I have been going around to photographers asking them one question:
What was the first photo book that you can remember buying or seeing that really had a strong effect on you?
Here is Ben Huff’s response:
“The Flame of Recognition, Edward Weston. I received this book, my first photo book, from a coworker of my wife’s when I was just starting out. He knew something that I didn’t. I was naive, and my photographic vocabulary so limited – that book set me on my head. It redefined, for me, what photography could be. Shells, peppers, nude lovers, gas masks, Point Lobos, dead pelicans, trees, portraits – the portrait of Tina! The images, and words, were startling to me – gave more every time, and lingered long after I put the book down. The range of images within that book, teamed with Weston’s own words, which I would learn are from The Daybooks, spoke to a dedication and artistic evolution that intoxicated me. It encouraged me to keep looking – to see what else was out there.”