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Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

 

“Our autobiography is written in our contact sheets,  and our opinion of the world in our selects”  

"Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade."  

 

Bill Pierce is one of the most successful Leica photographers and authors ever. I initially "met" Bill in the wonderful 1973 15th edition Leica Manual (the one with the M5 on the cover). I kept reading and re-reading his four chapters, continually amazed at his knoweldge and ability, thinking "if I only knew a small part of what this guy knows... wow."  I looked foward to his monthly columns in Camera 35 and devoured them like a starving man.  Bill has worked as a photojournalist  for 25 years, keyword: WORK.  Many photogs dream of the professional photographer's  life that Bill has earned and enjoyed.  Probably Bill's most famous pic is Nixon departing the White House for the last time, victory signs still waving. 

 

Bill  has been published in many major magazines, including  Time, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, Stern, L'Express and Paris Match.  :His published books include  The Leica Manual,  War Torn, Survivors and Victims in the Late 20th Century, Homeless in America,  Human Rights in China,  Children of War.  Add to that numerous exhibitions at major galleries and museums.  Magazine contributions include  Popular Photography,  Camera 35, Leica Manual,  Photo District News, the Encyclopedia of Brittanica, the Digital Journalist, and now RFF.  Major awards include Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club's Oliver Rebbot Award for Best Photojournalism from Abroad,  and the World Press Photo's Budapest Award. Perhaps an ever bigger award is Tom Abrahamsson's comment: "If you want to know Rodinal, ask Bill."

 

I met Bill in person through our mutual friend Tom Abrahamsson.  In person his insight and comments are every bit as interesting and engaging as his writing.  He is a great guy who really KNOWS photography.  I am happy to say he has generously agreed to host this forum at RFF  From time to time Bill will bring up topics, but you are also invited to ask questions.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!

 


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Where have you gone, Ed Romney?
Old 05-31-2011   #1
Dante_Stella
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Where have you gone, Ed Romney?

I was packing up a Pacemaker Crown Graphic to sell it on Ebay (you can find it if you try), and a copy of some Ed Romney repair literature fell out of the case. If you don't know how Ed's manuals read, envision a fifth generation photocopy on yellow paper, typeset with the Unabomber's Royal. Now try this gem (font and typos in the original):

"The best cleaner I know is ETHER obtainable from your druggist. But if used indoors it will either blow up the shop or send you on aa psychedelic trip."

Whatever happened to Ed?* Better yet, whatever happened to the hands-on photographer who ventured (however foolishly) into things like fixing his own focal-plane shutter on a 4x5 camera?

Bill?

*That's a rhetorical question. Ed's dead.
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Old 05-31-2011   #2
Phil_F_NM
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Wait a minute, I completely rebuilt the focal plane shutter on my Speed Graphic...
I've never cleaned any camera parts with ether but I have started cars with it. I prefer to clean using pure grain alcohol.

A little for the camera, a little for Phil with a bit of water and ice, a little more for the camera, a little more for Phil...


Phil Forrest
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