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Old 01-16-2019   #41
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Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
I admire this man. At age 83 he is still putting out his work.
Exactly. It is very easy to be critical, but has anyone else here had the career he has had in photography? He`s earned the right to make whatever he wants, but you are also free to not look. Leica has enabled this for him and I think it is wonderful. We should be so lucky. Many of us will be very lucky to be able to be making photos outside of our house or our beds by the time we are his age.
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Old 01-16-2019   #42
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From:
http://us.leica-camera.com/Leica-Gal...y-Ralph-Gibson

"Digital Color" Exhibition
January 17 - February 24, 2019
Celebrate the milestone 80th birthday of renowned photographer Ralph Gibson with Leica, featuring his new exhibition "Digital Color" at Leica Gallery Los Angeles on January 17.

Obviously the guy his still interested in taking photographs and he is bold enough to think that they are worth publishing. If I reach that age and still take photos, I'll be glad, not talking about publishing any of them.
He takes pictures to have new work up at his studio wall, to prove himself that he can still produce work that he is satisfied with after a couple of weeks looking at them. Obviously he has found a certain camera type to work best for his vision. And yes, there is some mutual benefit for him and Leica out of this fondness for the Leica M. Once you have found your vision, you CAN work with any camera, still you will have a preference. And it doesn't make any difference if you use a digital or film camera to capture your vision. If you use grainy film or Pan F, a 10 year old 12mp camera or the latest and greatest 240mp digital back, it doesn't produce a great picture if you don't have a vision.

Ralph has taken a zillion pictures over the course of his creative life. And he found a personal way of keeping it up. Creating challenges for himself e.g. by using the odd 135 Apo Telyt on a RF camera to find a new angle.

He is a great guy who shares his knowledge and if you are open to grab what is relevant to you, you will greatly improve your photography. Worked for me.
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Old 01-17-2019   #43
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I am thinking of calling my next show Digital Images. At least it would give me something to talk about. No one ask me if my images were film or digital the last time around.
Or go crazy and call them 'Digital/AI'.
The press, Canon, Nikon and Leica will be beating down your door
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Old 01-17-2019   #44
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Originally Posted by intheviewfinder View Post
“I’m not interested in making my images look like analog silver gelatin. Right off the bat I didn't care for that. If I had wanted an analog look, I would've stayed with my film.”

At this particular moment in the photography continuum I think this is an important point, if you go digital don't try to make it look analog. Make the medium work for you.
Agreed.

About a year into transitioning to digital imaging I made this mistake. I discovered this recently when I started to edit (select) and organize images that spanned a three year period when I shot both film and digital for personal projects. Soon after receiving an X-100 in 2011 I stopped using film.

So, I had to re-render many color negative film scans I had attempted to render with a digital image look.

One exception were some B&W digital renderings. In low light levels the noise in digital camera images rendered in monochrome seems aesthetically similar to ISO 400 and B&W film, especially B&W film pushed to 800. I don't try to simulate film rendering, it just seems to turn out that way. In well-lit circumstances I don't add simulated grain and monochrome renderings don't have an analog look.
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Old 01-17-2019   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
I admire this man. At age 83 he is still putting out his work.
You realize you said this on his 80th birthday, right?

Snark aside, I'm with you; I have admired his work for 30 years. I liked his older work better, but he's still making some good images. It's worth remembering that the 54,000 instagramers some posters above have compared him work to were all influenced by Gibson, directly or indirectly. Their work exists because Gibson and a few other artists started that movement.

Anyway, I'm not particularly impressed by this article/infomercial/fluff piece, and I think Gibson peaked a while ago and is now sliding into old age doing the same thing he's done, but what's wrong with that? He made his mark, and he's living his life and still making his art. His new stuff may not be as ground breaking as his work of 40 years ago, but that's ok with me.
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Old 01-17-2019   #46
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Look...he's having a good time..livin a long life..actually makin dough using a luxury cam..
Doesn't get better than that..
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Old 01-17-2019   #47
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Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
I admire this man. At age 83 he is still putting out his work.
This! He made great work and still is challenging himself...
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Old 01-17-2019   #48
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I loved Gibson's early work and his tryptic books. I had the opportunity to attend two lectures on his work. In the last presentation he gave, at New York's Midtown Y back in 1980, Gibson cried a little and said he never became the photographer he wanted to be. No one understood what he was talking about and he didn't elaborate. Maybe he was after money....? I always thought it was interesting that he was Dorothea Lange's assistant back in the 1960s.
I haven't cared for Gibson's work since he started doing those Avenue magazine covers years ago. Now that was money....
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Old 01-17-2019   #49
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Originally Posted by kbg32 View Post
I loved Gibson's early work and his tryptic books. I had the opportunity to attend two lectures on his work. In the last presentation he gave, at New York's Midtown Y back in 1980, Gibson cried a little and said he never became the photographer he wanted to be. No one understood what he was talking about and he didn't elaborate. Maybe he was after money....?
No, I doubt that. My guess would be that he was comparing himself to the photographers he admired “growing up,” or remembering the ideals he had, and felt he fell short (even if he objectively may not have).
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Old 01-17-2019   #50
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I think most artists peak and consensus seems to form around their best period.

