Egelston’s work is not interested in the color itself,

Instead of being interested in the “color full of color itself”.




It is not too much to say that modern color photography is shined because of William Eglston; so that this photographer can leave the name in the history of photography and have to be attributed to the curator of the Museum of Museum of Modern Art in New York. John Satsuinsky. In 1976, 37 -year -old Egrston came alone to the then art center New York, met many photographers, and was fortunate to know Satovoski. When Satocuski noticed his photography, he immediately decided to hold an exhibition for him. This move shocked the photography circle at the time -although the evaluation of his evaluation was too reputable after the exhibition.

Egelston’s exquisite and keen colors reproduce its understanding of the world, and also conveys the color of the color of the external environment to people’s induction of consumption and shaping the sense of fashion. He uses color photos to realize the changes at the time. In his color photography, color is not only a opposite to reality, but also a carrier of the times and a more attention to the scratches of the photos of the sensory experience.

“William Eglston Guide” preface.

Published by Beijing Fine Arts Photography Press

(Published by the publisher)

William Egerston

Text / John Szarkowski (John Szarkowski)

Translation / Guo Chang


William Eggleston, Memphis

When I wrote this article, I never went to Memphis or northern Mississippi, so I did not get closer to the life there in reality. But I have been to other places to record art works. I found that if you first come into contact with art works, and then come to these unreasonable real life, poetry or photos are like a truth documentary. On the contrary, even what we present in art works, even what we already know, is as strange and absurd as our passport photos.

Therefore, if a strange tourist finds these recorded people and places in time and finds that they may be similar to the photos, he will assume that the photo reflects the real life. If this place itself is not these photos, it is wonderful. It is also wonderful that if Memphis and the surrounding daily life and folk living in essence are essentially more vivid than other ways, more distinctive, more storytelling, and mysterious purpose. The natural original material itself has an unpredictable drama. Unfortunately, the nature of suspicion will not make us think so. On the contrary, the significance of believing in art works is from the imagination and tricks of artists.

When artists explain the problems about shooting objects, they are more inclined to stand in absoluteism and unhelpful positions. For example, pretending to pretend to have nothing to do with Ballet dancers, or pretending to have nothing to do with James Eji. Both positions have convenient benefits, allowing artists to easily end these unknown questions and continue to return to creation. However, if an artist admits that he is not sure which part of his work has responded to life, which part is art, and maybe even the specific line of art and life may be, we may think that the artist is not qualified.

William Eggleston, Downloadn Morton, MISSISSIPPI

On one occasion, I heard William Egrston say that the nominal theme in his photo is just an excuse for him to perform color photography, which is like Dega’s position. Although I can understand, it is good if he thinks or pretending so much, but I don’t believe him. For me, these photos are about the photographer’s home, where he is, and the deep meaning of these two words. You may say that it is his identity.

If this is the case, it does not mean that these photos cannot be related to photography at the same time, because these two problems are not complementary, but exist in parallel. No matter what a photo may be related to photography, photography is a container and medium of all meaning. No matter what the photographer’s intuition or intention is, it is impossible to avoid being modified and deleted to the expression of the expression suitable for his artistic works. Therefore, if we clearly treat these photos as photography, we may see or feel the significance of more personal, willingness, and even no governmentist.

Photography is a system of visual editing. The most basic is that at the right time and place, a part of our fan -shaped vision is intercepted. Just like playing chess or writing, it is actually screened in existing possibilities, but in photography, this possibility is not limited but infinite. Now the world’s more photography works are more than bricks, and it is surprising that they are different. Even the most experienced photographer could not fully copy the early works created by the respected masters.

The reader is sitting on the chair, and a few photos with a family fool or Leica can prove the above point of view: like this or so casually, you don’t need to think too much. When the film is rinsed out, each screen defines a theme that is different from any previous set. What’s more, some of these photos also have a marginal taste. Even the surveillance camera of the crowd in the record bank, the facts recorded and various associations will surprise the witnesses.

