Black and White – publishing announcement

contests, Personal Pictures

This was in my mailbox today, actually I already forgot that I’ve sent in some images.

——————————————————
Congratulations! Your entry in the BLACK & WHITE Single Image Contest 2014 has been selected for a Single Image Award, which means that one (or more) of your images will be published in the Special Issue #101 of BLACK & WHITE magazine scheduled to arrive on newsstands mid-December. You can be confident your work stood out in a way that deserved this special attention. Once again, congratulations!
 
All of us at BLACK & WHITE Magazine
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Now you can (as well as I, because they haven’t told me which image was selected) guess which image will be published:

Screen Shot 2013-11-09 at 16.49.48

from top left to Bottom right:
Casa Battlo, which won an award earlier in the french contest ‘Grand Prix de la decouverte 2012’
Eline Growing Wings, currently on display in the exhibit in Ronse
Dispute
Queen of sheba, which was earlier in the final selection for the contest ‘Skin – The Darkroom Gallery’
Cook, from the series of professions I started a while ago
Urgent message, an image from my short Paris visit, when I went to the official result presentation for the ‘Grand Prix de la decouverte 2012’.

I’ll bring you more news as soon as I get some.
everybody at the newsstand mid december 😉

best,
Ludwig

shooting the Verdon with the Canon Powershot S95

landscapes, Personal Pictures, photo gear

Hello there,
I was on a men-only weekend with my oldest son a couple of weeks ago.
We had a lot of fun together, rafting, mountain hiking, drinking beer (at least me), etc. …
I didn’t want to focus on photography that weekend, because of the father and son thing so I only took my compact camera with me. The Canon Powershot S95.
I have used it on weekends out before, but never in a landscape environment. see my post Barcelona Highlights
It is a good compact, but probably not the best you can get.
I don’t want to go into details about this, just put the pros and cons next to each other, compared to my reflex camera.
Compared to the Canon 5D markII and some proper lenses, these are the most relevant cons:
the lens lacks sharpness in the entire zoom range
the sensor has a much smaller dynamic range (whites blowing out or blacks going dead)
it has a much slower reaction time (it’s not a reflex, so there’s a short time lag between pressing the shutter and the picture taken.
it has slower and not so performant AutoFocus (although the AF from the 5D mark II is not top either)
The colors tend to get over-saturated.

these are the pros:
its lightweight compared to any reflex camera 195g vs. 850g without lens for the 5D II
it fits in almost any pocket
it is almost stealth-like compared to a reflex camera, so it doesn’t bother people when it appears (not so important for landscape, but important for street photography)
its silent (except maybe from the lens ring clicks, which are quite noisy)

A pro for this compact, vs some other compacts:
it has all exposure modes, including full manual (P, AV, TV, M), so you can play with the settings as you would with a reflex camera, you can even choose to set the focus manually.

Enough talking, let me show you some pictures. For your info, I have done quite some editing in Lightroom. You won’t notice the lack of sharpness here, I worked a lot on the tonal range in the images, etcetera.

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-1601

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-1588

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-1630

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-1659

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-1684

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-1705

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-1709

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-1715

charlemagne-art-gorgesduverdon-pano

The last image is a photoshop stitched image from 6 shots.
So is it a worthy camera, yes sure it absolutely is a very good travel companion if you don’t wish to focus on photography, but it takes some more time to get good pictures out of it, and you’ll never be able to get really pro-quality pictures out of it.
After all I’m not really a material geek. Sure I love my camera and lenses, but for me a lot of photography is in the eye of the photographer. I’m sure a good photographer can make good pictures with a compact, a bad photographer will not manage taking good pictures with pro gear. I enjoyed being with my son, taking a picture from time to time for the memories, and that is a different mindset than going on a photography trip.

take care, and I hope you come again soon.

Ludwig

Flanders Horse Expo

people, Personal Pictures

I had never attended a horse event like this before.
Flanders Horse Expo is a quite big internationally oriented horse event. With our class group for reportage photography we were asked to deliver a small selection of images about the event. Total freedom subject-wise, so we could concentrate on what we saw and felt during the event.
What I saw was: A lot of good looking people, mostly blonde and pony tailed, junk food and the litter that goes with it. Beautiful horses in all kinds and sizes, too much commercial stands – selling horse food, horse boxes, horse trailers, horse riders clothes, horse riders hats, horse riders boots, horse art, horse saddles, horse pictures (!), horse anything you can imagine – a VIP room where I had no access, a horse jumping contest, a lot of horse shows, and a lot of people working behind the scenes.

The low light situation combined with the fast action (horses) made for a challenging situation technically.
I’m happy to have fast lenses (wide max. aperture) for these occasions.

Images taken with 24 mm f1.4, 85 mm f1.8 and 135 mm f2.0 lenses. ISO 640 to 3200, Canon 5D II.

I hope you like my selection: (clickable for bigger size)

ludwigdesmet-7909

ludwigdesmet-7963

ludwigdesmet-7989

ludwigdesmet-8000

ludwigdesmet-8079

ludwigdesmet-8085

ludwigdesmet-8106

ludwigdesmet-8112

ludwigdesmet-8117

ludwigdesmet-8139

ludwigdesmet-8140

ludwigdesmet-8154

ludwigdesmet-8170

take care, and come again soon.

