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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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Old 07-17-2011   #26
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ampguy's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2006
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How about a D700 with 300/f2 lens??


photo of Jeffrey w/setup:

My photo blog

Last edited by ampguy : 07-17-2011 at 09:08.
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Old 07-17-2011   #27
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 5,325
I use and have used a variety of cameras Leica M ( both digital and film), Ricoh GRD and GX100, Panasonic Lumix LX1, LX3, GF1, and G1. The GF1, GX100, and M9 get used the most these days. Noise doesn't bother me. I compare it to film grain.
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Old 07-17-2011   #28
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Age: 46
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Originally Posted by ampguy View Post
How about a D700 with 300/f2 lens??


photo of Jeffrey w/setup:

summilux 35mm
summilux 50mm
Fuji x100
My Smugmug
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Old 07-17-2011   #29
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mrware is offline
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I'm trying to imagine the fella with the 300 f/2 using Bruce Gilden's technique
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Old 07-17-2011   #30
RFH is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 319
For digital street shots I mostly use my R-D1, which is amazing, even with my cheap FSU lenses. With the Summicrons the images are beyond par.

Just sold my Ricoh GX100 recently, but for low-ISO images and fast snapshots, it's a great performer with a lot of nice features. And the people at Ricoh sure know how to pick their glass, I can tell you that. Anyway, those tiny sensors have plenty of limitations, and the image quality tends to decrease rapidly once you run into them.
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Old 07-17-2011   #31
Colin Corneau
Colin Corneau
Colin Corneau is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Brandon MB Canada
Posts: 842
Forgot to add the Lumix LX-3 or LX-5...a really great quality P&S, with great files, and the ability to manual focus (and thereby zone focus, I suppose) and wide angle out to 24mm equivalent.

"Viva Film Renaissance"
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