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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 07-11-2017   #121
Bill Clark
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I believe this forum is lucky to have a person, Mr. Bill Pierce, who is trying to help elevate, those who want to learn photography from snapshot to art. I looked up the definition of education and this is one example:

"Education is the process of facilitating learning."

He provides the topic it is up to us to take the ball and use it to learn.

To go from snaps to art is a lot of hard work. You can differ with this thought but that's what I found and with other successful folks I met on my journey with photography say the same.

The "high-end" photographers I have met have all been the nicest people, willing to help. I believe that's what Mr. Pierce is trying to do here.
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Old 07-11-2017   #122
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Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
I believe this forum is lucky to have a person, Mr. Bill Pierce, who is trying to help elevate, those who want to learn photography from snapshot to art. I looked up the definition of education and this is one example:

"Education is the process of facilitating learning."

He provides the topic it is up to us to take the ball and use it to learn.

To go from snaps to art is a lot of hard work. You can differ with this thought but that's what I found and with other successful folks I met on my journey with photography say the same.

The "high-end" photographers I have met have all been the nicest people, willing to help. I believe that's what Mr. Pierce is trying to do here.
Sure, we are all lucky to have each other. But a word of caution, you are putting it like we are all beginners here and that is just not the case as some of us are as experienced as Bill and still just cranking right along.

I have done three magazine articles this year in that the art directors wanted and paid for film use. My last New York Times assignment a month ago was shot on film...I noticed the check that just paid on that was $200 higher than normal too.

I think this is the point I am trying to make, if I don't know the answer to something, I would rather find the answer rather than say I don't know the answer. Because the latter helps no one and former helps everyone.

I'll help out: Photographer Michael Turek shoots nothing but medium format color film for Conde Naste Travler. I'm checking out of this one now folks, I have a shoot to prep for....
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Old 07-11-2017   #123
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If picture is worth of the news it is not worth of the film, IMO.

My ward council stopped asking me for events pictures after I switched to bw film. He gave DLSR to his wife, but now he is broadcasting in RT by holding mobile phone in front of him. This is how news are made now. Our federal representative is using it same way. Facebook, Twitter. For mature folks. Young ones - the Snapchat. And entire Canada is famous now for its PM selfies and socks.

I see no reason to cover local community news with advanced digital rig like huge DSLR, digital Leica or Bill's favorite Fuji X anymore. I quit. Any phone and anyone does it much more effectively and in real time. I'm taking it on film. 99% of documentary photography I admire is from the past and it was taken on film. BW film. And not only events photography. Street and landscapes. Since I started to print in the darkroom and getting more less acceptable results, my prints went to Australia, Belgium, USA. I have another prints ready for Russia and USA again.

And it is not about money. I have sales jobs. Multi-million dollars deals. Quit. Sooner or later is comes to corruption. In any county. Russia and Canada are the same. Selling your pictures leads to the same. It is about holding to right connections and leaking some morons balls. Instead I show prints here and where on-line and giving them for free. I'm giving them for people I don't know, never seen. It is true and only merit how good is your picture. If someone unknown and totally disconnected choose your picture from thousands of others and asks for it.
And to me it works with darkroom prints.

Film is not dead. But weekly, printed news are dead news.
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Old 07-11-2017   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
printed news are dead news.
I think this is true; future generations will get their news on the internet. This is going to save a lot of trees and a lot of expense for news organizations. Some estimates of paper, printing and delivery put it as high as 90% of the cost of putting out the newspapers and magazines in the paper-only world.

The sad part of this will be its effect on the quality of images in well shot feature and long term stories. Computer monitors, tablets and phones are all over the place in image quality and adjustment. Some print publications make a real effort to maintain high print quality, but there is no way an internet publication can force its viewers to use fixed viewing parameters that do well by the photos.

There is probably only one way to guarantee your pictures will look the way that you choose them to look. It doesn’t matter if they are film or digital - print them.
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Old 07-11-2017   #125
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Sure, we are all lucky to have each other. But a word of caution, you are putting it like we are all beginners here and that is just not the case as some of us are as experienced as Bill and still just cranking right along.

I have done three magazine articles this year in that the art directors wanted and paid for film use. My last New York Times assignment a month ago was shot on film...I noticed the check that just paid on that was $200 higher than normal too.

