas. With my Renderhouse activities, I have a big assignment for them, making 4 3D-animations for their upcoming Mercator Digitaal 2012 exhibition. I needed some more input on the animations, and a little more information on the original 1541 Mercator earthglobe, one of the main pieces of the museum. I had my camera with me to get some visual reference material. Very difficult lighting conditions (old documents, sensitive to deteriorations when exposed to bright light) so I had to push ISO to 2000. I closed the aperture a little to get some more DOF for sharpness.

Day 7 – 2012 01 05 – 14:10 – ISO 50 – f16 – 1/30sec
The theme of the day was wind. We had a very stormy day, with wind gusts upto 100 km/h (about 65 miles/h) and some damage here and there. I was off to a client all day, and took my camera with me on the road. I wanted to capture some of the movement of the turbine blades, so I took a low iso setting and longer shutter speed, I took this picture from within my car, but I had a very hard time to get a stable shot with a longer shutter speed, because the car was constantly moving with the wind.

This also is my last edit of this first week of the 85/85 project. Next image will be in a new blogpost.
See you soon.

85/85 in daily life project


Hi there,

I think the best way to develop my skills as a photographer is to throw myself into some project from time to time. I have been busy for about a month now with the professions project, which still runs by the way, but I thought I could easily add another one.
I found some inspiration in Bert Stephani’s 50/50 project, but I thought I could do better, … just kidding.
I have bought a secondhand EF 85mm 1.8 Canon Lens now 4 months ago, and I like it better and better, it is not expensive, for a fast, high quality piece of glass, it is light, it has fast AF, it is fairly sharp wide open, … plenty of nice things to say about, so I decided for a ‘one picture a day’ project, with this lens. I will do this for 85 days, starting from tod… no from yesterday, as actually yesterday I saw some beautifully colored clouds, for the first time in about a week we had a sunny morning. So this project is up and running, and will run till march 23rd. (Help)
I will group these images in weekly posts, so expect updates in the existing posts every day, and one new post per week.
Don’t expect the images to be high-class art or very elaborately constructed imagery. Daily life, things I notice, things that please me, can be on assignments or in the chicken shed, …

off we go, thanks for reading, hope you enjoy following this project.

Ps. expect first two images tonight, one I still have to make, one I took yesterday, but now off for some last minute new-years-eve shopping πŸ™‚

struggle for a portrait

people, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks

I’m at number 15, people who have come at my studio to pose for the professions project. All people I have photographed are un-easy with posing, and it has been a challenge to make them feel comfortable enough to get a good portrait and a nice depiction of their professional occupation.
Last I had a directors assistant and I would like to show you a bit of the shoot in evolution. I always ask people to bring something related to their job, and to be creative in what they bring (otherwise everybody brings a computer nowadays). She had brought a small calculator and a cellphone, because she does a lot of pricing calculations and she is on the phone half of her working time.

First of all I do a shot to verify my light setup, a quick close portrait will do to check on the detail in the highlights and the shadows.

First we tried with the calculator and a portable home phone I have here at hand. Phone in left hand, phone in right hand, didn’t work out to my feeling.

Ok then, let’s try only the calculator, maybe we’re going to get somewhere, … duhhhh, nope, nothing ‘directors assistant’ alike.

Maybe when we use only the phone, the pose will be less ‘forced’ and more natural, try putting a hand on your hip, nice, but not so ‘verymuchbusywithalotofthingsatthesametime’. This looks more like a well dressed woman calling her friend.

Now what do you really do in your job, I asked Ellen, …
Well, I’m often occupied with a lot of papers, trying to fix a date for an appointment in my bosses agenda, whilst running from here to there, …
Oh, okay, let’s find you some papers, an agenda, a pen, and hold that calculator and phone while I go find what we need.
I gave her some invoices strolling on my desk (she gave them back after the shoot πŸ™ an agenda, a pen, …) and I quickly grabbed my camera.
While she was struggling to get all those things comfortably in her hands, I took a shot, MY SHOT! We did some less panic’y shots for her too, but I had my shot! The directors assistant, getting thrown ten things at the same time to her head, and trying to deal with all of them.

I have no proper background system yet, so I need to do some retouching on the background, painting some areas black, next I do some local adjustments for some extra exposure to the hands, the shadow side of the face, the shadow side of the dress, I add some more exposure to the orange tones and that’s it for my final image.

After that, I took a picture of Ellen and her husband Bart, as a bonus, because I made her work so hard. Thank you Ellen, thank you Bart!

more professions – light setup

people, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, photo gear, Tips and Tricks

And my project on profession portraits goes on.
I have quite some people spontaneously offering to pose for my series of professions. A classical portrait with a – small/not so small – glimpse of the job they do.
Below, you’ll see the library assistant, the plumber, the health coach and the actuaris. For you to find out who’s who, can’t be too hard I guess. – click on the images to view larger if you have difficulties finding out –

for my fellow photography enthusiasts, I’ll include a more detailed light setup, which is actually very simple:

1. I have a black cloth hanging up in the back of the room 3 to 4 meter behind my subject.
2. I have a reportage flash (Canon 580 EXII) in a 70×70 cm softbox from Lastolite on the right of my subject, which is my only light source. It is set at 1/4 +0.7 power and very close to the subject (maybe half a meter). I put it so close because this allows me to lit only my subject, and have the background almost black, thus reducing the post-processing. it is at the subjects head hight, slightly aiming down.
3. I have my large Lastolite tri-grip on the left side, on the ground + my diy reflector on a small stand, I had to use this extra reflector, because otherwise I don’t get enough light on the shadowside, and I recon my own reflector is just a bit more reflective than the trigrip, which is larger but softer.
4. I’m at about 3,5 meters distance from my subject, at about hip-height, to make my subject seem larger and fiercer, more ‘standing out’ I use my 85 mm 1.8 lens, at f8 on a full frame camera, to get a decent sharpness overall.
5. I have different subjects πŸ™‚ They are all uncomfortable with posing, believe me! I ask them to turn their body slightly towards the main light, looking at me. Then we do about 15-25 shots, until I think we have a good shot, representing both the personality and a good pose.

The images are taken in colour, as raw files, and treated in LR afterwards. I use the standard BW settings, but have some minor local corrections with adding or removing exposure. I then remove the unwanted parts in the image (my background is not large enough for this distance, so I need to remove some ceiling that is not black, sometimes I need to move a small part of the reflector on the left.

I hope you like the pictures, if you are willing to pose for me, please give me a sign trough email or by reacting to this post. In return, you’ll get the chosen image in high resolution, free for personal use.
If you have any questions about the setup, ask it.

project professions

people, Personal Pictures

I started a project about professions. It initially started as a small project, but it seems to get bigger than I expected. Basically I make portraits of people I know more or less, with a slight or clear hint to their profession. I want the viewer to first see a portrait, then what his profession is about. I invite volunteers to pose for me, think about what they could bring as a ‘job link’ and try to make a good shot. I do not want them to bring uniforms or special clothing, and the object must be small.
This is what I mean:

I deliberately choose the same setup for all the images, to enhance the ‘series’ effect. Setup is one 70 cm softbox on the right of the model just outside the image frame, my diy reflector on the left of the model also just next to the person posing. All images with 85 mm 1.8 @ f8.