Posts Tagged ‘william eggleston’

What’s the difference between these two photos? I see a lot of photographers who are enamored with photos of older vehicles, but who never photograph the cars of today, which as I see it, will someday be the older vehicles they’ll wish they had photos of back when then were new.

But they don’t see it. And they miss it.

kennethwajda-7

A classic old Cadillac in Longmont Colorado–cool!

kennethwajda-1-3

A modern car in Longmont Colorado–boring!

But the cars of today will take on that look one day, only they will be long gone, replaced by the newest, latest model that also at that time won’t be seen as photo-worthy.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3c/88/f4/3c88f45adf9d27845a284f7a5ced701c.jpg

Car photo by William Eggleston

Car photo by William Eggleston

William Eggleston wasn’t photographing old cars, but simply the cars of the day. Was he looking for a way to make them a little bit better by adding elements? Yes. But he wasn’t seeking out cars from the 1920s-40s.

 

William Eggleston: 2¼ | PORT Magazine

Car photo by William Eggleston

There’s an added bonus of the matching colors in his shots, but the cars are the vehicles of the day. And he could see them for the art they are, and would be appreciated for in years to come.

You can see this is cool.

kennethwajda-8

A classic car in Longmont Colorado. Easy to see.

Can you imagine looking at this in the year 2080? It’ll look downright prehistoric.

kennethwajda-1-13

A modern car in Longmont Colorado. Can you see it?

What are we missing that we have the opportunity to photograph now, not just the classic rusty old cars and broken-down barns, but the modern things that it takes a visionary to see, a visionary like Mr. Eggleston.

6x61

Ohmigod, is that a Saturn?  And look, remember when you had to pedal your bike!

The year is 2066.

We’re teleporting to different parts of the earth, holding meetings on virtual beaches while sitting at home, and having robots do all the chores.

And we’re using the latest camera technology, which means no camera at all–just look at something and it’s captured.

We’re lamenting not having any photos from the first quarter of the century, since we didn’t bother to print any of our pictures, and they all got lost in dead computers and outdated phones and hard drives that last booted up decades ago.  And some old program, Facehead, or something, that was supposed to save them all.  Yeah right!

Plus, we don’t have any computers that use USB anymore!   How ancient that technology!

leica6x6

My Leica M2, still going strong in 2066.

As we sit looking out the window, our Leica M2s and M3s and Rolleiflexes still just as functional as they ever were, we load a roll of film and take a walk to go capture some street photos of the day.

The sky is full of PTDs–personal travel devices.  Everywhere, our brains connect with each other through telepathic waves.  Cars have long ago ceased to exist.

And we find ourselves thinking about the good old days.  Like 50 years ago, when things were simpler.  Sure there was that terrible fiasco with President Trump, but thankfully he was quickly arrested and tried for his crimes.  And then President Sanders’ brought all nations together.  War ended and America prospered, which is why we have such a great economy, plentiful jobs and USA-made robots and devices today.

But still, taking photos of present day just doesn’t seem as cool as the old days.  Back then, there were those cool Nissan Rogues, BMW sedans and those crazy Mini Coopers.  God, haven’t seen one of those in years!

What I wouldn’t do to be able to go back in time to 2016 and photograph them.  What a treat that would be.  But that’s crazy talk.

6x62

Look at that old BMW, when they still had wheels!  And drivers!

That’s just what we did in 2016, fifty years ago, when we were enamored by photos of old cars from the 1960s and 1970s.  So busy looking at the old cars, we missed the shots of those cool 2016 cars then.

All I know is I’m glad my Leicas lasted.  And my Rolleiflex.  Because when film made its resurgence in 2022, we were the only ones who knew how to make real photographs.  The rest make memory records, but we make photographs.

Which is why we’re the wealthiest photographers because of our forethought.  Way to go!

6x63

“Ah, look, the good old days.”  (Overheard circa 2016)

Time traveling.  That’s what people will be doing 50 years from today in 2116–looking back on life in 2066 (“Ah, the good old days,” they’ll say.).

That photo of the PTD fuel station that looks like nothing now, just a bunch of hovering vehicles powering up?  Add 50 years.  It needs time to become valuable.  Once time passes, familiar elements fade away.  Buildings change.  The cars, the shops, the cities.  Then the photos take on meaning.

I’m no math whiz, but here’s the equation: [P+T-GP!]   (Photograph + Time = Great Photograph!)  The photo needs to be good, too.  Let’s not forget that.

Ask Stephen Shore.  Or William Eggleston. They both knew the equation.

If I were back in 2016, I’d go out and shoot ordinary things, with an eye to the future.  Because maybe I’m not shooting them for me.  Maybe they’re historical photos for the Shorpy galleries of tomorrow.  (So glad that company is still going strong, with galleries around the world.)

But alas, I can’t time travel.  They say that technology will be ready in another twenty years but they’ve been saying that forever.

I better get shooting!