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,
not safe for work, except of course if you work in an open-minded place, which I hope everyone does. A little edgy maybe, glossy and slippery, these nudes I did with Sara Scarlet.
I’m enjoying the studio in these cold winter days. Shooting outdoors is not really handy now, especially if you want to do glamour or nude work … I put up the heating a little higher in the studio, and I can work at ease, without my model turning blue … so the blue you see here is purely a post-processing effect.
• Slippery •
Sorry if you have been trying to reach this site and blog in the last 24 hours, it has been down due to a PhP update on the host’s side, and I am by far not a web-tech-geek, so it took me a moment to figure out what happened, and to fix things accordingly.
to compensate, a single image post.
I had this first collaboration with Emily two weeks ago, and we made some nice images. We worked in the studio first, to continue after that on the local city-square, where there was this fair going on. I shot two rolls of film on the Yashica 635. A first glimpse at the developed films shows that either there is something wrong with the film transport mechanism, either I have not paid attention and unintentionally double exposed some of the frames. To be continued.
• The treasurer •
thanks for watching, please come again soon.
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
For the last day of the exhibit, i had posted an invitation on Facebook for a guided tour trough the exhibit. It was a cosy gathering, I gave visitors some inside, behind the scenes information, and people could ask questions about my work, my gear, the models, locations, etcetera.
The exhibit is now over, I have no idea about the number of visitors in total, as I was present only now and then. The reactions in the guestbook are mainly positive, some very positive, some very negative. It always shocks me to see how some people are still very narrow minded about nudity, even if it is brought with delicacy and taste. Fortunately I have my wife who is very supportive in getting me over this kind of comments. 🙂
Visitors have very different ‘favourites’, but in this exhibit, one image has received a lot of praise. It was an image not previously shown, and here it was shown in the massive size of 110x165cm (44″x66″), hard to miss. People praised it because it had a lot of ‘naturalness’, it seems not posed and very natural, at the same time intimate, and casual.
the model is Kate Ri, the image is titled • greenhouse flower • it was shot in the Royal Glasshouses in Meise, near Brussels, on a cold day in January.
The image is still for sale, as is all my personal work, if you are interested, send me an email on ludwig(at)ludwigdesmet(dot)com
thanks for reading, see you soon!
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.
Charisse was here again today,
and people who have been following my or her work, know that this is about 100% guaranteed to deliver some stunning images.
We took benefit of the hot weather we have in Belgium these days and made a little mess with some leftover clay I had from the walls of the boys’ rooms on the attic.
Charisse is always in for a little experiment and I had been talking about the clay shoot earlier, so she sent me a text message a couple of days ago ‘about the hot weather and da da da … ‘ . A hint not to be misunderstood.
this image is just a preview of the preparation, a preparation that I gladly took as a photoshoot occasion …
it got even messier than this, and much better as well 😉
make sure to come again soon, for the rest of this magnificent series, again.
The exhibit at Godshuis Sint Laureins (B) has started last Saturday, make sure to visit it if you can, more details in my previous post.
have a nice day,
Let’s celebrate female beauty and the joy it brings us.
Let’s celebrate life and the good things it brings us.
My model of that hot summer day in april was named Vita, which stands for ‘Life‘ …
I have taken a lot of pictures with her, so more will follow, see it as a little preview.
Often I have to convince professional models not to pose, or in any way not to pose as a fashion model would do. I love it when they are not trying to seduce me or the camera, but in stead they manage to be just themselves, fierce, self confident, somehow unattainable women, living the life and enjoying their own bodies.
oh, and I have another thing to celebrate, I just saw today that in the last 365 days I had over 100.000 visitors on my site and blog. It was for the first time I noticed it. Thank you for being so present!
I published a new video to my Vimeo and Youtube channel today, you can see it here:
this is a condensed summary of a 45 minutes session of the shoot day I did with Charisse, you can figure out some of the light situations I make, see which poses get it to the final selection of images, etcetera. Learn by looking 🙂
for your info, all images were shot at f1.6, ISO100, Shutter speed 1/80 or 1/100s.
you can find more details about the reflector panels I use ‘by clicking here’
thanks for watching, if you liked the video, you might as well give it a thumbs up or subscribe to my channel(s)
well yes, sometimes things don’t go as expected, certainly when shooting with an old camera and film, you are having no instant feedback and surprises occur 🙂
there is no automatic film advance stop, so you have to look for film frame numbers in the dark red window at the back of the camera. Clearly I saw something that wasn’t there.
shot with a Voightländer Bessa I 6×9 film camera, with Kodak TMax400 film, in a small roof flat in Leuven (Belgium)
Model Yana Mood, click for bigger version
I had worked with Charisse before, we had met each other at an exhibit in Damme (B) where I had my work exposed, she seemed interested in my work and browsed trough my book attentively, we talked briefly and I gave her my card.
Early this year we agreed to work together again, and besides fixing a date, we also discussed what style we were going to work on. She told me she had found more confidence in herself and that posing went better since she had been working with another photographer intensively some time ago.
I have tried not to interfere too much in the posing, and had her work on her own flow of poses without interrupting her. She managed to ignore me, and we found a good subject to guide her: an apple I left in the studio since I had been painting there two weeks before that. I kind of lost a bit of its freshness, but Charisse managed to compensate for it 200%.
First I would like to show a little behind the scene’s video, fastforward trough the entire session, if you are a photographer, you might even learn something from my light setup:
I am working with two camera’s here, one with the Sigma 50mm f1.4, the other with the Canon 100mm Macro lens. I have light all over on the left side, I work with the sun screens from time to time, and I have one large reflector panel on the right side (styrofoam board)
Then the images.