Ludwig

Queen of Sheba: Honorable mention.

beauty, contests, exhibition, Personal Pictures

UPDATE:

The image has been awarded an ‘Honorable Mention’. Out of almost 500 images, 5 received this title.

It will be digitally sent to the Gallery in Vermont USA, it will be printed by their services and exhibited in the upcoming SKIN exhibition.

for people interested in visiting the Gallery:

DARKROOM GALLERY

12 Main St.
Essex Jct., VT 05452-3132
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11:00-4:00 and by appt.
(802) 777-FOTO (3686)

My picture ‘Queen of Sheba’ (don’t ask me where I got the name from, it just came to me like that) has been selected for the exhibit contest ‘SKIN’ by The Darkroom Gallery in Vermont USA.
Allen Birnbach, famous fine art nude photographer himself, and juror of the ‘SKIN’ contest found my work to be good enough to be in the final selection for the exhibit.
Now try to find out how I get my printed work to Vermont. Anybody going on a trip to Vermont in the next few weeks?

about the image, it was taken on dec. 30 2012, in one of the locations I use for my beauty shoots.

It features a nude woman, besides from the shoes she’s wearing behind a thick velvet curtain. Her body shape is clearly defined, but it show’s no recognizable details. The prolongation of the head shape made me think of some kind of queen with a headpiece.

Image details: Canon 5D mark II, Canon EF 24 mm f1.4 II, ISO 200 – f1.4 – 1/125 sec.

Charlemagne-art_Queen of Sheba-1200FB

thank you for looking,

for the website of mr. Birnbach, Juror of the exhibition contest: www.birnbachfigureworks.com

I have some beauty shoots planned in the near future, so see you again soon.

take care,

ludwig

Helga Rock’n Roll

beauty, people, Personal Pictures

Helga asked me if we could do a quick shoot together. She said it could be a little rock’n roll. She brought her electric guitar and I brought a single flash and a cactus trigger.
I am lucky enough to have some locations in my immediate neighborhood. Not that they are always available, but I have at least one available most of the time.
This time an old textile factory where some rooms are empty and ready to shoot in.

first two images with Canon 24 mm f1.4 II L and the others with Canon 85 mm f1.8.
Only the first two images are made with flashlight, rest is natural light only.

Black and white conversion with LR4, as well as some minor retouching.

thank you for looking.








Juror Award of Merit

architecture, Personal Pictures

My image Casa Batllo has received a ‘Juror Award of Merit’ in the International Fine Art Photography Competition. Looks like I didn’t make it to the finals, but this is a very big motivational plus for my photography in general, and my free work in particular.
I had not expected this image to be rewarded. It is taken with my Canon s95 on a city trip to Barcelona. It shows the upper floor of Casa Batllo, one of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces.
The image will be used on the ‘International Art Photography Competition’ Website, as well as on their Facebook page, with a link to this blog and my website.
I’m really pleased. I’m sure this will help my photography find its way into the art scene.

This is the image that was rewarded:

Thank you for looking, thank you for visiting my blog, hope you’ll keep supporting me!!

I’m gonna have a good glass of wine tonight, to support the french Photographic art community! Cheers!

Ludwig

Barcelona Highlights

architecture, people, Personal Pictures

Hi,

I went to Barcelona two weeks ago, partly for business, partly citytrip. I stayed for 4 days, together with my wife Nathalie. We met a 3D designer to discuss a future project, and we visited a lot.
Barcelona is famous for its pick-pocket plague, so we travelled really light. When walking trough the city, we had only the most necessary things with us. Also for my camera I didn’t want to take risks, so I only took my Canon Powershot S95 with me. I finally learned how it works. 😉 I photographed in highest quality .jpg. Images were treated in Lightroom afterwards. I originally intended to show only black and white images, but some things simply must be seen in color. I hope you like my selection

Some highlights:

Gaudi’s Casa Batllo:

Citylife:

Laribal Gardens, Miro Museum, Olympic Stadium and Calatrava tower:

Parc Guell:

Sagrada Familia:

The verdict for Barcelona: Great city, lots of things to discover, great weather and fine food if you know what to look for.
The verdict for the Camera: Small camera with potential, tucks away in about any pocket, good battery life, fairly good image quality. Lens distortions can be annoying sometimes, not as quick as a DSLR.

Hope to see you soon.
Comments are welcome, questions as well!!

Ludwig

Disaster struck!

people, Personal Pictures

Hi,

I dropped my camera to the floor last week and my CF card broke.

Luckily enough my camera seems to be fine (Kudos to the magnesium body of the 5D II, only some exterior body-coating chipped off). So no reason for not posting anymore, then what has been the reason?
Work mainly. I have been overly demanded this last week, with finishing up my latest big assignment. I made about 40 minutes of 3D animation for a multimedia exhibition about the birthday anniversary of Mercator, 500 years ago. pls check out the link: www.mercatordigitaal.be for more info. I really had no energy left for photography, unfortunately. This should get better in the next few days, as I’m finishing the final touches on the last animation. So pictures will soon find their way to my blog again. I will take up the 85/85 project where I abandoned, and just continue the days to go.

Just wanted to share you this one. A homework from photography classes: take a portrait of your neighbor! And sorry, no this has nothing to do with the title of this post.

thank you for your patience, see you soon!
Ludwig

struggle for a portrait

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

Hi,
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 😦 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 🙂 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.