Brett Weston - Photographs of Fifty Years
I just received, as a gift, an autographed copy of the Aperture monograph of "Brett Weston Photographs of Fifty Years". This volume was published almost twenty five years ago. Even though the images in the book are not actual prints, I am absolutely overcome with the beauty of his work. Very few of the one hundred images contained in this volume are of "things" or "places". The overwhelming majority of these images are about form, light, and shadow; the effective composition of form within space.
When I compare the work of Brett Weston to the work that is shown in the "Portfolios of Ansel Adams" there is absolutely no comparison of the relative artistic expression of these two individuals, in my opinion.
In Brett Weston's work I find an inherent sense of mystery and questions posed but not answered. By contrast in the images exposed by Adams there is nothing left to say. This leaves me with an emotional reaction to the work of Brett Weston and emptiness when I view the work of Adams. I realize that Adams was technically good...but I would venture that Brett Weston was the better photographer.
When I first saw an 11X14 contact print made by Brett Weston almost twenty years ago, I was "put off" by the empty blacks. At that time I was enamored with the work of Ansel Adams, Howard Bond and others. My how my tastes have changed in this period of time.
How do others feel about the relative merits of Brett Weston and Ansel Adams as photographers? Have you experienced an equivalent refinement of your sensibilities?
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.