some images from last summer.
all taken with the Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR on Ilford film (FP4 and HP5plus)
• too hot for Uber •
• Split interests •
• Follow the guide •
• The Hoop •
• Are we lost? •
• A goodbye moment •
• The gang •
• Tagging on command •
Soon I will post some images of Paris in colour, taken on Kodak Portra 160, a première in my film-photography career! Stay tuned.
Thanks for watching,
I have been neglecting my blog a little lately. I have had some print orders to take care of after the exhibit in August, and I have been busy getting some footage done for my youtube channel. Next to that, It’s been a busy couple of months at the institute where I teach, and it will still be so in the near future too.
I have collected some images from 2019 that I have not shown you yet, and that might be forgotten if I don’t do it soon. Hidden gems from the recent past, so to say.
Thank you for watching, and remember, all images are available as a fine art print!
Another set will be released next Sunday, put your alarm or subscribe to my post so you don’t miss it!
Shot from above the cliffs, somewhere in Exmoor National Park, UK. Note how you can see not only the gentle waves coming up on the coast but also the light breeze softly caressing the top of the waves.
I was on a campsite near Lynton discussing the Brexit, now more than a year ago. The person I was talking to called them fools. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen if the UK leaves the European community, all protagonists are playing high games, and the people will suffer the most of it. … It was an agitated discussion, …
The next day I went for an all-day walk. I was able to empty my mind and enjoy the fresh breeze at the coast. Europe was suffering from another heatwave, but here temperatures were moderate and bearable. Even in the climate matter the British Isles differ from the mainland.
• Peace of mind •
I was with my family in the French Ardennes during the Christmas holidays in 2018.
The weather had been grey and misty all day, and this is typically the weather you’ll be after for intimate landscape photography, so I love to stroll around on my own on these days.
This old, gnarled, crooked apple tree must have been here for decades. He probably felt how the village got deserted over the years, and there’s only a couple of families left here. But you won’t hear him complain, he silently carries the passing time, bent forward, he patiently submits to the rhythm of the seasons passing along.
Who knows how many years already, who knows how many years to come.
• Silent witness •
You’ve seen the first image with Julia a couple of weeks ago. The process of selecting and fine-tuning the images often is slow, but in this case, it took me even longer, since I had to finish all evaluations for my evening class students. All is done now, and vacation has officially started. A good moment to show you the first series from this collaboration.
• In bed with Julia •
What I often seek in models, is the ability to give me a natural, relaxed look. Julia is perfectly able to do so. And of course, she is stunningly beautiful! I’ve enjoyed this afternoon in Brussels a lot, and I hope the images give you an idea of the atmosphere and get you in a similar mood.
thanks for passing by, I hope to see you soon again!
I have a huge problem, literally huge …
a have recuperated two prints from a previous exhibit that I can’t store, so they go for sale. Only one of each available.
100×150 cm (approx 50×75″) fine art archival print,
10 cm white edge (within the 100x150cm size)
the back has a mounting pad on top, a weight pad on the bottom, so the print can hang as is, though it has no protection.
to give you an idea of the size of the prints, you can see them here in the exhibit, first shot left and right, second shot left image: (requires Facebook account) https://www.facebook.com/zinkae/videos/402924687154651/?v=402924687154651
if you are interested, or if you want to know about pricing/framing options, please contact me: ludwig-at-ludwigdesmet.com
I have never met her before, except on the internet. She’s all around the internet, google her and you’ll know what I mean: Julia Yaroshenko.
We worked together a couple of weeks ago, I rent an Airbnb in Brussels and we did an afternoon session. A first image as a little preview.
This weekend I’m giving the first two of my workshops, about working with available light in portrait/boudoir/art-nude photography. The above portrait was created in a small bedroom with only one window. Not everything is possible, but a lot can be done with a little creativity and bounced light. If you’re interested, there are still two spots available for next Saturday (01/06), tomorrows workshop is fully booked.
a long time ago I made some studio setup diagrams for this blog, … time to make a new one. First the image, it dates from a while ago, last fall I invited two friends to do some studio work. I rarely use my studio equipment for light, but in winter times it can be handy to have an alternative to available light sometimes.
