Working collectibles

Analog, people, photo gear

Can you imagine yourself within about 65 years, still photographing with the digital camera you have right now? Probably not. Nowadays’s technology is not meant to last for longer than 5, maybe 10 years. Even if there is no limited life time built into your gear (which might be the case, some say), the fast paced digital evolution will make sure that within 10 years from now, your current camera will be outdated and old-fashioned.

The advantage of working with really old camera’s is that they will probably never be outdated or old-fashioned, at least not anymore than they are right now. It’s like an oldtimer car, it can’t get out of fashion, it already is, it has become vintage and will forever continue to keep it’s ‘admirers qualities’. I have been able to acquire some old film camera’s, which I am testing right now. I have to admit that the image quality in most of them is not up to current standards. Contemporary optics are way better, giving better results on a small sensor than the old stuff I am talking about. Even on the larger format negatives (6×9 cm) you do not get the image quality a modern DSLR is capable of. But the images have a different feeling to it. Compare it to vinyl vs. digital music. I’m by far not a connoisseur of vinyl, but some are convinced that vinyl has a true’er sound.

What I am certain however, when the day comes that my 5D mark II camera is not up to par with the new developments in camera technology anymore, these old filmcamera’s will deliver just as good as they do today. They are all mechanical, and if you take well care of them and have them serviced regularly, and even more important, use them regularly, they will probably last a couple of decades more.

Enjoy this wonderful portrait of my friend Peter and his daughter, taken with a Voightländer Bessa I, (1949-1957?) on Kodak T-Max 100 film. Negative size 6×9 cm. Scanned on Epson Perfection 3170 Photo.

 

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the camera it was taken with: On a regular 120 film roll, you can make 8 exposures. This makes you want to think about pressing the shutter twice before you actually do. It has of course no auto focus, no auto light meter, no auto film transport, a very tiny viewing window that makes compositing your image a bit ‘un-precise’ at least, but it is very well built, beautifully finished and still working after 65 years.

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Come back again soon, for some more images with my Rolleiflex TLR, and the first images with the new (old) Yashica 635

 

Ludwig

ANGRY – Natural light portrait – setup

beauty, people, personal tips & tricks, portrait

luckily this was only roleplay, she was not really angry with me, I would have feared for my life, if not certainly my camera gear. 😉

Ludwig Desmet EC-5

1/20s f2.8 ISO 400 – Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro L

setup:
long hallway with big windows on the left side, first part of the hallway, no windows to the right.
Model just behind the last window.
Big styrofoam board to the right side of the model, filling in shadow parts. (120x240cm – about 50×100″)
That’s it, simple as anything, and a styrofoam board costs a couple of euro’s.
I had to darken the background a little at the right side, there was some light spill at the end wall of the hallway.

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after the angry part, we did some more friendly images too.
here I’m off to the left, so the right wall becomes visible and I don’t get completely black in the background.
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below: 1/50 f1.6 ISO400 – Sigma 50 mm f1.4 DG Art
Frontal again, showing very dimly lit ceiling windows, not giving any effect on the subject.

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thank you for watching.

Ludwig

Posing as therapy

Nude, people, personal tips & tricks

Last Friday I had a model expressing her feelings about her artistic nude shoot as such:
‘Every woman should do this at least once in her life. The images from the first shoot (which was a non nude beauty shoot) have given me enough confidence to do this, and this is such an empowering experience on the level of self-esteem and self consciousness that I would encourage everyone to do it.’ She took a lot of business cards. 😀

Body-language is a very important exteriorising of ones self-awareness, self confidence and self esteem. People with hanging and forward pushing shoulders are mostly the less confident ones, they have tendency to bend over to hide and protect themselves from the outer world. They are having a hard time opening up in a photoshoot. I received another testimonial where a woman said ‘I found it a very fine experience, but at the same time I was very much confronted with my vulnerability, my low self esteem and my lack of confidence. You’ll probably see that in the images. I’m very happy I made this step, but I sure have a long way ahead of me.’

On another occasion I have had my model shout out loud in the open forest ‘I am open to the world, to its resources and its wealth, and I’ll give my talents, my beauty and my smile in return’. And I made some images she’ll never forget. I have given her the task to do that exercise on a regular base. When I sent her the first images she thanked me a lot, and told me she would use them for her daily exercise.