I think this is the point I am trying to make, if I don't know the answer to something, I would rather find the answer rather than say I don't know the answer. Because the latter helps no one and former helps everyone.

I'll help out: Photographer Michael Turek shoots nothing but medium format color film for Conde Naste Travler. I'm checking out of this one now folks, I have a shoot to prep for....
An AD in our studio doing a digital job was beyond himself (; with excitement as he was off to Paris the next week to do a job in 8x10 film with a photographer, unknown to me, who commands a $30k day rate. So yeah, film is still around in the commercial world too.

Not too many photographers getting that kind of money that are "unknown", or maybe I'm out of touch. I know Watson gets that kind of money and often much more for corporate work.
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Old 07-11-2017   #126
Erik van Straten
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I wish we could still get the TriX from the eighties ...

Leica M3, Summilux 50mm f/1.4 v2, TriX.

Erik.

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Old 07-11-2017   #127
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I wish we could still get PlusX:





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Old 07-11-2017   #128
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• Still prefer the look of it. And even if i can make digital look like film, i still know it's not. Every image i've ever valued by other photographers, a hundred years of history, in every exhibition i've seen or every book i own — it's all film. That's the language i grew up with and loved.
• Analog cameras look and feel better. Feels good to actually have mechanical things going on.
• Digital still feels like 'cheating' a little.
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Old 07-11-2017   #129
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I agree and I see a big problem here. With digitally only taken, processed and stored images there will be no printed proof of what happened in the history. If I can show somebody an old newspaper I have some kind of proof. Of course that image might have been manipulated before printing but it could not have been altered after that. Digital only and the image can be altered more easily afterwards.

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Film is not dead. But weekly, printed news are dead news.
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Old 07-11-2017   #130
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That may be all well and fine, but there is just something odd I can't seem to put my finger in how he goes about participating on this site. Like there is a disconnect somewhere....not sure what it is.
I finally figured out what is off about these posts ( for me )...

Bill has such a storied career, insights, etc. that would be so fun and inspiring to see interwoven into his posts with images and great stories that are like "For Example" but I don't see any of that, ever.

Maybe he does not have the time but I think this thread could have taken on a far more insightful tack if he did a bit of a preamble of what are his favorite images he shot on film or even tossed one in that he tells a story of a shot he almost did not get due to a lab error, etc.
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Old 07-11-2017   #131
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Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
I agree and I see a big problem here. With digitally only taken, processed and stored images there will be no printed proof of what happened in the history. If I can show somebody an old newspaper I have some kind of proof. Of course that image might have been manipulated before printing but it could not have been altered after that. Digital only and the image can be altered more easily afterwards.
If image is newsworthy and creditable historically it gets naturally populated over different physical location (server clouds). It is impossible to alter them all.

What is still gets easily altered is humans mind. Often self-altered these days more than ever. Left and Right, East and West. Rhinoceros and 1984 comes very often to my mind.
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Old 07-11-2017   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KM-25 View Post
I finally figured out what is off about these posts ( for me )...

Bill has such a storied career, insights, etc. that would be so fun and inspiring to see interwoven into his posts with images and great stories that are like "For Example" but I don't see any of that, ever.

Maybe he does not have the time but I think this thread could have taken on a far more insightful tack if he did a bit of a preamble of what are his favorite images he shot on film or even tossed one in that he tells a story of a shot he almost did not get due to a lab error, etc.
I was thinking in the same circles. Why not to tell us some good old times stories. I don't think this forum is full of people like Bill. With big and deep experience in commercial analog photography. I like to read this forum and get candle light reading feel. Not the Apple tablet light reading about mobile phones photography and Fuji cameras glow of glory.
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Old 07-11-2017   #133
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Originally Posted by KM-25 View Post
I finally figured out what is off about these posts ( for me )...

Bill has such a storied career, insights, etc. that would be so fun and inspiring to see interwoven into his posts with images and great stories that are like "For Example" but I don't see any of that, ever.