William Eggleston, Gulfport, MISSSSIPPI

For photographers, it is not easy to have skilled and original competition with unconscious and mechanical cameras. It is not easy, but photographers can add their wisdom. Photography means that photographers can deny ninety -nine dissatisfied ideas in one minute, and then come up with one hundred appropriate inspiration. This choice is based on traditional and intuition, or on the basis of knowledge and self. Any artistic creation is like this, but the generation and rich possibility of execution in photography make highly sensitive intuition more important. The problems faced by photographers may be too complicated, so it is difficult to treat them completely rationally. This is why when the photographer is looking for some fresh ideas, he will ignore many potential interesting ideas, and will wander around the uncertain motivation and intention.


American photographer Robert Adams once wrote this kind of wandering process and the purpose of lingering: “Once again, the photographer walked around, and then observed it through the camera quite exaggeratedly; he seemed to collect unlimited angles, even causing his family I am impatient; if you ask him, he will explain that he is trying a better composition, but he hesitate to make a decision. He means that the photographer needs the form, and the relationship between various shapes must The picture is equally important to get a visual stability. In short, the photographer hopes to find a sense of urgency that approaches peace.


William Eggleston, Morton, MISSISSIPPI

“(These) The calmness reflected in the photos is of course different from what we see from the window by accident (but if we can understand the peace in the photo, this calm may be more effective). The form recorded by the photographer is different. Although it is a discovery from different momentum, it implies a order beyond its own order, just as a certain scenery is decomposed into various fragments. No matter how perfect these pieces are, it can be perfectly fit each other. “

(Excerpted from “Denver: A photography report in a metropolitan area, 1970-1974”)

Forms may be the focus of art. But the purpose of art is not to create something that is perfect, but to be flawlessly expressed. In photography, the pursuit of form has occupied unexpectedly important positions. In the specific art of photography, the form and content are almost defined at the same time, and these two elements are even more difficult to wrap together than in traditional art. In fact, they may be the same thing. Or, if the two are different, some people may say that the content of a photo is not the starting point of everything but the destination.

This is the case in practice. The photographer cannot, like a painter, is free to reintegrate the elements in the subject of the subject in order to conform to his original theme concept. Instead, the photographer is looking for content in the possibility of his media. If the large scenery of the blockbuster cannot be effectively recorded by the viewfinder, the photographer will try to achieve a different but almost similar object. At this time, the picture may be replaced by two trees and a rock.

At the historical level, it is estimated that when Alfred Steigrz and Eugene Ajie, the unique photographer learned to boldly break the traditional composition and theme restrictions, and more independent photography. Essence Regarding the iconic new visual system in the early last century in the early last century, if described by traditional concepts, it can be said that “composition”, but maybe we should see it as the result of a new symbolic system. It is based on the rich possibility of details.


Talent photographers have successfully experienced from their ancestors, and quickly master the ability to identify and use the ability to create excellent works, that is, the ability to use theme objects, sites, perspectives, and light. Original photographer enlarge our common perception of diverse and possible perceptions, and find a metaphor that can be used as their creative intention through the founding of a new pattern. It is the insight that these unique artists continue to continue and accumulate have formed and reshaped the tradition of photography. A new image of image vocabulary based on specific, fragmented, obscure, and short things. This new tradition has updated our original understanding of what this world is, and also updated how we understand what meaning of meaning can be described.

Imagine that after the photographer spent a century to learn how to play his black and white medium, the result suddenly appeared in front of him is the colorful film that the fool would use, and the situation became chaotic. The technical geniuses that promote this wonderful process naturally assume that richer information will be better, and old photos and color will only be more natural.

In fact, from the beginning of the photographers understand that old photos are not very natural, just fantasy, black and white photography, which provides an extremely limited choice experience, but as a photo, they look very good and seem to mean something.

William Eggleston, Huntsville, Alabama


For those photographers who are threatening to take photos in form, color is a very difficult complex problem. Not only is the problem itself complicated, because the emergence of this new media means that the visual grammar system that photographers have learned, that is, the intuition mode of cultivation, are almost useless, because this grammar system guides photographers to explore black and white photography. After most of the rigorous photographers, after a period of frustration and frustration, considering that since black and white photography is all on David Ogtavis Hill, Matthew Breddy and Stigriz are all through. Still decide to insist on black and white photography. There are many professional photographers who took paid to shoot in color, even if they do not know the meaning of color, they do their best.