I have strong belief that by changing the body-language, even if it was only one time, making some ever lasting images of it, can change a persons vision on who she (or he) is, and more important, who she can be. In that aspect the role of the photographer becomes so much more than the one taking pictures, being able to handle light, exposure, lenses and camera’s. He has to be some kind of a therapist, being able to express comfort and thrust to his model, being able to understand feelings, emotions and personal barriers. He has to be able to pauze and give space when needed, work fast when the process allows. Learning photography is not a hard thing to do, learning peoples psyche is.

for reasons of privacy I choose not to publish any pictures with this post, except the two nameplates that are upon our front door. They match very well indeed.

thank you for reading, comment and share as much as you like.

if you feel like posing could do you good, please give me a sign. If you feel you need some other kind of therapy, contact Nathalie. 😉

Ludwig

Ludwig Desmet therapy

Clair-Obscur, or playing with light

beauty, people, Tips and Tricks

When I met Pauline at a hotel room in Ghent, the sun was shining brightly. This led to a difficult light situation, with very high contrasts in the room. (Contrast ratio 10/1 sunlit: 1/500s f2.0 ISO100 – shadow: 1/50s f2.0 ISO100) You either have to stay out of direct sunlight, or be very careful working into it. The key here is to make sure that your exposures are good for the sunlit areas, and certainly not overexposed. This can be done by spot metering the lit area’s and fixing your exposure to that metering. This gives you dramatic contrasts, and a perfect light situation for the ‘hide and reveal’ kind of images. The situation became even more tricky later on, as thick clouds began to block the light more often than not. All images with Canon 5D II and Sigma 50 mm f1.4 Art.

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I loved working with Pauline, she’s full of character, she has confidence in me as a photographer, and she’s willing to play with the camera. Of course her drama lessons add a lot to that.

see you soon for some analog images from this same shoot. I shot two rolls of T-Max 400 film that same afternoon.

Ludwig

Nude Studio Setup – the curtain

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

Hi there,
another week, and another studio setup to share.
This image was a lot different from all the other images in my portfolio project. I have used it as the center image in my presentation, since it was mainly white, while all other images had a black background base. It also expressed very well the doubts and hesitations of my model about presenting herself nude to the outside world.

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I had a white cotton cloth with a fine woven structure fixed to the ceiling for this image.
My model positioned behind the cloth, just barely touching it, but really close to the cloth so the combined shadow areas from two soft boxes overlapped and created some small area’s were no backlight could reach. These non lit areas allowed some facial features to become visible. It required some work on the position of the body and the pose to get things right, but I think this image well shows the potential of this setup.
Two soft boxes at equal power output, aimed straight at the model (no crosslight like you would use to lit a background). The light bounced back from the cloth is just strong enough to reveal the facial features in the shaded areas. Really simple.

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the image was taken with a Canon 5D II and a Canon 50 mm f1.4.
Hope You’ve learnt something, I’ve got some more setups to go.

see you soon,

Ludwig

Beautiful Tuscany

landscapes, people, Personal Pictures

Well, vacation is long over, and almost forgotten (almost)
Luckily someone invented photography a couple of hundred years ago.
I don’t want to write a lot of words on this post, only this. The evening we wanted to pack the car for our trip to Italy (2 and a half weeks Tuscany), it broke down.
So no large wagon with rooftop luggage trunk, but only a small Toyota Yaris. This meant a total review of the luggage, which meant I had to leave half of my photo equipment at home. No tripod, that was the biggest drawback for me. But anyway, no other solution possible, and a big challenge for taking landscape images. Normally you want to use closed apertures, meaning long shutter speeds. Well, not possible this time. I had to crank up ISO settings from time to time, which you normally do not for landscape work. To give you an idea, first image: ISO 160 – 17mm – f11 – 1/8th of a second. Last image, ISO 800 – 50mm – f3.2 – 1/25th.

Hope you like the images, I could’n leave the dog out, having its daily portion of ‘gelato’ like everyone else.

happy viewing,

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thank you for looking!

