on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Voyage of the Eye – Brett Weston

A good budget introduction to Brett Weston's work

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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Recently we’ve been reviewing quite a few ‘new’ books for On Landscape but I’m reminded upon looking at my photography book library that the majority of the books I own are second hand and quite often out of print. These are often books which are classics of their time but that you wouldn’t know existed unless you’d come across them on a friend's book shelf or a second hand book store.


I was asked by a colleague recently for a recommendation of a photography book for someone who enjoys Paul Strand’s work and spent a pleasant half hour browsing through my books (with the usual distraction - “Oooh! I forgot I had that!”) and finally stopped upon a copy of Voyage of the Eye by Brett Weston. An Aperture Monograph, the book may not be the best reproductive quality to show off Brett’s modernist, often brutally contrasty photographs but it has the wonderful attribute for the photographer beginning to build a collection of classics of being available for less than £10 in many places (and that includes shipping from the US to Britain).

The collection of photographs includes many of Brett’s classic works and the afterword by Beaumont Newhall at the back is as much concise biography as essay. The collection leans a little heavily on Brett’s mid-West photographs which I think are a little derivative of his father’s work at time but given that it contains at least eight of my favourite works I’ll forgive it.

As usual I would recommend Abebooks, Alibris or the Book Depository in order to source copies but if you know of any other good second hand book websites please let us know and if you own a copy of this book we’d be interested in your opinion too.

For those with a bigger budget who know they like Brett’s work, you can do a lot worse than pick up any of the series of books published by Lodima which we’ll be reviewing in a future issue hopefully.

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