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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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Lightroom 4
Old 03-13-2012   #1
Bill Pierce
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Lightroom 4

I know a lot of you using digital cameras started using Lightroom 4 when it was still in a beta version. Now that it's final form, a lot of useful instructional material will appear on the web and in book form. Here are two of the folks from Adobe itself that always provide good info.

http://www.adobe.com/products/photos...features.html?

http://jkost.com/lightroom.html

Any other LR information sources you've found valuable including your own discoveries as you've become familiar with it.
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Old 03-13-2012   #2
whitecat
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I don't see any useful features in the upgrade.
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Old 03-13-2012   #3
Bob Michaels
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Bill: please share if you have ever found anything about using Lightroom for experienced Photoshop users. Everything I find basically requires you to throw away everything you learned in the last 12 years and start over in Lightroom. Ideal would be a simply chart that says "if you do XXX in Photoshop, the equivalent in Lightroom is YYY"

I own Lightroom but seldom use it because I know Photoshop.

FYI, I shoot film. Output digitally. I have 12 years of files stored in my own methodology, not about to change to what Lightroom wants me to change to.
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Old 03-13-2012   #4
sevo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitecat View Post
I don't see any useful features in the upgrade.
Well, it brings back the virtue of patience to our fast paced life...
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Old 03-13-2012   #5
whitecat
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Let me add there are few things that Photoshop has for the photographer that you cannot find in Elements. But LR is a great organizer.
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Old 03-13-2012   #6
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The developing controls seem more robust, but it lags a bit, even though I'm on a i7 iMac w/ 12GB RAM.

Kind of wondering if I should take all my Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro-edited TIFF files out of the Lightroom library.
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Old 03-13-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
Bill: please share if you have ever found anything about using Lightroom for experienced Photoshop users. Everything I find basically requires you to throw away everything you learned in the last 12 years and start over in Lightroom. Ideal would be a simply chart that says "if you do XXX in Photoshop, the equivalent in Lightroom is YYY"

I own Lightroom but seldom use it because I know Photoshop.

FYI, I shoot film. Output digitally. I have 12 years of files stored in my own methodology, not about to change to what Lightroom wants me to change to.
Bob -

In general, Lightroom is a simpler program, pretty much designed for photographers. Photoshop is a much more elaborate and complex program, probably the one program used by everybody who has to deal with photographic images.

Indeed, most folks who do the majority of their work in Lightroom will still occasionally bounce into Photoshop for specific tasks. For example, if I've scanned a particularly filthy old negative, I find it a lot easier to take out the dust and scratches in Photoshop than Lightroom. Ditto something like object removal, although my retouching rarely reaches that degree.

If you are knowledgable and satisfied with Photoshop, the only significant advantage would be Lightroom acting as a database or catalog for all of your images. But even on a fast computer, it would take you a good many hoursto transfer all your images into a Lightroom catalog. LR has a few other nice features like its ability to "bookify" your pictures or run up a slide show. But these features are available in other programs. If you want to watch your computer catalog all your images into LR, it might provide a simpler workflow for many of your images. But it's not going to do anything you can't do now. It's just simpler for the basic imaging tasks. And the image quality it provides with those tasks is excellent.
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Old 03-13-2012   #8
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I use LR... mind you I'm still on 2.1
I wonder if I should upgrade at all though - 2.1 does all I need right now...unless of course I get a new digital camera and LR no longer supports the RAW conversion... then again.. there's Adobe's free DNG converter.. hmmm

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Old 03-13-2012   #9
Bill Pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celluloidprop View Post
The developing controls seem more robust, but it lags a bit, even though I'm on a i7 iMac w/ 12GB RAM.

Kind of wondering if I should take all my Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro-edited TIFF files out of the Lightroom library.
I have a lot of tiffs on my Lightroom files, but I have whole subsections that are nothing but raw files, and I still experience that slight slow down dealing with those files. My clueless, unexpert opinion is that dumping the tiffs isn't going to accomplish that much. Wait until you have to watch a giant RAID system come up to speed; that's a slow down.
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Old 03-14-2012   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitecat View Post
I don't see any useful features in the upgrade.
That's a good place to be then... you don't have to upgrade. Soft proofing is a great new feature as well as a few others.
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Old 03-14-2012   #11
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The new develop tools don't look like they've changed much, but the overall level of control is MUCH higher/better. Huge improvement.
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Old 03-14-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
FYI, I shoot film. Output digitally. I have 12 years of files stored in my own methodology, not about to change to what Lightroom wants me to change to.
See, this is what I've always loved about Lightroom, as opposed to Aperture etc.—it lets you keep your own filing system. I came up with my own concept for folder structure etc. and Lightroom makes it really easy for me to access my images in whatever order I wish to.
Also, others have said that importing your entire catalog into Lightroom takes ages. I don't think this is true at all, at least if you don't want to tag images while importing.
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Old 03-14-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkpilz View Post
See, this is what I've always loved about Lightroom, as opposed to Aperture etc.—it lets you keep your own filing system. I came up with my own concept for folder structure etc. and Lightroom makes it really easy for me to access my images in whatever order I wish to.
Aperture does exactly the same.
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Old 03-14-2012   #14
Michiel Fokkema
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The development module in LR is almost exactly the same as the raw converter in PS. If you can work with the PS raw converter you can switch to LR without any problem.
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Old 03-14-2012   #15
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Other changes in LR4:
-local moire correction and noise reduction
-lens correction profiles for leica lenses
-replacement of recovery and fill light sliders w/highlight, shadow, and light sliders (black slider unchanged)
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Old 03-14-2012   #16
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For the cost of an upgrade ($79 I think) I'm sold.

