The elderly gentleman playing the piano is a photographer, one among the first to buck the crowd and delve into professional color photography. Up till then, pro photography was basically B&W and color was thought of as a fad for amateurs to indulge in. Though he faced hostility at first, he is now considered one of the most important American photographers of all time. His images of ordinary objects, places and people are often richly oversaturated. Does he care? Not at all!
Art and technology wait for no one. If you are a pro film photographer today, you know digital is the medium to be in. If you take only stills, you know you should add video to your repertoire. You know that time lapse, animation and other forms of art are inevitably going to encroach, jostle with and eventually become mainstream photography. Photography will have a different meaning in the future than it has today. So don’t fight change, especially when it is being adopted by the “amateurs.”
For those who like to find reasons for doing something, Eggleston’s answer in the video above must seem so inadequate, “I like to do it.” No BS about emotional response, metaphysical experience, and other nonsense that critics love to write about.
And if you watch this video above, you’ll find that he is basically very much a point-and-shoot photographer, aiming and snapping away at what interests him. Again, no BS about taking precise light measurements, judicious placement of artificial lights, and setup of actors to make a photograph. He peers into store windows, under train carriages, through the car windshield.
David Lynch on William Eggleston: