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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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Fairfax Media sellout ... over 100 journos to lose jobs!
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Keith
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Fairfax Media sellout ... over 100 journos to lose jobs!

Just the way it's going I guess but it it does very little for the poor sods who will be unemployed. I wonder how many more of these media giants will suddenly decide it's better economics to rely on external sources for editorial content etc than actually employ their own staff. I heard one of their political editors being interviewed the other night on radio ... not happy! LINK
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Very reassuring to see that we have so many people on this forum concerned about what is happening to journalism in 'this' part of the world.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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"In a resolution, staff rejected the cuts, voted not to accept any forced redundancies, asked management to take a 25% pay cut, and asked for voluntary rounds to be open for at least three weeks (Fairfax wanted all requests for voluntary redundancy submitted within a week)."

Yeah, like that's an option...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Keith, here's an opinion from someone who lives in your part of the world:
I've long given up on the quality of the Sydney Morning Herald. It's been substandard for at least two years - unchecked copy, regurgitated press releases, syndicated news items, lifestyle puff, only occasionally insightful editorials and commentary.
Each time I renew my sub (digital with weekend printed copies) I choose a shorter and shorter term. I wont be renewing when the current sub expires. The only thing I'll miss is the crossword.
I think Fairfax is doomed to disappear into its vortex of mediocrity.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Keith,
I don't know about this apart from your link. But the corporate spokesman sounds very much like the same bs I've heard in similar situations here. Is that news paper any good? Is the cost cutting being done to keep the paper viable or to keep the stockholders' investments profitable?

Rob
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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For some of us its already too late. The local paper is definitely an example of how few people are actually required. They use a couple of photogs but I've never checked whether contracted. They use plenty of dodgy internet photos printed 10 times bigger than the quality would allow. Can't comment on the current approach to journalism. Back when I used to read it I charcterised their approach as "extensive international research confirmed by asking random stranger on the street."

I don't know the future in journalism or advertising (the real financial base of newspapers) but then neither does Fairfax.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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This kind of thing has been going on for a couple of decades in the northern hemisphere too. Ask any old newspaper man, like me.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #8
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Or me.

Constant cutbacks, "new" health plans that cost more and covered less, having reporters shoot their own images, making reporters work out of their cars with laptops and smart phones, and so on. The last two newspapers I worked at told me that my job was not reporting news or editing copy, but to find ways to save the company money.

That was not what I signed on for.

Of course, the market was changing: Internet news, smart phone technology, a cultural lurch toward "infotainment", plus the fact that young people no longer read newspapers.

So I hear you, Keith. It is tragic - somehow life moves on. But what a loss.
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