Considering that most of the ambitious photographers lack the enthusiasm and confidence in colored, most of the color photography works seem not surprising. This failure may be divided into two categories. The more interesting category, in fact, can be described as black and white photography created with color, that is, the problem of colorful colors has not been really solved. Even if the old “National Geographic” is pretty good: no matter how blue the sky is, how red the red shirt is, these colors in the photo are only outside, which is a formal failure. But although these photos look bad and exaggerated, it is usually very interesting, but this is as interesting to chat.


The failure of the second color photography is usually the beautiful color of the photo in a pleasant situation. The content of these photos is generally the wall of the old building, or the sailing head is reflected on the ripple water. The similarities in these photography can be regarded as a replication of comprehensive cubicism and abstract expressionist paintings. Their failure is that we think of similar but even better things.

There are not many successful cases of color photography. Most color photos still depend on the control of the things taken before shooting. For example, Owen Pan’s static object, Marie Cerison’s colorful portraits, all adapt to the fun preference of the camera by being proficient in the studio and composition in the studio.

Outside the work, when such controllability becomes unlikely, color becomes timid, which is not limited to the diversity of stenosis aesthetics. Simply put, most of the color photography, or there is no form, or just beautiful. In the first case, the various meanings of colors were ignored, and the second situation was considered to have lost the various metaphorical significance of the photo. When you get the material directly from life, the photographer will find that it is very difficult to see blue and the sky at the same time.

However, it is difficult to be mastered by people who are very difficult for a while, and finally become possible. Thousands of failures have obvious unrelated successful experiences that have obtained many clues and have cultivated intuition. These may also bring qualitative flying to gradually form a complex thinking system. The clues used by color photographers today are almost like maze, elusive, but it is certain that color photography includes modern painting, color movies, TV, grocery store postcard, and modern magazines such as torrents. Image.

In the past ten years, some photographers have begun to use colors more confident and naturally, but they are more ambitious. They no longer solve colors as an independent issue and difficulties (unlike the photographer thinks about the composition 70 years ago Think about color), but assume that the world itself exists in color, as if blue as the sky is the same thing. Like the best natural scenery photography of Eliott Potter, Helen Levitt, Joel Miyerovitz, Stephen Shar, and the best color street photography of others, they have regarded colors as as The language means that can have long existed and can be described. These photos are not about color photography, just not about the photography of shapes, materials, objects, symbols, and even events, but experience of experience, because color photography has been incorporated into the narrative structure of the camera. middle.

William Eggleston, Memphis

William Eggleston, Memphis


William Eggleston, Huntsville, Alabama

It can be said that in fact, there is no doubt that there is such a statement. These color photos are often reminiscent of the amateur photos taken by neighbors everywhere with Kodak color film. It seems to be true for me. Similarly, the pure literature of an era, the rhythm of its style, reference materials, and language is usually related to the popular folk culture. Furthermore, Jane Austen’s sentence style is probably similar to her seven siblings. In the same way, if the best photographic works today are connected with the standards of contemporary folk photos in images and technical photos, it is not surprising. In fact, this work is usually richer and surprising. The differences between these two types of photos are actually issues of wisdom, imagination, strength, accuracy, and coherence.

If this point of view is as true as I believe, the most radical and most radio color photography today is the main vitality from ordinary things. In fact, this relationship is particularly obvious in Egelston’s works. His works It is always local, private, and even isolated from the world. The works in this book were selected from the 375 photos completed in 1971. On the surface, these works are as private as family albums. From the perspective of objective and historical perspective, most of the best photography in this century is based on things that people call them trivial, such as the wheels and mud boards of the Ford T -type car, or the face of an unknown farmer, Or passers -by on urban sidewalks; but these materials are not important even if they are in terms of essence and special importance, but they are public and have potential models, so they can be regarded as symbolized carriers. However, Egrston showed us his aunt, cousin, friend, neighbors, and surrounding communities, local streets, surrounding roads, locals, strange souvenirs, all of which seemed to be able to appear in social records. In, and more like a diary, these significance is not public and common, but privatization and mysterious. In addition, it is not very clear. In the end, the idyllic modesty in these subjects should stay on the surface value, or it should still be regarded as a gesture, a camouflage designed by covering the artist’s Faust -style ambition.

