BMA: the organisation behind the International Shooting Days
Get in touch!

Shooting Days

Home » Shooting Days » 2020 - .. » Comblain la Tour 2021

International Shooting Days
Belgium Model Academy

Le relais de la poste
Comblain la Tour
September 2021

For the second shooting days of 2021 we went to the same house as last year. It's a house i like very much and i know the surroundings quite well. I know where the main shop is (and where the different products are, making it easy to shop rapidly). There is a railroad station nearby and i know where i can take good pictures. There is even a new grocery store located two houses further. They sell cuberdons and the models eated more than a kilo of them in two days.

There is still visible water damage in some of the houses nearby the river and clothes are hanging on trees at the river banks. You can see the rise of the water level by looking at the branches and the mud on some houses. Even a large cement plant was completely destroyed by the flood.

Our next events: International Shooting Days 2023.


The photographers and models are arriving in the late evening. It's dark outside when everybody is ready. The first day, there is not much talking at the table. We take some pictures in the streets, but because of the monochromatic light (natrium lamps) we can only process them in black and white.

I take some pictures with my mobile flashlight near a building in the parc. It's strange, but it's OK for some funny pictures. I'm not a great fan of using flashlight, the result is mostly not like what i want. The flashlights are mainly used by the other photographers (i take two sets of them).

For this time, i asked a model to help me with the household chores. In the morning i go out to do the shopping (fresh bread), prepare the dining table and make scrambled eggs, then i leave it to the model. It's completely different with the other shooting days, i'm not stressed anymore and i dont have back pain.


Like each year, we go to two of my best locations: the University of Liège and the Fort de la Chartreuse. Going to the same locations makes it possible to do relatively fast shootings with different models: you know what to expect on each place and you can move directly to the exact position most appropropriate to each model. I never went to the same place with two models: they are build differently and each place has different lighting conditions.

After seeing my pictures, one of the models (working for a video production house) said that some of my pictures have some problems. I look at the images, and indeed, some of the pictures are not as sharp as they used to be. For model photography it's not an issue in most cases, it makes the images more pleasing. But on some high contrast images i have white smears on the images and that's not OK since i like to work with high contrast settings. The breakdown happened slowly over a period of time and i didn't notice the deterioration, most of the pictures just looked fine.

There is some dust that entered the lens. It seems to be situated between the front elements (zoom unit). I'm using this lens 12 years now (Canon EF 70-200 ƒ/2.8) and it's time to replace it now. Even if the lens doesn't increase in size when zooming, it accumulated some dust inside over the years.

I will have to switch to the new Canon RF system, since the old EF lenses are not produced anymore. I need to change from the Canon 5D Mk IV to the Canon R5 and replace some lenses. It's not that bad as the changeover from Canon FD to EF lenses in the late eighties, because its possible to continue using the EF lenses on the new body (you simply need an adaptor).

Some pictures look much better in black and white but the process is much more complex than just removing the color information. I turn each individual color to black or white and create so a pictures that's more vibrant than the original one. It's like black and white film photography when you use color films, but here you can choose infinitely more colors.

Matthias was present at the previous shooting days in Huy, he was the only one who stayed all the days, but i had no time to work with him. During the shooting days i try to concentraten on foreign models, knowing that this is the only chance i have to work with them. This time, i planned a shooting with him beforehand. Anyway, the foreign models were not so good...

In the middle of Chartreuse
Parts of the main building are in very bad shape
with the floors that have collapsed.
I normally don't go to the upper floors anymore


Our aim was to go to a place near the Ourthe river at a cement factory, but the plant was completely destroyed by the flood in July and the place was utterly dangerous. We have to find another place (i did a location check-up the week before, so i knew that the place would not be ideal).

We start around the house and then we go to a stone quarry in Sprimont. This is also a location i used some years ago. However it's an open location and you can't work with shadows: there are none.

Models are coming from differents countries, but have also different backgrounds. That is what makes the shooting days different from other events. Some models come for one single shooting, some are participating in model contests, some are trying to get hired by model agencies,...

Today, there is a new model coming. He doesn't like my style of photography and doesn't allow me to post his pictures. That's not how the shooting days are organised: every photographer should be allowed to work with each model and be able to publish his pictures. If a model doesn't want the photographer to publish the pictures, it's not a TFP shooting anymore, but a paid shooting and the model has to pay the photographer. For starters it's 500€ for half a day on an outside location.

After the shootings, everybody go back to the house to prepare to leave. I bring the model who helped me back to his house. It was one of the best event and i had time to work with nearly everybody.

The week after

One of the models could not stay for more than some hours, so i planned a shooting with him for the next week. The weater was still fine.

The meeting place was the railroad station of Gembloux. Like always, i arrive some 30 minutes before and i see some interesting old buildings nearby. It seems to be an old factory, but nothing is left of it. There is ample light coming in the buildings.

It's not the perfect place, there is nothing left from the original factory, but it's OK for a small shooting. I rely much on ntural light, and the light is not perfect like in Chartreuse for instance.

During the shooting, the sun goes donw and there is some more light entering the buildings. I don't go upstairs, there is nothing there. It's a rather difficult place concerning the lights. Next time i will probably bring my flashes with me if i ever go to this location.

That's the available light
Suns rays pass through a plastic curtain and strike the ground





Google pages selection that could be of some interest to you