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  1. #1

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    Why not Cole Weston?

    I was lucky enough to see Cole Weston's final portfolio at the photo printers, when they were printing it. I have always considered him one of my personal favorites, not tat that means much but his color images are beautiful.

    You hear about his brother, his father and his son but not him. It is as if his work printing his father's stuff eclipsed his own work.

    Is it the fact that he is a Weston and used color that turned people's heads away or was he lost in his father's shadow because he continued to print his father's negatives.

    He just seems to be the forgotten Weston.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #2
    jovo's Avatar
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    I'm not sure he's been forgotten, but he has certainly been eclipsed. Perhaps his color work has been an obstacle....he uses much less saturation than more "popular" color photographers which makes his work a bit more subtle. In fact, looking just now at his monograph Cole Weston, At Home and Abroad I have the feeling that a lot of the 'graphs therein would have worked equally well in black and white. I also wonder if his consummate passion for acting and sailing mitigated against a more aggressive career as a photographer in his own right as I suppose the bulk of his living came from printing his father's work. In any case, he's certainly not been forgotten by me. I really like what I've seen of his stuff (albeit in books rather than "live".)
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  3. #3
    Robert Brummitt's Avatar
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    Being a color photographer myself, I would agree with you that Cole has been passed over and its a shame. His work along the California coast line has always been a source of inspiration to me. When I need a jolt from Black and white photography, I pull out my Elliot Porter and Cole Weston books then I get my cameras and go out and photograph. I also cruise over Charles Cramer's website.
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit"
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  4. #4

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    Cole is one of my favorite color photographers, and I'm a primarily color photographer. Kim's photography doesnt do much for me. Cole certainly eclipses Kim IMO.

    Wayne

  5. #5

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    He hasn't been forgotten by me either. Famous Father: Son comparisons are inherently unfair and burdensome. I do think his work is superb.

  6. #6

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    Some good points have been made. I grew up around the Westons (Edward, Brett and Cole) and Cole lacked the dedication to his work that his father and brother had. He became the family spokesman and promoter of his father's work and thereby deprived himself of time he could have spent on his work. He not only printed from the EW negatives but also toured the world giving lectures on his father.

    Brett, on the other hand, was totally dedicated to his work. It came first in his life, and nothing stood in the way of his creativity.

    This is not to suggest that Cole did not produce some splendid work. In my opinion, he did.

    http://mergross.com/

  7. #7
    lee
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    I have two Edward Weston prints that Cole printed and they are of excellent quality.

    lee\c

  8. #8
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    One of the first photographs I purchased was a Cole Weston, 16 x 20 dye transfer print of Bristlecone Pines. Still a beautiful photograph over thirty years later.

    I heard that one of the reasons that Cole was held in disdain was that the "art" photographers thought that he made overblown calendar art photographs.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

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  9. #9

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    I have two EW/CW prints, and two Brett prints. But I have to say, my favorite (print I have) is the Cole image of his father on the rock at Pt. Lobos.
    Photographs by Richard M. Coda
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    "Speak softly and carry an 8x10."

  10. #10

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    Interesting Joe. By Calendar Art are you saying color? If so I guess I can understand, somewhat, but that seems to be the view of many toward color photography even now. It is too bad.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

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