Focusing on private experience is a characteristic of romantic artists. Their perspective is characterized by self -centers and disagreements. Also, at least show anti -traditions in the posture. If Egrston’s perspective is essentially romantic, but in fact, this romanticism is different in spirit, and it is different from the romance in the past generation photography we are familiar with. In our more familiar model, photography romantic tends to adopt and adapt huge public issues such as society or philosophy for private artistic purposes (a behavior that may be named “applied romanticism”, because this is different from being different from. The independence of Byez Was), and this photographic romance is usually expressed with a very strong sense of special effects: light and shadow, minimalist, familiar symbols and characteristic methods.

William Eggleston, Near Minter City and Glendora, Mississippi

These characteristics are subverted in Egelston’s works. We see that private experience is presented in a restraint but natural and open way. One is not an exaggeration to appear in court, but it is not a wrong expression for photography.

Some of us are limited to color photography, which are limited to photos taken by friends, because these photos are about the people and places we cherish, and these people may be when they experience the strange people and places taken by Egrston. It will be confused, because it needs deeper and patient interest. The content he shot was not obviously more interesting or full of exotic in our family album, and they did not declare that they represented a human normal. They are just present: they are clearly recognized and solidified accurately, they are themselves, not to present foreign characters. In other words, these photography works will convince us. In fact, these shooting people and places are not as autonomous as they look, because they play the role of the subject matter. They satisfy Egelston’s various interests.


The simplicity of these photos (as readers guessed) are not so simple. When Alfred Balt saw a batch of photos in the series in 1972, he was surprised to find that most of the photos of the photos seemed to launch from a circular kernel. This discovery was passed to Eglston in a timely manner. After hesitating for a short time, he responded that the observation was right, because these photos were based on the national flag of the United States of America, not an astrole, not commonly not commonly used The daisies are not the pigeons of the Holy Spirit, but the national flag of the American Alliance. Egrston’s response is probably improvisation and obscure. The reason why this answer is interesting is because it is like an example. After all, sometimes artists have frustrated the rational analysis of their works, just like fear of rational interpretation may be eliminated. Their magic.


However, Balt’s evaluation is very valuable, and the center of the work close to Egrston is similar to: a high -efficiency and single specific titles, and the content of the photo is sharply interpreted, just like recalling extremely realistic memories.

William Eggleston, TallahatChie County, Mississippi

If Egrston’s works are simplified into black and white, they are almost static, almost as shapes of the shapes seen in the kaleidoscope, but Egelston’s works are described in color. For example, the wedge -shaped and red disk of the purple collar reflection of the sky, which has a different composition effect and different meanings compared to their equivalent gray steps. For Egrston, he may never have completely focused on black and white photography, so it can be easier to understand the color and let him take such photos: real photography, extracted some elements from the secular world, and after old practice The smooth treatment makes them look real, and the colors are all over every corner.

If we can claim or hint according to the position we treat the question, this photography book answers some major social or cultural issues, or at least contribute to such issues, such as where the south goes and where the United States goes? —— Then it ’s better. There are many adequate reasons, of course, most of them are related to the economic issues published by the album. But the fact is that Eglston’s photos don’t seem to care about these grand problems, they just describe life simply.

This explanation does not seem to make us go too far, because it is difficult for you to imagine which photo does not describe life to some extent. Such a motivation that contains everything itself is very broad and not fully forming. There are many different aspects, angles, details, some whispers of whispering, vivid and unique scenes, and constantly changing forms. All these are all these. It cannot be clearly classified. In fact, only the description of the picture itself defines the meaning of things, and each new description redefines the shooting object. It is almost impossible to describe a shooting object in two very different ways.

You can say that in these photos, the form and content are difficult to separate, that is, the significance of these photos is precisely presented. Trying to translate these images into text is obviously what stupid people will do. In this case, there will be no two fools to choose text that is equally unsatisfactory …

Repeat the front, you can say that the form and content of Egrston’s photos and content are difficult to treat, it seems to be the same for me, but this statement is not satisfactory because it is too casual, because such wording can be used in any of any of them can be used in any of the word. In the photo. The ambitious photographer will not be satisfied from such a successful paradigm, but will find photos of those who are inherent in contact with themselves and his elite knowledge. The form is not only in line with the content, but also the intention.

