Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Coffee With Mentors > Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

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!

 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Old 08-17-2018   #41
Out to Lunch
Registered User
 
Out to Lunch's Avatar
 
Out to Lunch is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Vietnam
Posts: 5,514
"Around 95 million photos are uploaded each day"

"More than 40 billion photos have been shared so far"

What is your problem? Prior to the internet, these pics ended-up in the sock drawer. Chill out and continue taking your pizza and grilled steak pics and the world will keep on turning. Peace, Peter
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #42
ptpdprinter
Registered User
 
ptpdprinter is online now
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
"According to estimates by InfoTrends, a total of 1.2 trillion digital photos will be taken worldwide this year, that is roughly 160 pictures for every one of the roughly 7.5 billion people inhabiting planet earth."...

"According to InfoTrends’ estimates, 85 percent of all pictures taken this year will be captured on smartphones."
So let's see, that means that 180 billion will be taken with digital cameras. Take away smartphones, and there is still a lot of competition for views.
__________________
ambientlightcollection.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #43
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
"Around 95 million photos are uploaded each day"

"More than 40 billion photos have been shared so far"

What is your problem? Prior to the internet, these pics ended-up in the sock drawer. Chill out and continue taking your pizza and grilled steak pics and the world will keep on turning. Peace, Peter
My citation was to underline the comment John made. Seems you have a problem with the numbers?

As for phones and social media, my neighbor told me her boyfriend was killed in an auto accident yesterday, while sending her a photo he had taken. He was killed as he was attempting to send the photo, while driving. I'm sure he was "chilled out" ..
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #44
Larry Cloetta
Registered User
 
Larry Cloetta is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jackson, WY
Age: 69
Posts: 1,627
Maybe people should use whatever they enjoy using, and not worry about what other people enjoy using. This phone vs. “real camera” has been going on for a good while now. Some people are happy using one, some people are happier using the other. No problem there.
On the other hand, as a completely separate entity with a life of its own, there’s the argument which swirls around the subject. The argument doesn’t stem from an understanding photography at all. The argument is pure virtue signaling. Those feeling an urge welling up inside to actually take the time to argue in favor of the blessings of phone photography (a very small subset of those whose only camera is a phone, and are happy with that) are really only saying “I’m better than you are, with your outmoded camera, your outmoded world view, you old, sad relic of a lousy past.” Those arguing for the primacy of conventional cameras, film or otherwise, are really only saying “I’m better than you are with your inadequate, inexpensive, device, you bottom feeding member of the hoi polloi. Sniff.”

Both groups of arguers are only partaking in the current pastime of “status lowering”, denigrating others as a group, and elevating themselves, under the guise of talking about hardware, or the greatest imponderable of all, art.

I’ve seen great photos made with a phone; we all have. Yet, I personally won’t ever use a phone as a camera because I find the process to be deadly dull, and almost completly devoid of any promise of personal satisfaction, and yet I get real enjoyment out of using a conventional camera. That’s just me, who cares? More importantly, why should anyone care?

Good photographs can be made with either phones or conventional cameras, so the discussion really isn’t about photography, it’s grounded in something else, something personal and non-objective. (The meta argument Wenders is feeding may not be as interesting as he thinks it is. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. It’s a bit ethereal, for those susceptible to that kind of thing.)

Those window decals certain types of Chevy owners put on their trucks, depicting a snarky boy pissing on the word “Ford”, and it’s emotional twin, the decal depicting a snarky boy pissing on the word “Chevy” seen on certain Ford trucks..... that’s all that undergirds arguments certain people have over phones vs. cameras. Mine’s bigger than yours is. I’m better than you are.
Wenders is just being a Chevy guy of the type who goes so far as to put that kind of decal on his truck. Or maybe he’s the Ford guy. At any rate, that’s the level he’s operating at, making an appeal to everyone’s lizard brain. Don’t let your lizard brain take the bait.

