Yearly Archives: 2011

Living In a Foreign Language

Living in a Foreign Language by Michael Tucker

Living in a foreign language about sums up my life. I now live in two foreign languages and sometimes feel like my brain has become a blender.

Francesco and I have always spoken in Italian and with my French friends and in my daily life I speak in French. With my mother, my sisters and all my fabulous Aussie friends I speak in English.  No wonder I am exhausted at the end of the day when any word could whizz out in any language of it’s own accord. There are moments when I really feel like I have lost control of my ‘c-drive’. Francesco tells me I have my very own language – it’s called Carlese..It takes about half-a-bottle of red wine to understand it!

I have Living in a foreign language tucked into my luggage for Christmas and can’t wait to see what challenges the author strikes.  Michael Tucker sounds full of as much zest and love for Italy as moi!! Looking forward to curling up in front of the fire in Puglia to read it.

Baci e abbracci









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Glam Christmas – A Shoot from My Archives

Eve Magazine Copyright Carla Coulson
Eve Magazine Copyright Carla Coulson
Eve Magazine Copyright Carla Coulson
 Eve Magazine Copyright Carla Coulson
 Eve Magazine Copyright Carla Coulson
Eve Magazine Copyright Carla Coulson

Eve Magazine Copyright Carla Coulson

I had the great pleasure years ago to shoot a Christmas story for English magazine Eve. We shot the Christmas story in a beautiful Edwardian home in the heart of London with a gorgeous model and two mini-models!!
And what a glam Christmas the stylist created!If only I was so glam on Christmas day…
Shot using:
Tri-x 400 pushed two stops
Kinoflo continous neon lights created this soft light!

If you need  a little Christmas inspiration you might like:

The wonderful colours and a pared down Christmas at April and May
An easy no-fuss Christmas tree at Wish you Were Here
Three last minute decorating ideas at Bright Bazaar
France’s most loved priest at French Girl in Seattle
This incredible red dress at Dustjacket
And the photographers might like a refresh on how to shoot Christmas lights at Strobist
Henrietta Hassinen’s true meaning of Christmas
If you are behind time on the the gift giving and need some ideas check out my Italian Christmas list.
For cool French stuff this Christmas have a look here and if you have a budding portrait photographer in the family check this out.

What are you wearing this Christmas??

Shine On

Carla’s Italian Christmas list  Italy
Carla’s French Christmas list  France
Carla’s gift ideas for the budding portrait photographer








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Five Hotels for A Chic Christmas in Florence

Hello Lovelies,
Thank-you for all your messages, emails and notes about my previous post about my Italian Christmas. It seems that I am not the only one on my way to Italy for Christmas. Sounds like lots of you are planning an Italian Christmas and you need some help..

One of the questions I am frequently asked about Florence (where I lived for 5 years) is where to stay. During my years in Florence I had the chance to photograph many beautiful hotels and had the great fortune to get to know some of their owners and managers well. Florence has a high concentration of gorgeous design hotels,  many made-over by the clever Architect Michele Bonan.

So for those of you heading to Florence this Chrismas and wanted to know where to stay in spetcular style here are Carla’s faves!!!!

Copyright JK Place

 Copyright JK Place

The clever and talented Ori Kafri slept in as many rooms possible in as many glamorous hotels around the world before planning his gorgeous hotel, JK Place. Like a chic gentleman’s residence in the heart of Florence JK Place is an art and design lover’s haven. Tucked away in a corner of Piazza Santa Maria Novella you are in walking distance of everything you wll need in florence.

 Copyright Hotel Gallery Art

Copyright Hotel Gallery Art

Hotel Gallery Art was revolutionary in Florence when it opened. It was Florence’s  first design Hotel  and in a rockstar location, a quiet Piazza right next to the Ponte Vecchio.
The other great thing I love about Hotel Gallery Art is the art collection. Serious contemporary art and photography is exhibited in the downstairs Gallery and the public are encourage to come on in and view the works.
They also have an incredible ‘aperitivo’ in their bar around twilight….Chic locals abound.

3. Continentale Florence

 Copyright Continentale Florence

 Copyright Continentale Florence

Continentale has a 50’s twist to their design. In the same Piazza as the Hotel Gallery Art Continentale has without a doubt some of the best views in Florence, a bird’s eye view of the Ponte Vecchio. Designed by the clever Michele Bonan who also designed JK Place and Hotel Gallery Art.

Copyright Carla Coulson

Copyright Carla Coulson

If your pockets are full of cash this Christmas and you want to stay in not only Florence’s most luxurious hotel but also in it’s most historic head straight for the Four Seasons Hotel in Florence. Formely Palazzo Gheradesca, home to the Florentine noble family of the same name has all the trimmings you would expect of a Florentine palazzo – handpainted frescoes, original handpainted wallpapers, grand staircases and incredible grounds. I love this building and the designer kept the wonderful original features. The entrance on Borgo Pinti hides hectares of park with four hundred year old trees.

If your budget can’t take all the above hotels you might like to try the Hotel dei Macchioli. I recently stayed here with my sister and her husband and found this hotel delightful.
In an historic building with an incredible painted wooden ceiling Hotel dei Macchioli is two steps away from the Duomo and had lovely recently renovated rooms.
They give themselves 3 stars  (probably because of the flight of stairs to the reception but the delightful staff will carry your bags)..but by Italian hotel standards my guess it is more like a 4 star..

For all of you who won’t be visiting Italy this Christmas I hope you enjoyed this little virtual tour of Florence. And for those of you dreaming of Italy you might like to check out my Italian Christmas List. 

Buon Viaggio








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Paris – Shooting Snow

 Place Des Vosges – Carla Coulson
 Le Marais – Carla Coulson
 Notre Dame – Carla Coulson
 Ile-St- Louis – Carla Coulson
 Places des Vosges – Carla Coulson

Along the Seine – Carla Coulson

Last year in the lead up to Christmas it was snowing it’s little heart out in Paris. As those first flutters fell every photographer raced outdoors including moi (see above). It is so rare to have a thick blanket of white in Paris and when it happens we all go gah gah..Sometimes its just us photographers out there shooting each other in Paris.. How romantic!!

There is a trick to shooting snow. For your camera it is like pointing the lens towards the sun, the exposure meter goes wild and thinks ooohhh there is too much light and it will encourage you to close down your aperture or suggest a higher shutter speed. Which results in murky snow, not lovely white snow that the eye sees..

Why does this happen?? 

Your camera is programmed to read the light at medium grey..When you point your camera at different coloured objects in the same light  (eg white or black) your camera will give you two different exposure readings even though the objects are in the same light. The white will cause you camera to under expose the image and the black will tell you camera to overexpose it.
This was a huge problem when using film. At least with a digital camera you can see that it is incorrect and correct it by changing shutter speed and aperture.
How to overcome this problem? 

You can carry a grey card with you and take an exposure reading of the grey card in the same light as the scene – the camera lurves grey. Or you can take an exposure reading of a medium grey object in the same light in the scene and measure your exposure on that. That should get you a spot on exposure reading and pretty white snow.. Works for brides dresses too!!!
Happy Shooting..








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Divine Beauty

 Kanchipuram India – Carla Coulson
 Kanchipuram India – Carla Coulson
 Valencia Spain – Carla Coulson
Florence Italy – Carla Coulson
 Palermo Italy – Carla Coulson

Sicily Italy – Carla Coulson

There is so much beauty in devotion no matter what religion.
I have always loved photographing the colour, passion and art of religious icons..

Have a divine day








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