In other words, these photos are not interesting to shoot them. The spirituality, wisdom, knowledge, and style they revealed are not as far as the style of the photographer. , Superstition, blood knowledge, horror and joy.

These photos are fascinating, partly because they are contrary to our expectations. We often hear the typical American life, which is tedious and peaceful, comfortable but numb, and is the same as being squeezed, fixed, and standardized. We are doubtful, so when we see these typical photos taken in the familiar scene, we are shocked and may even be excited. The descendants of Pengrod seem to seem full of spiritual life and not all boring. The hinted viewers may find that these shooting targets not only have familiar modern habits (self -aversion, letting go, correction, pretending to be devoted, arbitrarily deducting), as well as ancient traits (proud, narrow stubborn, unreasonable, selfish and selfish, and Greed). These cannot be called progress, but they are still very interesting. However, such speculation and thinking, although not a simple Hu Yan, not about the real world, probably only connect with Egrston’s photos. The forms of various random facts are just satisfying people’s imagination. After all, a photo is just a photo. It is a fiction that cannot be regarded as an iron certificate, nor is it a data that social scientists can quantify.

However, as a photo, they are perfect for me: it is a alternative to recalled the experience of recording and experience. It is a visual simulation of people’s lives. The collective example of private vision, a personal unspeakable vision in these photos It was presented clearly, complete, and elegant.

About artist

William Egerston

Known as “Father of Modern Color Photography” William Eggleston (1939-) was born in Memphis, Tennesi, and his interest in photography breeds when he is studying in universities. He was widely involved in various forms of photography, and did not determine the favorite type until 1962 when he came into contact with Bresson’s photography.

When color photography was not popular and black photography, that is, around the 1960s, he began a lot of color photography attempts. In 1965, Egelston began to try the shooting of colorful reverse films; in 1967, he turned to use color negative films to shoot. In the same year, he came to New York and met Li Friedland, Gary Winogland, and Dian A Bos, who have already brought photographers who have already brought photography history. At that time, he presented his color photos to the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Satsuvsky, and Satsuinsky in his unique wisdom, and held a photography exhibition for him in MOMA, that is, that is, that is, The first color photography exhibition, although the exhibition was mixed at the time, made Egelston’s fame since then.

After that, Egelston won the Guggenheim Foundation Photography Bonus in 1974. He relied on the funds to study color photography with concentration. Later, he was awarded the National Art Foundation in 1975. In 1974, he served as a lecturer at the Harvard Academy Karpert Center Institute of Visual and Environment.


About the author

John Satsuinsky

John Szarkowski (1925-2007) is a world -renowned photography industry Thai Dou and critic. He served as the director of the Photography Department of the Modern Art (MOMA) of the Modern Art (MOMA) from 1962 to 1991, and was the longest term.

During the term of nearly 30 years, Satocusky organized countless film festivals to push MOMA to American photography and even once an important position of world photography. Its influence has not retreated.

He has written a lot of photographic works, including “The Photography Thought of Louis Sharvin”, “The Eye of the Photographer”, “Reading Photo: Modern Art Museum Collection Photography”, “Wimono Grand: Fictions of Real World”, “Owen” “Payne”, “Eugene Ajie”, “The past and present of photography and the present”, “Stiglitz on the shore of George Lake” and “The barn of Mr. Bristol”.

The “American News World” magazine once commented on him, “Whether Americans realize whether the thoughts of Satocusky have become our thinking about photography.”

For more graphics, we can see in the following albums.

In the classics, photography enthusiasts are essential.

Art stack recommendation

“Introduction to William Eglston”

Chinese Version

The first album of William Egrston.

The world -renowned photography industry Thai Dou and critic John Soccofsky wrote in person.

The first edition of “William Egrston Guide” was first launched on the first edition of the first edition of the country, which has a collection value.


New York MOMA’s first color photography book, which includes William Egelston’s early 48 representative works. It is an indispensable precious information for studying modern color photography.

Condrus hardcover, cowhide hot, covering the cover, mounting “Untitled, 1970” (1970 “(Children’s tricycles on the ground), which is 100 % restored to the original book.


William Eggleston, TallahatChie County, Mississippi

William Eggleston, TallahatChie County, Mississippi