This week’s WordPress photo challenge invites us to imagine which of our images we would like to see gracing the cover of a book or album. As both books and albums are very important to me, how could I resist the challenge?
It’s not as easy as it sounds! I have lots of interesting photos, and I can think of lots of songs and books that I love, but the trick is obviously to marry them together in a coherent way.
I decided to tackle the book first, because it felt easier somehow, maybe because books are less clearly associated with their cover art than albums. New editions of books are often re-packaged and re-designed, whereas album art tends to remain unchanged.
In the end, this came together fairly quickly. I decided that I wanted to illustrate Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, which is one of my favourite books, and one that I return to over and over again. I knew that I had some photographs taken around Castle Howard in Yorkshire, which is where the iconic Granada TV series was filmed. It was just a case of finding a suitable image which captured the feeling of the book.
The photograph I have chosen was originally taken in colour, and it was in landscape format. I have applied a grainy black and white filter, and cropped it to portrait format, so that the Temple of the Four Winds, visible through the arch of the bridge, is more of a feature. It’s not a great photo, to be honest, but I include it for interest, and to show what a difference some judicious cropping makes.
The quotation bottom left is one that I feel sums up the themes of the book.
It’s possibly not a huge departure from existing editions of the book. I haven’t actually checked this, but I do seem to recall that Penguin re-issued a lot of their modern classics with black and white photographs on their covers. My battered Penguin paperback, which dates from the 1980s, has this rather lovely piece of art work rather than a photograph. My version definitely says ‘Brideshead’ to me though.
I usually read on an e-book reader now, so I often don’t actually see a book’s cover art, which is a bit of a shame now I come to think about it. It does stop you from judging a book by its cover though!
I’ll be tackling an album (or possibly a single) later in the week. Meanwhile, this prompt has produced some really great posts from other bloggers. Take a look at this WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge post to see some examples.