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Moonrise, the Pond
In August 1904 Steichen, his wife Clara, and their newborn daughter Katherine escaped from the city heat by visiting their friends Charles Caffin and Caroline Scurfield at Mamaroneck, on Long Island Sound. In the woods nearby, the photographer discovered a pond very like those that had inspired his earlier Tonalist paintings. He exposed a few negatives to explore his current interest in color effects in his photographs. Steichen printed one large plate in platinum, and then superimposed layers of pigmented gum using the same negative to add soft tints of color...Over two months Steichen worked on the large prints, which were difficult and not always successful, and it was an expensive project. Ultimately he kept just three prints of Moonrise, each unique in its technique and coloration. In spring 1906, a reduced photogravure of the image was made for publication in Camera Work. He became fascinated by subtly colored moonlit images, and went so far as tinting every impression of two photogravure plates in Camera Work by hand. Steichen's obsession is reflected in this photogravure from an enlarged plate, made 60 years later for a portfolio of his work reprinted in photogravure.
from Acton, A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame: Twentieth Century (Notre Dame, 2019)