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Biography Intro

Edward Weston at Point Lobos | Photo by Cole Weston

Edward Henry Weston was born on March 24, 1886 in Highland Park, Illinois. Weston’s interest in photography started at the age of 16 after receiving a Bull’s Eyes #2 camera from his father. His first photographs primarily explored the parks of Chicago and his aunt’s farm. In 1906, his first photographs were published in Camera and Darkroom. Shortly after, Weston moved to California. He began working as an itinerant photographer, photographing children, pets and funerals. After realizing a need for a formal education in photography, he attended the Illinois College of Photography in Effingham, Illinois. After completing the 12-month course, he returned to California and received a job as a retoucher in Los Angeles. Weston gained international fame for his high key portraits; articles about his work were published in American Photography, Photo Miniature, and Photo Era.

In 1923, Weston moved to Mexico City to open a photo studio with his lover, Tina Modotti. It was in 1926 after moving back to California that Weston created some of his most famous images. Weston became one of the founding members of Group f/64 with other established photographers including Ansel Adams, Willard Van Dyke, Imogene Cunningham and Sonya Noskowiak. In 1946 Weston began experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

In 1948 he shot his last photograph of Point Lobos. Weston’s two sons Brett and Cole were responsible for printing his photographs under his supervision. The Smithsonian Institution held “The Work of Edward Weston” paying tribute to his accomplishments in photography. Edward Weston died on January 1, 1958 in his home; his ashes were scarred into the Pacific Ocean at Point Lobos.

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