This photographic project was constantly modified in my mind. I had accumulated a number of cameras over the years having received my first camera, a Nikkormat FT3 from my Dad on my sixteenth birthday. Regrettably I traded it when I upgraded to a Nikon FE which thankfully I still have. The majority of the cameras were to be film but to emphasise the difference in each camera’s signature look, I needed a few more interesting cameras, like for example toy cameras – which I never quite saw the point of coming from a pin sharp landscape background. This was also classic procrastination behaviour – procuring more cameras as an excuse rather than realising the dream.
The total number of cameras was to be fifty – somehow it sounded right and the fifty images had to convincingly convey the point that we do see differently . I had assembled a large number over the years, not as a collector but more as a gatherer due to my photography changing over the years and of course as a result of the never-ending quest for that ever elusive perfect piece of kit. My father had given me his extensive collection more than twenty years ago and I had also received some film cameras as generous gifts from numerous people I am extremely grateful for.
The year 2018 had a number of pleasant surprises in store. New friendships developed and these would kickstart the Man in the Middle project. Tyrone came to stay with us and after discussing the project he agreed to be the man in the middle, although I am not sure he knew what he had agreed to. A simple portrait from many angles could look a bit static and a splash of water from above would hopefully add some interest.
By now I had more than fifty cameras, the film ones loaded, plenty of tripods I thought and we just needed a space that was dark enough and big enough to set up the cameras in a circle around the man in the middle. Our local church kindly offered their hall on a Sunday night and with good friends Richard and Bernard, my daughter Kelly, my son-in-law Ewald and of course the man in the middle, Tyrone we set off full of enthusiasm to photograph fifty amazing images in the dark one August evening – how hard could it be!