Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rating : 3.0/5
Number of Pages : 112
Format : Non Fiction, Photography
Reason for Reading : Course Reading Material

At the moment I am studying colour as part of The Art of Photography and my tutor recommended this collection to me to look through. From some other reading I've been doing, Eggleston was a pioneer as in the 1960s colour photography was mostly used only by advertising and publicity companies. Eggleston began to use it in his work and this collection was shown at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. To quote "Photography A Critical Introduction" edited by Liz Wells "His subjects were mundane, everyday, often trivial, so that the real subject was often seen to be the colour itself." I've included the two pictures that stood out to me the most below.

Huntsville, Alabama - I love the pose of the gentleman, casually stroking the bright orange plane. I wonder if he piloted one when he was younger, was he part of the US Air Force or does he just have an appreciation of planes? It's composed with lost of empty space to his left maybe to emphasise his long past as he is now past his youth. It has a sense of nostalgia.

Memphis - A real Memphis belle. Going back to earlier modules this picture is full of shapes (Eggleston did study Cartier-Bresson I believe). There are lines, diagonals, curves and brian;es plenty. Your eye is drawn also to the contrast between the yellow of the wall and her hair with the dark blue of her dress.

Overall I wasn't a big fan of many of the pictures. I'm not sure if it's because they didn't mean much to me being taken before my time of places I haven't visited although that doesn't seem to cover it. The colours were a little dull for my tastes. If you are going to do colour, then do colour! I understand this was a seminal collection so perhaps going through again in a week or two will unlock some more understanding in me. What I did love was the essay by John Szarkowski. I made a note of a few quotes which I hope to use in my assignments moving forwards and it is worth the price of the book for this alone.