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Saturday, 07 February 2015

Comments

I'll probably have my photographers card revoked for saying this but Weston's work has never appealed to me. It's too highly mannered for my taste.

[Keep your card I say--to me it's a good sign when people aren't afraid to follow their own taste. It usually indicates that they're being honest with themselves about their personal reactions to art. Which is crucial. --Mike]

Thanks for the heads up. Just ordered a copy through your site. Can't get enough good Weston for my studio library.

Dear Folks,

I'd love to hear back from folks who bought this about the repro quality. The list price for the book isn't much higher than the discounted price-- it's ridiculously cheap for a photo book. Which has me concerned that the repro is crap. I'm not expecting A+ quality for $12-$14, but if the repro isn't decent, it's not a win for me at any price.

pax / Ctein

Darn. Out of stock by the time I saw this. I have several Weston books, but one more wouldn't hurt.

Does this particular Weston volume have any of his landscape work in it? I'd like to explore that part of his work.

FWIW I have some other Taschen art books and although they are generally very inexpensive the reproductions are actually very good, much better than I would expect for the price.

I have the book.

I've never seen any actual Weston prints so I have no idea how the book compares to the originals. I have seen many of the images in the book elsewhere over the years and my feeling—from memory and not necessarily reliable—is that the images in the book look a little flat compared to how I've seen some of them previously. The paper in the book isn't a really glossy paper, I'd say more semi-gloss/semi-matte, and I think the images I've seen previously were on glossy paper and had more snap as a result.

Add to that the fact that black and white printing tastes when these images were made were not as high contrast as today's tastes seem to be and I think many will be disappointed with this book. It seems to deliver mid-tones without the edge contrast one gets with Lightroom's clarity slider, and deep blacks/ whitest whites which aren't as deep or as white as they could be, leading to a feeling that, for me at least, the overall contrast is lacking.

Still it's the only Weston book I own, it's a good selection of images, and I've seen much worse reproduction standards than here. I'd give it a qualified recommendation, it's good value for the money but it isn't the highest quality reproduction.

Thanks for making the effort to keep us up on the books. I purchased the Life Work of Edward Weston, Here far Away, and The Decisive Moment all on your recommendations. I have never looked at and enjoyed a book as much as I do Here Far Away. What a treasure.

While I acknowledge the importance of Edward Weston in the history of photography, and admire his work, I actually prefer the work of his son, Brett Weston.

Best Weston book regarding reproductions was done by my friends at the Salto Press. I was in Belgium printing my own book at Salto while Lodima (Michael and Paula) were working with Salto on their Weston book... all at 600 line screen, amazing to see.

Addition to my earlier comment:

I've also got both Salgado's "Genesis" and Ralph Gibson's "Nudes" which are published by Taschen. I think the reproduction and printing quality of both those books is markedly superior to the Weston. I'd also rate the Steidl reprint of Frank's "The Americans" as superior to the Weston.

I have the book, and can vouch for the quality at the price as being excellent.

I do not know this book (yet, ordered it so that when it is back in stock I'll get it) but I have bought a couple of Tachen produced books in the past. My standards for reproduction are nowhere near as high as some so I've always simply squealed with joy when I find something by them. No, they aren't as good as, say, my paperback copy of "The Portfolios of Ansel Adams" (my personal gold standard) but they're at least as good as the other inexpensive photography books I own and usually better.

I own this edition and am quite pleased with the quality of its reproductions.

I have what must be a slightly different version of this book. It is by the same publisher and authors, but is smaller in both directions and only 190 pages. Quite a lot of the text in mine is in German. The printing quality is spotty, with adjacent images having grossly different blacks. But anything that gets people thinking about Edward Weston can't be a bad thing. Weston himself was not really all that picky about print quality.

There is a one minute video on Youtube that scrolls through this book.

Taschen is well known for their excellent print quality. They make very cheap books in high volumes and collectors items in numbered low volumes, signed and sometimes with a real print as bonus. Even if you do not like most of their 'adult' publications it is really interesting to have a close look at their collection no and then. They just published a great book called An American Odyssey for example.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIAgHeAWM-g

http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/photography/all/46017/facts.edward_weston.htm

Dear Folks,

Thanks for the comments! I've ordered it.

(Hey, Mike, do you get your commission if an order comes from one of Amazon's vendors instead of directly from them? There are lots of those with copies of the book.)

Slightly flat repro and matte paper don't bother me. In fact, if we're talking earlier work, it'd be more in keeping with the photographic printing of the time. (Uneven or badly under-inked repro does.)

pax / Ctein

By coincidence, I received my copy this morning. I'd agree with the other comments that the quality is better than one might expect for the price. Very similar to the Taschen books featuring the works of Atget & Brassai in Paris, I would say.

I ordered from your link and my book came today.

Yes a good book well worth the price, and certainly worth the time viewing the images.

Thank you for the heads up Mike.

While I've not seen the whole of this latest book from Taschen on Weston, from what I have seen the pictures seem to be the same as in the small "ICONS" book put out in 2001. Also I've only seen a few of his original prints, which of course the repros will never match. But that said this newest book would be at least an good cheap introduction to Weston for anyone he is unknown to.

My copy arrived today and on first impressions I'm quite pleased with the reproductions. It's a bit like the visual equivalent of listening to music on your iPhone, but with better earbuds - perfectly acceptable in a pinch but you can see plenty room for improvement.

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