Edward Weston

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Mustafa Umut Sarac, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I have various questions about Edward Weston.

    Is there any knowledge how he made his california era photographs. Did he use zone system ?

    Is it possible to take same tones with todays material ? Is there a recipe for his platin papers ? Did anyone researched it and published his her findings ?

    Which film, developer , paper combination is accepted to closest his material ?

    Umut
     
  2. payral

    payral Member

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    May be you should read some Weston bio as Daybooks of Edward Weston and ask his grandson Kim still working at Wild Cat Hill.
    No recipe for his platinum paper as it was industrial made paper and sold as argentic paper today.
     
  3. JamesMorris

    JamesMorris Member

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    The closest current materials to his would be ABC Pyro, FP4+ (arguably), Lodima paper, and Amidol.

    He used ABC Pyro and Amidol. If he was around today doing the same kind of work, he may choose Pyrocat HD and Tmax 400 instead of those, for practical reasons.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2013
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Weston had his own recipe for an amidol print developer for papers. The formula may be found on the Unblinking Eye web site.
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    There are also E. Weston and B. Weston Amidol formulas (apparently first hand accounts) in the 3rd edition of The Darkroom Cookbook. However it is difficult to know with certainty what E. Weston used. There are differing accounts as to whether he actually used the BB compound or not. It is also possible he altered his formula throughout his life. Chasing this sort of info is rather useless from a practical perspective though.

    With respect to negative development, he used his own ratios for Kodak D-1 ("ABC Pyro"). More water but also more part A. There wouldn't really be any "equivalent" films today compared to what he used. For all we know if he were alive today he might use TMax 100!
     
  7. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    His Daybooks often refer to exposure. According to his son Cole, he didn't have a meter until his later years, and then rarely used it. He was from the era of "expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights."
    He gave very full exposure and developed by inspection in his version of ABC Pyro. The negatives are very dense by today's standards as they were meant for contact printing only. He never owned an enlarger.
     
  8. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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    Ahhh, if I could find the magic elixir to produce really wondrous photographs.
     
  9. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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    And then write it all down so everyone else could do exactly the same :cool:
     
  10. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I would expect it actually has more to do with his skill than what he used.
     
  11. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    ABSOLUTELY!
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    There are lots of anecdotes about his methodology by contemporaries. Some of the more interesting ones are by AA, who inevitably had to
    contrast his own compartmentalized zone system to Weston's shrug of the shoulders voodoo approach, but really based upon experience and intuition. In the darkroom he was more of an alchemist than a chemist. Whatever worked. And there is some reason to believe that his habitual carelessness with pyro might have been what led to his Parkinson's disease. He never seemed obsessed with equipment. He couldn't afford to be.
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Incidentally, the Weston Meter is mentioned in the link. Just for information- the Weston meter is named for Edward Weston, but he was a different Edward Weston-- not the famous photographer.
     
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  14. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Subscriber

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    Almost done with his Mexico daybooks, i swear, i can't finish it, because it makes me stop what i'm doing (reading) or have planned and go shoot. It's both funny and somewhat insightful, not on his technique, but on what makes a great photographer... practice, patience, and devoted. He was so poor, his wife sent him money, while he had his eldest son in Mexico, while being with his mistress (Tina).

    Suffice it to say, his devotion paid off.

    I cannot stress how many times he mentions making his best print to date.
    He was always excited, and even through mistakes, he clearly learned, and devoted himself to a better negative next time. he made many rookie mistakes, ones that we can only appreciate from doing ourselves. His knowledge was learned a posteriori (learned through experience).
     
  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I know that feeling.
     
  16. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I've got one of those old Weston meters - a hand-me-down, and it still works, though I never use it. However, I can certainly visualize EW
    pointing it one way then another, just as in the stories, scratching his head, and then basically winging it.
     
  17. Merg Ross

    Merg Ross Member

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    Edward Weston died 56 years ago this morning in Carmel. I was with Brett that morning, and the remainder of the day, while he was at our home in Berkeley. I had been photographing for about five years at the time, and had the wonderful experience of sharing my photographs with Edward. It was a sad day, but one I reflect upon at each passing anniversary. Thank you, father and son, for enriching my life, and those of so many others.

    Merg
     
  18. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Thanks for sharing that, Merg. Other than a note from Brett long ago, I had no personal contact with the clan, but learned a lot of things from
    a mutual family friend. I'd stick around Carmel just long enough for my official openings, then head off down the coast for shooting, or was with family, still in the area. Never much of one to hobnob with the cheese n' wine crowd. But at least I got a lot of exposure to real prints by both
    EW and BW from an early age - long before I saw anything by AA, so that made quite an impression on me. Probably nobody in photo history
    will be able to fill exactly the respective niches those two did, and it's even more remarkable that such different styles could arise in the same
    family.
     
  19. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Thanks from me too-EW is still my favourite, especially the later pictures of Point Lobos.