Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Top Ten Photography Books on My Shelf - #1

And finally.....

#1 - The Daybooks of Edward Weston; Two Volumes in One: I. Mexico, II. California

The Daybooks of Edward Weston; Two Volumes in One: I. Mexico, II. CaliforniaIt happens all of the time. Do you want to learn about what it takes to become a millionaire? Who should you listen to? Other millionaires would seem like the reasonable answer. Do you want to know what it takes to be a photographer of legendary proportions? Who should you listen to? Photography legends, that's who. Don't be a sucker and pay the latest fly by night guy with a camera good money to buy his coolest Photoshop action that is going to make all of your images look just like the 600 other suckers that just paid for the same Photoshop action. If your only path to mediocre success is to press a button and have your work look like a thousand other peoples, maybe you ought to look into a trade school. Being an artist is not about the mechanics. Being an artist is about inspiration, heart, voice, and thought. I hear that there is quite a demand out there for good electricians. Maybe it's not too late for you to get in on the action. Or, you can listen to what the Masters have to tell you and be inspired.

For over fifteen years, Edward Weston kept a diary in where he wrote down his thoughts regarding self examination, photography, and the way the world looked at it. Rarely are you able to get inside the mind of someone at this level of his craft. He writes from his heart in this stream of consciousness called "The Daybooks". Volume I covers the time he spent in Mexico, while Volume II covers the time following that in California.  True insight is hard to find, and Mr. Weston offers plenty of it in these pages. Pay attention.

"It was as though the things of everyday experience had been transformed . . . into organic sculptures, the forms of which were both the expression and the justification of the life within . . . He had freed his eyes of conventional expectation, and had taught them to see the statement of intent that resides in natural form." - John Szarkowski

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