With photography because it's a technical art, the medium the photographer was using at the time of that peak become inextricably tied up with their art.

So Stephen Shore's Uncommon Places can't really be separated from the look of the film he was using at the time. The 70's emulsion and colors of auto paint then and the other elements of the time meld into that art. Same with Gibson and his super sharp pushed Tri-X in Rodinal or William Egglestons dye transfer prints of Kodachrome.

I don't think it's a digital vs analog per se but the look of the art is just bound up with the medium. Few artists are able to transcend this and keep producing great work.

There will probably be great Instagram artists whose later work with 100 megapixel iPhone 20s won't be good as their work with their iPhone 5s and people will be scavenging the junk piles for them.
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Old 01-17-2019   #51
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Always enjoyed Gibson.
His work rouses my Imagination
Pushing the scales of Shadow & Light, Contour & Shapes
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Old 01-17-2019   #52
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Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
"Gibson took the camera outside, pointed it at a manhole cover and snapped a photo. Just as he did, a bicycle zipped by, casting dramatic, spoked shadows across the pavement within the frame."

When pigs fly.

There's no way a photographer who has mastered the art of seeing as Ralph Gibson has, would be caught with an image of a manhole cover that just happen to have this bicycle shadow appearing in it. He saw what the image would be and waited for the moment where the bicycle shadow would be where he wanted it.

After reading that ridiculous statement, I lost total interest in the article.

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Old 01-17-2019   #53
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There is another thread currently here about using a tripod and landscapes. Ralph Gibson on the other hand has and likely will continue to inspire many from his hand-held shooting, with his eye and his vision and seeming spontaneity.

There is a poignant aspect in Gibson's ability to communicate visually that comes through for me in most of the images from this article. The strong lines and shapes make me think of Franz Kline at the same time creating a sense of wonder about what may lie outside the frame. And particularly the diptychs point to his strong sense of narrative.

Thanks Richard for sharing the article here!

David
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Old 01-18-2019   #54
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I always get the strong sense that most of these film era masters of the art made stronger work on film. There are exceptions - David Alan Harvey and Christopher Anderson who both seem to be able to mould whatever medium they're using perfectly around their content.
But I vastly prefer David Alan Harvey's film work to his recent digital...I did see the Ralph Gibson article the other day, and I suspect I would feel the same about his digital work. Either way, he did pave the path for his style, that I really like. I'll look at anything he's done.

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Always enjoyed Gibson.
His work rouses my Imagination
Pushing the scales of Shadow & Light, Contour & Shapes
Exactly
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Old 01-18-2019   #55
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Originally Posted by kbg32 View Post
I loved Gibson's early work and his tryptic books. I had the opportunity to attend two lectures on his work. In the last presentation he gave, at New York's Midtown Y back in 1980, Gibson cried a little and said he never became the photographer he wanted to be. No one understood what he was talking about and he didn't elaborate. Maybe he was after money....? I always thought it was interesting that he was Dorothea Lange's assistant back in the 1960s.
I haven't cared for Gibson's work since he started doing those Avenue magazine covers years ago. Now that was money....
Perhaps the fact he strayed from work that inspired him to begin with explains this. He rates Walker Evans, Atget, Cartier-Bresson, Frank as influences, yet they were all documentarians with an artistic bend, not the other way round.

Anyway, kudos to him for still doing the work.
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Old 01-18-2019   #56
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Ralph printed for years on a Leitz enlarger given to him by Robert Frank that Frank had used to make the prints for his book The Americans. If he doesn't need it anymore I would be happy to put it to use


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Old 01-18-2019   #57
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Mr Gibson has changed his mind regarding using digital cameras in these last 11 years.