Maybe he does not have the time but I think this thread could have taken on a far more insightful tack if he did a bit of a preamble of what are his favorite images he shot on film or even tossed one in that he tells a story of a shot he almost did not get due to a lab error, etc.
I was very lucky to work for magazines that let me witness incredible events and spend time with exceptional people, but it was the events and the people that were important, not the photographer. From Facebook to photo sites, I see photographers talking and writing about themselves when what is important is in front of the camera, not behind it. Were there adventures and wonderful times? Of course. That’s why I chose to be a news photographer rather than an advertising or commercial photographer. But, I’m a little reluctant to join the “look at me” crowd. I feel a lot more comfortable as part of the “look at that” crowd.

Here’s one story (and then I’m going to shut up). I have a friend who is a fairly well known actor. I’ve photographed films and plays he’s been in. Even done the ubiquitous head shot a number of times. He’s approached a lot in public and is always warm and courteous to fans, even when it takes a little effort. Once we were in the lobby of a theatre after the production when a fan started charging towards us. He put on a smile, but carefully positioned himself with me between him and the fan. She ran up to us, stopped and said, “You’re Bill Pierce, the photographer.” We both went into shock. That’s the first and last time that has ever happened. He got approached by another fan on his way out of the theatre, and things went back to normal.
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Old 07-11-2017   #134
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Gee, Bill-maybe it's because many of us were teenagers in the 1970's and pored over your articles in Pop Photo to try and become the best film photographers we could and now we don't want to give up all the things we learned and start all over.
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Old 07-11-2017   #135
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Wow, very well done... That´s what I call intelligence and class. We could say it was deserved, and we've got more words than as a group we deserved...
I agree with Bill Clark it's up to us, we're the ones that should be thinking and saying things... So, a new comment, for the subjects Mr. Pierce chooses are always interesting and tend to last... Now it's really personal, and maybe superficial for some members, but here it is:
I use film, but many times I've thought, if suddenly I got told I'm seriously sick, and for sure there's no cure, and I have 3 months, I´d get a couple of digital cameras, distortionless 35 and 50, work 90 days and call it a day. I confess in that case I would consider film and wet printing a waste of my time.
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Old 07-11-2017   #136
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I am a film shooter and do not scan. I prefer wet prints I get from #2 fiber paper. Some 10 years ago I did switch to digital for a few years but was never happy with the look of b/w prints I get from my R2400 Epson. It is just personal choice. My next project is to make contact prints from large format negatives.
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Old 07-11-2017   #137
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Wow, very well done... That´s what I call intelligence and class. We could say it was deserved, and we've got more words than as a group we deserved...
I agree with Bill Clark it's up to us, we're the ones that should be thinking and saying things... So, a new comment, for the subjects Mr. Pierce chooses are always interesting and tend to last... Now it's really personal, and maybe superficial for some members, but here it is:
I use film, but many times I've thought, if suddenly I got told I'm seriously sick, and for sure there's no cure, and I have 3 months, I´d get a couple of digital cameras, distortionless 35 and 50, work 90 days and call it a day. I confess in that case I would consider film and wet printing a waste of my time.
Or, you could do what Winogrand did, and leave a bag (2500 rolls?) of unprocessed film behind. I spend as much time in post as I did in a darkroom. Plus, I have to soup and scan my film. If you only have 90 days, let someone else worry about it..
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Old 07-11-2017   #138
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I do BOTH film and digital. I am very happy. I work with a wide variety of formats from m4/3 to 4x5. I print on my Epson P800 and make PtPd prints from LF negs. Its ALL so darn interesting and engaging. No?

BTW, Thank you Bill for your contribution to RFF. I very much appreciate your presence here.
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Old 07-12-2017   #139
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Quote:
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(...) I want to know from the folks who are still shooting film why they are doing it.
Several reasons for me, and none of them have to with 'quality':

1.) Digital cameras are too complicated / have too many features (compared to 'simple' film cameras like Leica M6, Nikon FE2, Pentax 67 or Mamiya C200f). More buttons == less fun!?

2.) My work is heavily 'digitalised': computers, smartphone, remote desktops, SSH sessions, RAIDs, backups, Excel sheets, etc.; I even use a smart pen! I don't want my photography - a hobby - to be as computer-centric as my work.

