Photographer of the week: Edward Weston
Time for photographer of the week, continuing Masters of the 20th century.
One of the most renowned photographers of the 20th century, Edward Weston has helped to inspire and support countless photographers to create fine art photography.
Born in 1886 on March 24th in Chicago, Edward Weston’s passion for photography began with his first camera: a Kodak Bull’s-Eye #2. Weston soon purchased a 5×7 film camera and began taking photographs of the surrounding landscape at his aunt’s farm; he developed his style and began to recognise aspects of photography that appealed to him, lending confidence and assertion to his images.
In 1911 Weston began his own photography business he named ‘The Little Studio’. He entered a variety of competitions and soon began receiving awards and recognition for his fine art photography. The attention and recognition he began to achieve led to a chain of chance meetings with people who would forever affect his work and life.
An early advocate of Pictorialism, Weston tired of this artistic medium toward the 1920s and turned his attention instead to ‘straight photography’ – capturing scenes with upmost detail and clarity. He became a founding member of Group f/64 along with Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham.
This U-turn of style led to his most renowned photographs of natural forms, close-ups, nudes, and landscapes. It would be for the images created in the 1920s-40s he would be hailed one of the most important art photographers of the 20th century, leading art into the modernist arena.
In recognition of his work, in 1936 Weston became the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship for experimental work. Weston travelled and continued to create original photography. Weston began showing symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease in 1946 and shot his last photography in 1948. He died on January 1, 1958, leaving a legacy of pioneering art photography.