I wanted Steven to get some sort of gangster look, cool looking, hood, sunglasses …
I wanted a soft light and deep shadows under the hood, so I went for some sort of symmetrical light setup, using two studio flashes with 60x60cm softboxes, and two large reflector panels to even enlarge the light source.
it was only a matter of finding the good ‘depth’ position of the model, to create just enough light on the face, and keep the light only on the front.
another one without the hood:
thanks for watching, come again soon,
5 minutes past 2
Shot in a beautiful house somewhere in Belgium.
Model: Sahri Nimi model
Camera: Rolleiflex tlr 3.5
Film: Ilford HP5 plus 400 – developed in Ilfotech LC29
and a couple of minutes earlier it was exactly 2 O’clock and the behind the scene’s cameraman was looking at what I was about to be doing 😉
sorry it took me so long to post again, I have been working on a lot of different things lately, and I’m having my first ‘available light’ workshop in about a week now, so things have been busy.
see you again soon, I have some wonderful images on the shelf.
or at least I often think about quitting …
… because when I think about all the costs I have been making – for photography gear, for exhibition prints, for locations, models, make-up artists – then I must realize that it does not generate any money, quite the contrary.
Then I sit down, try gathering all my courage for the next shoot, try to find a good location, a model, a make up artist, find a moment that fits for everybody involved, phone calls, emails, messenger … and then after the shoot I get home, more or less exhausted. But then when scrolling trough hundreds of images from that day, I see that again we could make some beautiful shots and I think, ‘come on, just hang on a little longer, things will turn out ok one day’ …
thanks to Sahri Nimi Modelpage for being my model once again, thanks Isabelle Eeckhout for making her look gorgeous again, thank you Vergucht Franswa for joining us for making a reportage about me during this shoot, and a big thank you to the family that opened their fabulous house for me as if it were my house. And last but not least, thank you to my wife, who has even more patience with me than I have myself, that even pushes me harder than I could do so myself, and that still believes 200% in what I do.
• Bath with a view •
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/
A long time ago I started a couple of posts called collectibles, old and forgotten (or maybe not?) film photo camera’s, but still working fine. Today a new chapter to this series, the Yashica 635 TLR.
This camera is a twin lens reflex camera, featuring a Yashicor 80mm f/3.5 viewing lens and taking lens. It has a Copal shutter with shutter speeds from B – 1sec to 1/500sec.
This camera is visually very comparable to the much wanted Rolleiflex TLR camera that I use often in my sessions with models, it has about the same size and weight, both have a waist level viewfinder and a back lid that opens from the bottom. This Yashica 635 has the the added benefit that it came with a 35mm film adaptor (next to the standard 120 roll film system) that allowed for a more versatile use. I have never used mine with 35mm film (I don’t have the adaptor), so I can not report about that. The use of 120 roll film is very straightforward, and very similar to the Rolleiflex camera. An empty roll goes on top, the film roll goes in the bottom and is guided with rollers towards the top roll.
A very important difference in both camera’s is that with the Yashica, the shutter is not linked to the film transport. I have been used to the Rolleiflex, and this camera prevents to fire the shutter twice in a row, so you have to transport film in order to be able to expose film. With the Yashica you have a separate shutter winder, so you can do as many exposures you want on a single sheet of film. This is an important difference, that caused me quite some double exposures lately, as well as some missed shots because the shutter had not been tensioned.
Quality wise, this camera produces good negatives, a bit softer maybe than those coming from the Rolleiflex, but certainly having a good sharpness (if you manage to focus right, which is hard to do with the old matte screens).
Now for some images taken with this camera. (a series I did on the local fair in Ronse a couple of weeks ago) All images on Ilford FP4 Plus 125 ISO rated as 100 ISO)
thanks to my model for the day, Emily, this was our first collaboration.
If you would be interested in buying a camera like this, they are very affordable, especially compared to Rolleiflexes.
thank you for coming by, come again soon for a year-round review about 2018
I had some very good news last week. I have received an invitation to be the guest artist for a rather well known exhibit next summer. All expenses paid. That is a première for me, and a pleasant one.