Let it go. It doesn’t matter. Chevy’s and Fords, phones and cameras, none of those are going away anytime soon. Don’t worry, be happy, none of it has any effect on art, whatever that is. There’s still seating up front, plenty of room for everybody.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #45
robert blu
quiet photographer
 
robert blu's Avatar
 
robert blu is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Italy
Age: 70
Posts: 5,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
...
Let it go. It doesn’t matter. Chevy’s and Fords, phones and cameras, none of those are going away anytime soon. Don’t worry, be happy, none of it has any effect on art, whatever that is. There’s still seating up front, plenty of room for everybody.
Love this, great
robert
__________________
Remember: today is the Day !
from Ruth Bernhard recipe for a long and happy life

my quiet photographer's blog

My RFF photos and my albums on RFF
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #46
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
Maybe people should use whatever they enjoy using, and not worry about what other people enjoy using. This phone vs. “real camera” has been going on for a good while now. Some people are happy using one, some people are happier using the other. No problem there.
On the other hand, as a completely separate entity with a life of its own, there’s the argument which swirls around the subject. The argument doesn’t stem from an understanding photography at all. The argument is pure virtue signaling. Those feeling an urge welling up inside to actually take the time to argue in favor of the blessings of phone photography (a very small subset of those whose only camera is a phone, and are happy with that) are really only saying “I’m better than you are, with your outmoded camera, your outmoded world view, you old, sad relic of a lousy past.” Those arguing for the primacy of conventional cameras, film or otherwise, are really only saying “I’m better than you are with your inadequate, inexpensive, device, you bottom feeding member of the hoi polloi. Sniff.”

Both groups of arguers are only partaking in the current pastime of “status lowering”, denigrating others as a group, and elevating themselves, under the guise of talking about hardware, or the greatest imponderable of all, art.

I’ve seen great photos made with a phone; we all have. Yet, I personally won’t ever use a phone as a camera because I find the process to be deadly dull, and almost completly devoid of any promise of personal satisfaction, and yet I get real enjoyment out of using a conventional camera. That’s just me, who cares? More importantly, why should anyone care?

Good photographs can be made with either phones or conventional cameras, so the discussion really isn’t about photography, it’s grounded in something else, something personal and non-objective. (The meta argument Wenders is feeding may not be as interesting as he thinks it is. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. It’s a bit ethereal, for those susceptible to that kind of thing.)

Those window decals certain types of Chevy owners put on their trucks, depicting a snarky boy pissing on the word “Ford”, and it’s emotional twin, the decal depicting a snarky boy pissing on the word “Chevy” seen on certain Ford trucks..... that’s all that undergirds arguments certain people have over phones vs. cameras. Mine’s bigger than yours is. I’m better than you are.
Wenders is just being a Chevy guy of the type who goes so far as to put that kind of decal on his truck. Or maybe he’s the Ford guy. At any rate, that’s the level he’s operating at, making an appeal to everyone’s lizard brain. Don’t let your lizard brain take the bait.

Let it go. It doesn’t matter. Chevy’s and Fords, phones and cameras, none of those are going away anytime soon. Don’t worry, be happy, none of it has any effect on art, whatever that is. There’s still seating up front, plenty of room for everybody.
Larry;

As I and others have said, both on this thread and the others, this isn't about the phone as a camera tool, at least for those interested in photography. The gear people may find some issue with camera phones. I have no problem with a phone as a camera tool.

Winders isn't talking about the tool, he's talking about what the tool and social media have created .. something that has changed "photography" drastically. Like it or not, I don't think it can be argued that the use of camera phones and social media publishing have changed photography. Many years ago, when joining ASMP, I had to submit "Tear Sheets" of published work. Some of that work had to be published in national magazines for qualification. Today, publishing "Internationally" happens many millions of times a day, with only an upload to a social media site. The difference is, my photos (and those of others) went through a Photo Editor or Art Director before seeing any press time. Today, it's up to the photographer to self edit the 100 lunch photos of a burger and fries to maybe 1 or 2, rather than to dump all 100 of the lunch, and another 100 of dinner. This behavior lowers the bar. It's dumbing down the medium. I think that's what the discussion is about.

prk
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #47
ptpdprinter
Registered User
 
ptpdprinter is online now
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
This behavior lowers the bar. It's dumbing down the medium. I think that's what the discussion is about.
I don't see social media photos as any different than the Instamatic snapshots of my youth. Only the means of sharing has changed. Who complained in the film era that ordinary people taking pictures of their family and friends was dumbing down the medium? We don't need art directors to edit our lives.
__________________
ambientlightcollection.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #48
xayraa33
rangefinder user and fancier
 
xayraa33's Avatar
 
xayraa33 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,876
The big difference from the Instamatic days is that now we are inundated with a huge pile of so-so and mediocre images to dig through and all at our fingertips and from all over the world and it has become an real chore and not rewarding.

