Urbex in Belgium with Sheena Williams ~ NSFW

Apr 9, 2016 | Continuous Lighting, Flash, Fujifilm X, Location | 14 comments

Photography: Damien Lovegrove
Model: Sheena Williams
Locations: Belgium and Netherlands
Styling: Sheena and Damien
Camera: Fujifilm X-Pro2 with 14mm. 16mm, 23mm, 35mm, 56mm and 90mm lenses
Lighting: Lupo LED 1000 with Scattergel, Elinchrom ELB 400 (Quadra) with gridded soft box, available light
Makeup on day 1: Shirley Hamilton
Facilitator, co shooter and all round great guy: Paul Keur

01.

01. The shoot got off to a bumpy start when one of the team was challenged at gunpoint by an elite team of anti terror police but after that mix up we kept our heads down and gained access to our first chateau. I lit this frame with a Lupo LED 1000 with a Scattergel. The Lupos run on batteries or mains so they really can go anywhere. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 23mm, f/1.4, 1/125th second, ISO 800.

Sheena Williams in an abandoned chateau

02. Chateau one has quite a lot of opportunity for photographs within the main reception areas. Lighting: Lupo 1000 with Scattergel. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 35mm, f/4 at 1/30th second and ISO 400

Netherlands Playboy model Sheena Williams nude examines a painting.

03. ‘Art Nude’ Sheena is again lit with the Lupo and Scattergel. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 16mm, f/1.4, 1/30th at ISO 400

Sereena Williams model naked in a Belgium chateau

04. Chateau two has an interesting interior. It is in a really bad state of disrepair and that adds some crumbly magic to the pictures. I used the Elinchrom ELB with a Lastolite Ezybox and grid to light Sheena. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 14mm, f/4.5, 1/60th second at ISO 500

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05. The same scene lit using the ambient light on a bright April afternoon. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 23mm, f/1.4, 1/60th second with ISO 500

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06. I changed the shooting angle and posed Sheena in a slightly surreal fashion to mimic the look of a 1970s album cover. I employed the wonderful calmness that comes from pushing the ambient exposure to reduce the contrast and trickling in the flash to taste. Elinchrom ELB, Fujifilm X-Pro2, 14mm, f/4.5, 1/60th second ISO 1000

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07. We kicked off day two at an abandoned sanitarium. I love shots like this that deliver an eerie narrative. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 16mm, f/2, 1/125th second with ISO 400

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08. I lit this frame with the Lupo from just out of shot on the left. You can see the shadows from the Lupo on the wall on the right of frame. The Lupo 650, 1000 and 2000 are all dimmable so controlling the light is really easy. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 16mm, f/9 at 1/125th second

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09. I love it when I come across a bit of creative artwork. Sheena must think I’m a bit nuts but we had some fun here. Natural light. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 16mm, f/1.4, 1/125th second at ISO 400

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10. Next up was the Lime factory. This frame is lit entirely with the Elinchrom ELB and the shot below taken from the same position is lit using just available light. Fujifilm X-Pro1, 35mm, f/16, 1/250th with ISO 200

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11. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 56mm, f/1.2 at 1/250th second

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12. The top picture this time is lit with natural light and the bottom one with the Elinchrom ELB with a gridded soft box. Top: 90mm, f/2, 1/250th at ISO 2000.  Bottom: 23mm, f/4, 1/250th second with ISO 200

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13. I used the Elinchrom ELB to blast light in from beyond Sheena at an abandoned railway station. I like lighting from beyond or an up stage position as in shots 01, 03 and 07  above and 14, 15 and 16 below. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/250th second and ISO 200.

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14. The railway station is in the middle of nowhere and has 4 very long platforms, waiting rooms, ticket halls and abandoned offices. I would have loved to spend more time there shooting but we had other venues to see.

