Lake Ice

several layers of lake ice footage is layered over each other to create an otherworldy blue landscape with varying transparencies using a drone video camera
Lake Ice 2

Lincoln Schatz has stood on the shores of Lake Michigan since the fall of 2015. Composing photographs that study the lake’s surface, the distant horizon line and the sky that sits above them both. The photographs that are included in the Lake Series have meticulously studied the same subject day after day, year after year. Finding within the rule-set, established at the beginning of the project, an immense natural world full of difference, subtlety and change. Here, over the course of the winter of 2018, on some of the most unforgiving days of that season, Schatz deployed an autonomous flying vehicle (or drone). This drone had an attached video camera and began to film footage for what would become, Lake Ice.

Drone Video Filming for Lake Ice

This period of aerial film work has produced a completely new understanding of the body of water that sits before him during his daily pilgrimages. Proving once again how elusive and difficult it can be to categorize exactly what a lake is. From these aerial recordings that scanned a frozen landscape in various states of forming & deforming comes a new short film by Lincoln Schatz entitled, Lake Ice, entirely filmed using a remotely controlled drone video camera. With Lake Ice we are able to turn our understanding of what a lake is on it’s head. We are given a way of experiencing a landscape that is utterly foreign to us. Alien, deceptive in it’s subject matter and confounding in terms of scale and material, showing us the unrelenting nature of winter on the Great Lakes.

Ice on the Lake

large pieces of lake ice float in a dark green Lake Michigan, layers of ice overlaid on top of one another
Lake Ice 5

Sheets of ice form, freeze and thaw, a cycle that repeats over the course of winter. Every piece of ice is constantly forming. Constantly breaking apart and reforming. They are endlessly in flux until disappearing fully into the lake. All of these processes result in changes to the ice with each progressing day.

However, as monumental as these ice build-ups can be they are as equally fleeting and fragile in nature. Looking forward, they are an analogy for the ecological period we live in today. Lake Ice shows that what can appear permanent and unmovable, can disappear overnight without a trace. 

See behind the scenes photos and more information about the filming process here.