Reflection point: William Eggleston

In Project 1 Absence and signs of life, we are asked to reflect upon the following in relation to William Eggleston photographs:

  • Where does that leave the photographer? As storyteller or history writer?
  • Do you tend towards fact or fiction?
  • How could you blend your approach?
  • Where is your departure from wanting/needing to depict reality? Make some notes on these questions in your learning log.

William Eggleston Found his subjects in his homeland, the American South.  Unlike Walker Evans he did not seek a story, his subjects were everyday ordinary matters, objects that we might come across and not acknowledge because to us they are most often nothing.  However, to Eggleston photographing the ugly and the ordinary is his thing.  Looking at Eggleston’s photographs, we acknowledge the playing off of colours against shadows and the angle of view at the beginning then we go into the narrative behind them where the imagination starts to flourish.

Eggleston’s photographs are mysterious and hinting at darker narratives.  Although he had no desire to go out and document anything; he had captured the old weird America of the rural south through his lens by photographing the ordinary which in my opinion makes him both a storyteller and a history writer.

Looking through my photographs; I tend towards both fact and fiction.  With fact, I reflect what I see when representing family pictures or travel and holiday shots.  While with fiction I tend to create fictional stories and create photographs that represent them or create photographs using digital manipulation.  However, sometimes the fictional stories are based on real stories or they are used as a metaphor where the viewer imagines the story and makes connections and creates personal versions of it which is the way I blend fact with fiction.

Photography to me is a representation of what I feel modified with imagination to create art that tells a story.  It might manipulates versions of reality to reveal truths.  How true and false depends on our perception on how we judge reality.  We create our own versions in the photographs and express our own beliefs and the viewers will always have their own point of view.

Bibliography / References:

Glover, M. (2013).  Genius in colour: Why William Eggleston is the World’s Greatest Photographer  [online].  Independent. Available from: [Accessed 15 June, 2017].

Lázár, E. Visual Storytelling in the Photographic Works of Cooper & Gorfer  [online].  Anti-utopias. Available from: [Accessed 15 June, 2017].





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