Born in Illinois in 1886, Edward Weston opened a studio in California in 1911 where he achieved success as a commercial photographer, making portraits in the popular soft-focus, pictorialist style of the time. By the early 1920s, Weston had become dissatisfied with these `false`, retouched and manipulated images.After meeting Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler in 1922, she began to adopt a more straightforward and realistic style of photography.
In 1922 Weston took a series of momentous photographs of the Armco Steelworks in Ohio: his break with pictorialism is evident in the simplicity and clarity of his sharply focused image of a row of smokestacks. The following year, Weston moved to Mexico where he continued to experiment with `straight photography` in a series of nude studies of Tina Modotti, his lover and collaborator over the next few years. Modotti introduced him to the artists Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, who influenced Weston to develop his distinctively modernist style.