Few photographers have created such a legacy as Edward Weston (1886–1958). After a decade of successfully making photographs with painterly soft-focus techniques, he became the driving figure behind a group of West Coast artists dubbed Group f/64, which pioneered the sharp, precise school of “Straight Photography.” With that stylistic leap, Weston’s career moved into high gear, creating photographs of extraordinary sensual realism, perfectly poised between compositional stillness and searing intensity. With nudes, nature studies, and myriad perspectives on the dramatic Californian landscape, Weston’s works aimed to locate the “very substance and quintessence of the thing itself.” In this concise monograph, we gather some of the finest Weston works to explore how he pursued and achieved this aim whether with a landscape, shell, or naked body. The editor Manfred Heiting is an internationally acknowledged designer, curator, and expert on and collector of photographs and photobooks; he lives in Malibu and Brussels. He is a founding member of the J. Paul Getty Museum Council and since 2016 UCLA Distinguished Lecturer in the Humanities. He is editor and designer of Deutschland im Fotobuch, The Soviet Photobook, and The Japanese Photobook and co-editor and designer of Autopsie: Deutschsprachige Fotobücher 1918–1945. The author Terence Pitts was Executive Director at Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Iowa, and has organized numerous important exhibitions of historic and contemporary photography.