William Eggleston

Posted by Scott

Just came across William Eggelston’s photography work tonight (I know, very late to this party). I’m completely blown away. A lot of these almost feel like realist oil paintings.

Does anyone do work like this anymore? I’ve never really seen tone and definition like this in anyone’s work. I have to imagine most kids starting out in photography these days are purely digital; sad to think we’ll be seeing less and less film output as the years go on.

More work at William Eggleston Portfolios. Also check out his bio (pdf) for more info on cameras / film used.

30 Comments Leave A Comment


Gareth says:

July 20, 2011 at 2:06 am

a big fan of his work ever since I saw the last photo in this blog entry on the cover of Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American album about 10 years ago now.

I think film is having a bit of a resurgence these days too, it’s seen as retro by the kids, only helped by apps like instagram and hipstamatic


Salemid says:

July 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

Adding upon what @Life After Sundown said, also take a look at Richard Misrach, Abelardo Morell, Jo Ann Walters. Although Ms. Walters’ works are hard to find, you’ll be happy once you did.


Trevor Triano says:

July 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

He got a lot of his beautiful saturation from the Dye transfer process he used in printing, most people stayed away from it in those days because it was the commercial look of magazine advertisements. He is kind of a strange dude due to excessive drugs but dresses immaculately :)
I suggest watching the film about him ‘William Eggelston in the Real World’

Im staying strong I dont even own a digital camera besides my iphone, so there must be others with my similar obsession with analog photography :)

I will also note that the photography on this blog always makes me have more respect for digital photography :)

hahah Scott, im not sure if you remember but we talked about this topic in chicago a few years ago when i met you at a show with my lady.


Chelsea says:

July 20, 2011 at 11:21 am

I really love that photo in the plane as well… hmm these remind me a bit of Fred Herzog’s work. I follow the blog BOOOOOOOM also, and many of the photographers he features are still analog.

I’m adamant myself that there is something to film that can’t be accomplished with digital, however, it’s not about the technology, it’s really about what you do with the medium. What bothers me more is digital trying to be film, like fake Polaroids and ‘vintage’ effects.


Jon Yablonski says:

July 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I grew up and went to art school in Memphis, where Eggleston is from and still lives (and where a lot of his work was made). His work was a huge influence on all of us in the photography dept. there — I guess its a Memphis thing, but the digital process was always SECOND to manual processes (I actually did mostly alt. processes like cyanotypes). So, we still had old color film processing units and actually used them.

Whats even more fascinating about Eggleston: he is quite a character, and a bit unpredictable. We use to love seeing him show up at gallery openings, etc. Just makes the work even better!


Suzan says:

July 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm

huge fan over here!! i went to an exhibition of Joel Sternfeld just recently, first retrospective in Europe, and i was blown away the same way when i first saw an Eggleston.. i hadn’t heard from him before (how come i’m thinking?? – there’s a lot yet to discover)

Eggleston in the Real World is a fine documentary a rare look into the life of an extraordinary man.. here’s another interview:

+ sternfeld:


Barry says:

July 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm

@ Derek brown – Vintage feel to his photograhy? Its more than a vintage feel, it is vintage!

Surprised you have never seen his work before, right up your street, seriously beautiful stuff.


Jonny says:

July 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Get with the program!

Yes. Utterly inspirational. Imbuing the mundane with magic and awe, and making it look effortless. These people don’t happen often.


Tom says:

July 22, 2011 at 1:21 am

Does not fit into this post – but maybe you want to check out some nice pictures from the vanished “Palast der Republik” (Palace of the republic) of the GDR?


Tony VG says:

July 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Eggleston is great.

Alexander Prager is a contemporary photographer who is definitely strongly influenced by Eggleston. He takes beautiful, beautiful photos:

If you look through his portfolio there is a shot in the “Big Valley” series that is very reminescent of the “drink on the airplane” shot that everyone is loving in this post. (I might like Prager’s even more)


john harte says:

July 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm

who was lucia burch? ie: shotguns-lucia burch a very intriguing eggleston photo.


Dylan says:

July 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Indeed this is late to the party.

You can definitely see the influence Eggleston has had on Alexander Prager – the only difference is that Eggleston is really finding these things in the real world and Prager is making nostalgic staged images.

There are not many who top Eggleston in terms of what he has done for color photography in the art world as well as his philosophy of what a “good” photograph is.


Philip says:

September 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

@Tony Vg: Alex Prager is a she not a he and I would say she was influenced more by the likes of Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall than Eggleston.


todd s says:

November 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

i’m also from memphis. graduated with bill’s son, winston, but never knew who bill was until much later in life. i work down the street from his old studio. i think i park my car by the light pole in the first photo. chain is gone and it doesn’t look the same with a volvo beside it.