Eline V. at the mansion

beauty, people, Personal Pictures

hi, some new pictures from a new girl I worked with at the mansion. She came with her Uncle, who’s actually studying photography where I give classes, so I can present you some behind the scene’s pictures as well. Eline has only little modeling experience, and that is what I like the most. These models are easily posable the way I want, and don’t fall back into standard poses they’ve learnt with other photographers, ore standard poses from the fashion world. All shots done at the mansion, my favorite working location for natural beauty shoots, with a big thank you to the owners of the house!! I found this location with a bit of luck and a good word from one of my customers. I had worked in the building just in front of this one, when the mansion got sold to new owners. My customer introduced me, the owners saw my work, and a few agreements later, they granted me access to this magnificent place. Thank you Eline, for posing, thank you Gino, for the behind the scenes images and for driving Eline to Ronse! I’m sure you can couple some of my images to the behind the scenes shots 😉 Oh, and all pictures taken with natural light, some of them with the aid of a large reflector (thanks again Gino!) come again soon, I’ve photographed Karen at a new location, which I will be calling the orphanage!

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charlemagne-art_ElineV-0262 some BTS pictures: (you’ll notice that my clothes are really smudgy and dirty on these BTS pictures. You have to know that the mansion is undergoing a full rebuild on the inside, and is thus covered with a layer of dust, from the cave, up to the attic. As a photographer, I tend to lean against walls, go flat on the floor, hang over staircase railings etc. . That’s why.) The very start of the shoot, warming up.
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Me preparing the bath for Eline, Eline not sure what to think.
IMG_2013_06_27_1845-1_small Eline taking a bath with clothes on. 😉
IMG_2013_06_27_1848-1_small at the top floor of the building, the attic rooms. Dark but beautiful structures on the walls, me working with my Canon 24 mm f1.4 II L for a close up wide angle shot. IMG_2013_06_27_1857-1_small In the garden, under the beautiful patio building.
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Salomé on a sunday morning

people, Personal Pictures, photo gear, Uncategorized

>Hi,
some weeks ago I did an impromptu shoot with Salomé.
Salomé is one of my nieces, and she needed some pictures for thank you cards.
She dropped in on a sunday morning and we had about half an hour for making some pictures.
Fortunately the weather was great, and since we have had so much rain these last 6 months, the green was GREEN!
I took my two main portrait lenses, 85mm and 135mm, but all these shots are with the Canon 135mm f2 L.
For me this is the best lens I have, in terms of image quality. It has plenty of contrast, even in strong backlit images, it is very sharp, from the maximum aperture on, and it has creamy soft bokeh.

Main advice in bright sun conditions: shoot with the sun in the back of your model. It will prevent your subject from peeping the eyes, and you get a beautiful hairlight (a bit strong I admit) for free.
Images have only slightly been enhanced in Lightroom. I have an import standard of +20 contrast +15 clarity, and I did nothing else.

The best of the pack (in my opinion 😉 )

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See you soon for the Harley Davidson images (see my facebook page – Ludwig Desmet)

Take care, and come again soon,

Ludwig

Eline at the warehouse prt I

beauty, people, Personal Pictures

ok,
I love shooting pictures, and I love feminine beauty. In the last year I managed to bring those two things somehow together, and I love this combination even more.
I have had a shoot with Eline before, remember Eline at the mansion
Although not a professional model, Eline is was very motivated during our first shoot together, and that made me want to shoot with her again. This time I asked her to think about ideas.
We worked in a different location this time. A very beautiful warehouse in my neighborhood, situated in a historical building of the beginning of the previous century.

I will not write too much words about the shoot. The cooperation was great, I think Eline is a beautiful woman, and she expresses confidence, strength and sensuality all by herself.
The space we used for these images is big (about 10 m wide and well over 15 m deep) On the short north side there’s a huge glass wall, floor to ceiling, which is a great soft light source. I used a bare flash from the other side to create some hair light in some of the images, or to create some fill light for the backlit images.
Overall I was very pleased with the results, I hope you like them too. Thank you again Eline, for being my model on this cold morning.

Thank you for watching. I’ll post the second part soon.

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Lisa at the Mansion

beauty, people, Personal Pictures

Lisa came with her mother to the shoot. She’s only 15 years old, and I’ll never shoot a 15 year old without the approval of at least one of the parents. (written, signed contract). She was fun to work with, and presented a very adult attitude when posing. We had some great laughs, something between mom and daughter, and a very good shoot. Direct sunlight is generally not my favorite, but I tried to avoid too strong contrasts during the shoot. I did some different post processing on some shots. I hope you like the results. There’s more to come, so come again soon!

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Take good care, and come again soon!

Ludwig