Zoe Plummer

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Obscurity & Displacement is a series of images created by Plummer whilst a student at the University of Northampton. Her aim was to strategically use light to show & exaggerate the safety of light, and the mysterious, threatening unknown of the dark. The main theme throughout this series is a cleverly placed use of a singular light source – some more prominent than others. In each image the light is carefully used to either cast eerie shadows, or single out a specific focal area, leaving an unknown distant no mans land. This further exaggerates that fear of the unknown darkness.

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Within this series Plummer made the decision to use animal masks as a representation of our animal instincts. This can relate back to Freuds theories relating to the unconscious, and the behaviours and thoughts that come alongside it. I do like the idea of this concept, although I do feel this could have been better portrayed in some way for the message Plummer was personally trying to get across, as I was unsure of why the masks were used, and it’s a visual I personally didn’t really understand.

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All images within this series are fully in focus, leaving little to the imagination excluding the use of exaggerated shadowy areas within a selection of the images. Whilst I feel in some way this has a nice effect on her work, and in some cases allows the focal points to stand out with ease, I feel the use of a more shallow depth of field could have also been incorporated into other images to support the feeling of the fear of the unknown and darkness.

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I plan to do a shoot based off the techniques used within this series by Plummer in aim to represent and explain the displacement of fears individuals can develop. This will also be supported by skills gained from a recent workshop attended on lighting techniques within portraiture. Whilst Zoe places the subject in an environment, I plan to only focus on my subject matter. The use of a single light source will be incorporated, leaving the subject some what unknown/unseen exaggerating the displacement of fears.

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