And The Winners Are….

luxembourg gardens paris, urns, carla coulson, flowers, paris garden, french garden

 

Luxembourg Gardens Photo Copyright Carla Coulson

I am sending these virtual flowers to each and everyone of you entered the competition to win one of my large prints. Such a heartwarming response and so much great energy.

I adored all your comments and enthusiasm for my pics and I wish I could send you all a photo.

But drummmmmrrollllll… the two winners of the choice of their print from the Departure Lounge

up to 20 x 30 inches (50 x 75cm)

Heidi Barker

Leah Rayner

If the winners could get in touch with me at carla@carlacoulson.com that would be grand.

Oodles of thanks to everyone who participated and to the lovely Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home for sharing the love.

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson

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You May Have The Universe If I May Have Italy

Italy photography, carla coulson, fine art prints, puglia, polignano a mare

The Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi wrote “You May Have The Universe If I May Have Italy“. In one short phrase he sums up how I feel about Italy.

The minute I cross the border into Italy something magic happens for me. I go from the invisible to the visible and the chaos, chat, food and surroundings set my soul on fire.

We all have a love affair with different places for different reasons, the memories they provoke, the dreams they inspire and the extra dimension they bring to your life.

Italy and travel has given me so much that I have put some of these memories into prints called Departure Lounge.

To celebrate my love of photography and travel I am giving away a giant print.

Here’s how to enter:

Check out Departure Lounge and favourite the image you like so I know! (there is a little heart at the top of the image)

Or you can favourite my shop Departure Lounge and let me know the photo you like in the comments section below.

Subscribe to my website

Leave me a comment below.

Share this post on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or your blog with the hashtag #departureloungeprints for extra chances to win.

The lovely Sharon Santoni of My French Country is also giving away a print so hop on over to My French Country Home (her post will be up at 1pm Paris time today) You will love her site full of French gorgeousness!

Winner Drawn: Friday 14th 2015 6pm Paris Time

“Every dreamer know that is is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to. ” Judith Thurman

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Win One Of My Giant Print’s of Paris, Italy or ?

Baroque Window Carla Coulson small

Baroque Window Martina Franca Copyright Carla Coulson

For the past 10 years I have been receiving a steady stream of requests to sell prints but I have never managed to get myself organised.

I have great news today and thanks to those who asked all your great energy finally manifested itself here and I have put together a collection of prints from my travels called Departure Lounge.

carla coulson, fine art print paris, paris snow, prints

The Departure Lounge has been a place where I have spent a lot of time over the past 12 years.  My love for travel photography and travelling has never dimmed throughout the years and I adore the feeling of excitement, hope and the unknown that travelling brings.

To celebrate I am giving away a large print up to 20 x 30 inches (50 x 75cm) of your choice shipped to you anywhere in the world. Yes, you get to choose the image!

Here’s how to enter:

Check out Departure Lounge and favourite the image you like so I know! (there is a little heart at the top of the image)

Or you can favourite my shop Departure Lounge and let me know the photo you like in the comments section below.

Subscribe to my website

Leave me a comment below.

Share this post on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or your blog with the hashtag #departureloungeprints for extra chances to win.

The lovely Sharon Santoni of My French Country is also giving away a print so hop on over to My French Country Home (her post will be up at 1pm Paris time today)

Winner Drawn: Friday 14th 2015 6pm Paris Time

 

luxembourg gardens, carla coulson, departure lounge, prints, urns

Carla Coulson, Seine, departure lounge, peniche

paris, backlight, carla coulson, departure lounge,

paris snow, carla coulson, print, departure lounge,

baroque door, martina franca, carla coulson, print, departure lounge

blue door, martina franca, baroque door, carla coulson, departure lounge, print

martina franca, carla coulson, baroque, black and white photography

place des vosges, carla coulson, print, departure lounge,

place des vosges, carla coulson, paris snow, departure lounge

ceglie messapica, carla coulson, prints, departure lounge

All Images Copyright Carla Coulson

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucius

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Chateau Gudanes – Tips On How To Shoot A Chateau

Chateau Gudanes, karina waters, Carla Coulson, France, French Chateau

All photos Chateau Gudanes Copyright Carla Coulson

A while back I was asked by Harper’s Bazaar to shoot the beautiful Chateau Gudanes and the Water’s family, the wonderful family that fell in love with this place and have taken on the massive job of renovating it.

While it’s awfully exciting to be asked to shoot a Chateau (I blogged about it here) it’s also daunting. The sheer size of this place makes it a photographic challenge in the taking and in the planning. You see we are talking about a place that has 70 rooms and is perched on an exquisite piece of land surrounded by mountains.

I thought it would be fun today to give you some inside tips on how I shot it.

1. Scout It

Chateau Gudanes, carla coulson, karina waters, french chateau, france

I Shot the exterior and interior in one day but I was never going to be able to shoot everything. I had the luxury of seeing the Chateau months earlier which made me realise I would need to rent special long lenses to be able to shoot it from up on the mountain.  I made a list of my favourite things and started with number 1!

2. Hero Shot

Chateau Gudanes, Carla Coulson, Karina Waters, French Chateau

Ok, so on a place like this there are probably only going to be a couple of hero shots (the one the magazine will use to open the story). I felt it would be a shot of the Chateau or the gates because both of them a breathtaking. So I shot the Chateau from as many angles as possible. I was up at sunrise and it was a day that changed every five minutes so I was lucky to catch fog, sunshine and rain in a space of an hour.

french ironwork, french chateau, chateau gudanes, Carla coulson, karina waters,

So I am like a dog with a hamshank! I am not walking away from a shoot without the shot so I will shoot from as many angles as I can to make sure I have what the magazine needs. These are just half a dozen of maybe 16 options I handed in of the Chateau and the gates giving horizontal and vertical options. French ironwork, gates, chateau gudanes, carla coulson, french chateau, karina waters,

The gates were such an amazing subject to shoot..