Back then he said he was not interested in using a digital camera (5:14 in the video), but things have move so far in the digital world since then that it is hard to blame him for doing so.

BTW, lots of wise advice and commentary on photography in that video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzMQcE2E-1o
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Old 01-18-2019   #58
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If I was given a free Leica digital camera I would go digital too.
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Old 01-18-2019   #59
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If I was given a free Leica digital camera I would go digital too.
Would you really? I wouldn't change my medium just because I got a free camera.
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Old 01-18-2019   #60
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Would you really? I wouldn't change my medium just because I got a free camera.
I would,

Simply speaking from a low income.

If I could be given a brand new tool I would use it!

Yes, I would even get rid of all my film for a new Leica!
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Old 01-18-2019   #61
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The gallery should have done a better job editing which images they were going to hang. Some are quite good, some aren't.

I learned a long time ago to ignore what artists/photographers said and concentrate solely on the images. What they have to say isn't really important, but galleries like to have those little quotes for their shows, advertising and brochures. Still, the remark about not wanting his images to look like analog is a curious statement.

How exactly is that done? Everyone knows that film has a longer useable tonal range than digital, and grain sure don't look like noise. I'm not knocking digital because I can't always tell one from the other, but I just don't think I could take any of my digital images and make them look like a film shot. In the end, does it even matter? The image either works or it don't.

Maybe this wasn't representative of the overall quality that is on the walls? Always a little risky critiquing web images. Well, as long as he likes them.

I do agree that at a certain stage in people's career they may start to phone the stuff in because they know that the galleries will sell it anyway, but of course not everyone does or did that. Can you imagine Walker Evans, Ansel Adams or Matisse showing something that wasn't their absolute very best?
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Old 01-18-2019   #62
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The gallery should have done a better job editing which images they were going to hang. Some are quite good, some aren't.

I learned a long time ago to ignore what artists/photographers said and concentrate solely on the images. What they have to say isn't really important, but galleries like to have those little quotes for their shows, advertising and brochures. Still, the remark about not wanting his images to look like analog is a curious statement.

How exactly is that done? Everyone knows that film has a longer useable tonal range than digital, and grain sure don't look like noise. I'm not knocking digital because I can't always tell one from the other, but I just don't think I could take any of my digital images and make them look like a film shot. In the end, does it even matter? The image either works or it don't.

Maybe this wasn't representative of the overall quality that is on the walls? Always a little risky critiquing web images. Well, as long as he likes them.

I do agree that at a certain stage in people's career they may start to phone the stuff in because they know that the galleries will sell it anyway, but of course not everyone does or did that. Can you imagine Walker Evans, Ansel Adams or Matisse showing something that wasn't their absolute very best?
Most of the work that Matisse produced in the later stages of his life was mostly ridiculed and often referred to as trivial experiments by an old man.
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Old 01-18-2019   #63
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Good to see he is still at it. Ralph’s at the point in his life it really doesn’t matter what he shoots. It’s his name that sells.

I still want a Ralph Gibson signature MP.
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Old 01-18-2019   #64
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Man has to eat. What you going to do...
I would not pay much attention to what he says, that's not what RG is rightfully famous and valued for :-)
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Old 01-18-2019   #65
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Would you really? I wouldn't change my medium just because I got a free camera.

Bold statement ... and not very convincing sorry.
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Old 01-18-2019   #66
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The old guys and gals (and I'm as old as they are) were the best of their age, during a time when photography was still relatively fresh and new paths presented themselves. Many made contacts by assisting earlier famous photographers. They still rose to the top of their era.
...
Then there’s the nostalgia aspect also. World looked different back in -30s, -50s or even -70s. That can’t be brought back with any technology, besides time machine
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Old 01-18-2019   #67
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I admire this man. At age 83 he is still putting out his work.
Uhhhhh...RG was born 01/16/39...he just turned 80.

Source-bio in "Deus Machina"
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Old 01-19-2019   #68
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But I vastly prefer David Alan Harvey's film work to his recent digital...
Well, I say that, and then I see his most recent post on IG this morning (the one from DC with the tree outlining the comp of a man inside a building)...
excellent comp...Wow
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Old 01-19-2019   #69
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The photography world is full of nice safe bubbles from which you can look at what other people are doing and wonder.