3.) Most of my very best images have been made on film. Even in times when I made many more digital images than traditional ones. I don't know (exactly) why that is, but it's a fact.
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Old 07-12-2017   #140
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I just like the look of film. I can always tell, I think, certainly with the pictures I take. On holiday, for example, I have a film camera and a digital camera, the later being when flash or high ISO is needed (otherwise no picture)... but most of my shots are film and I just like the look. I watched Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris' a few days ago: it's obvious from the first frame that it is shot in film. The whole movie had a different look to it as a result: more nostalgic (which is no doubt what Allen intended). I have never quite succeeded in getting a digital image to look like a film image in post processing, but then I've only tried with one film and one digital camera. I just don't have the interest to investigate it exhaustively. I'm happy with my present arrangement and see no reason to try and change it.
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Old 07-12-2017   #141
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Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
With digitally only taken, processed and stored images there will be no printed proof of what happened in the history.
I'm not sorry sure that this is completely true. The photo book seems to be thriving.
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Old 07-12-2017   #142
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Although there's nothing really new in this thread, from time to time we may personally revisit our opinion on this matter. It sounds like that's what Bill is doing. I've recently done the opposite and started shooting film after many years.

So what may appear to us to be stale arguments may to others be relevant and timely. As always in forum life, it's best to accept differing views and be respectful.

John
John,

I am lucky because I have been able to embrace both analog and digital in a passionate manner and still do. For a while digital was my preferred medium and my MM was my most used camera.

Perhaps my previous post needs to be clarified that film has swung to be my more important medium as I escalate more into medium format. Also I am getting closer to having a darkroom for wet printing.

On one hand film is so familiar because I have decades of experience, but digital image capture and digital printing certainly has advanced my photography.

Cal
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Old 07-12-2017   #143
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I'm not sorry sure that this is completely true. The photo book seems to be thriving.
John,

The cost and ability to create digital negatives is here. For B&W shooters the time is now. I basically don't have to change my Piezography Pro inkset that I use for digital B&W printing either.

Pretty much I can digitally print to proof, create digital negatives for wet contact printing, and I could print digital negatives to archive my images and the negatives should be as archival as prints.

Books, prints, and negatives are the legacy that continues photographic history. Digital can be part of that if the photographer has the vision to print, to make books, or make digital negatives.

Never thought I could do my version of what Salgado did for Genesis, but I already have much of that capability to create a legacy that lives on after I'm dead. Digital surely is part of history.

I don't have the best lab in Paris like Salgado, but I have the vision...

Cal
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Old 07-12-2017   #144
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You can make digital look like almost anything you want, if you know what you want. (But, your probably going to have to throw a little of the shadow detail away if you want a digital print to look like a silver print - and that’s understandably hard for most folks.)
I am going to jump back in here after two days, because no one has really challenged this, though there has been some muted agreement, or acquiesence. If it were true that, as is implied here, you can have all the advantages of shooting digital plus being able to make any digital image look like a film image if and whenever you wanted to, this changes the entire nature of the discussion. If that were true, there would be no reason pertaining to quality to shoot film. Film would be reduced to nothing more than the province of a somewhat sad bunch of nostalgic camera fondlers and earnest hipsters if it were true that you could really duplicate, day in and day out, the results of film from a digital file. If that were the case, the original question "Why do you shoot film?" isn't so much questioning your reasons as it is questioning your sanity. Because going through the hassles and expense of shooting film, if you could achieve the same exact quality using digital capture, would be, frankly, crazy.

My contention is that you cannot reliably duplicate the look of film by manipulating digital files, that there is an unduplicatable qualitative difference to film, thus there is a reason to shoot film if one likes the look; it's more than just "the experience".

Instead of my writing out one of the technical reasons for this, this link might prove helpful: http://leicaphilia.com/the-differenc...ilm-explained/

As a related aside, using the most recent iteration of Fuji's ACROS film simulation preset on the X-PRO 2 as an example. I shoot a fair amount of ACROS, developed in Fuji's own recommended Microfine as well as a lot of other things. The results I have gotten using the ACROS mode with an X-PRO 2, don't look like anything I can get using actual ACROS. Not really. Am supposing the preset knocks down the red sensitivity and bumps up the yellow green sensitivity, but that's not enough, because sensors and film register photons inherently differently. Information not captured on the sensor due to it's linear response, cannot be put back into the file in Photoshop later, because it was never there in the first place.

