This is my final project for my first photography class at UArts this year. The assignment was "Emulation". The purpose was to emulate a successful, published, fine art photographer. I chose William Eggleston.
William Eggleston was given his first camera, a Leica M3 in 1958, by 1978 his work was hanging in the MoMA. A sign of profound artistic acceptance. Especially for color photography. At the time his photography was displayed color wasn't viewed as an viable artistic medium.
Henri Cartier-Bresson has been cited by many as a major influence for William Eggleston. John Szarkowski, a friend of Eggleston, said that 'The decisive moment was a decisive influence on him.' For me, this is easy to understand. Both Eggleston and Cartier-Bresson take pictures as observers or reality, not creators.
Eggleston’s use of a process called Dye-transfer Printing gives him the ability to make his prints extremely vivid and colorful. Unfortunately, the advantages of this technique cannot be displayed on a computer screen, Eggleston himself even said that he felt that his books didn't properly embody his work.
In an interview, Eggleston was asked how much time he paid attention to framing the image, he responded simply by saying, "Quickly." After being pressed in the interview to respond in a more concrete manner, he finally said that he takes the image where he is standing, how he sees it, with little thought. I suppose that is well reflected in his images. In fact, I noticed in a documentary that he rarely takes more than one picture at a time. He feels that it is a waste of a frame and that makes the decision process too difficult when it comes to printing. Much of his work focuses on the intrigue found with in the ordinary and the mundane. He is known for saying that he is, "at war with the obvious.”
In his book, William Eggleston, all of his images are separated in a series of two. Which are often called Diptychs. At times the connections between two images is vague and confusing. There are a few sets of images, such as this one, in which I cannot find a link between them. Perhaps a quote from a drunk William Eggleston would best sum it up.“Trouble is, whatever is about pictures, photographs, it;s just about impossible to follow up with words. They don’t have anything to do with each other. - I think, you can say it has nothing to do with words. . . Art- what we call it, you can love it, you can talk about it, but it doesn't make any sense.
In my emulation I focused on the two things that make this book so appealing to audiences. The first is the focus on the beauty found in the mundane. The second, is the power of comparisons and what you can say with that. You can use all sorts of devices to a vast variety of make statements and observations. Devices like color, texture, geometry, subject matter, selective focus, positive and negative space are all employed in this project.
Clicking any of these images will expand them to a more acceptable resolution. Like always, high quality archival prints are for sale in limited quantities. If you are curious about pricing please contact me via this form.
While I was shooting my day three picture for my project 365 in Rittenhouse Square a woman noticed our activities as something interesting, and came over to lend a hand. We got some really interesting stuff, and if I remembered her name I could give a proper 'Thank you!". Oh well, it was fun though. Just wanted to share that with the readers of the Urban Nomad.
Go to Rhittenhouse Square. It's an amazing park full of nice people.. At least to the best of my knowledge.
Marfa Texas. Home to the Marfa Lights and a booming art community. Where films the likes of Giant, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men were shot. Population of 2,121 with no local police department. It's an interesting place indeed.
The first thing we did when we rolled into town was visited a gallery. "Galleri Urbane" had a collection of some really stunning photography from Michael Berman. As well as some very interesting paintings. Needless to say I was very impressed with what they had on display. If I had endless amounts of money I probably would have bought one of his photographs.
After leaving the Galleri we asked on of these fine patrons of Galleri Urbane to direct us to the best eating place in town. Seeing as it was monday, and most of Marfa (Including the gallery we walked into) is closed. The only place to get some food on monday was Pizza Foundation.
Great food, great service, great price and as a friend of mine said, "probably the best pizza in Texas." I'd say I have to agree. It was really great. My father and I ate an entire pie by ourselves.
Overall, Marfa was a charming mixture of artistic individualism, and West Texas grit. I have to say I loved it. I plan on returning for more than just a few hours next time I'm in Texas with nothing to do. If your in Marfa, check out the Marfa lights, check out Pizza Foundation, and please enjoy the area. It's a diamond in the rough as far as I could tell.
Following Big Bend, my father and I decided to follow the Rio Grande river along the border of Texas and Mexico. We stumbled upon something very interesting.
"Contrabando", an abandoned movie set for western films such as Streets of Larado, Rio Diablo, and the 1985 western comedy, Uphill All the Way. Sadly I have yet to see any of these films.
While it hasn't been used in over 10 years, it remains more or less standing. Luckily, it was open to the public and ready to be photographed.
It's a very odd area. If you want to check it out, you can find it just off of Highway 170 on the Texas-Mexico Border. Just drive west of Lajitas on 170, It's hard to miss. Yes, it is right next to the Rio Grande.
This is stop number 2 of my spring break adventure.
Upon returning to Texas, my father and I decided to follow through with our plans to go camping at Big Bend national park. While a long journey from home, the trip was well worth it. It's a beautiful place, and I recommend it to everyone. We were fortunate enough to stay the night, and experience the stunning sunsets of Big Bend. I had a great time, and got some really nice landscape photographs. I'm no Ansel Adams, but I think they turned out pleasantly enough.
This is just the digital photos, later on this month I'll post my scans from the film shots I got. (Much better I'm hoping)
As with all of my photography, these prints are for sale in any size and paper type. Send me an email if your interested.
I. Goldberg is a great Army/Navy surplus store in Center City Philadelphia. They have some interesting clothing with oddly short sleeves. If you look hard enough, you might find something good in the basement.