Outside Curls store, Rampant Horse Street corner with Brigg Street, 30th April 1942.

Outside Curls store, Rampant Horse Street corner with Brigg Street, 30th April 1942.

They’re standing in the wreckage caused by the incendiary bombs that fell on Norwich on the second night of the Baedeker Raids on Norwich. So this is the 30th of April 1942. The photo is from photographer unknown shot in black and white and used in the EDP and Evening News and lay in the archive. It’s an interesting one, I’ve used it before for rephotography here but there’s always another way and this is it. So here it is coloured in which takes longer, but is more relaxing and means I’m less likely to get run over by a bus.

You get a real sense of how much damage was done to the Curls site and why it was demolished and replaced with what we now know as Debenhams, you can also see the fire damage to Buntings and Woolworths more clearly, building up the subtle  layers of colour reveal the way the surface shattered off pillars in the heat, the details of the piles of rubble develop as you paint, pieces of wood suddenly become more obvious, pieces of metal stick out and the damp soaked road comes alive with shrapnel and shattered brick. Oddly, despite the decent composition, the figures are in front of the plane of focus, they are slightly blurred. But then I shoot things out of focus, and I’ve never had to take a photo in a war zone.