Guillaume Carels Photography: Blog en-us (C) Guillaume Carels Photography (Guillaume Carels Photography) Sun, 12 Feb 2017 20:45:00 GMT Sun, 12 Feb 2017 20:45:00 GMT Guillaume Carels Photography: Blog 120 61 Flashback to an amazing experience Time for a short flashback!

The date was the 9th of September 2014 and we were in the middle of our amazing Uganda trip (you can read the entire Uganda Story via the link). It was the day we were going to meet the mountain gorillas! 

In the morning, upon arriving to base camp, you choose a family according to your level of fitness. Some families lay as close as 15 minutes away from base camp, other more than 4 hours. Since our group was prepared to go the extra mile (and it's not about the goal but the journey ..;)), we choose the furthest away.   

After the hike we finally arrived to a hillside where our family was waiting (*). 

 (*) I must note here that the approach to the animals happens with the utmost respect. It takes years before the animals are used to people and although it is widely contested by environmental organizations this is the only way to ensure the conservation of these wonderful animals. 

Little can prepare you for a close encounter with such magnificent animals.. Meeting the alfa male, the occasional fight with the beta, the kids that play around .. It feels as if you are intruding a forbidden meeting where the members could easily harm you if they would like to (which of course didn't happen). 

After around 30 minutes we had to head back to base camp and leave the family to their daily chores. As you see, I still cherish the encounter to this day. So this is also a small reminder to everybody, don't pass on an experience when you are travelling! 


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park contains the largest concentration of mountain gorillas in Uganda and is situated along the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border next to the Virunga National Park. Together with Rwanda, Uganda has done a lot to contain the loss of habitat of these wonderful animals. 



]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) aliceinw animals bwindi close up gcpic gorilla jungle mountain photo travel uganda wild Sun, 12 Feb 2017 11:16:59 GMT
Sri Lanka Discovering the small(er) details from my surroundings has always brought me great joy. It's often the smaller things that make the "bigger picture". There's a fine line between trivial and decisive. I hope I got 'close' to decisive .. ;) 

Please enjoy the little serie on the wonderful daily life from Sri Lanka..


]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Asia Galle Kandy People aliceinw b&w black and white bouddhism experience gcpic journey photo religion romantic sri lanka travel travelling Tue, 31 Jan 2017 05:53:15 GMT
A short introduction to Sri Lankan fishing techniques What is progress? .. If you measure it by "fishing techniques" - you would probably start with a rod, a line and some bait. The return is slow but doesn't require a lot of technique and resources. In Sri Lanka, you could add - balance - to that equation.. Second step in progress would be to work together and make your return higher. For example, a large net that is lowered to the seabed and then slowly pulled by people (or any passerby..) on shore. Third and final step is industrialization (bigger boats, bigger nets, .. )

What I wanted to make clear is that even in the small villages outside of Galle this "progress" is very tangible. The first technique you see, is called stilt fishing (made famous by Steve McCurry, more info on this LINK) and is unfortunately almost gone. The few places where you can still see stilt fishers are only there to the amusement of tourists. The return is higher .. 800 rupees to be exactly (around 3,5 EUR). You could argue and say that the stilt fishing pictures are missing authenticity (but would you say that if I hadn't mentioned that I paid for it?). In any case .. I agree.  

We stumbled upon the second "technique" by accident when I saw a large group pulling a net on shore. I immediately ordered the tuk-tuk driver to drop us off so that we could investigate. After taking a couple of pictures, I decided to help them out with the catch of the day!

"Hey-O  Hey-O  Hey-O" - cried the foreman to keep the rhythm. "Hey-O" - I mumbled.. 

Enjoy the series! 


]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Asia Fishing techniques Galle Sri Lanka aliceinw beach coastal fish fishing net polefishing progress rural stiltfishing teamwork techniques together tradition traditional vanishing Sat, 28 Jan 2017 11:55:35 GMT
Shantipura - Village in the Tea Hills of Nuwara Eliya The mountains of Sri Lanka make an interesting change in landscape. From Kandy, a historical city with the famous relic "the tooth of Buddha", to Nuwara Eliya, the change in scenery and temperature is quite remarkable. Heading into the mountains also uncovers Sri Lankan number one export product; Tea! We were lucky enough to find an excellent guide who was willing to take us off the beaten track to a small Tamil village in the mountains. A hefty but very rewarding 8 hour or 22km trek!  

Meet the locals from Shantipura ..  

