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Pepper 1930 Edward Weston Estate

By Pete      
This still life of a pepper has become one of the world's classic photographs. Those familiar with Weston's work will also know the sensual images he created of women taken using wide angle to accentuate shapes and define muscle - in much the way he's treated the recording of this pepper. The pepper has become sensual, helped by the way the light has been recorded on the natural twists and curves of the surface.

It's a simple shot taken in a tin funnel, but use of light and careful exposure takes it way beyond simple. But is it a classic? Up to you...let's here your thoughts.

Photo copyright the Edward Weston Estate

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cats_123 Plus
16 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
18 Oct 2010 9:54AM
perhaps loses something in size...if this was a large canvas in an art gallery it would stand out but, to me, feels poorly exposed and lacking in definition...has a little of a Henry Moore feel to it.

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JackAllTog Plus
11 6.1k 58 United Kingdom
18 Oct 2010 12:13PM
Yep its a good photo, the hard light from the top right almost blows the highlights, but contrast well with the dark dimples just below it. The softer reflected light peaking bottom left adds some balence to the rest of the pepper. I think the cleverness comes from the circular funnel its sitting in adding a bit of extra background interest with its curved textured feel (almost like an ultrasound image) and of course from the very mishapen pepper itsself providing feminine curves and interesting lighting as a result.
digicammad 17 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
18 Oct 2010 12:30PM
The idea of lighting and photographing objects in a 'non product' style has always appealed to me and this ticks all the boxes. The viewer has to put some effort into working out what is going on, but there is enough interest in the photo to hold them long enough to do that.

A normal shaped pepper probably wouldn't have worked half as well, which just proves half the art is choosing the model.

mattw 16 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
18 Oct 2010 12:44PM
The cleaver lighting, and mono presentation, has lent the pepper a metallic look, but with the sinuous shape that is clearly organic, but not recognisably a pepper.

If this was in colour, or of a more normally shaped pepper, then this shot would loose the sense of mystery, and therefore not hold the attention as well as this shot manages.

Agree with Ian, the background is also genius.
JackAllTog Plus
11 6.1k 58 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2010 10:19PM
I hope we are alowed to copy these images with our own attempts to recreate them with the items we have available. My Copy shame its so uniform a fruit.

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