Monday, 9 January 2012

Snow White and Rose Red







(Click on the landscape ones to make them bigger)

I often advocate extensive re-using and re-styling when it comes to clothing – and now I’m extending this to outfit inspiration too. For those who have been reading this blog for an immensely long time, there might be a vague recollection of an original ‘Snow White and Rose Red’ themed post . In fact, it often displays on my blog stats that people have virtually wandered onto this site while searching for that very fairytale.

I like using fairytales as a starting point for outfits or photography (I talked about literary stimulus here), but where the original post quoted excerpts from the Brothers Grimm, the theme here was distinctly more shadowy. One of my current favourite writers is Angela Carter, whose prose is like searching through a display cabinet of treasures and tidbits – full of rich images and crackling humour. I was first introduced to her novels by way of ‘Nights at the Circus’, but recently read ‘The Bloody Chamber’ after recommendation by my English teacher. It is not for the faint-hearted. Many popular fairytales are re-imagined and re-woven into much darker tales – not the sort that one wants to read late at night. This is perhaps apt, as fairytales are often thought to be a means to express the more confusing and murky elements of life. Wolves prowl through forests and wicked stepmothers don’t love their stepdaughters. They take the incomprehensible and safely explore it through the medium of story.
The idea of twisted fairytales permeated this two-way shoot with my friend Flo. We dressed up at her house, and jumped in the car – she in a red cape and me in a seventies wedding dress – to drive to a nearby wood. We then tramped over three fields to reach the trees. I'd like to think that if anyone caught a glimpse of us then they might have thought of the folklore associated with the area (which, as with much of England comes laden with local stories of ghosts and mythic characters). Either that or they realised we were just two friends who happen to enjoy outrageous dresses and camera lenses.
Unfortunately, the light was decidedly uncooperative – slowly draining away until only the dregs of day were left. Even my Canon 5D couldn’t cope with the dark trunks, showing its discomfort through a refusal to focus. We both took turns using the flash, but I don’t like the way it often washes out skin tones and makes everything look a bit Juergen Teller for my liking. So my non-image editing promise has been lifted for this post – just to lighten the shots - so that at least our faces can be seen! Despite the light difficulties (I blame the short days – I want sunshine lasting until ten at night, please), I was still satisfied with the atmosphere of the resulting shots.
Besides, for me the process of photography – both behind and in front of the lens – is not just about the results. I love the excuse it offers to get outside and really experience the landscape; the beauty of which still astounds after all these years in the countryside. And with friends such as Flo, it is the event itself that makes it worth doing. All of those moments not captured on a memory card – us carrying bags across hills, leaving boot marks in sticky mud, giggling and jumping like grasshoppers from thought to thought – are completely magical. That’s the real fairytale. 


Also, I'm taking part in the 'FruGal' challenge for brilliant ethical website Eco-Age (creation of Livia Firth). What an honour, and a lot of fun, to be featured for five days wearing entirely second hand/ sustainable clothes! See the first look here

39 comments:

The Snow Child said...

Love Angela Carter. My blog is named after "the snow child" of the bloody chamber. These photos remind me very much of Kate bush. And of little red riding hood of course. You must watch the company of wolves if you have not already seen it xxxx much love

AngeliqueDama said...

What an inspirational pictures!

The Fancy Teacup said...

So hauntingly beauty. Such a lovely rendition of your own kind of fairy tale. x

www.TheFancyTeacup.com

Leanna Kay said...

These pictures are stunning. I especially like the 4th and the 5th ones. Even though the lighting is dark, they still look amazing.

sacramento said...

I wouldn´t mind joining you in the world of magic of wonder.
The first pic talks to me loudly.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, my dear Rosalind!!!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Katrina said...

The third photo is my favorite even though it is b&w. You are completely right about all those magical moments you can experience while on photo shoots, especially when with friends. Just like in fairytales)

>'.'<

AVY said...

Beautiful contrasts.

/ Avy
http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

Closet Fashionista said...

I hate when the light doesn't want to cooperate!! But I agree, I would love to be able to go to fun locations for my photoshoots (but I have no one to go with so I'm stuck with my boring location, ha ha)
Ooh, sounds like those stories are scary, I'm not sure I'd be able to read them, haha, I'm a chicken
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Sweet friend. Have you received my email? Perhaps the email system, like the light, has been decidedly uncooperative;-)

Flis said...

Ah yes, I definitely remember reading the original post. I think it is interesting that, as a regular reader, I can easily spot the difference between these mildly edited photos and the norm. In an unexpected twist, I think this is a credit to your past photography :) X

http://felicityotoole.blogspot.com/

Kelly-Marie said...

One of my favourte stories ever and you have captued the magic perfectly in these pictures. So beautiful. xx

Josephine said...

