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In photography, ‘first generation’ refers to original camera images. In bxw photography this is typically the film negative. The photographs in this portfolio present first generation images shot with a view camera on Polaroid 4x5 PN film. I believe that the first generation film negatives are more beautiful as objects to be viewed and admired than the positive print which is what the film was intended for. As Ansel Adams said, using a musical metaphor, the negative is the score and the print the performance of score.

There is a subtle translucent luminous quality to the negatives that is lost in the print which is viewed by reflected light. I have tried to reproduce those luminous silver tones in these first generation images to the best of my ability in these images. The actual negatives are much more beautiful to behold.


The artifacts surrounding the edges of the negatives are remnants of the paper and metal that sealed the negative and positive images together during exposure and processing. They are typically discarded. I kept them as a visual legacy of the process. Sadly, like so many beautiful classic photographic processes and materials, the Polaroid PN film is no longer available.’

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