The beginnings - colorful and seemingly unrestrained, flowing across the 35 mm film. Threatening to disappear, and generally frowned upon, their exposures were considered unsatisfactory, a necessary evil in the beginning and not the real pictures the photographer was after. Digital photography has largely eliminated these beginnings and assigned these areas of abstract flatness - with their continually surprisingly spatiality - a place in the past.
While I was scanning my negatives so that I could access them in this digital day and age, I recalled my former enthusiasm for the abstract blaze or subtle reservation of the beginnings as my gaze became fixed on the supposedly useless centimeters of film that had been exposed to light when the film was fed into the camera or had undergone some other technical process.
Again and again, I had to think of Mark Rothko - his color field paintings and those of his contemporaries, like Barnett Newman. Whether or not the color field painters would have liked the beginnings, I don't know. What I do know is that I was wildly enthusiastic about scanning the beginnings, and that enthusiasm swelled even more when I decided to devote this book to them.
I would particularly like to thank Louisa Schaefer for editing the text.
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