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Etnic Plantation Sri Lanka Tamil Tea happy hard worker hard workers kids rural society tamul village woman women Fri, 27 Jan 2017 06:47:32 GMT
On a morning in Kiwengwa, Zanzibar .. On a morning in Kiwengwa, Zanzibar, children go to school and the local fishermen are at sea..  the women tend their seaweed lot while the men fish for octopus and clams in their laguna. Not a cloud in sight. While the community awakes, a foreigner passes by - a shy smile. Though neighbours, their worlds couldn't be further apart.

.. A short serie on my neighbours. 





]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) beach fishermen kiwengwa laguna local pristine rural school sea tourism tropic tropical zanzibar Sat, 26 Nov 2016 11:17:10 GMT
Du Noon One of the "attractions" tourist can experience in South Africa, is called a Township tour (in other countries they are also called Shanty town, Bidonville, Favela, .. ).The first time I heard about these excursions was in Rio De Janeiro where at the time they were done poorly and it implied that a portion of your money would go to the ruling warlord of the favela. Reason enough to understand that I was absolutely not eager to participate (but curious nonetheless). 

Luckily enough some happy coincidence brought me to Du Noon on a Sunday morning (but not for a township tour!). I was invited for a "braai" (BBQ) by the lovely people from JoshGen Church after attending the Sunday mass in the City Center. So after a meal of "(Mielie)pap" and "Braaiwors" I was very eager to discover the township in the (safe) proximity of the town preacher. 

One of the first things that struck me was the amount of activity. No corner is unused! Every shop is screaming for your attention through home made signs.. All the better for the photographer! 

As a side note .. Du Noon is considered one of the most dangerous Townships from Capetown.  

Which one is your favourite? Can you guess mine? 



]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Bidonville Capetown Du Noon Shanty town South Africa Township black black people cheap housing ethnic division favela favella gcpic government housing housing nelson mandela poor poverty problems Mon, 19 Sep 2016 16:09:20 GMT
Leaving and Returning Why is it that a road has so much poetic attraction? Is it the geometry of lines that meet in the middle? Or is it the idea of movement: "Leaving and Returning"? 

I've always been drawn to roads and that is why (probably) it didn't come as a surprise when I was flicking through the pictures of my trip that I had taken a lot of road pictures! 

So without further ado! .. From "snake"-like roads in Lesotho to desert paths in Sandwich bay! A short take on the multiple different roads of Southern Africa! Asphalt-lovers unite! 



]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Namibia On the Road Roads South Africa gcpic road travel travelling Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:40:08 GMT
Sossusvlei I just noticed that the Uganda post got over 6000 readings .. I truly have to hit myself in the face for being so lazy towards Photography in the past years. I'm not going to look for excuses and do exactly what I've always enjoyed the most! Photography! 

Next up on my trip through Namibia was Sossusvlei. Only the drive from Fishriver Canyon to Sossusvlei is already worth it (a road themed blog post is coming up) and that is something recurring in Namibia: As a European you are used to seeing human activity every second of your A to B commute, not in Namibia! Everything is absolutely vast and unspoiled for miles and miles ..

So after a night sleeping in the car at the entrance of the park and waking up at 5 in the morning ... We were treated to the following! 



]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Namib Namibia National Park Nauklaft Sossusvlei Travel Travelling dead trees deadvlei desert dune gcpic pan photo river salt sand vast Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:02:07 GMT
Kolmanskop After almost 2 months of travelling through South-Africa and Namibia, I can finally present the first set of pictures!

Close to Lüderitz, in the south of Namibia, lies a very interesting place (to say the least) called Kolmanskop. I had it secretly on my Photography bucket list for quite some years. In short it was a diamant mining village until roughly the 60' when it was abandoned. Since then the desert has taken over which has transformed the place into a paradise for any photographer!

It is difficult to choose a favourite .. which one is yours?     

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Abandoned Kolmanskop Luderitz Namibia beers before diamond diamond mining history industry long gone mining the beers yesterday Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:36:28 GMT
Nepal (Part II)

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:08:19 GMT
India (Part I) A couple of days ago I realised that I haven't written anything about the trip to India and Nepal (almost 2 years ago) and more importantly never shown the pictures.. 

So in sight of my awful forgetfulness, I present you "part I: India"! (to be more exact, the area we've visited was the area around New Delhi and Rajasthan). Enjoy! 

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Accra Culture India New Delhi People Rajastan Rajasthan Wed, 31 Aug 2016 08:53:30 GMT
Uganda "The Pearl of Africa" In May 2014, out of the blue, a holiday offer popped up on my Facebook. <1000 EUR> to go to Uganda, all included!! Without much thinking I subscribed. At that time, the only knowledge I had about Uganda was that it situated itself somewhere in the middle of Africa (and that there were Gorillas). Extended knowledge, don’t you think?  

