Monday, September 4, 2017

January 1976 Ice Photos at Gillson Park in Wilmette

The ice photos began during the winter of 1975-1976. A few months earlier I had quit my job as an industrial photographer at Motorola and hoped to go to grad school to study more photo. My influences at that time were photographers who worked with alternative processes to produce their images, work that was not mainstream, at least not in technique. My chosen process was Kwik Print, a 3 color proofing system made in New York. You will not find much information on the process, also known as Kwik Proof, as the production of Kwik Print ended in 2000. I thought it was gone before that.

On a ate afternoon in January 1976 I went to Gillson Park looking for a photo with my 35mm Mamiya and B&W film. What I saw looked like a miniature version of Cape Cod's sand dunes, but covered in snow and ice. Mounds of ice, ridges of ice, sheets of ice, all frozen together, with only the Lake Michigan waves moving. I immediately thought of shooting blue, green, red color separations to be combined into one image, printed with Kwik-Print. The ice would be one image in register, but the water would be three images, out of register. I went back home to get the gear ready that I would need to shot this the next day, An aluminum Tiltall tripod, camera, filter holder, #25 red filter, #58 green filter, #47B blue. The metal tripod felt like a frozen iron pipe after five minutes on the ice. The gel filters were as flimsy as Kleenex in that Lake Michigan wind. I made sure not to be on the windward side of the ice - there was no one around to fish me out.

The one thought that kept in my mind was that I could make a portfolio out of this work.That would happen four decades later.

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