Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Edward

Nautilus (1927) by Edward Weston
copied from Wikipedia


Today (March 24th) is Edward Weston's birthday.  Born in 1886, he can rightly be called one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.

If you know who Edward Weston is ... enough said.

If you don't know who Edward Weston is, well, it would be difficult to lay claim to being a serious photographer and not know his work.

Fortunately, and wonderfully, there is a wealth of information out there.  And unlike so many artists, you can build up your own understanding of the man and his work through his own writings (letters and daybooks), many biographies, and even a book by his young wife Charis Wilson.  But most important is the work itself!

So if you don't know Edward Weston, go forth and seek him out.  He is already in your work and in the way we see photographs.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Margrethe

Florence Deshon (1921) by Margrethe Mather
from Wikimedia Commons




Today would have been Margrethe Mather's 128 birthday.  She died in obscurity on Christmas Day, 1952.  Her contributions to photography, however, should not be obscured by the passage of time.  Not only was she a truly creative, free thinking photographer, her influence on Edward Weston (arguable one of the most important photographers of the 20th century) was profound.  Weston called her "the first important person in my life."

If you have never heard of Margrethe Mather, I highly recommend reading Beth Warren's Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston: A Passionate Collaboration. 

Even if you do not realize it, Margrethe and Edward's influence is in your photography today!



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Messages

"Hopper Building" from The Lonely Places project
There is a place in the mountains south of Reno, Nevada, whose ruins stand like abandoned temples to man's greed.  Massive structures that housed a mill to extract the trace quantities of gold in the soil and tailings in the surrounding area. 

After a brief period of time it was a spectacular failure.

Others have come and gone too.  But the greed mongers persist and even today there are those who now want to destroy entire mountains in this area to, you guessed it, extract the trace quantities of gold.

The Lonely Places project is a study of the shapes and forms as Nature takes back what man has abandoned.  It is not an anthropological study, nor is it a history lesson.  But it could be.  The places I explore have fascinating histories (you cannot help but to get caught up in studying it), and therefore lessons for today.  And lesson for the greed mongers, too.