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  1. #1

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    Discuss a William Eggleston photograph

    I thought I would post an image from the photographer who is considered in most art circles as the person who put color photography into the realm of fine art.

    This is simply titled Mississippi (no date given) although similar work of his is from the 60s.
    For those less familiar with is work here is a link to the Getty Museum site that has a number of his images.http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/...ils?maker=1540
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails eggleston_woman_on_swing.jpg  
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #2

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    First rule of thumb - never photograph someone on a sofa. HA!

    Now that's a southern photograph!

  3. #3
    Markok765's Avatar
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    looks like an family snapshot of someone.
    Marko Kovacevic
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  4. #4

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    I think Eggleston said his pictures from this period were influenced by the design of the Confederate flag--a centered subject with everything moving toward the corners of the frame. If he wasn't pulling our leg with this statement, this is a good example of that.

    Elliott Erwitt coined the phrase "anti-photograph" and this certainly goes against the grain of what is considered a typical good photograph. It's centered, distorted and everything in it is fighting to get your attention. Mostly, it's an interesting photograph. I want to know who this person is, where this place is located and, because no information is given about the picture, that makes it that much more appealing for me.

    Because I'm from the South too, I've seen this type of scene before. So there is some familiarity in this photograph. Even though I don't know specifics, I can make up my own story and that makes it a comfortable photograph. All of Eggleston's photographs are comfortable for me.

  5. #5

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    I'm a great fan of Eggleston's work, this one no exception.

    Cate

  6. #6
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    I do not like the clash of colors of the dress and the sofa. Additionally, I do not like the composition. The woman basically runs right down the center for almost the width of the image and splits the photo into 2 halves.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by naturephoto1
    I do not like the clash of colors of the dress and the sofa. Additionally, I do not like the composition. The woman basically runs right down the center for almost the width of the image and splits the photo into 2 halves.

    Rich
    But isn't the whole photograph in a way about 'lack of balance'. Though in fact I DO find it works well compositionally, it is dynamic and draws your attention to the rickety fence, and the ancient sofa, the woman herself.

    It's true that what it isn't, is neat and ordinary...
    Cate

  8. #8
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer
    But isn't the whole photograph in a way about 'lack of balance'. Though in fact I DO find it works well compositionally, it is dynamic and draws your attention to the rickety fence, and the ancient sofa, the woman herself.

    It's true that what it isn't, is neat and ordinary...
    Cate
    Cate,

    I still do not like it. The woman herself might be interesting. Generally, for full length figure work of people, I personally prefer verticals since people tend to be vertical. Additionally, you may like the rickety fence. I find it distracting and 3 rungs appears to "grow" out of the top and sides of the woman's head. Additionally, as I stated, I find the woman running down the center for almost the width of the image unappealing to me.

    No it is not orderly, I just am of the opinion that the image could have been taken to make the whole more interesting.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  9. #9
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    The more I look at it, the more I like it. It's not so much a portrait as a study in textures. Her dress against the couch, and the manmade colors of the fabrics against that incredibly beautiful stone floor and the natural colors of the leaves.

    Phew... he is subtle that Eggleston. Works for me... I keep coming back for more!

    I'm enjoying these threads, Jim!

  10. #10
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    Perhaps if I knew about his intent it would do more for me, but as it stands, without any real background information, this does nothing for me. The subject could have some social importance but if so, it is not apparent to me at first glance, so I am left to wonder what that importance could be. She appears thin, and the setting looks unkempt - perhaps she is poor - but apparently has enough money to buy cigarettes. I can't seem to get enough information without more context...

    The composition keeps my eye in the picture, with the edges of the sofa bounding the right and left sides, and the trellis and rocks balancing out and bounding the top and bottom, but the colors don't convey anything to me. There are some interesting elements, like the repetition of the grid pattern in the trellis and the rocks, but not enough to give me a lot of feeling. Is it supposed to be part of a larger whole? Is it a documentary photo that requires some understanding of the circumstances? I would say that overall I am not moved by it, but there are elements that draw me in somewhat and it leaves me wanting to know what the importance of this shot is.

    - Randy

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