A Relatively Lengthy Statement From William Eggleston

“A picture is what it is and I’ve never noticed that it helps to talk about them, or answer specific questions about them, much less volunteer information in words. It wouldn’t make any sense to explain them. Kind of diminishes them. People always want to know when something was taken, where it was taken, and, God knows, why it was taken. It gets really ridiculous. I mean, they’re right there, whatever they are.”


Everything is relative, n’est pas?

First Day Topics in Advanced Placement

*** The portfolio requirements for Seniors, to the College Board; and for Juniors, whether to the College Board (or to the Art faculty, in-house)
*** Thinking about the Concentration section of the portfolio sooner this year

*** apcentral.collegeboard.com & photodevoto.wordpress.com as vital sources of information and useful fora (“forums”) in which to participate

*** Delectations for our own edification vs. Critiques with the Drawing and 3-D Design classes

*** Field trips

*** Inspiration from cinema

*** Hoodies, the consensus being no changes

*** Flatfile selection and labeling

*** A portrait buddy system, to investigate the problem of photographic and design principles on a regular basis. What might be due each month: three pictures, either as a triptych or independent images. (I think I will/should/must intervene, in order to help people hook up.)

*** Solarization (the Sabatier technique of printing), then generating print-size negatives for cyanotype (blueprint) work.

*** “Pushing” film by rating it higher (essentially underexposing), then overexposing/under-developing medium-speed film (or shooting ISO 25/50 emulsions) for comparison’s sake.

The Sabatier Effect


Here is a good starting point, with fairly reliable results:

The Sabatier effect is a style of exposure and development whose appearance is markedly different from “normal” photographic representation. Unlike such strategies as negative prints or the use of camera lens filters, the resulting print is a unique distortion of the tonal scale that does not appear to conform to that of the original scene. What is needed for a successful solarized print is a negative that would normally print well with a #2 or #1 filter (dense / over-developed / contrasty scene), and a #5 filter. The printing procedure that follows is a series of steps that approaches repeatability (although the process is notoriously difficult to control).

Each piece of photographic paper receives two exposures and is developed twice. An acid stop bath would inhibit the second development, so set up an extra tray of plain water for a rinse in between the developments.

Use full sheets of paper to make test “grids” rather than strips. Make exposures for, say, three-second increments at f 8. Develop, then rinse thoroughly for up to a minute; drain, squeegee and/or blot in some combination in order to remove all the water from the emulsion. At this point some images may not show much at all for some exposures. Don’t worry: this may work in your favor when the process is finished. Return the paper to the enlarger. (It is practical to place a sheet of contact printing glass on top of the easel to keep the damp paper from the easel and baseboard.) Make a second series of exposures without the negative (but still with the #5 filter) perpendicular to the first, for maybe two seconds each at f 16, then develop, stop and fix the paper normally.

Examine the grid of to find a combination of exposures you think will work for the image. Unlike traditional representational printing, there may be a wide spectrum of interesting choices.