“It quickly came to be that I grew interested in photographing whatever was there wherever I happened to be. For any reason.” – William Eggelston
That’s pretty much how I feel. No matter where I’m at or what I’m doing, a photograph will present itself to me. In today’s post, I’d like to share three of my photos that are similar to the three William Eggleston photos I talked about in last week’s post.
Food on a Grill
Just hanging out with my dad grillin’ a bunch of meat.
An Electric Scooter Bike
A girl in my neighborhood would ride this little electric scooter all over the place. In this picture, it’s parked directly behind my car. She’s lucky I looked before I left.
A Friend’s Ceiling Fan
In my last post, there’s a quote from Eggleston about his Red Ceiling photo. He shares his memory of the moment he took that photo, which is very similar to my memory of the moment I took my photo.
This is the ceiling fan at my friend’s house in his room. (He’s Speedy.) We went to high school together and we were pretty close for a long time, until the last couple of years when we drifted away. We were just chillin’, watching something on tv, talking about whatever and I looked up and thought, “That’d be a good picture.”
You can see the pink trim on the walls and window. I would always make fun of his pink paint job that he claims he just didn’t feel like painting over after he took the room from his sister. He’s never fooled me though. I think he just likes it. (Nothin’ wrong with likin’ pink.)
Beauty in the Banal
Those are just three of my banal photos. I have 1,000’s. All the little moments of my life are so precious to me and I just love photographing as much as I can. My goal is to post my banal photography on the first Thursday of each month. I might shake things up a bit and share other type’s of my photos too.
Next week I’ll post some more sketchbook work. I haven’t decided what yet . . . maybe some figure drawing. And if you have a favorite photographer who shoots the banal, let me know in the comments.
That’s the answer William Eggleston has been able to come up with when people ask him what he’s photographing. I’ve also been asked that same question many times because I take the same kind of pictures he does. Sounds like a pretty good answer to me.
Eggleston – Oven
Morgana – Pizza in Oven
The oven photo on the left is Eggleston’s, and my oven photo is on the right. I took that picture in my very first photo class in college. I wasn’t even aware of him yet.
His photos are all of the banal everyday ordinary subjects that most people look at as boring. He can point his camera at some trash in the road and come out with something interesting.
As a Southern aristocrat from Memphis Tennessee, many of his photos were taken in the South, in and around Memphis, and they serve as an authentic documentation of his time. I just love that and I also do that with my photography.
The image on the left is Eggleston’s, and the one on the right is mine. I took that in a small town called, Looneyville in my area. It’s down the road from Loco Valley 😂.
It may have taken a long time for people to appreciate his unique view of such “boring and ugly” subjects but eventually he became one of the best and most influential modern photographers. He was a pioneer in elevating both color photography and banal photography in the world of photographic art, and he has a giant collection of compelling images worth looking at.
Let’s take a look at three of my favorites: The Grill, The Tricycle, and The Red Ceiling.
From the first time I saw this photo I liked it and I was reminded of so many times when I was standing around a grill with family and friends.
“You must not take anything for granted when you’re looking at a picture. Every single little tiny space on that page works and counts.” – his wife Rosa Eggleston
Every single part of this image works and counts. The lighting, the composition, the fire in the grill, the car, and the bike seem like a boring scene, but it’s full of so many interesting parts of humanity and everyday life. This is a great example of how he elevates the banal to fine art.
William Eggleston rarely names his photos. Most of them are untitled as far as I’m aware. However, his photos have sparked so much conversation and interest that people have just made names for them.
It can be hard to capture a bike in an interesting way but that wasn’t a problem for Eggleston. He positioned the camera at a low angle so that it makes the bike fill the frame, which makes it bigger and more important than you might originally think. To the kid who rode that bike, I’m sure it was very important.
The Red Ceiling
I found an interesting article called Perfectly Boring, written by Will Stephenson, that’s worth the read. The section below is directly from the article and it’s from William Eggleston about The Red Ceiling.
“Brenda and T.C. and I were the three people who were lying in bed when I took that picture,” he said. So he did remember that day? “Of course,” he said. “Yes. We were just having a nice time, talking about this and that, talking about nonsense. The three of us lying there in bed—it was a big bed. And I remember one split second I looked up. I thought, that’s a great picture. And then I took the picture. After that, I don’t know what happened.” He closed the book and gave it back to me. “I don’t think anything much happened.”
That’s exactly what happens to me. I’m just hanging out doing normal, “boring” things, and then I see something and think, “That’s a great picture.”
The quotes from Eggleston and his wife were from a five part documentary I watched that you might also enjoy. It showed his large collection of photos as well as a very interesting look at the photographer. William Eggleston – Imagine Documentary Part 1.
In my next post I’ll share some banal photos I took of a grill, a bike, and a ceiling.