Inspiration - Edward Weston
I wanted to share with some of you that my not have experienced Edward Weston’s Photographs that were one of the inspirations for me when I was young. Some famous some not so famous. These are the primary reason I love black and white photography. From an aesthetic point of view I gravitate much more towards Edward Weston or Seiff or Irving Penn or Richard Avedon than I do Ansel Adams.
If you love photography and have not studied these guys work you really should. A well made book is okay - better than the web but the only way to really experience the breathtaking beauty of the work is to see the real prints. If you are anywhere close to a venue that will allow you to see them I implore you to make the effort. Way back in the day you could schedule time at the National Gallery in Washington DC and actually go downstairs and pull the prints for study up close - not behind glass. I don’t know if you can still do that but if you can please do so, you owe it to yourself. I spent a week in washington doing this and it change the way I see and think forever. Best of all it is free and the viewing rooms are private - spend all the time you like.
To get a feel for the man look at his work and read these quotes - all of them. He is not extremely verbose but these quotes are all very connected in a subtle way - the same way as his work.
Without further delay… here are some EW photographs.
Of course you have all seen the peppers but they are fantastic -
And the shells - by the way EW was not the first to do the shells by a longshot - It was a favorite subject of still life since the 1890’s by lots of photographers.
But not like this he definitely made them his own - I have seen an identical composition by a british photographer to the above but the treatment of tonal ranges was inspired completely unlike the other guy.
EW did more than just peppers - all of is vegetable stuff was awesome.
Fan-f’ing-tastic. He even did landscapes.
His range of subject matter is not even scratched here, some of the images he did of things like toilets and bedpans were stunning - you have to see the prints to really appreciate them. I think a lot of them were generated by a debate between Weston and a group of Â ”form follows function” devotes that he thought was idiotic - Weston’s aesthetic was much more of form is form.
Next time you feel like there is nothing to shoot go shoot a fantastically gorgeous image of your toilet, or some vegetables in your icebox. If you don’t think it’s tough try to reproduce somethings like this - trust me it is more than a couple of minutes worth of work.
Hope you enjoyed.
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