That drives us to spend our time somewhere else instead.

Something that was special in the past has now been debased.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #49
ptpdprinter
Registered User
 
ptpdprinter is online now
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
The big difference from the Instamatic days is that now we are inundated with a huge pile of so-so and mediocre images to dig through and all at our fingertips and from all over the world and it has become an real chore and not rewarding. That drives us to spend our time somewhere else instead. Something that was special in the past has now been debased.
Surely you only look at the social media feeds of your friends and family, and perhaps those of some of your favorite photographers, not everybody's. You never worried about looking at strangers' Instamatic prints, why worry about strangers' social media feeds. So what if there are a trillion images on the web? I don't feel any more inundated now than I did then. Why feel compelled to look at every image on Flickr? Act rationally.
__________________
ambientlightcollection.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #50
xayraa33
rangefinder user and fancier
 
xayraa33's Avatar
 
xayraa33 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Surely you only look at the social media feeds of your friends and family, and perhaps those of some of your favorite photographers, not everybody's. You never worried about looking at strangers' Instamatic prints, why worry about strangers' social media feeds. So what if there are a trillion images on the web? I don't feel any more inundated now than I did then. Why feel compelled to look at every image on Flickr? Act rationally.
It is still image overload any way you want to slice or dice it.

It just makes us blasé to images in general.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #51
Larry Cloetta
Registered User
 
Larry Cloetta is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jackson, WY
Age: 69
Posts: 1,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
Larry;

As I and others have said, both on this thread and the others, this isn't about the phone as a camera tool, at least for those interested in photography. The gear people may find some issue with camera phones. I have no problem with a phone as a camera tool.

Winders isn't talking about the tool, he's talking about what the tool and social media have created .. something that has changed "photography" drastically. Like it or not, I don't think it can be argued that the use of camera phones and social media publishing have changed photography. Many years ago, when joining ASMP, I had to submit "Tear Sheets" of published work. Some of that work had to be published in national magazines for qualification. Today, publishing "Internationally" happens many millions of times a day, with only an upload to a social media site. The difference is, my photos (and those of others) went through a Photo Editor or Art Director before seeing any press time. Today, it's up to the photographer to self edit the 100 lunch photos of a burger and fries to maybe 1 or 2, rather than to dump all 100 of the lunch, and another 100 of dinner. This behavior lowers the bar. It's dumbing down the medium. I think that's what the discussion is about.

prk
I understand that, and fully agree with the observation that the phone camera has changed something. You make the point that camera phones have changed the business of photography. Certainly. But, the business of photography isn’t photography. It’s a career which makes use of photography. (Used to be a career at any rate, but that’s its own separate discussion.)

Wenders assertion that camera phones have rendered “photography” “dead” is something else again. Hyperbolic, foolish, grandstanding for attention, just being playful, I can’t say. One of those things, or some those things.

I did address, sort of, what he was saying with my sentence about the meta meaning of his comments. I’ve long understood what he was saying about the state of humanity as influenced by the use of phone cameras. Those concerns are valid, to some extent, I just don’t personally find it that interesting, because there’s nothing we can do about it. Some people susceptible to being dumbed down and acting like lemmings. Who knew? Whether that is “dumbing down the medium”, or just dumbing down themselves is only a matter of how we look at it.

As someone remarked about Wenders’ comments in the other similar thread, “Old man yells at cloud.” which seems about right.

My point, to the extent that I had one, wasn’t about what he was saying, it was about why he felt the need to say it, to add his voice to an extant argument, and why others argue about the same thing.

Maybe the fact that Wenders did a film called “Until the end of the World” has made him apocalyptic, and prone to making such statements. Or maybe he just woke up feeling superior, set a camera up, looked into it and tried to make all the insufficient people understand why they were inadequate and the damage they had done to civilization with their too many mediocre photos and lack of vision.
Bad photos are like bad music..you make it easy and you’ll get a lot of it. And we have, but that genie is out of the bottle.
There’s more to the subject, but post too long already. World isn’t perfect, not everyone is an artist, but everyone can be happy with what they are happy with, and it’s possible to ignore the madness and civilizational decline. I think.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #52
johannielscom
Ich bin ein Barnacker
 
johannielscom's Avatar
 
johannielscom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Universitas Terre Threntiae
Posts: 7,369
phonygraphy.
__________________
Gegroet,
Johan Niels

I write vintage gear reviews on www.johanniels.com |

flickr | instagram |
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #53
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
The big difference from the Instamatic days is that now we are inundated with a huge pile of so-so and mediocre images to dig through and all at our fingertips and from all over the world and it has become an real chore and not rewarding.

