Monday, February 5, 2018

Juan (Jed)Vasquez: Edward Weston on Art Story

Mr. Weston got his start in photography at the age of 16. I was only four years later that the magazine, camera and darkroom, published one of Weston’s photos in a full-page spread. It was about the same time frame that he left Chicago to live in California with his sister. During his stay in California he made money by going door to door and offering anyone who opened the door for him the opportunity to get a photograph. His efforts were not in vain as he was able to get himself hired to photograph family portraits, pets, children and so on. In 1908 Weston returned to Chicago and enrolled in a photography course at the Illinois college of photography. The ever-eager beaver Weston completed the course in just six months. However, his fast-hard work did not earn him a diploma. He then wound his way back to California with this new photography knowledge. Plus, while in California Weston was an eager student of his craft and learned the most by working as an assistant in the darkroom for other artists. Once he matured, as an artist, he ventured out of the country and in country to perfect his craft. He also associated with other photographers such as Ansel Adams, Willard Van Dyke, Henry Swift and others in a group that they called F/64 group.  As part of his portfolio Weston also photographed nudes.  One such photograph is called the, `knees`. It is not a full nude photo it is however an implied nude photo. The mystery of who the model could be, and if she is totally nude adds to the mystery.  It is also an implied nude photo because it was included by Weston in a series of other nude photos. Weston’s use of lighting further helps in capturing fine details in the contours, curves, and bumps of the thighs. He was really trying to capture the essence of ideal beauty. There was no gimmickry, no props, and no bullshit to his approach of photography. It was as Weston called it, `straight photography`. His knees photo is just that- what you see is what you get. Knees. Plus, by not getting complicated with a photo he allows ones imagination to fill in the blanks.

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