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  1. #31
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Last night, I became involved in discussion of Edward Weston's work, over coffee and my copy of "Forms of Passion".

    Weston, in 1927, prodcued a series of photographs, some of which are reproduced in the book: "Nude(s) 1927 -28"; pages 143, 144, and 145 - and "Dancer", 1927, page 146; "Dancing Nude", 1927; and "Nude", 1928, page 148.

    The question arose to the lighting / darkroom work that produced the "outlining - shadow" effect in these images. My first impression was that of something like a "semi-solarization", where there is not quite enough solarization exposure to produce the full localized image area reversal ... but ??

    I know that Weston favored natural light - I don't know if he did any work involving solarization - I have not seen any, if he did ... but that means very little.

    I was asked if I could duplicate the lighting - darkroom manipulation, or whatever, to recreate the effect. My answer: "I wouldn't have a remote clue of how it was done. I'd have to work at it."

    Is anyone here familiar with these photographs? -- And can anyone shed some light on the method/s involved in their production?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  2. #32

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    ed, Ansel Adams discusses this in his basic photo books. It is referred to as the 'limb effect'. Here is his definition: "The limb effect occurs when a curved white object like the egg is placed against a light background and photographed with axis light ... The dark edges are due to the reflectance angle, as the surface bends away from the camera, progressively less light is reflected back to the lens..." This is on page 133 in 'The Negative' in the New Ansel Adams Photography Series. He also discusses it on pages 8 & 9 in Basic Phot 4: Natural Light Photography. One of the examples he gives in the older book is an Edward Weston Nude on sand dunes.
    Paul Hamann

  3. #33
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulH
    .. Ansel Adams discusses this in his basic photo books. It is referred to as the 'limb effect'....

    ... light background and photographed with axis light ...

    .... One of the examples he gives in the older book is an Edward Weston Nude on sand dunes.
    Thank you (!!) for the quick reply. I don't have a copy of "The Negative" -- I'll have to track one down.

    I'm just a trifle puzzled by the "axis" definition ... does this indicate "On Axis" light , closely parallel to the optical axis of the lens ... and, if so, the positioning of the photographer and the camera, to control the shadows of both - must have been critical -- or was some sort of reflector arrangement used to augment the lighting?
    Now that you mention it, I do see something of the same effect in Weston's nudes of "Charis, Oceana, California, 1936" ...
    Come to think of it - one of the "Great Camera Club Judge's Sins" is evident - her eyes were closed, or she was facing away from the sun ... in all of the images here.

    I think I'll try for the same effect by "clustering" four DynaLite heads - both "bare" and with softbox modifiers - closely around the camera and positioning the model against a Savage "Super White" background.

    The more I see of Weston's work (and I've been looking at it for a number of years, now), the more I continue to be awestruck by the man's sheer brilliance.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #34

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    Ed, one of the parts I left out was: axis light(light directed at the subject along the lens axis). The copy of 'The Negative' I am referring to was printed in 1981 as part of a 3 book series.
    Paul Hamann

  5. #35
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    When the photo was taken. Weston was on top of a dune and the model was half way down on another. Since the sun was coming over his shoulder, it was in a direct line(paralell to) to the axis of the lens.
    "Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."

  6. #36

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    You really should read the Daybooks, Ed. YOu would learn that EW never "solarized" and after his soft-focus period ended never did anything that was other than straightforward and simple. No reflectors. No lights. No soft focus. Just natural light.

    He did have a screen mounted on wheels, which hid the kitchen from the rest of his one-room cabin. It was painted gray and he did use it as background for portraits. By turning it at an angle to the light he could get any background tone from white to black.

    I now recall your writing that you did have the Daybooks. If you read them once, I suggest read them again.

  7. #37
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
    You really should read the Daybooks, Ed....
    I now recall your writing that you did have the Daybooks. If you read them once, I suggest read them again.
    Interesting suggestions, Michael. When I find some time...

    You are mistaken ... I do not have a copy of the "Daybooks", nor have I ever read them. I recently referred to an "over coffee" discussion of the photography in "Edward Weston - Forms of Passion."
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  8. #38

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    Sorry I had that wrong, Ed. But since you have become a Weston aficianado, hie thee to Amazon or bookfinder.com or somewhere else and get a copy of the Daybooks. Forms of Passion ain't nothin' compared to the Daybooks, or to about a half dozen other Weston books for that matter.

    Very short list of required reading in Weston: "California and the West" with text by Charis, "California" (think that is the title--not sure, I'm in Belgium "on press" with no access to my library), edited by James Enyeart,"Edward Weston" aka "Flame of Recognition" (nice small book with excerpts from Daybooks), "Nudes"--that should intrest you, the two books from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; "Edward Weston and Modernism" (think that is the title), and the other is, I think is, "Weston's Westons, " (and there may be a third also called "California and the West," though a different book from the original of that title--but don't quote me on that).There are easily another dozen that are worthwhile.

    And then, of course, is the book we are publishing, which (unplanned for ad coming here folks, so get ready to pounce), will be the most sumptious Weston book yet: 252 pages and finally with reproductions that are true to Weston's originals including matching the color of his platinum prints. Over two years in the making, it will finally be out in April. It better be. This has gotten ridiculuous. Hope to have it at the LF Conference in April.

  9. #39

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    "Very short list of required reading in Weston:...There are easily another dozen that are worthwhile."

    'Through Another Lens: My Years with Edward Weston' by Charis Wilson". I just recently finished reading it. Presents Edward Weston as Charis saw him. Very interesting book.

  10. #40
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
    ... But since you have become a Weston aficianado, .....
    I admire Edward Weston's work a lot, Michael, but that admiration hasn't risen to the level of obsession. There are others I consider to be of equal importance, and having made equally significant contributions to the art.

    It is interesting to consider the effect personality - the soul - has in determining the style and final work of the photographer.

    When I get a chance, I've got to get to my local Library and get the specifics of that video tape of Ansel Adams....
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

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