I did more photography in 1994 than in any other year. I was a single man attending Utah State University. I wasn’t thinking about the future, I was thinking about making “luminous” photographic prints. It was my single-minded pursuit. I had other classes but eeked by with sour c- and d+ marks. Photography was all I cared about.
I was electrified when I heard about Brett Weston’s lifestyle. Brett Weston is the son of the iconic photographer, Edward Weston. The two of them along with Ansel Adams comprise the most influential photographers in the West Coast photography aesthetic.
Brett Weston was the most eccentric of the three. He spent his life pursuing photography and women. The rumor at Utah State was that in the last phase of his life he lived on a large hillside in Hawaii. He had a large darkroom facing the ocean that he’d open to the breezes and moonlight. He’d print all night and at dawn he’d go out with his camera to shoot his new images. After lunch he’d sleep through the afternoon and then he’d wake up to party and print all night. This was pre-internet and no one could really confirm the story easily so it was circulated around the department. I like the story, apocryphal or not.
I dreamt of building a large landscape portfolio and having a darkroom facing the ocean that was filled with “ocean breezes and moonlight”.
Times like this have come and gone. I’ve been intensely focused on something only to find myself changing my mind suddenly. It’s the path of life. I enjoyed my darkroom days and still fantasize about living like Brett Weston sometimes. My dream is to have a large darkroom/workroom where I do nothing but make gorgeous photographic prints all day. I don’t know if I could do it all night, I get too sleepy.