Please understand, I am not saying film is "better" than digital. If someone prefers the look of one to the other, that's their business and they should be free to use what they prefer on its esthetic merits without hectoring from the other "side". What I am saying is that it might be a mistake to think that you can reliably duplicate the look and feel of something shot on film by manipulating a digital file. There are factual reasons why "you can't get there from here..", and there are valid esthetic reasons to shoot film over and beyond the nostalgic or tactile experience of the process itself. To some people it just looks better, to others it doesn't. C'est la vie.
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Old 07-12-2017   #145
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Admit it, Bill...I bet you got a good laugh out of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pierce View Post
I was very lucky to work for magazines that let me witness incredible events and spend time with exceptional people, but it was the events and the people that were important, not the photographer. From Facebook to photo sites, I see photographers talking and writing about themselves when what is important is in front of the camera, not behind it. Were there adventures and wonderful times? Of course. That’s why I chose to be a news photographer rather than an advertising or commercial photographer. But, I’m a little reluctant to join the “look at me” crowd. I feel a lot more comfortable as part of the “look at that” crowd.

Here’s one story (and then I’m going to shut up). I have a friend who is a fairly well known actor. I’ve photographed films and plays he’s been in. Even done the ubiquitous head shot a number of times. He’s approached a lot in public and is always warm and courteous to fans, even when it takes a little effort. Once we were in the lobby of a theatre after the production when a fan started charging towards us. He put on a smile, but carefully positioned himself with me between him and the fan. She ran up to us, stopped and said, “You’re Bill Pierce, the photographer.” We both went into shock. That’s the first and last time that has ever happened. He got approached by another fan on his way out of the theatre, and things went back to normal.
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Old 07-12-2017   #146
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Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
John,

I am lucky because I have been able to embrace both analog and digital in a passionate manner and still do. For a while digital was my prefered medium and my MM was my most used camera.

Perhaps my previous post needs the clarified that film has swung to be my more important medium as I esculate more into medium format. Also I am getting closer to having a darkroom for wet printing.

On one had film is so familiar because I have decades of experience, but digital image capture and digital printing certainly has advanced my photography.

Cal
Calzone -

come on man, film is a passion. Digital is a relief.
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Old 07-12-2017   #147
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To Bill Pierce -

I think you are discounting film a little too severely. You are right that film is not "pure" and today digital and film are interconnected in processing for instance. But digital is just ordinary; film is cool and different, and attracts aficionados. Stupidly when digital tries to be "different" it apes film looks. The other point is that the crisis of film, marked by steadily declining usage and shuttering of factories, is over. Film production is actually growing again.
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Old 07-12-2017   #148
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Calzone -

come on man, film is a passion. Digital is a relief.
Traveler,

Call me crazy, but I spent mucho money on digital. In one year I spent $10K on just paper and ink.

In a way favoring film at the moment is a form of relief from digital. LOL.

Currently I have "Linhof Disease" and I'm getting deep into 70mm and using a Linhof CINE back so I can shoot a Baby-Linhof like a Leica with 15 feet of film for 60+ exposures of 6x7.

Now that I think of it film is not cheap either...

Cal
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Old 07-12-2017   #149
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Photography--Photography--has been a passion of mine for over 45 years. Film is something I've used while practicing this passion, it's not the passion itself.

It seems many can't grasp the important stuff. Photography and the images created in its pursuit should be the passion, not what tools and materials are being used in the practice. Use film, use digital, hell, coat your own glass plates or tin strips. Make contact prints, use an enlarger or print with an Epson. Use a Sony, use a Linhof, use an oatmeal box with a pinhole. If you're making something interesting, it's all good.
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Old 07-12-2017   #150
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I shoot film because (1) I must (im)patiently wait for 36 frames to be shot. (2) Most images on a roll are worthy of saving (vs 1 out of 50 digis). (3) B&W grain is sooo sexy.
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Old 07-12-2017   #151
Bill Clark
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Hi Cal,

Wow, 10k on paper and ink in just a year. I haven't spent that in 10 years!

Maybe I need to go out and buy a bigger garbage can! Ha!

