For the second installation in the YCN series, i am again veering away from my initial design because through experimentation’s i found that i didn’t need so many obvious elements to the design to communicate the idea of the “Mushroom” that is so pivotal to the caterpillar scene. For example i didn’t need the many caterpillar shoes, because i realized my inspiration for that was subconsciously coming from the Disney version, it can be difficult when faced with illustrating and re-imagining such a well known story, not to be influenced by versions you have seen before. 

With this scene- i experimented alot with LIGHTING, i wanted the light to look unnatural, like the world of wonderland itself and for it not to be clear whether it was night or day. As i have said before, the time of day is not mentioned within the story and is totally open to interpretation and this meant it was an interesting aspect to play with. I also wanted lots of shadows in this scene, because it is being seen by the reader from Alice’s perspective of approaching the mushroom, and by obscuring the view with shadows it gives an air of mystery- is the caterpillar there or not?  For the paper elements in the scene, i created a floor based upon my experiments from before, but longer in depth to give more of a feel of immersion. I created loose and abstracted flowers to intertwine with the surroundings and at first i didn’t intend on including the wooden elements, because although they had taken me alot of time to design and create i didn’t know if they fitted with my new idea. But after trying sets with both, i found the wood added alot of interest to the scene and some diversity. 

I began by creating abstracted “smoke” and “hookah” parts for my chosen found object, a really kitsch oversized mushroom tealight, with holes in already so perfect for the idea that i believe the caterpillar wasn’t sitting on a mushroom smoking a “hookah” but the mushroom is the “hookah”, a magic mushroom as it were.

Below are all my experimental shots and compositions ( well a selection of them, there are actually hundreds!) these are the ones where i experimented with composition and whether to include the wooden parts or not, I do like most of the shots that don’t include the wooden “tree” pieces, but i feel they may be too black and white for wonderland, but i will definitely use this style and further experiment with it in the second part of my FMP.

14628_10155431333985151_2284436915870904851_n 16898_10155431328750151_8049226185875759424_n 20907_10155431343710151_619898231795583477_n (1) 20907_10155431343710151_619898231795583477_n 1508155_10155431327430151_1245555733519798556_n (1) 10430437_10155431328150151_3071179036360890827_n 10460703_10155431344820151_2010703670164953869_n 10559847_10155431343940151_4905307664339545154_n 10561533_10155431331875151_4211455852210710981_n 10686793_10155431345435151_2528590811064933233_n 10930168_10155431344285151_8882818431364314211_n 11046520_10155431333825151_4371083485428762963_n 11051939_10155431332620151_5358886396835069860_n 11061768_10155431333650151_6456089034304176984_n 11062066_10155431336420151_8290855203020602683_n 11063424_10155431332065151_8315923377001241814_n 11071413_10155431336900151_8493754578707337935_n 11082546_10155431334660151_8422724690889361010_nAfter experimenting with composition, and deciding to try including the wooden pieces when i started playing with lighting i went on to try different lighting of this scene:

I tried up-lighting using a torch, lighting from different angles with both 2 and 1 light sources and very minimal lighting.

_DSC1214 _DSC1219 _DSC1221 _DSC1228 _DSC1229
_DSC1282 _DSC1286 _DSC1291

i found that lighting from the front, but putting the torch at base level to the set, created some really big and interesting shadows, but having other light around, like daylight made this hard to photograph without the shadows being less prominent, so i waited until the sun went down for the final images and then took some in the dark using one strong torch to light the scene. I found i liked the ones where the shadows were quite sharp, and the shadows created on the floor and on the mushroom looked more atmospheric._DSC1299 _DSC1307 _DSC1318

i liked this one, but unfortunately it was hard to focus, and when i consulted members of my class they preferred more in focus imagery and i found myself agreeing with them the more photos i took._DSC1320 _DSC1322 _DSC1324 _DSC1327 _DSC1329

i loved this one, because of the mystery it gives by obscuring the background! (above)_DSC1333 _DSC1337 _DSC1345

i found that whilst experimenting with lighting, i really like strong sharp shadows and i think they give more depth to the images, and makes it more of a “world” atmosphere rather than just a photograph. I continued to take more imagery, and then i began clipping them together on photoshop to create a strong sharp image. I really liked the more blurry images, but i think they were straddling the line of it being obvious i made them blurry on purpose, or whether i just looked like a bad photographer. Below is my final image after editing:

final mushroom

this one is sharp, with lots of depth and some good strong shadows and i really liked how i could clip several images together to create focus in most aspects of the image, i especially like the wooden “tree” obscuring the mushroom, and creating an idea that perhaps “Alice” is peeking around the trees before she approaches the famed mushroom. I also really like the contrast of dark and light, mixing with the contrast of the materials. If i were to shoot it again i may consider the background more, but i do like the simplicity of the background and i think it needed to be simple to stop the image being over the top


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