11. December 2011


A few weeks ago I started asking two of the big hotels in Brussels if I could use one of their top floor rooms as location. I wanted a room with a view over the city and a more modern type of interieur than I usually look for. I was sceptical if they would answer, let alone let me shoot at an affordable charge. Fortunately both answered and offered reasonable conditions – leaving me with the problem to shoot two times in a similar environment  …and I was a bit worried that I might return with too similar images.

Luckily the weather conditions helped a bit. During the first shoot (see blog post from last week) the weather was grey and dark and available light was not an option – so we shot with artificial light, which gave the images their distinct feel. This weekend  the weather was completely different with bright sunshine the whole day, which “forced” me to shoot available light for the most part- giving the images a different feel.

On top of that I got to shoot with two models that easily range at the upper end of my “Top 10 of all-time-favorite models”. I was so happy that Daisy was willing to join us for this shoot – she is just so great to photograph – one of the few models I could shoot with over and over and never get bored. This was our third shoot together with hopefully more to come. We were joined by Elisa – one of my favorite make-up-artists and  Lenny – a great designer from Antwerp for the styling.

A huge thank-you to the hotel for the location…absolutely fantastic (as you probably can see)!

I used my Nikon FE2 with Kodak Portra 400 and the Nikon FM3A with Kodak Tri-x – I also used the Linhof Technika – but I had much more difficulties scanning the 4×5 negatives this time… the last two shoots made me comfortable using 35mm color film – before that I always “played it safe” and used medium format as a minimum for color.

I probably uploaded too many images and spoil the flow with too many repitions, but I already left a lot of them aside….and I like so many of them…always the same when shooting with Daisy 🙂


Great photos and interesting to see how you work in different formats.

I am trying to build a site in WordPress for my photos. What program do you use for the slidshow/lightbox.

Fantastic pictures, realy great Job. Frankly You are my favorite photographer.

wieder mal absolut traumhaft, jan!
ich dachte immer, dass du primär mit natürlichem licht arbeitest – was hast du hier verwendet? dauerlicht? (sieht auf dem making of bild sehr so aus) wenn ja, welches? bin dankbar über jeden tipp diesbezüglich – denn um die jahreszeit ist man ja leider doch oft auf zusätzliche lichtquellen angewiesen.

grüße, julia

Hi Jan,

Wonderful series! And the amount of images are worth it. Besides the favorite which I commented on Flickr I also like 44,45,46. The light here is really fantastic and Daisy is beautiful separated from the background due to the light. I guess it is natural light? I also like the calm composition. Nevertheless… Well done again and another great series!


Hi Jan, absolutely love this series! Lovely use of artificial and natural light. Amazing results for 35mm colour film too! What are the continuous light sources you are using out of interest?

Keep it up!


Another lovely set. And I thought I didn’t like purple!

I am curious about your technique for setting exposure on the shots like 33 to 36. How do you expose for the mix of light on her face?

Thanks – I use a spot meter and measure both sides – dark and light. I put my exposure somewhere in the middle – if in doubt I rather make sure I catch the shadows as the highlights are more flexible… I could have had something like EV9 on the shadow side and EV14 on the sunny side… I would use EV11 for the exposure then in this instance

Rob, if the question was for me, I’m using an old Epson Perfection 3200 Photo (for 135 and also for 120 film format).
And yes, brighten up MF screens are must have for manual focusing
( I’m using Brightscreen p355h for Contax 645: http://brightscreen.com/styles2.html ).

Jan – what do you use to scan 35MM negs?

Thanks – Rob

I am using a Nikon Coolscan V with Silverfast

As always, beautiful work!

Very nice as usual. Really like the setting. Do you develop your color film by yourself ?

Thanks Wil.. yes, since I saw on youtube how easy it is, I am developing myself.

As always, very nice set, beautifully photographed! Portra and Tri-X are just excellent… And a naturally beautiful and interesting model is what I take as a something usual on your site 😉

By the way, when you mentioned that dark viewfinder of your Contax 645 – I suppose you mean Contax MF-1 Prism Finder – BUT did you try the Contax MF-2 Waist Level Finder? For work from tripod (and when you have enough time to focus (so quick snapshots are not the case I’m talking about), it’s really joy using this finder. Yes, it is (as everything for that camera) a bit pricey, but it worth every penny 😉
(find “Contax MF-2” on ebay, if you want to).

Jan – see a guy named Bill Maxwell out of Georgia, USA…he does great work to brighten up MF focusing screens – the best…anywhere from $175 – $250 a pop…Jonathan Canlas recommends him highly as does my brother who has used him for his ‘Blads many years ago…

Thanks both… I was always hesitating to give my screen away for a longer time and not being able to shoot the Contax… but maybe its worth it…

Fantastic work as always, I wouldn’t expect any less brilliance from you.. I had a question about the light.. you were using a constant light or a strobe?

Thanks… I only used contant light on the last few images… all the others are available light.

Honestly I’m speechless! These pictures are stunning I love the colors of the portra =)

Your photos are absolutely beautiful. I love your tones. What do you scan with?

Never mind! I found the answer on your website. Keep up the amazing work!

#56 is just perfect Jan. Congratulations to all involved. Beautiful series of photos.

Great job Jan,. Liked them all specially the last ones, love the dress!

I am not sure if you have heard about Bill Maxwell but he can make a super bright focusing screen for your Contax. I am going to ask him to do one for my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II. No affiliation with him here hehe

These are amazing! I just love the soft light in the color ones and also I like de 4×5 ones more than the 35mm ones
I just can’t get enough of your photos 🙂
Keep the good work up

I’m really enjoying these interior location shoots you’ve been posting. What happened with the 5×4 shots? Did you expose them the same as the 35mm? Something with the processing? It’s really strange that the shadow detail is missing from them.

Hi Nasir, I thought I exposed the same.. I did however use a rotary processor for the 4×5 C41 shots… maybe I still have to test the rotary thing a bit more :-/

Gorgeous images as always. I really enjoy the different type of feel that you have in these. You can certainly tell that it is YOUR work, but as you said, there’s a certain modern aspect to them that your work typically doesn’t have (in terms of setting, styling). Very good 🙂

Nice to see you shooting with 35mm and the 4×5. But I have to ask, what happened to the Contax, Hassy and Rollei? I haven’t seen you shoot with those for a while and really do like your medium format photos. Is it a difference of aspect ratio (square vs rectangle) for the type of photos you’re shooting?

Thanks Patrick, the Contax, Hassy and Rollei are doing fine… its quite normal that I have some favorite cameras for a period and then others for the next period… in summer I was shooting the Contax almost all the time and people asked what happened with my 35mm cameras… their time will come again and then the Nikon’s will gather dust for a while. I have to say that I prefer the Contax for outdoor – the viewfinder is quite dark and in lowlight indoor situations I am never really sure about the focus… the old Nikon SLRs are a dream in that respect… and I have a slight preference for the rectangle over the square…

Yes, I go through the same thing, so I understand. Thanks!

I meant to also say that as much as I love the natural lighting you typically do, I really enjoy the artificial lighting that I’ve seen in this post and the one previous. They are constant light sources, yes? Whatever they are, it looks great.

Absolut wunderschön – du hast dich selbst übertroffen . Dieses Serie gefällt mir total . Alles hat gestimmt und harmoniert . Die Ergebnisse sind ein Traum .

LG Marcel

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