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Home » Shooting Days » 2015... » Vogelsang 2017

The second International Shooting Days of 2017 took place in Ordensburg Vogelsang, a former military base build by the nazis before WWII and then used by the belgian army intil 2005. The place is now a national parc with nearly all the buildings in their original state.

The first International Shooting Days took place in 2004 and the aim is to invite photographers and models from different courntries. It's possible to reside at the hotel for the noght.

Ordensburg Vogelsang was build by the nazis before WWII and was to be used for the training of the civil servant elite. People were then diverted to occupied territory as administrators (mostly in Poland). During the war, the camp was not used for training but became some sort of hospital. After the war the grounds were claimed by the british who dislodged the occupants of the nearby villages (like Wollseifen). In 1950, the belgian army took over and stayed for more than fifty years.

One of the buildings was transformed in a sort of hotel/guesthouse with 12 rooms for the guests. Meals are also provided, and this is interesting because there are no restaurants or shops in the surroundings. It's possible to eat in Vogelsang IP (the visitor's centre) but they close at 17.00h.


4 august: arrival and first photoshoots

The first models arrive at the hotel. There is a meal and then we go for a photoshoot at the river Urft. There is a lot of sun and the pictures are excellent. It's best to park the car at the swimming pool to reduce the climbing distance to the hotel. The roads are very steep (16%).

The bridge was build after the withdrawal of the belgian troops in 2005, the bridge was named after a belgian officer who enhanced the relation with the local population. The belgian army was the biggest employer in the region.

In the evening there is a second photoshoot nearby the main buildings, we use different sorts of led lights.

Led lamp at 10 meter
ISO value of 2500

I have a strong led lamp that can be used everywhere. The color rendering index is not good (too much yellow and not enough red). Each picture need to be corrected. The problem is not the color balance (it can easily be corrected by the camera) but the color rendering, where you have to correct each color separately. This correction is done on the computer and yelds fairly acceptable results.

5 august: main day

Two models and one photographer are arriving for one day. The weather is not so fine and it's raining in the morning.

We use one of the hotel rooms for a studio shoot but the flash lights refect on the large windows and we need to use one of the walls as background.

I co to pick up some extra people at the entrance because the hotel is situated on the other side of thecamp and there is no straight road to it (most of the roads are blocked for cars).

The french and german models do a photoshoot at the river and the bridge, while the remaining models do a photoshoot at the main buildings, mainly at Malakoff, the big entrance building.

A model arrives in the evening and will stay until sunday.


The buildings just look like when they were build in 1930.

There are individual and group shootings. We made a strict planning, but we were not able to follow it, some people were too late (or were lost in space) and it was raining saturday morning.

Waiting in the photo studio

We used the conference room as a studio for some shootings in the evening. It was not an ideal location but we could use one of the gray walls as background. We used our battery operated studio lights as main lights (Jinbei 600 with two heads). When the sets are main powered and used at the same time the batteries are slowly drained because the power supply is not able to provide suffisant power for the modelling lights and the strobes. A short break halfway (with modelling lights witched off) was used to recharge the batteries.


6 august: the last day

There is photoshoot at the Officer's mess in the mrning and one at the petrol station and main building in the afternoon. We are leaving at arond 15.00h. For some of the poeple present it will be a long ride back home (2, 3 or 4 hours driving).

"La Redoute" - Officer's mess


The shooting days were very good, and there was no need to drive to other locations, making the whole event very time-efficient. They are enough opportunities for photoshoots in the surroundings: the sport fields, the river, the bridge, the different buildings. We had a full pension so we didn't need to leave the camp. The meals were typically german and nobody liked it (that's why they lost the war).

--- Malakoff ---
Malakoff is the name given to the main entrance building by the belgian army. It's not the name of a "famous" belgian officer (it was Van Dooren). It's actually the name of a jailhouse.

This name was firstly used in Leopoldsburg (the most important belgian military camp), where the jailhouse was build by a certain Malakoff. The name Malakoff was then used instead of jailhouse.

Because the jail was located in the entrance building of Vogelsang, the name was used for the complete building like it was in Leograd (the nickname for Leopoldsburg).


Photoshoot at the Victor Neels bridbe
(first day)


"La Redoute"
Officers Mess

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