That drives us to spend our time somewhere else instead.

Something that was special in the past has now been debased.
I agree with you.

I think this comes back to editing. Photo Editors, Art Directors, Graphic Designers and my printer, made me a better photographer. I got a lot of feedback over the years. It was all considered and it all helped.

If photography was something you were to eat. What would you eat; stuff made by people who considered all the elements of their product, and were thoughtful about what they delivered or, something made by someone who made thousands of things without thinking much about what went into them?
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #54
xayraa33
rangefinder user and fancier
 
xayraa33's Avatar
 
xayraa33 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
I agree with you.

I think this comes back to editing. Photo Editors, Art Directors, Graphic Designers and my printer, made me a better photographer. I got a lot of feedback over the years. It was all considered and it all helped.

If photography was something you were to eat. What would you eat; stuff made by people who considered all the elements of their product, and were thoughtful about what they delivered or, something made by someone who made thousands of things without thinking much about what went into them?
Good analogy comparing with food .

As someone suggested the old man shaking his fist towards the sky scenario, then there is little we can do about it.. just as much as wanting to buy a new modern made car in North America that has no electronics in it.
We have to accept the time we live in.

Luckily, for the time being, film is still available and so is photo printing paper.. so we can be Luddites to our heart's content and pretend it is still the 1960s or the 1970s in our own little world, what ever makes us happy.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #55
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
I understand that, and fully agree with the observation that the phone camera has changed something. You make the point that camera phones have changed the business of photography. Certainly. But, the business of photography isn’t photography. It’s a career which makes use of photography. (Used to be a career at any rate, but that’s its own separate discussion.)

Wenders assertion that camera phones have rendered “photography” “dead” is something else again. Hyperbolic, foolish, grandstanding for attention, just being playful, I can’t say. One of those things, or some those things.

I did address, sort of, what he was saying with my sentence about the meta meaning of his comments. I’ve long understood what he was saying about the state of humanity as influenced by the use of phone cameras. Those concerns are valid, to some extent, I just don’t personally find it that interesting, because there’s nothing we can do about it. Some people susceptible to being dumbed down and acting like lemmings. Who knew? Whether that is “dumbing down the medium”, or just dumbing down themselves is only a matter of how we look at it.

As someone remarked about Wenders’ comments in the other similar thread, “Old man yells at cloud.” which seems about right.

My point, to the extent that I had one, wasn’t about what he was saying, it was about why he felt the need to say it, to add his voice to an extant argument, and why others argue about the same thing.

Maybe the fact that Wenders did a film called “Until the end of the World” has made him apocalyptic, and prone to making such statements. Or maybe he just woke up feeling superior, set a camera up, looked into it and tried to make all the insufficient people understand why they were inadequate and the damage they had done to civilization with their too many mediocre photos and lack of vision.
Bad photos are like bad music..you make it easy and you’ll get a lot of it. And we have, but that genie is out of the bottle.
There’s more to the subject, but post too long already. World isn’t perfect, not everyone is an artist, but everyone can be happy with what they are happy with, and it’s possible to ignore the madness and civilizational decline. I think.
It's been my experience that, the good photographers are still in business and making money. The thing that separates the men from the boys, in high end photography, is usually lighting and, a good knowledge of what will solve a client's visual problem. In the PJ world, this might translate to knowing what your editor will like-love and knowing where to be, and when to be there (Bill?).

The simple photos that once were made by some photographers are likely gone. Any good AD can make one. But, the stuff that good photographers are called on to make is still around, and commanding more money than in the past. People who once did Annual Report photography for $5k/day are commanding $20k-30k/day, if they are well known. Most reports go 15-30 days with travel.

Many Ad photos bring in amazing money. Not as often, but, commanding much more money than in the past.
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #56
ptpdprinter
Registered User
 
ptpdprinter is online now
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
It's been my experience that, the good photographers are still in business and making money. The thing that separates the men from the boys, in high end photography, is usually lighting and, a good knowledge of what will solve a client's visual problem. In the PJ world, this might translate to knowing what your editor will like-love and knowing where to be, and when to be there (Bill?).

