Weston Photography | Focusing In - The Graflex

Edward used the Graflex when photographing in Mexico, which allowed him to look at his subject while taking the picture making it ideal for portraits. His other view cameras would not allow him to look through the lens after the film was loaded. 

Edward journeyed to Mexico in 1923 with Tina Modotti. The years in Mexico were formative photographic years for Edward where he advanced his photography and mingled with artists such as Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco (pictured below). Edward's striking portraits and beautiful straight photography of pottery, cacti, temples, and the evolving Mexican landscape, began shaping his vision for the rest of his photographic journey. 

When Edward used this camera he produced 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 negatives and it is the only time he didn't shoot the 8x10 format. He never used an enlarger to print, so to make 8x10 prints with the smaller negatives he created new 8x10 in negatives in the darkroom. 

We acquired this Graflex from Cole Weston as it seemed to fit well in Edward's former home on Wildcat Hill. 

Edward was short (5ft 5in), which can be observed through his portrait photography. He did most of his portraits from below looking up which gave his subjects a more powerful prescence and a stronger overall image. 

©RC Miller 

Brett Weston using the Graflex
©The Brett Weston Archive