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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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Grace Pictures
Old 11-13-2012   #1
Bill Pierce
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Grace Pictures

A friend of mine, Arthur Grace, has just published his fourth book, "America 101." Unlike the other books, which he published while he was a working stiff (UPI, NY Times, Time, Newsweek), this is a retrospective. It should interest a lot of the Forum because most of its pictures are black-and-white film shot in a rangefinder camera. It interests me because many of those shots are NOT the shots that the magazines would be interested in (i.e. their standard tight head of important politician talking), but the those interesting things that happen off to the side that make really good pictures. Arthur carried a Leica with him and shot those shots whether the magazine could use them or not. I have a slight suspicion that on very rare occasions the film from that camera somehow never found its way to the publication. Anyway, the NY Times "Lens" blog published a piece with a fair number of the pictures from the book that I hope you enjoy. They are to me, one of the strong arguments for for keeping a small camera slung over your shoulder. The book is also listed on Amazon which means that after a while there will be a number of folks commenting (i.e. "reviewing") the book. It will be interesting to see their response to the photography that really made it wonderful fun to be a photojournalist.

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/1...-forgetful/?hp

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0979937930
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Old 11-13-2012   #2
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Very nice link Bill, thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-13-2012   #3
rhl-oregon
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0979937930

Bill et al, I just corrected the Amazon link--the asterisk at the end invalidates it. This link should work. Great stuff, thanks.

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Old 02-18-2013   #4
newspaperguy
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Terrific, Bill!

Thank you.
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Preview my new children's book,

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See the hardbound edition at Amazon.com,
it's perfect for your favorite 4-to-8 year old.
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Old 02-18-2013   #5
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Well Amazon and I thank you...Bill
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Old 02-18-2013   #6
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Seems like a guy with a lot of talent. I checked his images on my search engine, and there was lots of good stuff. Thanks for bringing him to my attention, I had never heard of him.
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Old 02-18-2013   #7
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I was slightly familiar and very enamored with Grace's work before now. Bill thanks for shedding some more light on the work he did that was "off to the side," where, quite often, the real action is happening. And, you are absolutely right about keeping a smallish camera at hand.
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Old 02-19-2013   #8
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I have to admit I didn't know him and his work, which from a fist glance seems me very interesting. I'm just asking myself how the two children from pictures 8 (sons of the organic farmers) look like today, 36 years later. This is part of the magician of photography. Thanks for the link.
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Old 02-19-2013   #9
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Thanks Bill. Brilliant stuff. Need to look him up.
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Old 02-19-2013   #10
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Thanks for the links. Fascinatihng.
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Old 02-19-2013   #11
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thank you much for the links ...
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Old 02-19-2013   #12
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Thanks for the link, enjoyed the photographs and the article!
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