Quote Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
Weston started as a painter and portratist. This background is underlying his work. Ansel Adams was deeply moved by Yosemite early in his life. He lived there as an adult and made his stake to prominence with photographs from there.
This is interesting - This is the first time I've heard of Edward Weston as a painter. I knew that he:

"Trained for track events, took boxing lessons, excelled in archery, took cold baths, and preriodically went on quasi-vegetarian diets (which he claimed purged him body and soul). He was a life-long nudist and sun-worshipper, believed in astrology, rejected traditional medicine, and disputed the virtues of vaccination." - from "Edward Weston - Forms of Passion.
He was given his first camera by his father in 1902, with instructions to "Take only snapshots", advice he immediately ignored. From then on, it appears that his entire artistic involvement was in photography.

Adams spent much of his early life in San Francisco - slated by his parents to be a pianist. He had his nose broken as a casualty of the Great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. I don't think he ever had permanent residence in Yosemite. I do know he travelled extensively - just where he "settled" ...I don't remember.

These are just "little picky obsevations." I agree wholeheartedly with the main idea of what you are saying... Our work is undeniably a product of our experiences... and our reactions to them.

I am a great believer in the value of "cross-training". The musician has a different view of, and approach towards, life than does the sculptor. Certainly a dancer's view of life is different than that of the photographer; but - the vision of the photographer is expanded and enhanced by "gaining access to the dancer's being" and gaining some understanding of the dancer's underlying philosophies, disciplines and methods of operation.

Somewhere, someone wrote that they would not try painting, or sketching - or something like that - because they were convinced that they would not be "good" at it. That may be ... but if I were to struggle - very unsuccessfully - with dance - and the net result was what *I* perceived to be an improvement in my photography -- well - hand me my slippers and skin tight britches, reinforce the floor - get ready to laugh your gluteus maximus off - and stand back!