The simple photos that once were made by some photographers are likely gone. Any good AD can make one. But, the stuff that good photographers are called on to make is still around, and commanding more money than in the past. People who once did Annual Report photography for $5k/day are commanding $20k-30k/day, if they are well known. Most reports go 15-30 days with travel.

Many Ad photos bring in amazing money. Not as often, but, commanding much more money than in the past.
So maybe photography isn't dead after all. Maybe WW is just no longer in demand, and the smartphone isn't the culprit.
__________________
ambientlightcollection.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #57
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
So maybe photography isn't dead after all. Maybe WW is just no longer in demand.
I think, he's talking about public perception and art, with a small "a", and I agree with him. To find a good published photo on social media is a task. In the past, anything published went through several filters before the public saw it. This could be mass media work or, gallery work.

The photo fine art gallery world survives all this bs. They all seem to be doing well. Curators and gallery owners filter for good work. Collector / buyers know the quality from the bs.

https://fraenkelgallery.com/
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #58
Larry Cloetta
Registered User
 
Larry Cloetta is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jackson, WY
Age: 69
Posts: 1,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
. just as much as wanting to buy a new modern made car in North America that has no electronics in it.
So, I’m not the only one then.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #59
xayraa33
rangefinder user and fancier
 
xayraa33's Avatar
 
xayraa33 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
So, I’m not the only one then.
Hehe.. plenty of people are like that, and for various reasons other than the usual ones.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #60
Bob Michaels
nobody special
 
Bob Michaels's Avatar
 
Bob Michaels is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Apopka FL (USA)
Age: 76
Posts: 3,771
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
..... To find a good published photo on social media is a task. In the past, anything published went through several filters before the public saw it. This could be mass media work or, gallery work. .....
I remain baffled why people even bother to look on social media for good photography. Simply look at a copy of Life magazine, National Geographic, or about 50 others. Look at national advertisements. Look at large companies annual reports. Look at your newspaper or CNN on line.

We are surrounded by thousands of very high quality photographs every day. It seems those who favor internet photo forums tend to ignore that quality work and believe a photo does not count as a photo unless it is posted on someone's social media account.
__________________
http://www.bobmichaels.org
internet forums appear to have an abundance of anonymous midgets prancing on stilts
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #61
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Good analogy comparing with food .

As someone suggested the old man shaking his fist towards the sky scenario, then there is little we can do about it.. just as much as wanting to buy a new modern made car in North America that has no electronics in it.
We have to accept the time we live in.

Luckily, for the time being, film is still available and so is photo printing paper.. so we can be Luddites to our heart's content and pretend it is still the 1960s or the 1970s in our own little world, what ever makes us happy.
I think film will be around for quite some time.. B & W for sure.

As for cars (trucks), there's lots of stuff around that will pass smog, that isn't full of electronics. An older Chev or Ford with a six or small V8 and manual transmission is a good option. Lots around, that are on the road here in North Cal.

I use both film and digital gear. I try to stay up with the latest sensor advances. Still prefer film for my personal work.
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #62
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
I remain baffled why people even bother to look on social media for good photography. Simply look at a copy of Life magazine, National Geographic, or about 50 others. Look at national advertisements. Look at large companies annual reports. Look at your newspaper or CNN on line.

We are surrounded by thousands of very high quality photographs every day. It seems those who favor internet photo forums tend to ignore that quality work and believe a photo does not count as a photo unless it is posted on someone's social media account.
Bob;

I don't think most of the social media photographers can tell the difference. Recently, a neighbor looked an an old gallery portfolio of my work and dismissed it as complete BS. These are images that have been popular over the years .. and I don't claim to be a great photographer.. There was no one standing on the edge of a cliff, no one being dragged by a high speed car, no burger and fries photos .. so, just BS. my neighbor takes photos constantly and is in her 50s. She wonders how I could consider myself a photographer. Times have changed.

pkr
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #63
xayraa33
rangefinder user and fancier
 
xayraa33's Avatar
 
xayraa33 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
I think film will be around for quite some time.. B & W for sure.

As for cars (trucks), there's lots of stuff around that will pass smog, that isn't full of electronics. An older Chev or Ford with a six or small V8 and manual transmission is a good option. Lots around, that are on the road here in North Cal.

