Edward Weston 1886-1958


One of the most celebrated photographers of the twentieth century, Edward Weston is most famous for his photographs of the later 1920s and 1930s, above all for his still lives of peppers and shells and his landscapes of the sand dunes of Oceano.

Weston was part of the f/64 group of photographers whose other adherents included Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams. In 1932 this group of eleven photographers announced a new way of seeing photograhically, with an emphasis on celebrating, rather than masking, the camera's ability to see the world as it was. This came in opposition to Pictorialism, and the Photo-Secession, a movement championed by Alfred Stieglitz and whose aim was to stake photography's claim to high art through labour-intensive photograhic processes such as gum-bichromate and using atypical photographic papers such as Japanese rice paper. The f/64 name referred to the smallest possible aperture on the large format camera, a setting that would produce the greatest depth of field and thus allow for a greater amount of the image to be in focus. The group also preferred to print on glossy paper, rather than matte, in order to avoid the fuzziness that could characterise much printing on matte paper due to its surface. Weston's photographs of natural produce evoke the curves and lines of the human form, the sensuality inherent in every contour.