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  1. #51

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    Michael, it is obvious that you have done a great deal of research on EW for the forth coming book, I was curious as to where you found most of the information. Was it from interviews, letters, other text - the reason I ask, is most of the information we get is from a personal slant from an author and I wonder if Francesco got his impression of EW from that or even from the Daybooks themselves, just that the information was incomplete.

    I agree with you about AA (I made the reference earlier) but somehow he was a master at not letting the real AA show up in print. The only indication I found was in his biography, by Alinder which changed my impression of AA completely - taking nothing away from what he did.

    Thanks for you input,
    Mike C

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  2. #52

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    Where did I get my information? Many, many sources. First of all, I have read all of the books by or about Weston. Second, I knew, and know, a number of people who knew Edward personally, foremost among them his wife Charis and Dody Weston Thompson, Edward's last assistant and one of Brett's wives. "The best one," he called her. I also knew Brett fairly well (as of course did many others)--spent time in the darkroom with him and went photographing with him. In the early 1970s Dody wrote about Edward for the Malahat Review--an essay that was reprinted a time or two. For the book we are publishing, Dody greatly revised and expanded that essay.

    Curiously, as I was writing this response, Dody called me (here in Belgium--we are finishing up the book at this moment) and I read my last response to her. She then told me that she had recently spent time with a woman who was Chandler's wife for four years. This woman (I'll call her C.W.--same initials as Chandler Weston, curiously enough) told Dody that "Edward was essentially a family man and that he loved being a 'father' to his sons", with all that implies. Chandler must have been closer to Edward than I thought--C.W. told Dody that she herself was a photographer, though in a very different style and not with a view camera, and that Edward used to take her with him on his photographic outings and that when it came time to show photographs, he would always include her with a "and let's show our photographs." For that to have happened regularly it means that Chandler lived close to Edward, too, something I did not know. (I know least about Chandler.)

    By all accounts, everyone loved Edward. These mistaken ideas of him being an inveterate womanizer and a bad father get started by those who are envious, by those who want to "cut him down to size"--the "killers" as I call them. A lot of it started with Ben Maddow's scurrilous biography. He distorted Edward's character badly. His account is at odds with everyone's account who knew Edward who I ever spoke with.

  3. #53

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    Michael, Thank You for the response..it helps to understand where you are coming from knowing Where the information is from. First hand is always best and 2nd hand from those that knew him is just as good. When left with what history has left us with, it is easy to see how so many myths come about..Looking forward to the new book.
    Mike C

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  4. #54
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
    I'm curious, Ed, who you think is Weston's equal among twentieth century photographers.
    Alfred Stieglitz, for one.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #55

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    You got one of them, Ed.

  6. #56

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    Back to topic: I've read an abreviated version of Weston's Daybooks (Rememberances?); but, prompted by this thread, I've recently purchased a copy of the Daybooks. Looking forward to Michael Smith's book on Weston.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  7. #57
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    OK, gang ... I had an idea this would ... not "progress" but rather "de-gress" to the point where we start to defend our positions by employing some rather miserable tactics: "Your favorite photographer was a man of "low morals". "Oh yeah? Well your favorite photographer was a "son-of-a-bitch"... ad absurdum.

    Let us respect one another, and our own individual preferences. If someone chooses to use a motion-blur to indicate action, or induce LARGE grain (a la' Ralph Gibson's nudes) ... or chooses to NOT have a "true black" and/or "true white" in a print - for the effect ... let us not extrapolate wildly ... I would accept those "faults" simply as aesthetic choices -- and not infer that s/he was either "sloppy", "uncaring", "dishonest" "ignorant" or any other of the demeaning comments that I've read here.

    Let us all take a deep breath... chant to ourselves, "We are all different - we all "see" things differently" - and thank the Great Creator for those differences.


    .
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  8. #58
    Sean's Avatar
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    Ok, have done my best to moderate this thread after we've had some complaints. I've removed attacks and responses to them. As you can imagine it's hard to determine where to draw the lines (what to remove and what to keep). I think it's been a fair moderation please let me know if you have concerns (via PM or sean@apug.org). Thanks, Sean

  9. #59

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    Sean, think you did a good job with this one, it got a little..you know..

    Now Ed and Michael back to the people to EW ...

    Ed had Alfred Stieglitz..

    I would put Paul Strand in that same group, maybe Imogene Cunnigham as well..

    Who did you have in mind Michael?
    Mike C

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  10. #60

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    You should know, Ed, that I have no problem with styles of photography other than my own. In fact, the first book Paula and I published by someone other than ourselves was Passage: Europe by Richard Copeland Miller, who worked in 35mm, photographed mostly at night, made grainy blurry pictures, and he cropped many of them (AARRRGH), but his work, and the book, is extraordinarily emotionally moving. Please don't ever sell me short and assume that I am narrow minded. I respond to all types of photography and to all types of art. I do have one standard--it gotta be good and well executed--in its own terms (not in my terms). And the lame excuse "I wanted it that way" doesn't cut it when there is a soot and chalk print that could have and should have had more tones (if not the most, at least more) for GREATER emotional impact. And, please; now don't go writing in a way that infers that all I care about is technical stuff, since I allude to that here. If you think that, then you have not understood much of what I have written here, and in other discussions.

    The list is long, okay maybe not that long, of great photographers of the twentieth century. The interesting question is why someone considers a photographer great. Why do I consider a photographer great? Interesting question indeed. For me, it is not just that he/she made photographs that touch me emotionally, although that is required, but that through their work they expanded my perceptions of the world. In other words, because of their work I saw more. And they did it over a long and sustained period of time, not just for a decade or so. I am here reminded of the line by the painter Alfred Leslie who said, " There is a direct relationship between what we see and the quality of life." And in the context of the article in which that sentence appeared it was clear that by "what we see" really meant "how much we see." I am also reminded of something that Dody relates in our forthcoming book. She wrote, "Once I heard it put this way: "Ansel [Adams] reveals the beauties of nature that the ordinary man sees but cannot express. Edward reveals what no one has seen." I have always felt that way, myself, and it is why AA does not make my list.

    My short list in no particular order:

    Edward Weston, Brett Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertesz, Alfred Steiglitz, Walker Evans, Harry callahan, Aaron Siskind,



 

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