I only started using lightroom last year and have to say it is a brilliant piece of software IMHO. (Note that I've been using a wide range of graphics software for some 15 years now). Lightroom is just fantastic. I love working with it.
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Old 03-14-2012   #17
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Agree with the sentiment above, that as a Lightroom 3 user, I do not see a lot in this release to encourage me to upgrade. A lot of incremental upgrades, not doing much for the 'Adobe tax' reputation that seems to have developed.

Re: resources and tutorials, I find George Jardines paid videos great, but have not looked at them since LR4 to see if George has updated them to cover any changes in the new version. http://mulita.com/
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Old 03-14-2012   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j j View Post
Aperture does exactly the same.
When I first used it (first version), it had a library file much like iPhoto did back in the day. I had to import all my photos and re-organise them. If it's different now, that's good.
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Old 06-29-2012   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitecat View Post
Let me add there are few things that Photoshop has for the photographer that you cannot find in Elements. But LR is a great organizer.
As someone who is new to both digital and to LR, I'd like to get started early on a rational filing/organizing system before things get out of hand.

Can someone offer suggestions for a digital newbie?

Harry
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Old 06-29-2012   #20
Richard G
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I find Lightroom much more intuitive to use than Aperture. I have read most of Martin Evening's book (Kindle iPad version) for LR 3 and his LR4 version was available from day 1 of LR4. There's a lot of detail in his books. Basically I am getting a lot of my developing the way I like it quite quickly. The strategy of just running down the various controls from top of the list to bottom is easy enough. I'll do some more study this weekend. The black slider goes the other way in LR4.
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Old 06-29-2012   #21
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Quote:
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Aperture does exactly the same.
Ditto on Aperture. I have my own folder structure on disk. While first learning Aperture, the structure within Aperture mirrored the folder structure on the hard disk. I have now started re- arranging within Aperture, but the external folder structure on disk has not changed.
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Old 06-29-2012   #22
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In my postprocessing I try to do what I did in the wet darkroom times. Since LR3 I can do it quite well, but specially for my B&W an development via Photoshop is sometimes necessary. I was told LR4 adds some more possibilities. Not yet tried, personally.
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Old 06-29-2012   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlockwood View Post
As someone who is new to both digital and to LR, I'd like to get started early on a rational filing/organizing system before things get out of hand.

Can someone offer suggestions for a digital newbie?

Harry
Welcome to Lightroom.
Here are my simple suggestions, based on what I have learned-- and been doing-- since 2007.

1.Create an überfolder under which all your photo files, be they raw, TIFF, JPEG, etc, will live. Name it something imaginative, like "Photos."
2.Inside "Photos", place folders containing the actual files. I name these folders by date, e.g.: "120629". 12 for 2012, 06 for June, and 29 for the day. I name them with the date of the day ingested into the computer, but you could name them for the date shot or anything else.
3. When you start with Lightroom, in the Library Module use the Import control to locate, then import the überfolder; this import action will import the überfolder and all the dated photo folders inside it, in order.
4.If, in the future, you choose to change the physical location of the photo files--say, to a different hard drive--you can easily re-direct Lightroom to find the überfolder in it's new location.

I recommend Victoria Bampton's "Lightroom 4 FAQ" book for well-indexed, plain explanations of all the various choices and functions within Lightroom. Cheers...
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Old 07-02-2012   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlockwood View Post
As someone who is new to both digital and to LR, I'd like to get started early on a rational filing/organizing system before things get out of hand.

Can someone offer suggestions for a digital newbie?
If your images have correct capture times or file dates, then Lightroom can automatically sort by that and store them in folders like that. But I never look at the folders of images outside LR, I use LR to view everything.

The one thing I stress is to keyword your photos on import. Don't wait to have several thousand images without good keywords, because that's a huge pain, to go through a lot of old images to go through later, when you may have forgotten details you may want to remember.

I keyword a lot: camera, lens, city, state, subject matter, known people with visible faces, whatever. Good keywords help me do searches later, so that again, I really don't care about my folder structure anymore, because I can see what I want through intelligent filtering of my library.

If you have a folder structure that's important, that isn't easily replicated by LR's own sorting functions, then it's easy to import a folder at a time, and assign specific keywords right then, that have your folder info.
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