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  1. #1

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    White Sands, Brett Weston

    I received my copy of the White Sands, Brett Weston book by Lodima yesterday. I spent a bit of time today enjoying it. The book is very well done. There's an essay in the front of the book about Brett, written by Nancy Newhall, that's just wonderful. I've never been too familiar with Brett Weston's work, but the more I see of it, the more in awe I am. I look forward to the day I can see some of his real prints.

    This is a great book that I reccomend highly.

    Just an observation: Most of the images are from his 8x10 contact prints. There are two from the 70's that were done from 2-1/4. They appear surprisingly soft compared to his contact prints.

  2. #2
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    I'll have to be watching for the postwoman!
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  3. #3

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    I got my copy yesterday...Excellent! I subscribed for the 19 volume series in softcover. The first volume, San Francisco, was also very good. I look forward to seeing each book.

    --John

  4. #4

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    FANTASTIC! I'm subscribed to the hardcover version and I cannot wait to get home to see it!

    If you have never seen any of Brett's prints in real life, I highly suggest doing so. The reproductions in the book almost match the original prints, however seeing the real prints is so much better. I personally own a few of Brett's prints and look forward to the day when I see them published in one of the portfolio books!

    Ryan McIntosh
    www.RyanMcIntosh.net

  5. #5
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    I received my copy a few days ago. I think that you are going to be quite happy Ryan.

    The photos in "White Sands span 30 years. While one can certainly see the differences, it is the similarities that most intrigue me. Weston had been practicing his art for more than 20 years when he shot the earliest of these. But, they share a look that dates back to his first metal roof shots in Mexico.

    Here is what I wrote to MAS last week when I had time to see the book:

    "I just received "White Sands" to say that I am pleased is an understatement. I opened the box right after dinner and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I guess we go through life seeing the normal so often that it can take the extraordinary to shock us out of our malaise. The book, the photos, they are extraordinary. "

  6. #6

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    From an article at CountPunch.org:
    When he died, he left 10,000 prints to the Brett Weston Trust. Brett believed that the prints would be sold off gradually for the financial benefit of his sole daughter, Erica.
    Instead, an investment banker snatched up the entire lot for a few million dollars. The Weston photographic legacy, which he had fought so hard to preserve on his own terms, is now locked in a vault in the basement of a bank in Oklahoma City.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  7. #7

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    I don't think the paragraph you copied from CountPunch.org accurately portrays the BW Archives. They do some wonderful work including organizing exhibits and licensing Brett's work for various publishing projects. They also helped make possible some of the recent books on Brett including Dunes and the very Lodima series that started this thread. They've also made generous donations of prints to museums. It was Erica's decision to sell her father's work so that this Archive could be created and maintained for the benefit of others. Without knowing all the facts that went into her decision, I take at face value that it was a good one. Personally, I value the fact that I can see Brett's work in books and public collections. If they had been sold off to private collectors over time, many of us wouldn't have had the opportunity to study the work from this great (and often unappreciated master).
    Scott Killian
    www.scottkillian.com

  8. #8

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    I'm with Scott on this one. Museums such as The Center Of Creative Photography, (which houses the large photography archive in the world, include tons of Brett Weston's prints) are very important to preserving the history of photography. They make it possible for those photographers work to live on, long after they have passed on. Places such as the CCP in Tucson, AZ let individuals come in a few the collection as well!

    The other side of me wishes that 10,000 extra Brett Weston prints were out in circulating in the photography market, because then maybe some of us could afford to own them. However, they are in much better hands being in a muesum, even if they do sit in boxes for many years at a time.

  9. #9

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    An interesting dichotomy about Brett: he said on numerous occasions how he placed more value on the opinions of a bricklayer than a curator, etc.; yet by burning his negatives he ensured that only wealthy museums & collectors could afford his prints. Personally, though, I'd rather have the Lodima series than a couple of his originals - I'll get better idea of his treatment of a range of subject matter.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  10. #10

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    Other than Holland Canal, Garrapata Beach and his portfolios, Brett's prints are actually quite affordable. He was extremely prolific - photographing almost every day of his life for 50+ years and he usually only produced a few prints of each negative so the vast majority of his work has never been seen by the public. I suppose the sheer volume of his work has helped to keep prices down. Unlike his father, Adams and others whose legacies are frequently defined by a handful of marquee images, I admire the fact that Brett hasn't been pigeonholed that way. Aside from his wonderful eye, his work ethic and the way he lived his life produced a volume of work that can still be discovered in these wonderful lesser known (and very affordable) prints.
    Scott Killian
    www.scottkillian.com

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