I have been checking out the list of guest photographers that have passed in the previous years of this very same exhibit. … some well known names, some great artists, some who I esteem way above my league. Then doubts started coming up … is my work up to this level, will I not be blown away by the other participants (selected by jurors and curated by someone known in the field of art photography) … It struck me rather hard, to be honest.
Take a deep breath, listen to my wife’s saying ‘you have been asked to be the guest photographer, so what are you still worrying about’ … I guess she’s right, so let’s go, … I enrolled in a mentorship program that starts next week. I had confirmed to this before this invitation came in. To be honest I had no real item to work on, till now. I will use this program to fine-tune my work, discuss my work, discuss the selection of images that will be exposed, maybe prepare a book that will go with the exhibit, … exciting times to come, I will keep you updated.
More great news came in this week, when the organizers of the ‘fashion nudes’ contest run by Normal Magazine (France) contacted me to send them the high resolution files of the images I sent in for the contest. This means I got selected in the pre-selection, and my work will be printed for the final jury. Jippiieeeee!!
One of the images I entered for the contest:
• girl with an attitude •
no I haven’t been to Paris recently, so these images are, well, from a while ago (late 2017), I have published a single image from this trip already, but here is a more complete set. All taken with the Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR, in dark and difficult light this time (interior, winter, …)
What is it that convinces me to shoot film from time to time? I talked about this before, but here’s one other reason, I started thinking about it listening to an vlog about Photokina, and how this is all about gear and how the big brands have missed the revolution on the mirrorless camera’s and now need extra marketing efforts (and lies) to get to pace with the competition etcetera, etcetera. … (Michael Zelbel from goodlightmag)
when shooting analog it makes me feel that I am not running into this treadmill of commercial marketing ‘have to sell’ rush that the mainstream photography world has become since it became a mass-product. Look at the average photography magazine on the book store shelf. Half of the pages will be about new gear that has reached the market, how the latest gear has reached new levels of ‘better’ since the last best camera. How it will improve your photography, become an extension of your eye, and even bring you the ultimate shooting experience. blah blah blah, I have been in marketing for a while myself … The other half will be divided in ‘how to’s’ on the use of the latest software updates to make that perfect camera shot even better, or how to use the latest lighting gear to enhance your vision and creativity. Duh. … If you are lucky, there is a small section in the magazine that will cover large exhibitions, and maybe some portfolio’s from photographers (a couple of pages from the 100+ total number of pages)
I am sure that the Rolleiflex came with its own sauce of marketing blahblah at the time it was launched, but that’s a long time ago and I’m not bothered with it. Even now, new film camera’s are still made, but have you ever seen an add for one? They don’t really push, they wait till you go looking for them and then you’ll find them.
I shoot this antique Rolleiflex camera, with black and white 120 film that exists for ages now, and no accessories. When I use it, I simply can not feel the need to rush to get my images on the web (FB, Insta, … ) because that is literally impossible, with the film needing to be developed. I don’t get stressed on having to recharge batteries, because it has no batteries. I do not have to decide which lens or focal length to use, because it comes with a fixed focal lens that is not removable. I even don’t have to decide to shoot horizontal or vertical, because the image format is square. I can allow myself to just observe my environment, look at what people do, try to capture moments, details, … that come to my attention. If I miss a shot because my gear isn’t up to date, well I missed it, maybe I will be lucky next time. …
long live simplicity (maybe I’m getting old 😉 )
The pictures, with a little word, so you can find out where I’ve been strolling.
the queue for the Irving Penn exhibit that ran in the Grand Palais in Paris
part of the exhibit on Irving Penn
preparing for a kite flight on the Esplanade des Invalides
taking a break from cooking – the chef at Café de Mars – Rue du gros Caillou
plagiarism at Fondation Louis Vuitton
smooth curves architecture by Frank Ghery (Fondation Louis Vuitton)
people enjoying the audio-installation at Fondation Louis Vuitton
Me taking a self portrait at Fondation Louis Vuitton
time to prune the plants maybe? – artisan fleuriste at Rue Vieille-du-Temple
cheers, hope you come back here soon.
If you want to see more images taking with the Rolleiflex in Paris, look here
If you want to re-read a previous article about shooting on film, this is the place: shooting film