He was skilled to compose his images up to abstraction and minimalism while maintaining the greatest possible depth of field and sharpness. His mastery of photographic chemicals and of darkroom work was complete. He favored quality over quantity and destroyed the prints when he saw the slightest defect.
The top example at auction is the Nude from the Quillan collection, sold for $ 1.6 million including premium by Sotheby's on April 7, 2008. This photo is small, 13 x 24 cm, but it is perfect and uses the best matte silver paper contemporary to the negative made in 1925.
Edward Weston kept each of his negatives in a glassine sleeve where he recorded his prescriptions for the print based on the specific features of the negative. His four sons worked with him at some time. He chose the youngest, Cole, to be the only one allowed to produce positive prints after his death.
For 30 years, 1958 to 1988, and occasionally until 2003, Cole Weston scrupulously complied with the requirements of his father and protected his own exclusivity. No one after him will be authorized to work from the legendary negatives of Edward Weston.
548 prints made by Cole Weston will be sold as a single lot at Sotheby's in New York on September 30, lot 108 estimated $ 2 million. Each is inscribed on its reverse with the number, title and date of Edward Weston's negative, from 1918 to 1949. No less than 140 of these images are unpublished.