I think they came out particularly well, Charisse well understood my style and she worked on different poses in an endless flow, God, wouldn’t you want to be that apple? 🙂
images all shot at my studio in Ronse (Belgium)
Canon 5Ds and Canon 5DII
Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG and Canon 100mm f2.8 L Macro
1/250-400 f1.6 ISO 100 – 1/200 f3.2 ISO100
thank you for watching,
I’ts been about a month that I have the new studio space available, it took me a couple of days to get the walls freshened up (two coats of paint) and a couple of weeks before I got some furniture and props ready and moved in, but I’m about to call it ‘ready’ for work.
I think it probably never be a steady setup, because I want to keep some variation in my images, and variation will probably mean that I will bring in some new stuff from time to time and get rid of some ‘used’ furniture in the same pace.
Some observations so far just in case you think about setting up your own studio space:
• I have windows (large) only on one side of the room. Not easy to work with, so get yourself some large reflectors to bring some light back from the non-window side of the room. I use styrofoam boards 120x180cm, painted black on one side.
• The wooden floor gives me a particular white balance in the space, some warm tone that is not easy to get right all the time.
• Too much light will kill you, or at least will often create overly bright images. I love to work with light and shadow equally, sometimes even more shadow than light. So I bought a large theatre cloth (6x3m) to cover up 2/3 of the windows when needed. I use additional styrofoam boards if needed to cover up even more window area.
• The space has sun-screens, I didn’t even notice when I agreed to rent it. These are great to work with when there’s direct sun falling in. The screens are fine woven, so they create no patterns, and they lower the light level not too much. They help evening out the hard contrasts in sunny situations. They are neutral in color. Perfect!
• The wooden parquet is kind of slippery, very good for moving around mattresses and large carpets without too much of an effort. For furniture I have a wheeled board for easy moving.
• The ceiling is at 2.90m, that is an absolute minimum. I have some curtain rails hanging up, they are kind of permanent, and sometimes they are hindering my viewing angles.
• I have an adjacent stock room, where I can move all unnecessary items (flash lights and their tripods when I don’t need them, drinks, clothing, background system, paint, cleaning materials, … Perfect again!
• I have brought in a large trunk (some kind of monastery huge heavy dark wood piece) that I use for quick storage nearby. It makes your stored stuff invisible, it is useful as a decor piece, there’s always something you might need in a minute, it’s there.
some images taken in the new studio:
2 white walls, a black wall, a wall with plenty of windows, and some creativity …
more to come,
I arrived at Leuven train station at about 11 O’clock, the people from the hotel had guaranteed me that I could do an early check in at about 13:00hrs. That was the time that I had fixed for the model and the make up lady. They pointed me a different building than the adres on the website, about 100 meters further. They gave me the entrance key.
I should ask the cleaning lady to clean my room first. … No it was not cleaned yet, yes, she would take care of it right after she finished a room on the upper floor. (3rd, I was on second) I had the time to get my gear out of the car and have a quick bite.
Fifteen minutes to one, and I’m back at the hotel. I get pointed to my room, it is available …
… at least if you can call this a room, it is more like place for a bed, and half a meter around to manoeuvre around it. How on earth am I going to do a photoshoot here. There’s no room for movement, there is no free wall, and there is no light. It is freezing cold outside so that is no option, even worse, it is a dark grey day.
How to shoot in a really tiny Hotel room, on a dark winter day?
Both the model and the make up lady are more or less on time, so we can start preparing. I get them installed by the window, when the chair is between the bed and the window, there’s no more room to pass besides it. … this promises no good …
No panic though, I’m thinking about the options, outdoors, at 3°C, rather not, … dark corridors in the hotel, no light at all, … public places other than this, … probably not for the sake of clothing changes …
move the beds … move the beds, … are they fitted to the walls, no, that’s great, let’s move the beds: We moved the beds to the ‘entrance hall’ of the room, so we acquired a 3x3meter ‘free space’ to work in, talking about luxury.
(3D rendering below, showing a before and after situation, done by me, I still own and run www.renderhouse.eu remember 🙂
On the far left is the entrance door and hallway, upper left corner, the black chunk taken out of the volume is the bathroom, then the ‘main room’ with two single beds and window at the right, three night reading lamps (one on each side of the bed, one over the small table.)
And look, there’s a heart in the lighting pattern, that was unintended, but definitely good sign. It was Valentine’s day the day before I wrote this post …
It helps having a patient model in such cases. I worked with Pauline several times now, and we’ve got a good mutual understanding. She will express her goals, I will try to relate them to mine and we proceed from there.
I tried using off-camera flashes, but those gave me very hard and overly bright light, with no interesting light patterns.
We ended up using only the reading lights, (one of them can be seen above, next to Pauline) to create some kind of theatrical look, sometimes I used a plastic bag to make the light source a little bigger and hence soften it a bit, but that was our only source of light for these images:
It was rather important to have the lights positioned accurately, as you can see the shadows are really hard, due to the small size of the lights. In the last images I had to tweak the blacks a little in post production, but they came out quite well. The light sources had a really narrow beam, and they gave very little spill within the room.
A couple of hours later, we moved back the beds, nobody noticed anything, me happy, my model happy …
Settings on the first series of images (1/10s f3.5 ISO 400 – Canon 5Ds, Sigma 50mm f1.4 A DG)
Settings on the upright pose with curtain background (1/80s f2.8 ISO 1600, 50mm f1.4 A DG)
Settings on the nudes (1/8 f4.5 ISO1250 – Canon 5Ds with Canon 100mm f2.8 macro IS L)
I was rather surprised how sharp the images came out at 1/10th with no stabilisation 🙂
thank you for reading