Edward Weston - Daybooks

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Eric Rose, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Do any of you have a copy and if so what did you think of it? Of the non-living photographers he has been the most influencial in my development - photographically.

    I was thinking of picking up a copy, but given the expense, I thought it was prudent to seek your reviews first.

    Thanks,

    Eric
     
  2. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    There are two volumes. Yes, they are worth it. For many years the whole of meaningful photographic literature was Ansel Adams Basic Photography series for the technical and the Daybooks for what it is like to be a photographic artist. It is original and authentic.
     
  3. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I found them a slow read, but nice to have as poart of the collection. You can order a used copy on Amazon for pretty cheap. Mine was special ordered through B&N and was about $20 new, and had both books in one.
     
  4. garryl

    garryl Member

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    He was a horny little satyr and liked to eat his models-- oh, and yes they are well worth the money for the history alone
     
  5. Gim

    Gim Subscriber

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    I purchased the two volumes reprinted as one volume from Amazon.com about a month ago. $29.95 minus 30% discount. A great deal for 500 + pages of a classic.

    I have mixed feeling about Mr. Weston after reading the daybooks....but what the heck, he is an artist. Drags out but a good read.
     
  6. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    If you are truly interested in phtography I think learning about indivdual photographers is important. Weston in many ways transcends photography and is recognized not only as maybe the greatest American photographer but as one of the more important artists of the 20th century.

    The daybooks go along way to understanding Weston's passion and dedication to photography.
     
  7. jbj

    jbj Member

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    If you are worried about the expense, then why not check out your local public library or university library. Not only are they likely to have this series of books but many others on all facets of photography, sensitometry, darkroom etc. Borrow them first, if you feel like you can't live without owning them, then purchase them used later.

    just a suggestion.
     
  8. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Good idea JBJ. Hadn't thought of that one. It's been years since I ventured into a library. But considering it's currently -47C with windchill I think it will have to wait a few days!!
     
  9. KenM

    KenM Member

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    Too late Eric, I've already checked out the one available copy. The other is being rebound...sorry 'bout that buddy!

    BTW folks, he's not exagerating about the temperature. It's absolutely brutal here right now....
     
  10. bmac

    bmac Member

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    After posting about the daybooks yesterday, I decided to take them off the shelf and give them a seond look through. I still think they are a very slow read, but the second one (California) is much better in my opinion. Some of it hits too close to home for me though. Reading the pages about him wanting to print his pepper shots, but being stuck doing portraits really got me thinking... hehe


    -45c is pretty brutal don't stick your tongue to your ground glass!
     
  11. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Slow read indeed! I cannot get past the first few chapters without falling asleep. I have tried to reread it again and again over the years but I find myself getting upset with the fact that he left his family to pursue quite selfish goals. I guess I am old fashioned but I must respect the man to respect his work (beautiful as some of them are, the ends do not justify the means).
     
  12. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    "Do any of you have a copy and if so what did you think of it?"

    I bought both copies of the Daybooks back in the 80's when I bought my first view camera. I've read both volume 3 times since them and am currently rereading them again.
     
  13. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    "I guess I am old fashioned but I must respect the man to respect his work "

    Francesco,

    You say that like you think it may be a bad thing :smile: Old fashioned can be, and often is, good. I'm old fashioned in many ways. But, I disagree with having to respect the man to repect the work. I think Edward Weston's work is fastastic. I think he was a great photographer and as I stated in another post, I have read the Daybooks 3 times and am currently reading them a 4th time. I would have enjoyed meeting Edward Weston and discussing photography with him. However, I don't think I would have necessarily liked him as a person. 20 minutes in a room with him and I would probably have decided that this was not someone I wanted to include in my circle of friends. Then again, maybe I would have. You can't make that kind of decision until you actually talk to someone.
     
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  15. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I think Weston would have been a fun guy to be around, just make sure you keep him away from your lady!
     
  16. bmac

    bmac Member

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    LOL!
     
  17. Les McLean

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    I've had the Daybooks for 25 years and have never tried to read them from cover to cover. I just keep dipping to short periods of his life. They have been a great inspiration to me, so much so that I was inspired to start writing my own daily journal. You should try it for you really do begin to discover a lot about yourself which eventually begins to influence your photography. Eric, if you cannot get them from the library you're just going to hop on to the plane to visit Northumberland and I'll let you have them for your bedtime reading. The temperatures are not as low as Calgary but I do understand that we have blizzards in Northumberland at present, I'm currently working in London so I have to rely on reports from home to keep me in touch with the weather.
     
  18. garryl

    garryl Member

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    Well, if you read the books and believe they are factual, Weston never had to "go after" any of his women- they seem to find him. But at least he was enough of a gentleman that most got reduced to initals in the published books.

    BTW Les- do you get up as early as Weston did to do your journal? :smile:
     
  19. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Miss ya Les.
     
  20. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Weston's Daybooks are a must read. That and Cartier-Bresson's "Introduction to the Decisive Moment" are the two essentials.

    There is a great myth about Weston's womanizing. When, in the early 1950s he was asked how many women he had been with, he thought about it a while, counted carefully and answered "8". When someone answered that there must be more than that, he thought and answered "12." Now being with 12 woman in a life is not many, certainly not by contemporary standards. And yes, they all did seek him out. He did not pursue them. Even Charis relates that she had to seduce him and make the first moves. She was 19, he was 48. And, if you read carefully, he was with almost all of these women when he was single. After he married Charis, he did not get involved with anyone else.

    It seemed everyone loved Edward--woman, men, everyone. I regret that, being too young, I did not have the opportunity to ever know him. I've come close though; I knew Brett (who said he never read the Daybooks), and I know Charis, who is alive and well, but is losing her sight, and Dody Weston Thompson (Edward's last assistant, Brett's wife for a time), who is writing a long essay about Edward for our forthcoming book on him.
     
  21. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Michael, I haven't heard of Cartier-Bresson's book, and can only find a reference to it on Amazon. Is it long out of print?
     
  22. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    Michael,

    I did a search on Barnes & Noble and found 3 used copies of Cartier-Bresson's The Decisive Moment. The prices of the 3 used copies were $450, $529 and $1588.
     
  23. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Strange that Brett would have never read the Day Books.
     
  24. bmac

    bmac Member

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    mwtroxell,

    Too rich for my blood!
     
  25. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    "Too rich for my blood"

    Me too. I'd love to buy a used copy and read it but do you know how much film or paper that would buy? :smile:
     
  26. bmac

    bmac Member

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    haha! Maybe Michael could just tell us about the best parts of the book :wink: