My Weston Influence

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Cabbage Leaf, 1931

It’s hard for me not to notice the name Weston, I’m married to Liz Weston!

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Pepper, 1930

I discovered Edward Weston indirectly through my many visits to California and Yosemite since 1989.  Before I got immersed in photography as a hobby I was inspired by the work of Ansel Adams during my visits to the Curry Village and the Ansel Adams Gallery.

Like all of us, Adams was not just inspired by the beauty around him, but also the work of other contemporary photographers.  Adams met Weston in 1928 and neither photographer really liked each others work at first.  However, over the following few years their friendship grew and appreciation for each others work grew also.

Edward Westons children also became photographers.  It was only last year however when I discovered the work of Edward Weston’s grand daughter, Cara Weston.  On a family vacation to California last June my daughter found the Weston Gallery in Carmel, so naturally we paid a visit.  We had just missed a recent exhibition by Cara Weston in the gallery, but I did manage to pick up a signed copy of here exhibition catalog.

 

Her work entitled Plant Curves, Moorea 2014 stopped me in my tracks.  The print available was too large to hand carry back to Ireland but I was very tempted to make an investment there and then.

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Plant Curves, Moorea 2014
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Fern, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So it was through my learning about Adams and Weston I discovered the Group f/64. The work of this group and recent inspiration from Cara Weston, got me thinking about still life photography again.

Since last year I’ve been experimenting every now and then and recently on a very dull rainy day (any day in Ireland!), I setup a stand of Tulips we had on display in our kitchen.  Some black cards for background and shading, near a large window, f34 was the highest my 28-300 lens could manage, 30 second exposure and here’s the result:

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Tulip Study, January 2016

I was delighted with the results.  I printed the image on Canson BFK paper and the detail was incredible.  I entered the image in this months club competition and was delighted to win the Monochome section against other stunning advanced club works.

My work is not the same as any of the Adams or Weston work, but I credit them all with inspiration for what I was trying to achieve.  I’m really looking forward to entering this image in Salons now to see how it performs.