Seriously, when I had my business, digital was a blessing for me as clients bought rights to their files. Print sales dropped with digital. Truth be known, I was happy as I didn't have to fool around with print orders, most of which were small in dollars. I've observed, even wih my business, print sales aren't as important as clients demand files. Will they last? Don't have the answer but prints aren't eternal either. I'll be dead and gone before a credible answer has concluded the debate.
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Old 07-12-2017   #152
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Quote:
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Hi Cal,

Wow, 10k on paper and ink in just a year. I haven't spent that in 10 years!

Maybe I need to go out and buy a bigger garbage can!

Seriously, when I had my business, digital was a blessing fir me as clients bought rights to their files. Print sales dropped with digital. Truth be known, I was happy as I didn't have to fool around with print orders. I've observed, even wih my business, print sales aren't as important as clients demand files. Will they last? Don't have the answer but prints aren't eternal either. I'll be dead and gone before a credible answer has concluded.
Bill,

I was feeding a 3880 as my small printer and a 7800 as my main printer. Also I wanted to get good so I printed a lot. I think printing big is harder and more demanding. Everything is much more critical and any mistake amplified with printing big. For me it was a big learning curve and it got expensive fast, especially since I was trying to make my digital prints resemble medium and large format.

Also know that because I went to art school, I knew I had to be obsessive and concentrate on printing as much as I could. What I did was not normal. Guess where all my disposable income goes, and know I don't own a home or car.

Some of what Bill Pierce said I agree with, digital allows a certain mallability, but to me digital has its own voice. As close as Salgado got to making analog and digital seamless in Genesis I could still tell by comparing the shadow detail and the roll off in the highlights which used analog for image capture and which used digital for image capture. And this was of course only visible because of the large prints that some measured 4x5 feet, but then again Salgado was using the best lab in Paris.

I surely learned a lot, but my best asset was a trained eye from shooting and developing mucho film.

I think you should know that I'm not a techie and I rely on basic fundamental skills I learned doing analog. I got pretty good with digital, but I think my best talent is with film.

I also think to avoid remorse I'm in film mode. I don't want to have remorse that I didn't shoot more film while it was cheap or available, and I kinda annoyed so many people because I concentrated on image capture without any regard to printing. Nobody saw the wisdom to shoot freezerfulls of Arista Premium and Arista Legacy when film cost so little.

That scence of urgency still persists...

Cal
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Old 07-12-2017   #153
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I had posted a long winded thought, a plea to make this particular section of this site live up to it's grandiose forward but I am deciding to just move on and leave you all to it.

I use film because it is like an acoustic guitar, a guitar is all it will ever be and it is damn good at being a guitar. It takes talent to make it mesmerize and enthrall.
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Old 07-12-2017   #154
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I see nothing wrong with Cal spending 10K per year in ink and paper. Simply because it is so called Piezography Pro. You'll pay ten times more just because it is called Piezography and it is multiplied by two on top of it for the status of Pro. Print size is also adding to the price.

But some "NoName", "NoFrills" guys from the crowd like me are fine with mucho affordable and reasonable archival inks and 100$ inkjet printers for upto 8.5x11 size. And just archival paper from Epson with next to nothing price .

After Cal comment I looked again at the Bill's question "why film" and ... why not?
It is little bit crazy on color film prices. Out of my mental reach. But C-41, E6 at home are making big savings, while no big deal to do.
And BW on film is better than ever. Enlargers and else are given for free. All chemicals are available and plenty. Film is under 50$ per bulk. Darkroom bw paper is available as RC, FB new or it is possible to find old stock and honestly fifty years old FB paper is superior to fresh RC, IMO.
Where are DIY serviceable film cameras. And millions of fresh SLRs. Bartender has new Bessa RF in stock or you could go crazy and buy new film M.
So, why film not?
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Old 07-12-2017   #155
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Thanks Cal.

Mostly tongue in cheek with my comment, kidding.

I still like your avitar shown here each time you post.
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Old 07-12-2017   #156
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Fortunate enough to own a Leica digital M, I pretty much use my M262 exactly the same way I shoot my M4 or M6.

Outside in light where I can pretty much know the exposure setting without having to refer to the meter, I ignore the meter in both the M6 and M262, shoot in all manual mode and I make every attempt to not be tempted to chimp with the M262 while out shooting.