3. Get Up High Or Shoot It In It’s Context

Chateau Gudanes, Carla Coulson, french chateau, Karina Waters,

chateau gudanes, carla coulson, french chateau, karina waters,

So we all want to know where is this Chateau and what’s around it! The only way to do this is to go for a drive and see what you can find. Fortunately I had the lovely Karina Waters as a guide who knows this little baby’s best angles and she kindly showed me her favourite spots.

4. Shooting Interiors

interior staircase, french ironwork, carla coulson, chateau gudanes, karina waters,

I am super excited by interiors like this, I love the patina, the architecture and the light. There is only one difficulty the proportions are huge so you really need to be careful from where you shoot or you end up with very distorted lines. I shot all the interiors on a tripod on approx 400 ISO..

In the case of the staircase I centred myself between the staircase and the door on the right and put my tripod up as high as it would go and then stood on a little stool.

Chateau Gudanes, Carla Coulson, french chateau

As you can see I loved the staircase and didn’t want to miss a shot of this beautiful balustrade. I rarely use a wide angle lens but this is one case where it was the only way to get the whole perspective. When using a wide angle lens on architecture I often find it is better when you are on top of the subject as opposed to being far away. When you are far away it looks distorted.

chateau gudanes, carla coulson, french chateau, france,

To shoot this pic I paid careful attention the lines and distortion. I had my tripod as high as it would go and used a ladder to shoot from so that I was as close as possible to the middle of the distance from floor to ceiling. The closer I am to the floor with a height like this the more the vertical lines will be distorted..

carla coulson, chateau gudanes, french chateau, karina waters,

I adored how Karina had little still lifes happening in many of the rooms, I wandered around the rooms looking at them from all angles taking hand held snaps till I liked something I saw and then I would set up my tripod.

chateau gudanes, carla coulson, karina waters, french chateau, tapestry,

As I was conscious of shooting a whole series of portraits the following day, I wanted to be careful that I had many different angles and wasn’t presenting the same room over and over again shot from the same perspective for the interior shots and the portraits.

stairwell, carla coulson, french chateau, karina waters, chateau gudanes,

I love playing with lines and shapes when shooting interiors and this one was fun but a challenge. I had recently bought a super tripod with a central column that lies horizontally (I could have got a pair of Louboutins for the same price) but this is where it out performs any other tripod. I set the camera up with the lens pointing straight up through the stairwell and I crawled under my camera to check focus, composition and exposure.

chateau gudanes, carla coulson, french chateau,

This too was shot from a ladder and I centred myself in the middle of the shot.

5. Details

details chateau gudanes, carla coulson, french chateau,

I shot as many details as I could of the architecture. Detail shots give you a sense of intimacy and are great combination for an art director to work with with general interiors (of course we managed to squeeze a cat into our pic – thanks Karina).

6. Exterior Landscapes and Grounds

chateau gudanes, carla coulson, french chateau, karina waters,

We are almost done! I shot scenes from the Chateau windows down onto the village below, shot from the front of the house looking back towards the mountains, in the park and played with the light.

Unfortunately I can’t show you all the shots as my blog will blow up but I hope this helps and gives you an idea of what a wonderful place Chateau Gudanes is and if you ever stumble across a Chateau to shoot  these tips might help.

Check out the fabulous Chateau Gudanes cause it’s marvellous.. A huge thank-you to the Walter’s family and the lovely Karina for making this shoot a dream. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook.

You can see the Harper’s Bazaar final shoot here.

“For me, every day is a new thing. I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did. And I get the sweats. I go in and start working, I’m not sure where I’m going. If I knew where I was going I wouldn’t do it.” Architect Frank Gehry

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Why The Gods Gave Me A Cat And You..

carla coulson, susan papazian,

Photo Copyright the marvellous Susan Papazian

On Tuesday I had a big FAT birthday.. I will let you figure out which one but a week or two prior it was sending seismic waves through my life, loads of thoughts and emotions about life in general.

There are moments in life that make us stop, reflect on where we are, how far we have come and where we are going. I had the great fortune to celebrate with a photo shoot by photographer Susan Papazian and boy did we have fun (see image above).

So much has happened since I left my old life, dare I say it, 14 years ago. So many extraordinary moments I would never have had the chance to live if I was still sitting at a desk doing something I didn’t care about. I’m grateful for every day.

Looking back I can hardly believe it’s true, so many wonderful people have helped me, gave me a chance when they didn’t need to and supported me in what I was doing. For me I have never felt it has been a solo effort,  I have always believed that the universe and ‘you’ wanted it to work out.

When I walked into a darkroom in Florence in 2000 I had no idea I was starting the first day of a new life, if I had known all of the living that was in front of me I probably would have done it a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong there has been anxiety, tears, hardship, and fear in large doses but the love, happiness, excitement of doing something I love and personal reward and meeting you have far outweighed the rest.

I really feel as though the universe has already handed out too much to me. How come I was so lucky to have found my way to photography? You see photography for me is more than taking pictures, photography is my emotional language, the way I see the world, the way I communicate, the way I feel and interpret people and situations and it has connected me to you.

There was a time in my early forties when it hit me like a head on train crash that I had forgot to have a baby? I remember wandering around Paris hearing that clock ticking in my head and freaking me out like it has done to so many women of my generation.

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