Then the people started to mention Ebola, terrorism (Al-Shabab) and other strange African voodoo things that would surely mean the end of little ol’ me.. But stubborn as I am (and the fact that I already paid), made no difference to my plans.  I was going to Uganda!

So long story short, It was a very memorable holiday! In May I would have never thought that the time spend in Uganda would have such a profound effect on me. I hope the pictures speak for themselves. Uganda is an amazing country!!   

If I can just mention a couple of highlights from the trip:

  1. Spotting numerous animals; Elephants, Zebras, Lions, Buffalos, Giraffes, Hippos, Crocodiles, Leopards, Antelopes with our wonderful drivers (Musa and Beka)
  2. Waking up to the sound of a wild Hippo grazing in front of the tent (don’t make sudden movements and don’t try to hug it either)
  3. Standing  1 meter from a living and breathing mountain gorilla after trekking 3 hours through the thick jungle (you would be surprised at the amount of farts, a gorilla is capable of making in less than an hour)
  4. Looking over Mburo National Park from Eagle Lodge Mountain top with a cold Nile Special
  5. Listening to the Welcome song of the Pygmee children from Bwindi   
  6. Playing soccer with the school kids from Kisoro at the foot of Mount Muhabura  
  7. Being slightly drunk after the Nile boat trip that took us to Murchison Falls
  8. Eating the tastiest fruits I’ve ever eaten (bananas and pineapples) - by the way, in Dutch we call them “Ananas” which is the same word in Luganda! Mindblow!  
  9. Rafting the Nile (8 rapids – all category 5) and miserably failing at a back flip (we’ve also had a very interesting intro to the wonderful world of nipple sucking alcoholic shots -  no plans whatsoever to give it a try)

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Africa African Animals Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Driving Elephant Gorilla Group Holiday Jinja Jungle Kampala Kisoro Leopard Lion Lions Lodge Luero Mburo Murchison Murchison Falls Nile Queen Elizabeth National Park Rhino Tents Toyota Landcruiser Uganda Victoria Wildlife Zebra Ziwa Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary animals rafting trip Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:09:05 GMT
Liesbeth & Adriaan's day Hi everybody!! 

After a long silence, I'm back with a lovely weddingshoot! Liesbeth and Adriaan got married last saturday in Luxembourg and I must say It was quite the experience! The morning was (fortunately enough) dry and but in the afternoon it started pouring! It resulted in having to change the photo shoot from the Museum of Modern Art to the Luxembourg Airport (with a small detour in a parking lot).  

A parking lot?! Yes!! You read that right, a weddingshoot in a parking lot! Always have a back-up plan and don't be afraid to experiment! 

I wish the happy couple all the best for the future!  

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) airport couple dinner gcpic love lovely luxembourg luxemburg parking romantic shoot special tradition wedding Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:36:05 GMT
Yana and David's Wedding album arrived! Yesterday I finally saw the result of the photo album I've designed for Yana and David's wedding. What a nice surprise! it was just as I imagined it would be! I rushed to their house and handed over their 'hard' copy for future generations!

Here are the results!

P.s I've also added a couple of pictures more to their album; check them out HERE

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) album aliceinw belgium book bride ceremony gcpic groom leuven love official pictures romantic stadhuis together wedding Mon, 28 Oct 2013 21:14:49 GMT
Yana & David's Day

When Yana contacted me a couple of months ago to be her wedding photographer, a lot of questions went through my mind; What is expected of a wedding photographer? Do I have the right equipment for the job? What can I except on the wedding day? 

After some research and a couple of trips to the photo shop (amongst other I bought a flash and a reflector screen) I felt 'a little bit' more confident to tackle the challenge! 

I am very happy to have been a part of their day. Here are the results! 

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Wedding Yana&David brussels celebration celebrations ceremonial dworp gravenhof love official photography portrait romantic Sat, 05 Oct 2013 15:56:12 GMT

That was way harder than I anticipated .. ! Some days ago I realised that I still haven't made a 'Portfolio' category. So I decided to make one! The pictures you see here (36 to be exact), all stand out for different reasons (personal, artistic, level of difficulty, etc) and should 'represent' what I've done over the years. The only downside I see is that they aren't very 'coherent'. The first pictures (they are ordered chronologically) were taken about 10 years ago, the most recent one, two weeks ago.

So do you have a favorite shot in your collection? One that stands out?

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Guillaume Carels Overijse Portfolio aliceinw belgium best best of everywhere gcpic greatest photo photos picture summum top Mon, 16 Sep 2013 05:35:13 GMT

Instagram .. Either you love it or you hate it.. 

