Angela Carter Research

  • Angela Carter was a British Novelist.
  • Her first writting position with the Croydon Advertiser where she worked as a journalist.
  • Carter wrote many novels, works of nonfiction, anthologies as well as several articles.
  • Many of her short stories were released on the radio and a couple of her fictional works made into films.


I found one of Angela’s books for sale on Amazon and the description reads:

“Once upon a time fairy tales weren’t meant just for children, and neither is Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales. This stunning collection contains lyrical tales, bloody tales and hilariously funny and ripely bawdy stories from countries all around the world- from the Arctic to Asia – and no dippy princesses or soppy fairies. Instead, we have pretty maids and old crones; crafty women and bad girls; enchantresses and midwives; rascal aunts and odd sisters.

 This fabulous celebration of strong minds, low cunning, black arts and dirty tricks could only have been collected by the unique and much-missed Angela Carter. Illustrated throughout with original woodcuts.”

This is ideal as Angela seems to have taken fairytales and re-written them in a much more adult and sinister way. This is what I would like to do with my photographic work. – My next step is to buy the book and highlight appropriate pieces and take notes of segments of the stories that I feel has influenced me and my idea; and also re-search into Freud.

8:10 pm »

I feel ready to start planning my actual shoot as i have all the pieces i feel necessary.
However! I feel some more research is needed to grasped and envision my full idea and concept.

My next steps would be to research these people, philosophy and areas:

  • Paula Rego
  • Angela Carter
  • Freud – unheimlich
  • Tim Burton

I feel the works created by these people are appropriate to the work I am trying to create.
I have scheduled a couple of hours of my day tomorrow to start this research and see if it helps me develop further understanding and enhance my idea and vision.

Image Ideas

This image was found on DeviantArt and represents in some aspects what I would like to achieve. For example I would like the image scenery to be placed outside in a forest someplace. And I would like to create an image obtaining more than one character from the story. However my version of the image will be much darker and demonic and have a more seductive atmosphere about it.
If I go for the idea where all the characters are posed by the same sitter/model – I would need to take the images of the model/sitter seperately and then combine the models to the scenery image using Photoshop editing.
There are two ways which I could do this:

  1. I could use a white background to take the images of the model/sitter so that selecting her would be easier but yet the lighting elements will correspond to the natural lighting of the forest scenery. – Studio lighting will create a different effect upon the model than natural lighting. This would make the image look clearly edited which is what I do not want. I would like the image to look as if it was taken.
  2. I could place the camera on a tripod ready to shoot the scenery and shoot the model/sitter in each costume and different position around the tea party table and then use the marsk techniques in Photoshop to merge them together. – I feel this way of doing things will improve my Photoshop techniques slightly more than the first idea.I feel I should perhaps try both, and see which way is more effective and is better for the over all image.

Sketches And Ideas

I started exploring ideas by sketching what ideas came to mind and annotating them. This first sketch is in representation to the fairytale – Red Riding Hood. I like this idea and the idea of what the final image would look like, but I would like to explore more possible fairytale ideas.

This sketch represents the fairytale – Alice In Wonderland and I chose to sketch the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party scene because of significance to the story and because it is well known. I really like this idea and think that due to this I have chosen Alice In Wonderland as my fairytale to create a contrasting representation image.
Now I have chosen this aspect I can now go ahead and write some ideas down for the shoot itself.

I started planning by writing down the ways in which I can approach the creation of my image(s). However I’m not sure which one will be more striking and generate the effects I want. So my next step would be to look at other means of photography and work that obtain similar ideas to my own and explore what traits I would need to accomplish to create a justifiable image(s) which will meet the standards of my idea.

Initial Ideas

Idea – to represent a fairytale or fairy tales in a different light to their original meaning. Creating contrast in fiction.

For such an idea will involve a lot of shoots that are planned to get a grasp on the formal qualities needed, lots of editing and image manipulation and research.

To develop this idea and achieve a high standard image or images I will need to increase my time management skills and plan my time effectively.

Images that I have come across which have influenced ideas:
(image annotations and references can be found contained within each image) 

I like how the dark wolf hovers over red riding hood like a dark spirit – encouraging her ‘innocent/weak’ reputation by placing her low in the frame.

By choosing to have an adult play the role of red riding hood in this image creates an immediate contrast with the original fairytale story. The make up and eye contact made with the camera helps create a dark and Gothic feel to the image.

This contrasting image from the story Alice in wonder land i find is very striking due to the use of a dark palette, gothic style makeup and the deliberate change of the words on the bottle: from the words ‘drink me’ to ‘love me’ creates an emotional image aided by the tear trail like pattern represented by her eye makeup.

A striking image of the mad hatter from the story alice in wonderland is a personal favorite image I have admired for a while. The use of dark colours and cold blues instantly create a creepy yet beautiful piece. The over exaggerated Gothic make up and model’s position creates an unnatural dream like feel.