Edward Weston was born in Illinois, USA, on 24th March 1886 but made his home in California after a holiday there in 1906. His interest in photography began when his father gave him a camera and gradually blossomed into an absorbing passion. Weston taught himself the craft of photography in his spare time while working as a salesman and earned extra money by knocking on people’s door and offering to take portraits. His success in this venture was encouraging enough for him to open a portrait studio in Glendale in 1911.
His early work was heavily retouched and soft focus owing much to the romantic, painterly style prervalent at that time. However, after seeing exhibition of more modern work and meeting photographers such has Alfred Stieglitz, he changed his approach to that for which he is now famous – pictures taken on a 10 X 8 camera which exhibit a masterly control over image quality. Edward Weston was a true photographic perfectionist who was able to create memorable images from everyday objects and situations by exploiting the subtleties of tone and detail within a subject.
After a period in Mexico, he opened a studio in Carmel in 1928 from where he continued his notable career with many exhibitions and publications until he was tragically afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease in 1948. With the help of one of his sons, Brett Weston he published his 50th anniversary portfolio in 1955 and sets of prints from his best negatives in 1956. He died in 1 January 1958.