Shoot a cover for a new Vintage edition of Oliver Twist.
The Guardian, in association with Vintage Classics, is asking photographers of all ages to imagine and capture how Oliver Twist’s world would look now. We will select the winning photograph to be the cover of a new edition of the novel published in March 2012. The image could be dramatic, dark, funny or touching, but it should be a modern twist on the spirit of the original story.
What would the Artful Dodger look like in 2012? Or Bill Sykes and his dog? What atmosphere do the backstreets of our cities have today? The picture can be black-and-white or colour. It could be a portrait, a landscape, or just a telling detail from the novel subtly updated – and it must have been taken specifically for this competition.
From an accompanying Guardian essay on Oliver Twist by Simon Callow.
The all-important thing for Dickens in writing the book is that IT IS TRUE, as he wrote (in capitals) in the Preface. He is describing “the very scum and refuse of the land”. He was particularly keen that no one should think a criminal life glamorous: “What charms has it for the young and ill-disposed, what allurements for the most jolter-headed of juveniles? Here are no canterings on moonlit heaths, no merry-makings in the snuggest of all possible caverns.” No, this is the life of the urban underbelly: “The cold, wet, shelterless midnight streets of London; the foul and frowzy dens, where vice is closely packed and lacks the room to turn; the haunts of hunger and disease, the shabby rags that scarcely hold together.”
An interesting story about photo-use rights, Flickr and Creative Commons that you can follow as it unfolds on the Flickr comments, here. The first comment in the thread, ‘Hey that’s me! no joke. i think i’m being insulted,’ is the young girl whose image was lifted from Flickr and used by Virgin Mobile Australia in an ad campaign called ‘Dump Your Pen Friend’.
The story was covered in the New York Times here in Oct 2007, which was posted to Tumblr today by untanglingtheweb - thanks for posting it!
The NYT teaser:
'One moment, Alison Chang, a 15-year-old student from Dallas, is cheerfully goofing around at a local church-sponsored car wash, posing with a friend for a photo. Weeks later, that photo is posted online and catches the eye of an ad agency in Australia, and Alison appears on a billboard in Adelaide as part of a Virgin Mobile advertising campaign.'
I use a Creative Commons licence on my own photos, but having read this thread, I’m going to take another look at my CC settings to make sure my copyleft, no-commercial-use intentions are being properly expressed and protected. I use this one (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike), embedded in the metadata of all my photos and set on my Flickr uploads. It allows people ‘to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work’ and to ‘Remix — to adapt the work’, under the following conditions:
The Virgin Mobile story also involves the rights of the person depicted in the photo – you can trace more discussion of it, the Virgin Mobile ad campaign, and another photo they used from Flickr, here and here.