I wonder how we will look back at it in a couple of years, will we regret the fact that they are in low quality and always in the same style  (+/- 15 filters)? Or will we look at them as just simple snaps (which you should just admire for the 'moment' - as Henri Cartier Bresson would have said).

I hope at least that in the near future, the quality of the pictures will go up (as you can notice in the slide show, the quality is quite low). As I've started throwing around famous quotes; another one of my favorite is "The best camera is always the one that's with you". You cannot argue with that logic and it is very applicable to instagram's success.

The only thing that I have still not figured out, are the hashtags. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. From the early days as a member of Flickr (since 2004), I've been intrigued by the trending (or popular) pages where they show the photos that receive the most likes, comments, etc. Hashtags on the contrary, work completely different. It seems that some people follow certain trending topics and then like most pictures on that topic. All that obviously isn't important but if it gives you a little bit more coverage, it's a positive fact!

Obviously I'm on Instagram, you can follow me here.

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Belgium Guillaume Carels Overijse aliceinw belgium greatest instagram photo snaps Mon, 09 Sep 2013 21:19:34 GMT
Nuclear A view of a peacefull hill near Andenne, Belgium

The photo that you see above has been 'laying' in my head for the last 6 months. Everyday I pass this little chapel on the hill seeing it afar from the highway. The opportunity never arose to stop and look around, until last week when I finally managed to figure out where it was located. 

When you turn 180° you will see this view (the three towers that stick out in the middle, are the cooling towers of the nuclear facility in Tihange - where I'm currently based). In my honest opinion, from a distance they look so peaceful and elegant,
I honestly started liking them. If they survive this 'negative publicity' time, I'm sure that some day they will be protected and included in our industrial heritage.

Technical detail: I shot this with a gradient filter - A fancy word for a plastic strip that is darker on one side and transparent on the other. It is a very handy tool when there is going to be a large difference between the exposure of the sky and the foreground. They unfortunately stopped producing these little gems but I was lucky enough to find one in Chicago in an old photo shop.     

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Andenne Belgium Electrabel Nuclear Tihange agriculture aliceinw carels champ energy field gcpic guillaume hay huy koeltoren liege luik peaceful steam towers Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:20:02 GMT
let there be light! Let there be light!

So what do you do when there's a storm and it is raining (like h*ll?!) ... You take pictures!

After some (multiple) trial and errors, I finally managed to shoot a lightning bolt! Not the easiest thing to do in photography as there are simply too many variables. Every shot is basically a 'lucky' shot. You try to analyze in what direction the most action is taking place, point it in that direction (don't forget the tripod) and simply set your shutterspeed to the longest amount (30 seconds - I should buy a remote, that way I can set it to even longer). When you succeed, it's adrenaline, baby!  

This was probably one of the 100 shots, I took that night of which this one was by far the best. I can only have the utmost respect for photographers who chose this as their main subject!  I also hope in the future there will be more lightning storms in my neighbourhood (when I finally got the hang of it, the sky was too clouded and the lightning bolts where partially covered).

Funny fact, if you look close, in the right bottom corner, our friendly neighbour - a cow - couldn't care less what's happening above her head. I wonder if it's cleverness or something else, because the safest spot when there's lightning is in the middle of a field (definitely not below a tree). Clever cows! Come to think of it, It wasn't safe either for 'little ol' me'!

This week I'm going to experiment with bokeh (a technique to make the background as out of focus possible)! Stay tuned and keep a close eye on the blog! Cheers!   

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) belgium bolt gcpic lightning long exposure nature night overijse rough storm thunder Mon, 29 Jul 2013 09:19:08 GMT
Notice anything .. ?

Besides the fact that he's a little bundle of joy? Well, don't worry if you didn't notice it, it's just a detail but yesterday I bought myself a new flash (a speedlite to be precise), although you could hardly call this a novelty - the detail is that I can now shoot pictures with the flash 'off' the camera - or 'off camera flash' as the photography lingo dictates.. A little transmitter on top of the camera sends a signal to the flash on the precise same moment I press the shutter. I've always felt that a flash was a very static piece of photography equipment (and wasn't too keen on using it either) but I have the feeling that I'll have to reconsider that notion! The first tests case will be Michele and Laurent's wedding on the 3th of August! 

Enjoy the summer days! .. I know I am!

P.s. It appears that my picture of the sunset in Calais went viral on Flickr. It was from 2008 ago that I managed that little feat .. Thank you very much if you helped in pushing it up!

]]> (Guillaume Carels Photography) Julius baby belgium bundle of joy flash gcpic off camera off camera flash overijse small Mon, 22 Jul 2013 09:20:24 GMT