Man in the Middle – back to the drawing board

After the spectacular Sunday night – spectacular in it’s failure and spectacular in the project now becoming a reality with a bunch of passionate people on board, the creative ideas came through fast and furiously. We needed to construct a frame to contain the water so Tyrone and myself measured up some PVC piping and came up with something that we could line with black plastic. A space was required where we could set up the cameras and water installation so I gave up my one single garage at home which has a tall ceiling. The garage was in a mess and my wife Andrea was pleased to see the sudden cleanup but little did she or we know that the garage would be the project’s permanent location for the next few months.

With a cleaner garage and the frame and water pipe installed we bought a very long and wide piece of black material which would form a C – shaped backdrop. A seamstress in the township very kindly helped us put in a hem in the black cloth and we could thread a rope through and attach it to the roof. Things were taking shape and Tyrone would now be in the seated position rather than lying down. We also added a remote flash in the water pipe above which would illuminate the water as it came down and a studio strobe was attached to the ceiling aimed at Tyrone in the chair.

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Tyrone in the frame in the garage with water pipe and flash above

The evening of our second attempt arrived and we were keen to get going. The space was much tighter now and I had a shelving unit with many mini tripods on as we didn’t have enough tripods. We did a digital run with the nine digital cameras I have. Even the digital cameras were hard to trigger as this process is all done in the dark. Ewald’s sums of how long it takes to trigger the cameras came up again and that heavy feeling of another missing of the Mark sank in. We needed more tripods and I thought of getting luminous tape to identify the cameras in the dark ( I remember my Dad having this in his darkroom from the 70s). I pulled the plug reluctantly and the shoot was off.


Getting there however visible water streaking

We did manage to get some digital images of Tyrone getting splashed and they looked really good. I later noticed the water droplets streaking as it was not really frozen due to the flash duration. I then looked at another studio strobe which had a shorter flash duration and we would use that for the next shoot. I scoured the classifieds to source tripods which I purchased from all over South Africa and the luminous tape arrived too – let’s do it again.

An image of Wolhuterskop taken with the Holga – Failure is not the End, Failure is not Starting

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