In bed with Sheena Williams

15. Before we left the fabulous tour hotel on day 3 we did a mini 10 minute bedroom shoot as the light was fantastic.

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16. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 35mm, f/3.2, 1/125th second with ISO 200

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17. There are all sorts of abandoned places in Belgium including chapels. I lit the bottom frame with the Lupo and Scattergel combination. I couldn’t get the light far enough to the left because we ran out of choir loft so this is a bit of a compromise.

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18. We ended our mini adventure in a coal mine. We got underground and managed to stay out of troubleThe top shot is strangely alluring while the bottom shot reminded me of the opening titles for a James bond movie. I saw this ventilation shaft when we were in the mine tunnels and I directed Sheena into the best spot for  composition. Top: 23mm, f/4, 1/125th second with ISO 200. Bottom: 35mm, f/1.8, 1/80th second with ISO 640

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19. There’s something exciting about underground railways. We had just one hour in the mine before we left for the airport but that was long enough to get a few shots that captured the spirit. Pushing these wagons around was a noisy process so we had to be careful. Available light. Fujifilm X-Pro2, 16mm, f/1.4, 1/125th second, ISO 1250. I should have had my monopod down there but we had loads of other kit with us too and sometimes in these places you have to move fast.

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20. The shot on the left was lit with the Elinchrom ELB using output B on minimum power. The one on the right was available light from the tunnel fluorescent tubes.

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21. With more time and a second lighting stand I could have created something magical here. It’s nice to leave something more to capture on a return visit.

If you would like to join me on an adventure, become a member of the Lovegrove Creative Shoots Facebook group or regularly visit PassionPhotographyExperiences.com

14 Comments

  1. Charles Borsboom

    Fantastic photo’s. I am from the netherlands but didn’t recognised the locations you. Can you tell me where you shot these pictures?
    Cheers and keep up the good work!
    Charles

    Reply
  2. Simon Goyne

    Wonderful as always. Your photos are an inspiration to me, and your illumination video tutorials demystified the ‘dark arts’ of off camera flash to the point that I’m just waiting for a couple of lightstands and some modifiers to be delivered so I can jump in.

    Reply
    • Lovegrove

      Thank you :) Have fun making light, Kind regards, Damien.

      Reply
  3. Lee Woodcock

    Fantastic images. I wanted to ask how much of a step up the fuji mk2 is on the Mk1?

    You create fantastic images with both. How are you liking the mk2?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Lee, Thank you for the compliments.

      The two cameras may look the same but they are worlds apart in performance terms. If you like OVF then the X-Pro2 is for you. If you like EVF and a tilting screen then X-T1 is the one to go for. At heart I’m a tilting screen guy but I like simplicity too. It’s the best camera out there for me right now.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  4. mike buckley

    Brilliant as sickeningly usual Damien. Terrific set of pictures.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Mike,

      It all felt a bit rushed as there was a lot of driving but I’m happy with these from a first visit.

      Kind regards, Damien.

      Reply
  5. Steinar Knai

    Great shooting Damien. I particularly liked 13 and feel that with the model dressed like that, some of the other images would have had an even stronger impression.

    Reply
  6. Vic Chapman

    Great work in stunning locations. I especially like those from the chateaus but my fave light is the very last. I’m surprised how much you use the 14/16mm WAs but you make really good use of them here.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Vic,

      I like to pull in the locations so a W/A lens is a must for me. Your kind words are very much appreciated. Damien.

      Reply
  7. Dave Fisher

    Amazed at the changes the flash made in 12, quite an eye opener. Fabulous locations complimented by a beautiful model and a photographer in his element.
    Strange how decay and beauty work so well together. Excellent stuff.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Dave,

      The exposure could be pulled right down when using the Quadra giving this dramatic look or indeed anything in between. The last shot had the Quadra on minimum power from outlet B and that was enough to lift Sheena from the gloom.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  8. Jay Mijares

    Wonderful, Damien! The available light in the coal mine is amazing! As is the high ISO capability of the X-Pro2. My favorite is #12, both top and bottom. Sheena looks very elegant in those.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Jay,

      That dress is perfect. Cheers, Damien.

      Reply

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