JPEG's from Raw using the M262 and processed in Adobe Camera raw, are outstanding and make the whole film to digital process even more of a royal PITA than it already is. I'm not going to go to the trouble of maintaining a wet/dark room and I don't have one of the better scanners from back when they (Nikon, Canon, Minolta) were actually developing good scanners and that's a stumbling block today when it comes to digitizing files if one wants to do their own and is not mechanically/technically-inclined enough to develop their own, unique scanning system like I have seen some do. The process can be enjoyable, but compared to having access to raw files from a current M model? I'll take the latter first, every time.

I do, however, have to admit a bit of envy every time I see B&W images being posted by Eric van Straten. He has his film to digital process down to an art. I don't know to what ultimate resolution he digitizes, but the size image files he posts to this site are exquisite.
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Old 07-12-2017   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I see nothing wrong with Cal spending 10K per year in ink and paper. Simply because it is so called Piezography Pro. You'll pay ten times more just because it is called Piezography and it is multiplied by two on top of it for the status of Pro. Print size is also adding to the price.

But some "NoName", "NoFrills" guys from the crowd like me are fine with mucho affordable and reasonable archival inks and 100$ inkjet printers for upto 8.5x11 size. And just archival paper from Epson with next to nothing price .

After Cal comment I looked again at the Bill's question "why film" and ... why not?
It is little bit crazy on color film prices. Out of my mental reach. But C-41, E6 at home are making big savings, while no big deal to do.
And BW on film is better than ever. Enlargers and else are given for free. All chemicals are available and plenty. Film is under 50$ per bulk. Darkroom bw paper is available as RC, FB new or it is possible to find old stock and honestly fifty years old FB paper is superior to fresh RC, IMO.
Where are DIY serviceable film cameras. And millions of fresh SLRs. Bartender has new Bessa RF in stock or you could go crazy and buy new film M.
So, why film not?
KoFe,

I have to correct you that Piezography Pro demands such a premium. In fact it is less costly than OEM (Epson). In use the price is about half OEM, but with Piezography you lay down more ink, but still less than OEM in use when printing.

If I were printing color I would use the Jon Cone Archival Pigment inks. These are about 1/10th the price of OEM inks, and are in fact are compatable. These inks are "encapsulated" while most others are not. You can even use the Epson paper profiles. This is where printing costs little money, but I'm a B&W guy.

The scale of how I do photography is kinda crazy, and is a display of passion that makes me happy, but I'm with you at keeping costs low. Know that to keep costs low I bulk up to stockpile, and that was the reason for crazy spending: opportunity.

The amount of great gear for no money, and the opportunities of say buying a used 7800 for $100.00 or an almost 60 year old Baby-Linhof kit for $750.00 that is basically a shelf queen makes it a no brainer to me to hit the BIN and go for the ride.

This is part of the fun of film. Unfortunately digital does not offer these bargains and deals of a lifetime like analog does. The cost of shooting Rollie 400S I figure is only about $2.50 per 120 equiv if you read Dan's thread on 70mm. About $98.00 per 100 feet from a dealer in Germany and 32.5 inches of film is 10 6x7's plus some bonus frames.

Cal
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Old 07-12-2017   #158
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Thanks Cal.

Mostly tongue in cheek with my comment, kidding.

I still like your avitar shown here each time you post.
Bill,

My avitar was taken after a NYC Meet-Up. The guys decided to decorate me like a Chrismas tree with their cameras.

For some reason I end up with mucho cameras.

Cal

POSTSCRIPT: The title "Gear Whore" was done by John my friend, a moderator. At first I felt slighted, but the more I thought about it the title fit. LOL.
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Old 07-12-2017   #159
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Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
Photography--Photography--has been a passion of mine for over 45 years. Film is something I've used while practicing this passion, it's not the passion itself.

It seems many can't grasp the important stuff. Photography and the images created in its pursuit should be the passion, not what tools and materials are being used in the practice. Use film, use digital, hell, coat your own glass plates or tin strips. Make contact prints, use an enlarger or print with an Epson. Use a Sony, use a Linhof, use an oatmeal box with a pinhole. If you're making something interesting, it's all good.
Yes,... yes! BUT many will swear you are wrong.
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Old 07-12-2017   #160
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I still like your avitar shown here each time you post.
My creation since we affectionately called Cal a "gear whore."
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