Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Kim Weston sits on the rocks in the Point Lobos State Reserve at Weston Beach, named for his grandfather, early 20th century photographer Edward Weston.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Low clouds and fog shroud Point Lobos State Reserve, home to the Monterey cypress, birds, sea lions and a rocky shoreline that has attracted photographers like Edward Weston.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Kim Weston stands in his grandfather's darkroom on Wildcat Hill in Carmel. Filled with photos and memories, the darkroom was preserved and is the way Edward Weston left it after he died in 1958.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

An old cattle skull decorates the front porch of Kim Weston's studio on Wildcat Hill near Point Lobos.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

A picture of Kim Weston and his son Zach sits on his grandfather's desk in the cabin near Point Lobos.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Kim Weston holds a copy of Pepper #30 that he hides underneath the press in his grandfather Edward Weston's darkroom at Wildcat Hill in Carmel. Pepper #30 is one of the iconic images created by his grandfather, so Weston surprises and shocks visitors when he pulls it out.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Edward Weston's darkroom outfitted with a contact printer, timers, and a retouching easel is left pretty much the way he left it when he died in 1958.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Kim Weston's shadow passes by the same type of camera his grandfather Edward Weston used on Wildcat Hill in Carmel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Low clouds and fog shroud Point Lobos State Reserve.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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Walking in the shadows of Edward Weston

By Mark Boster

News photographers meet the most amazing people. On any given day it can be celebrities, felons, politicians or athletes, each with a story, each with a personality.

On this day, I was fortunate to meet an icon in the photography world with an amazing family history.

Bobbing around on a fishing boat on Monterey Bay before daybreak, Kim Weston deftly loaded a roll of black-and-white film into his trusty old Pentax 6×7, medium-format camera. The heavy black camera — weighing-in at a little over five pounds — looks every bit like an old single-lens reflex, but feels like an anvil. That didn’t bother Kim as he raised the trusty old friend to his eye and focused on a famous cypress tree just north of his home near Point Lobos.

1423915_TR_ICONS__Weston, who shoots landscapes and nudes and leads classes, has been a pro for decades. But his family’s fame in the world of photography goes back far beyond that. His father, Cole Weston, and his uncle Brett Weston were two top photographers. And their father was the legendary early-20th-century photographer Edward Weston.

From an early age Kim was exposed to great, iconic photographs created by his family members. Many of the photos were inspired by a common muse: the rocky shoreline of nearby Point Lobos.

Weston currently lives, teaches and runs the family business out of the worn, wooden home in a secluded canyon near Point Lobos where his grandfather lived.

After a walk around Point Lobos, I was honored to be a dinner guest at the Weston home, where pictures of their family are mingled with iconic Weston images. A picture of Edward Weston standing beside Ansel Adams hangs next to the back door.

Before dinner, Kim led me to a door adjacent to the dining room that opened into his grandfather’s darkroom. This may not sound like a big deal to most people, but for me it was like entering a sacred place. It would be like a writer walking into Hemingway’s office or a painter walking into Picasso’s studio.

As the door swung open, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

The darkroom has been preserved and is pretty much the way Edward left it when he died. You could still feel the presence of a man hunkered over the developing trays in the sink, watching an image emerge with the subtle tones of black and white. The smell of developer is still faintly fixed into the walls.

This had to be one of the top magical moments in my life.

1423915_TR_ICONS__After a dinner of grilled steak and baked artichoke, Los Angeles Times Writer Christopher Reynolds and I sat and talked to Kim and his wife, Gina, while their son Zach did the dishes.

I was still pinching myself while we sat there, gazing at Kim’s beautiful pictures hanging on the wall behind him as he told stories around the dinner table. This was no ordinary dinner, and these were not ordinary people. The next generation of Westons was drying dishes in the kitchen and the current generation was talking about a current events and future photo workshops.

To a photographer who has spent his life studying the works of the masters and trying to emulate their work, this was a magical evening.

I hope someday I can walk again with Kim on Weston Beach in Point Lobos or stroll the desert with him during one of his workshops. I know I can never repay him for his kindness and inspiration but I hope we meet again.

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