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The old curiosity shop I have chosen the book, ‘The old curiosity shop’ by Charles dickens. Christian Wroe


In January 2013 Penguin books plan to re-design the front covers of a number of classic titles with a focus on a contemporary and innovative approach. You have been invited to submit 3 final photographs that will be judged by a panel of creative experts including Martin Parr, Sophie Calle and Stephen Gill


Eva Rubinstein Rubinstein has produced a photograph, which highlights the atrocities of war. This is through the subject matter being destruction and the characters we see enhancing the sense of urgency. I also notice there is no structure or rule of thirds to the photograph; no single part is highlighted to me. This fortifies my belief in the chaos sense. The use of black and white connotes to me the bleakness Rubinstein has captured. The colours have been muted; this may be a visual representation of the unheard voices in this photograph, more over in a war-zone. However, to oppose this, the people seen here have a noticeable contrast to their surroundings. This is possibly so that their motion and therefore, fear is visually outlined through the contrast and enhanced; by doing so Rubinstein creates a strongly defined structure within he composition. this becomes the main focal point in the photograph. Although It is unclear whether this is staged or an ‘in the moment’ photograph. The black and white has also been used to show a bluntness to the picture to echo the destruction. This photograph is not aesthetically pleasing to look at; this portrays the subject matter to a further extent. There is the notion that Rubinstein is trying to portray the effects of war. This is immediately clarified through the rubble and destruction littered.

across the road. This then becomes the sole message being communicated to the audience. I will not be applying destruction and war to my ideas but I can relate to the general feel of chaos received, I hope that this chaos will be able to emanate and portray the contextual background of the book I have chosen for my brief and photos. I will be using similar techniques such as black and white, this however is to symbolize the Victorian time period. This composition has also made me consider my own. As per standard of the time period my photos will be very busy in terms of buildings and general activities. I hope by doing this I am able to apply some of the concepts shown in Rubinstein’s work. I believe some aspects of her work have inspired me and I hope to implement them into my ideas. I will however be looking at other ideas and techniques, not included in Rubinstein’s work. These include copydex, burning and acetate. I am hopeful this will add a more prominent focal point and intricacy, aspects that have not


Evaluation  My original intention for my initial set of photographs was to capture a sense of chaos Whilst applying a Victorian, dickens theme to the subject matter. I believe I have Achieved this by widely cropping the images, this in turn gives the viewer an extensive Range of subjects to look at; and in the first photos case by not creating a focal point. By enhancing the colours I believe that the image portrays a greater sense of chaos. I have purposely tried to connote this sense to the viewer, not by the activities captured, But by the feel you get from the location, the time period we recognise and the Props used; the colours merely highlight this. All five of my desired photographs have a, substantial amount of unintentional noise. This came about when editing. However when reviewing these images I chose to keep the inequality as I thought it showed the time period to an even greater extent. The first and last photos being the most noticeable. There is an inevitable artificial Colour lighting in all Photos as they were shot in an indoor location, this allowed me to exploit the ‘doom and gloom’ aspect of the scenery. Another product of the lighting was, I could use a reasonably fast shutter speed, this was useful as I did not use a tripod. The down side to some photos is that there is a protruding light in them, this creates a unintentional focal point. In hindsight I should have used a tripod on a slower shutter speed setting to avoid these Issues.

I am pleased with my first photograph in terms of colour and more over, composition. This is because all aspects are in focus and emanates a sense of fullness, it leaves the viewer, un-wanting. I am disappointed in my fifth photo as the two obvious colours clash in the middle and therefore disrupt the flow of the composition and leave it unbalanced. I am very happy With the third and fourth photo as it follows the same lines as my first. The third mostly Keeps the sense of chaos that is found in my first photo and has a strong link to Eva Rubinstein's work. I am pleased with my sixth and final image as the composition flows, despite the fact there are two conflicting colours; they portray my desired theme in a more direct way. I believe the first image will have the biggest impact on the viewer because it portrays the view of dickens and Victorian London in a way that isn't seen in the standard sense of imagery of the time period. It takes away the normal scenery of daily life and the activities of the people and focuses on the location. I believe my third photo will have a high impact as it connotes a narrative through the destruction. My fourth image will have a Calm and subtle effect as, not so much the scenery but the editing afterwards masks the Noise; it has a soft dark light giving a sense of tranquillity, the scenery itself then pulls you back to the general theme. My sixth and final photo are similarly linked in terms of opposing colours, these colours cause the viewer to split the image in two; this allows them to focus on each section in detail. This is useful for the sixth image as it is largely cropped.


My original intentions were to capture a Victorian London scenery in a way which symbolized the title and book, ‘The old curiosity shop’. I believe I have achieved this on a low level. I have spread my intentions over my first and second idea to achieve this. However in terms of technical quality I think all images in idea two are of good standard.

The old curiosity shop project  
The old curiosity shop project  

First coursework project

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