Born in New Jersey in 1942, Wessel first learned of his interests in photography in the 60’s when picking up a book about photographs close to his college campus in Pennsylvania. He is primarily known for his black and white photos of sparse landscapes and biting social commentary of the American West. During his whole career, Wessel never veered away from using one camera and type of film; his trusty Leica, and Kodak Tri-X film. Sandra Philips, curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, claims that Wessel’s work laid a foundation and helped develop the tradition of photography in the States in the 70’s. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and three National Endowment for the Arts grants in his life time. His work is displayed in many of major the American, European, and Asian museums.