I love this photo by Eggleston. To me it shows the effects of time in a way that is difficult to capture. Everything from the deterioration of the road to the rusty metal bin represents the hands of time. It also shows how finite this world we live in actually is. One of my favorite aspects of this shot is how familiar it seems. It feels like home. It’s the country road I drove on to my friend’s house. It’s riding my bike as fast as I could down the street as my friend raced me. To me, it’s happiness and peace.
As for the color of the scene, the harmony of the colors sticks out the most. Every color belongs on the same palate of naturals. There aren’t any random, brightly colored objects that draw attention from the beauty and wholeness of the image.
This image, in my opinion is heavily weighted. With so much violence in the world today, we are beginning to ask where it stems from. The answer is childhood. The ideals people grow up with are ones that were often prevalent in their childhood. This image is especially trouble some because the boy looks so at peace and interested with looking at such a harmful machine as a gun. He strikes me as the kind of kid who is not in the least bit intimidating, so he feels powerful thinking about holding a gun. The intensity of the colors, the bright red and orange emphasize this feeling of power.
Upon scrolling through the Eggleston Trust website, I saw the boy’s picture as a very simple, pretty portrait. The guns changed everything. This picture just exudes this sense of underrated power and it’s slightly worrisome.
Source: William Eggleston Trust.