Z for Zachariah is a post-apocalyptic science-fiction novel by Robert C. O’Brien (an American author and journalist for National Geographic Magazine) that was published posthumously in 1974. After the author’s death in 1973, his wife Sally M. Conly and daughter Jane Leslie Conly completed the book guided by his notes. Set in the USA, the story is in the form of a diary written from the first person perspective of sixteen-year-old Ann Burden, who has survived a nuclear war and nerve gas through living in a small valley with a self-contained weather system.
This was a novel which was part of the curriculum and we had to read as teenagers in Australia.
Whilst there are few encounters that occur in the book, they are heavily loaded due to the circumstances in the novel. In a post apocalyptic world who you do or don’t encounter can become a matter of survival and this ever present threat in the book is what makes it such a gripping read.
For this project I would like to possibly explore the idea of a character in a world which has been destroyed by past ‘encounters’.
For this shoot I would like to combine my idea’s of a person in a post-apocalyptic world looking over the city that once was with the space-suit idea. The character has to wear a space suit due to the destruction that has occurred on the planet and upon looking closer you can see that the strange character in the suit is actually on Earth. Many of the images that I have researched ares et on other planets – Mars etc and so have a warm read and yellow glow to the shots so this will be part of my final image also.
Lighting Diagram and image Idea
To get the colour palette that I want and to add interest and drama to the image I have decided to shoot at Sunset. The skies are beautiful at sunset in Edinburgh this time of year and so this should mean that I will achieve variation on shots.
For the helmet I will be spray painting and re-designing and old glass fishbowl:
For this shot I would like to use a very ‘raw’ colour palette, low contrast and somewhat yellow hues. Much like the style of Juegen Teller.
After shooting I went to the cinema to see Ridley Scott’s new film ‘Martian’ starring Matt Damon. It was interesting to see such similarly framed shots in the film. It is wonderfully filmed, but although Matt Damon is on Mars, I couldn’t get quite that far and so I settled for Edinburgh.
My final images worked out well in terms of the idea that I wanted to achieve but at the moment I am not 100% certain that it directly refers to the ‘Stories of Encounters’ brief. I decided to go with an abstract concept and may have possibly ended up a little far from the point of the brief.
With regards to the colours for the images – I struggled to work on the Juergen Teller type style as it doesn’t sit within my own. I am used to working with much more contrast and brighter colours and so attempted to find something in between to the two styles.
I have 2 final shots – one I believe works better for the brief I set myself and the other works better in terms of composition, however you cannot see the city and so I feel that the context is then lost in the image. In future it would be better to scout additional locations in order to be able to combine both strong composition and context.