Took a trip to the Met to see the Irving Penn exhibit and the Chinese terracotta warriors from the Qin Dynasty. Upstairs there was a small gallery with contemporary photographs from the collection. Joel Sternfeld, Robert Adams, and Lewis Baltz, side by side. Nice little show.
There was also an Eggleston for good measure.
I've been looking at his work a lot lately––David Zwirner had a show and a book. Most of my attempts to emulate Eggleston over these past three years have failed, but this photo above, I think, was successful (poor positioning aside!).
This led to a realization. I've probably already read this in some critical review, maybe it's obvious, but it didn't soak in: Eggleston wasn't just one of the first artists to use color film; his work was in large part about color. Yes, yes--the mundane, slow South too; the Faulkner of photography. Subject too. I'm such a narrative nut that I'm overwhelmed by the story in his images. But try and go out with a digital camera and capture the same tone that Eggleston got. It's tough. I think it takes the continuous tone of film images to get yourself something remotely like Eggleston; pixels, no matter how many at your disposal, don't have the same feel.
That's not to say that one couldn't sit there for hours split toning highlights in post production and get it done...but, hey, a wind and a snap on some good slide film, a walk to the lab--it's healthy!