Peace of mind

landscapes, location

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 •

 

Silent witness

landscapes

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 •

fine art prints page

In bed with Julia

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

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!

Ludwig

Sale!

beauty, Personal Pictures, print

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

 

Julia

beauty, location, personal tips & tricks, portrait

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.

Ludwig

Studio Light setup

studio, studio light setup, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

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.

the image:

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.

The setup:

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,

Ludwig

Deux heures cinq

Analog, location, Nude

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.

Ludwig

I Quit …

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

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 •

Available in a very limited edition of 7,

sizes 50×50 cm, 75x75cm, 100x100cm.

Epson archival print on fine art cotton-based paper. Price on request.

 

Winter – Strolling trough the white wonderscapes with the Rolleiflex

Analog, landscapes
We had a nice little snow cover yesterday in Belgium, and there was almost no wind, so the snow beautifully draped itself on every little twig. I had a day off yesterday, so I decided to go for a walk with the Rolleiflex. I had two rolls of Ilford FP4 125.
I also wanted to explore the possibilities of over- and underexposing, and adapting the development to compensate. I did not really have high contrast, as the sun was hidden, but still I thought the time good to experiment. I exposed on roll of film at 30 ISO, so two stops over box speed, the other one at 500 ISO, two stops under.
It is not because the process is so tedious and slow, that I choose to work on film, but because it makes me think differently about photography. You cannot be in a hurry, things will go wrong, you have to rethink your process not twice, but 4 times, or things will go wrong, you need to be respectful to your film and your camera, or things will go wrong, you need to stay alert when developing, or things will go wrong … (I’m happy not to have switched to darkroom printing, or this list would be at least double this length)
It is similar to slow food, lessons in yoga, a classic concert, a visit to the sauna, a massage or a poetry evening, it makes you completely zen.
Enjoy watching the winter in Belgium, I’ve put a lot of love in it!
www.ludwigdesmet.com
all images available as fine art print, starting at 99€

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/

 

 

Working Collectibles – Yashica 635

Analog, location

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.

Working Collectibles – Agfa Isolette

Working collectibles Voightländer Bessa I 

 

thank you for coming by, come again soon for a year-round review about 2018

Ludwig

Statue

beauty, erotic, location, Nude
I am not a photographer that creates standard sets, to create guaranteed results and a quick turnaround. Models that have been working with me know that. They come to my place, or to any location we have available at the time, and we start working. I never make very much of a plan, but try to be creative as we go.
This set however was planned, at least the experiment was, the outcome was not foreseen, but it turned out quite well after all.
Ingredients: some natural home building clay and water, a beautiful girl that is not afraid of an experiment, and a day of very hot weather.
• Statue •
 thanks for passing by,
Ludwig

fear of failure – girl with an attitude

contests, erotic, exhibition, Nude

hi there,

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 •

Strolling trough Paris with the Rolleiflex part III – talking about film photography (again)

Analog, street, Uncategorized

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.

107 cubic inches, this one has been published before on my blog. Waiting for service at the Harley-Davidson shop in Boulevard Beaumarchais.

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

cheers,

Ludwig

 

Smooth curves

location, Nude

Could there be any greater resemblance? The curves of the female body and the smooth shaped hull of a glider. At least I sea beauty in both, I hope you too can appreciate these smooth curvatures.

Taken with the well appreciated approval of the gliders club director, and the willing club-handyman. Somewhere in the Netherlands.

• Smooth curves •

model: Michelle Alba

Canon 5Ds with Sigma 50mm f1.4 A DG

1/500s f/1.8 ISO 100

 

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!!

taking care of the vegetables

beauty, erotic, location, Nude

the tomatoes need a lot of water in this warm weather don’t they?

second shooting location after • flight club • the garden of the AirBnB where we stayed. Michelle is ready to do some role playing, and gladly gives the gardener a hand.

• taking care of the vegetables •

thanks to Michelle Alba for being my model on this very hot day, in a very hot glasshouse.

thanks to Bas for lending me her garden as a shoot location and for the hospitality all over the weekend.

Ludwig

Turbulence and Crisis

exhibition, landscapes

hi all,

just a little message to announce a next exhibit participation, a group exhibit with the Zinkae photoclub in Ghent. This time I will be exhibiting not my usual subject ‘women’, but I will propose two series: ‘Turbulence’ and ‘private’ … Private will show a limited series of 3 images about our tendency to shielding ourselves from the outside world, in order to protect the personal living environment. Fences, doors, security camera’s, hedges … etcetera. …

‘Turbulence’ will show 4 images reflecting a personal view on landscape and nature photography. The inherent structures in nature, that seem largely turbulent on a small scale, lead to a certain order on a bigger scale. Disturbed fractals versus clear equations, and how these structures show themselves to us. Brought to you in delicate black and white images.

TURBULENCE III

the invitation for the exhibit:

 

then what about Crisis?

Well, things are getting tough, and If I want to continue my work as I do now, I will need to cut some costs, or find a new form of income. I am currently working on it, but of course your help would be welcome too. That’s why I have included a Paypal button on the welcome page. You can donate any amount, all is welcome, (I chose 5€ as a standard) and it will help to pay the costs of exhibiting, models, film, travel, …  this is the button: (this one is active too 😉 )


The exhibit in Sint-Laureins is still on and running, so you can go take a look, every day, 10-17hrs, till september 2nd.

 

 

BOOKS Page added to this website

beauty, erotic, Interesting Links, landscapes, Personal Pictures

hi,

for your convenience, and for those who like my work but are at this moment not in the possibility to hang a print of a nude woman on the wall of their living room, my work is also available in book format.

I added a page in the main menu, BOOKS where you can order any of my books, I currently have three listed on my page, if you click further to my Blurb bookstore, you may find four.

The books are well printed and well finished, I picked the best suited paper for my work, and a book size that is handy for all.

A present, to someone else or to yourself, an add-on to your book collection, a source of inspiration, or just some support for me, all reasons are good to go shopping today 😉

 

thanks,

Ludwig