Edward Weston Nude #62 (dancer's Knees)

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by mesantacruz, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Member

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    THIS PHOTO

    I was privileged to see this photograph at MOPA (san diego) several months ago, and it just had a deep impact on me. I've seen a few (very few) of weston's other prints, but this one is just astounding, and i've never seen another like it.

    1. It looks like a charcoal drawing
    2. a second look... the color almost looks like 'matte silver powder'
    3. It really does look like SILVER... :blink:


    i've looked online, the one thing that stands out, is a possibly long exposure (several minutes upwards of 5?)...

    Thanks, any details are helpful.
     
  2. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Its a solarized image, where the print was briefly exposed to light during development.
     
  3. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Andrew are you sure about that? It was always one of my favorite images and in all my EW reading I have never seen reference to solarizing. I wonder if you can remember where you read that. I always thought it was just rim lighting.
    Dennis
     

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  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    it is where I got the idea for lighting this...
     

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  5. Alan Davenport

    Alan Davenport Member

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    I believe it is axis light. Ansel Adams has a couple of examples in his "Natural Light Photography".

    Alan
     
  6. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Member

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    well, okay, the lighting explains the dark rim around the figure...
    what about the powdery (charcoal look) that when looked at in real life, almost has a 'shimmer' (if you can say that).
     
  7. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    It most certainly isn't solarised. The light source is simply a little above the lens and closer than the front of the lens. I have spent a lot of time in studios in my life, so it is easy to see. I find it rather interesting as a lighting technique. I have used it myself.

    The shimmer could be from a platinum print or the silver papers from the time. Off the top of my head, I can't remember when he switched from platinum to bromide (matte then to glossy). I remember that he was still using platinum paper when he was in Mexico. Old materials were silver rich as well. A lot of his prints, as well as others from the period, had a great deal of depth to them that is nearly impossible to replicate today. Any chance you get to see his prints don't pass it up. I saw a show at LACMA years ago and I spent a few hours just walking around the gallery looking at his work. It is easy to see in person why he is a master.

    If you are a member of MOPA they will probably show you other Weston's if you ask. I have seen quite a few famous images up close without glass and from my experience, if you get the chance, it will change the way you look at photographs, let me tell you....
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Probably I will never see real print in my life , is there a poster or replication of this print ? I am talking about cheap replication , they can be powerful , I have a gull drawing replication from Van Hogh and a Monet and Da Vinci and I am having great time with them.
     
  9. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I believe you are totally correct!
     
  10. fastw

    fastw Member

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    looks like ringflash
     
  11. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    EW was an early pioneer of Photoshop. He painted a portrait of himself as the Luddite with a Light Bulb but was secretly working with IBM.
     
  12. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I hope you mean this as a joke. It certainly was not ringflash, not was it solarized.
    I own a Weston nude of "Charis on the Dunes" which exhibits the same qualities, as do several of his others. When the axis of the lens is very close to the axis of the light source, the light will wrap around a curved surface and produce the dark outline. Try it with an egg, as demonstrated by Ansel.
     
  13. fastw

    fastw Member

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    Try it with a ringflash!
     
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  15. batwister

    batwister Member

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    If you only look at the torso and thigh, it certainly couldn't be mistaken for solarisation. It's the feet that make the image appear this way. This is because there is charcoal on the soles of her feet from the floor beneath her. I think this is what creates the confusion about the lighting/solarisation.
     
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  16. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Member

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    Thanks, everyone... i'll have to give it a go (the axis lighting)
    As for the final look of the image.. the actual print, and not the negative... that is just something i won't get then?
    because today's papers are not the same, as patrick robert james mentioned?...

    or does anyone know where i can get a pack of similar paper..

    .
    i swear the thing shimmers, like super-fine glitter. (maybe it's just in my head, but man, it's so beautiful)
     
  17. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I seem to recall that he described the image and how he did it in the second volume of his daybooks. I can't remember now how he did it, though. If you can find a copy, the second volume might help you out.
     
  18. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The papers of today do not have the same surface quality and depth of tone. I don't know why. I do know the power of EW's prints. I encountered a print of his on permanent display at the Cleveland Art Museum showing a photo he took in a cemetery that had so much depth and shimmering tone that I went back 3 days in a row and stared at it.
    You could kind of get that charcoal affect pre the mid 1980s by using Agfa paper and Amidol delveloper if you had processed your film in a developer that had good contrast in the mid tones. But it isn't possible today. Even Edward Weston in his time decried the decline in quality of silver gel paper.
    Dennis
     
  19. Alan Davenport

    Alan Davenport Member

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    EW used contact paper; either directly from an 8x10 negative or enlarged from his 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Graflex negative to create an 8x10 negative to contact print. Kodak Azo is no longer made but Lodima paper is nice. These papers are way too slow for enlargements.

    Alan
     
  20. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    If Winger is correct, I was hoping someone with these daybooks would reveal all.
     
  21. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    And I borrowed them from someone to read a few months ago. He's now on vacation in CA so I can't borrow them back. I really would swear he mentioned this shot.
     
  22. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Member

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    thanks,very good information... found a very cheap copy of volume 1 (under 5 :smile: )... and since i like to go in order, i'll read that first, as i look for a cheap copy of volume 2.
     
  23. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    If you get put off by the writing and attitude in volume 1, don't let that stop you from getting volume 2. 2 is much better and an easier read. I skipped through much of vol 1, but read nearly all of vol 2.
     
  24. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Member

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    ^okay... i will definitely pick up two, as it has the info i'm looking for... thanks for the warning though.
     
  25. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I think you are quite right. And I think the floor records the dance that has been performed already!
     
  26. Gim

    Gim Subscriber

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    Edward Weston's Day Books, entry dated 3/6/29

    "My best work is more analogous to architecture and sculpture than to painting. I made a posterior view, in flat, but very brilliant light, which outlines the figure with such a definite black line, that even photographers swear I have pencilled the negative,--I have used this light before on the dancing nudes."

    Also, in the daybooks, Weston mentioned that he never uses artificial light...only natural light.

    I believe this outline can also be seen lightly in the Charis nudes in the dunes.

    As a side point...I have the Knees print in (at least) two books and noticed that they each are a different crop and contrast. I guess book prints always have to be taken with a grain of salt.

    I vaguely remember reading more on this outline effect but know not where.

    Hope this helps,
    Jim