Hi, i'm 17yrs and my names josephine I've been following your blog's for ages now and, i've just started my own, your work is amazing!! and i keep spotting your photos in vogue, i think you'll be famous one day! xx

Vix said...

You are amazing, these pictures are truly wonderful. I'd happily have them gracing my walls.
I had the same problem with light today, dusk seems to descend so rapidly! x

Sasha said...

Pretty! Love that red cape! :)

Toshiko Shek said...

stunning!
itsnother-itsme.blogspot.com

adrielleroyale said...

These are so dark and murky - like a scary movie or something...not my favorite, but when combined with your mention of the darker remakes of fairy tales, it makes sense :)

Natalie Suarez said...

so so stunning! xx

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Jo said...

Goodness; I LOVE that white dress! <3 And the cape is truly beautiful - it reminds me of a 1950s reversible nurses cape!

x
Lost in the Haze: Fashion Blog

Autumn said...

I love love love that fairy tale!!!!! These photos are amazing! You both look fabulous!
~
Autumn

Jessica said...

The contrast is great and the landscape is lovely!

http://chicgeekblogger.blogspot.com/

Please take a minute to look at my trunkshow;

http://iouproject.com/tsh/jessica-karen/

Kirstin Marie said...

I absolutely love the idea behind these photos, Roz. You both look stunning (despite the lighting issues you describe), and these photos are incredible.

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

entrancing. my favorite is the third photo from top - a strong one in black and white.
beautiful, haunted images, roz!

Polka Princess said...

I think you've absolutely got the effect you wanted......these photos exude mystery, darkness, an eerie aura of stories one may not want to listen to.

Those trees play a major part in it though....

Fashionistable said...

I also love the excuse photography gives me to get outside. Fantastic. Thank You for the intro to Angela Carter. Give me light until 10pm too. Looking forward to those days again. Nice atmospheric shots otherwise.Xxxx

daisychain said...

I think these are my very favourite of your photos yet, despite the light not being ideal it's turned out rather well x

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Now your comment to my last post on the winter sun makes even more sense! I love that you and your friend still traipse through the woods in the near-dark! I always feel that forest magic stirs as the sun goes down. My winter favorite has been the coastal woods in the San Francisco fog! But unfortunately, I am too embarrassed to ask a friend to photograph me, or to set up a tripod, so I satisfy myself with capturing the breathtaking vistas instead. And yes, it is a real challenge getting even a great camera to focus in these lighting conditions!

Thanks for sharing Angela Carter. Her books sound fascinating! A friend just recommended Jasper Fforde to me. The writing (on Eyre Affair) is not so elegant but it is packed with literary wordplay & allusions within plots combining adventure/mystery/sci-fi/fantasy. Basically, a riot! xxx

Zorian said...

Great theme. Beautiful poses.

Don't Think Twice said...

ohhh what lovley pics! I love the red one outfit!!!

xx, Rachel♥

SabinePsynopsis said...

Love the pictures! Photographing in the dark is terrible, but I think the flash looks really good here - giving it all a surreal atmosphere (and nothing wrong with a bit of J Teller vibe to me :)

xoxo

Eva Silviana said...

Love the pictures! Inspire me a lot! :)

xx
www.crunchycheeseme.blogspot.com

mari b. said...

oh wow! these photos are so mystical and magical - i absolutely adore them!

if you’re interested – i’m hosting my first giveaway!
xx // themerrimari.blogspot.com

Izzy/Bella said...

What a charming post! I love Angela Carter as well. There are some great poets, too, who do similar dark tricks with fairytales. I love Randall Jarrell's "The Black Swan". You've inspired me to reread Carter it's been a while.

Yay, for sustainable clothes! Living in Soho you can literally see the planet being draped in layers and layers of discarded garments. The fashions change so quickly... I think it's an important movement for the Earth!

Sabrina said...

wow! these are so ethereal and beautiful.
xx-
sabrina
www.samplesize16.com

le sorelle said...

Such beautiful photos! I can definitely see the fairytale influence. I have never read anything by Angela Carter, but you have definitely piqued my interest. I will be sure to read during daylight hours, though! ;)

Hope you have a lovely weekend! :)

-j
sorelle in style

Ruta, Look Ugly in a Photograph said...

These are beautiful photographs. While they do have a mystic feel to them, and appear rather haunting, they do emit a beauty.

Gorgeous!

Ps. Haha, I love Juergen Teller, but I too personal prefer not using flash.

San said...

Happy New Year and thanks for your nice comments. I always enjoy them.

I promise to read your post later on, currently I don't have the necessary calm to read. ;-) Love the theme of the pictures and the pics themselves of course.

Have a great Sunday and new week.

celeste said...

this landscape is sick!!! all of these photos are wicked.

clashlot.blogspot.com

Bea said...

Am totally loving on these photos.. I love the whole fairytale kinda idea, and this is just beautiful!

adanieva said...

Wow!! LOVELY PHOTOS!!