Edward Weston: One Hundred Twenty Five Photographs Hardcover – 5 Nov 2011
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About the Author
Edward Weston (1886-1958) is an icon of American photography. His black-and-white photographs are considered among the most important images of the 20th century. Today, Edward Weston's photographs are highly coveted at auction and are exhibited by countless museums throughout the world.
Top Customer Reviews
First of all, this review is about the book that comes in a slipcase. There is a smaller version of this book that is absolutely not worth ordering because it has the faults of this book but not its qualities.
"One Hundred Twenty-five Photographs" is a very large book. Plates are large and, apparently, the same size of the original prints.
The selection of photographs is very good and it has several photos that I've not seen in other books
The design is very elegant and the paper is of very good quality.
Photos are on their own and you can concentrate on one photo at once. On the other hand, it is quite informative to see photos that , somehow, complement each other as it happens in books published by Aperture
There is only a short text in the beginning instead of the usual long academic digressions which take a third of the space in other photo books.
It has excerpts of Edward Weston's writings giving a unique insight into his work
The paper used is a beautiful art paper but it is the wrong paper to print Edward Weston's photos. As Edward Weston himself wrote " It is but a logical step, this printing on glossy paper, in my desire for photography beauty. Such prints retain most of the original negative quality...Subterfuge becomes impossible, every defect is exposed, all weakness equally with strength..." He goes on and says that " Now all reactions on every plane must come directly from the original seeing of the thing, no secondhand emotion from exquisite paper surfaces or color: only rhythm, form and perfect detail to consider".Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First the good: The book imagery is beautifully selected, sequenced, and designed. There is one reproduction per page accompanied by a title and a quote from Weston's daybooks. The combination of "greatest hits" and lesser-known gems makes for a fine collection. The imagery is roughly chronological and clustered in categories to provide cohesive "chapters" from Weston's body of work. The print size, contact 8x10" and 4x5," is simply perfect. The gold slip case (not a clamshell as advertised!) and thick end boards make for a very handsome volume. It sure looks great on the shelf.
Now the bad: I shake my head with wonder at the person or persons who signed off on the ink and paper combination for this book. The reproductions are perfectly detailed and exacting but the entire book is flat, flat, flat. The paper is mostly matte-surfaced which in combination with this ink does not allow for a long tonal range. For certain images, the shells for example, this combination does look nice. But for far too many of the images, especially the landscapes, it just looks flat. Weston would not have approved. His amidol-developed glossy prints from his pyrogallic-acid developed negatives are the very definition of long scale photography. I relish Weston prints in person for their realism and tonality. I get zero sense of that beauty from this book.
In conclusion I am unhappy with this volume. If you are looking for fine reproductions of Weston's work find a copy of the Merrell-published "Edward Weston: A Legacy." This hard to find book is superior in nearly every way and it's price reflects this. In my happy dreams this volume would be redone exactly as is with glossier paper and brighter ink. For that book I would gladly pay double the asking price.
I cannot endorse this book past 3 stars but I can see how people will like it for the prose and that it houses some of Weston's classic images, those things are true. If you are looking for rich black and white tones, check out any books by Michael Kenna as just one example. Although Kenna's work is not as detailed as Weston's and uses fewer close-up studies, you should get a good idea of how photographs can be accurately reproduced in book form at a more realistic price. Also recommended are some books showing the work of Ansel Adams. The book, "The Making of 40 Photographs" at $26.12, is a nice one at almost 1/10 the price. Ansel Adams "400 Photographs at $23.52 is very good for the price. Michael Kenna, "Japan" is great as is "Hokkaido" but one or both may be out of print. I also like Irving Penn's, "Small Trades". Richard Avedon's, "In the American West" is also a wonderfully reproduced book. I'm looking for a good Paul Strand book.
And thank you Kim Weston for gracing these pages. Your grandfather has inspired photographers and enthusiast for generations. His daybook was a enjoyable read into the day to day goings on in his mind and life.
The book came in a clam box as stated, which is nice as protection on the shelf. Inside, the book is in a heavy sleeve that has the embossed signature. I've seen quite a number of Weston images over the years -- in books and at exhibits. While I have seen many of the images published in this book, there were quite a few that I have never viewed. It was a nice surprise. The binding is solid, the paper stunning, and the images are incredible on the printed page.
The images are all 8x10 (Weston's format for contact prints) and they almost look like contact prints in this tome. A nice touch with this publication is that images are not printed back-to-back on the pages. And the images literally jump off the pages, they are printed so beautifully. I would recommend this book to any serious collector of photography books. It is a limited edition of 2000, according to the publisher. While it is advertised as "numbered" I talked with the publisher and the only numbering is on the copyright page noting the limited edition of 2000.
I have shown this book to other photography friends and my mentor. All were very impressed with this publication. It is a welcome addition to my photo book collection (which includes some other Edward Weston editions).