My advice is to look at stuff that you don`t like ….. you might learn something.
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Old 01-19-2019   #70
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My advice is to look at stuff that you don`t like ….. you might learn something.
I agree and also your own bad photography can teach you a lot if you let it.
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Old 01-19-2019   #71
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Bold statement ... and not very convincing sorry.
Keith, we both use the cameras we already want to no? I`m very comfortable with the camera I use and am in a good zone right now with my photography. Why would I mess that up just for a free camera? I guess I like photography more than cameras.
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Old 01-19-2019   #72
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The photography world is full of nice safe bubbles from which you can look at what other people are doing and wonder.

My advice is to look at stuff that you don`t like ….. you might learn something.
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I agree and also your own bad photography can teach you a lot if you let it.
I fully agree, 100 %
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Old 01-19-2019   #73
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But I vastly prefer David Alan Harvey's film work to his recent digital...
What aspect of David Alan Harvey's work deteriorated recently.

If digital cameras did not exist, do you think you would like David Alan Harvey's recent work?
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Old 01-19-2019   #74
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Would you really? I wouldn't change my medium just because I got a free camera.
But it's a Leica.
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Old 01-19-2019   #75
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Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
...Still, the remark about not wanting his images to look like analog is a curious statement.

How exactly is that done?
It's straightforward.
  • Use a relatively recent digital camera with at least a 255 square mm (signal-to-noise ratio counts).
  • Avoid using post-production or in camera-rendering methods designed to simulate film grain, film formulation response curves and, or film color hue rendering.
  • Don't use very high camera ISO settings that result in severe sensor underexposure

[/quote]
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Everyone knows that film has a longer useable tonal range than digital, and grain sure don't look like noise.
In some tonal range comparisons this would be the case. In some it would not. Quantitative comparisons are difficult because film formulations have a non-linear response while raw file data is linear.

The dynamic range recent affordable digital cameras equals or exceeds the dynamic range of film. The bit depth of a digital rendering is also relevant to perceived tonal differences. People who digitize their film images have the same bit-depth limitations as people with digital cameras. A pure analog workflow does not automatically maximize tonal range.

Analog film grain is noise. It is signal-dependent, spatial noise. A grain increases the spatial uncertainty for the image increases. Film grain is well-modeled as photon (shot) noise. Photon noise in digital images and film grain are described by Gaussian distributions.

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I'm not knocking digital because I can't always tell one from the other, but I just don't think I could take any of my digital images and make them look like a film shot. In the end, does it even matter? The image either works or it don't.
I agree.

I recently attended an exhibit "Voices from the Photo League". The images were mostly large digital prints scanned from the large-format negatives made from 1945 - 1950 by Sonia Handelman Meyer and George Gilbert. These prints were excellent. The detail and lack of grain were In many ways they resembled images I have seen from well-exposed digital images.
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Basically, I mean, ah—well, let’s say that for me anyway when a photograph is interesting, it’s interesting because of the kind of photographic problem it states—which has to do with the . . . contest between content and form.
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Old 01-19-2019   #76
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But it's a Leica.
Yes, that seems to be the issue. BUT, I`ve been there and done that I know it isn`t the right tool for me. A Leica CL (digital) I would use though for free... but I would not give up my X-Pro2 for a Leica M.
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Old 01-19-2019   #77
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Who would not go digital if given a free Leica M10?
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Old 01-19-2019   #78
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Giving up film for a free M10; I wouldn’t. I’ll gladly stick with my M2 and Tri-X.

As for the latest Gibson photos, some of them are very good. Could I find similar stuff on Instagram (if I bothered to look)? Well, 500 trillion photos taken each microsecond across the globe, so yeah, most likely. So?
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Old 01-19-2019   #79
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Why is this even an issue worthy of being noted in an article?
Who freekin' cares whether someone is using digital capture or film? and why?

The only question is whether the photographer is making compelling photographs, telling interesting good stories, et cetera. For camera enthusiasts, sure: What tools were used is of interest in a geeky kind of way. But beyond that debating it, disparaging it, making absurd pronouncements that value the recording medium over the photographs ... it's a total waste of time.

I don't know Ralph Gibson's work enough to conclude whether I like what he's doing now more or less than what he did before. But it's very rare I like all of any artist's or photographer's work.

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Old 01-19-2019   #80
Huss
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Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bellayr View Post
Who would not go digital if given a free Leica M10?
Is the stipulation that if you accepted the M10 you would have to go digital and forgo film?
If that's the case, not me.
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