Uninterested in a direct reportage approach or in showing the individuality of the sitter, Bill was seduced by the clothing the workers had to wear. Weird shaped masks, long imposing gloves and leather aprons allowed Bill's surreal imagination to take hold and create comical but dark portraits of creatures from the deep and Jack the Ripper look-a-likes.
Bill wanted the series to be in colour, but rather than shoot on colour film, he instead chose to use black and white film and then hand coloured each individual print. For this collection of prints, Bill has scanned his original black and white negatives and using a wacom tablet and electronic pen replicated the manual painting process with a new hybrid approach that harnesses the consistency of digital with the purist sensibility of analogue.
In much the same way as a water-colourist applies layers of washes to build up tonal hues, Bill has applied a digital colour palette to create a look that is reminiscent of 1950s film stock.