I use both film and digital gear. I try to stay up with the latest sensor advances. Still prefer film for my personal work.
Like I said before, If there is market for something then I am sure someone will make it. The monetary profit motive is hard to resist.

Even if film disappears, chemicals can still be bought from supply houses that specialise in these materials and things like collodion and silver nitrate and sodium thiosulfate and ethyl alcohol can still be obtained or made if one wants to get into wet-plate photography.

The nuts and bolts of Analog Photography is chemistry and raw chemicals will be around .

My point was on brand new cars in North America, and even the simplest and lowest priced sub-compact models now rely on electronics.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #64
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Like I said before, If there is market for something then I am sure someone will make it. The monetary profit motive is hard to resist.

Even if film disappears, chemicals can still be bought from supply houses that specialise in these materials and things like collodion and silver nitrate and sodium thiosulfate and ethyl alcohol can still be obtained or made if one wants to get into wet-plate photography.

The nuts and bolts of Analog Photography is chemistry and raw chemicals will be around.

My point was on brand new cars in North America, and even the simplest and lowest priced sub-compact models now rely on electronics.
With cars, its worse than what most people think as per "electronics". Most new cars have GPS tracking built in. Most can be disabled by a signal sent from a Highway Patrol car. Most need to go to the Dealer to be serviced. Most of the Onboard Electronics can be hacked.

I use computers a lot. Everything connected to the outside world is hackable. New cars are connected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR8RrmEizVg

I like older cars.
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2018   #65
xayraa33
rangefinder user and fancier
 
xayraa33's Avatar
 
xayraa33 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
With cars, its worse than what most people think as per "electronics". Most new cars have GPS tracking built in. Most can be disabled by a signal sent from a Highway Patrol car. Most need to go to the Dealer to be serviced. Most of the Onboard Electronics can be hacked.

I use computers a lot. Everything connected to the outside world is hackable. New cars are connected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR8RrmEizVg

I like older cars.
I have family members that bought new cars and these cars are equipped with 4G connectivity and one swears that the car gives her the most ominous feeling while driving it and it is a perfectly good driving car complete with new car smell.

The switch to 5G will be much worse on the human mind and body , as 5G seeks to use a whole new spectrum, that of millimetre waves just to allow for more signal traffic and our roads and streets will have
thousands of miniature cell phone base stations every 300 yards or so.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

photographer or author?
Old 08-18-2018   #66
robert blu
quiet photographer
 
robert blu's Avatar
 
robert blu is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Italy
Age: 70
Posts: 5,977
photographer or author?

Correct or not ( I still agree with his comments) Wim Wenders gave us food for an interesting discussion...

Having read both the thread about its comment (and thought about) I am coming with another point of view.

We should distinguish between "photographer" and "author"

Simplifying: when I snap pictures just because I like to do it (probably with a smart phone because easier, but not necessarily) I am photographing and nothing wrong with it. Therefore I'm a photographer, and today we are all photographers...

But if I go out with a plan, with the idea to look for photo to be inserted in a specific body of work, with a concept, where I have already decided if the photo will be B&W or color, or the parameters, and later I'll edit my photos evaluating if they can work together with the work I'm doing, or if they are coherent with my idea or vision, than I am more an "author" than a photographer.

This is an extreme simplification, maybe the theme should benefit of an its own thread to be deeper developed.
Of course I'm a pure amateur and have not to do with clients...or seen different I'm in the same time employer and worker ...
robert

PS: it seems me there is someone who considers WW as someone who needs to promote himself and his work...I do not think it is the case...below just a quote from wikipedia:


Wenders has already received many awards, including the Golden Lion for The State of Things at the Venice Film Festival (1982); the Palme d'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival for his movie Paris, Texas; and Best Direction for Wings of Desire in the 1987 Bavarian Film Awards[17] and the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. In 1993 he won the Bavarian Film Awards for Best Director for Faraway, So Close!.[17] In 2004, he received the Master of Cinema Award of the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg. He was awarded the Leopard of Honour at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2005. In 2012, his dance film Pina was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature of the 84th Academy Awards.[18]

He has been awarded honorary doctorates at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989, at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in 1995 and at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium in 2005.

In 2012 the Wim Wenders Foundation was created in Düsseldorf creating a framework to bring together the cinematic, photographic, artistic and literary lifework of Wim Wenders in his native country and to make it permanently accessible to the general public worldwide.[19]

He was presented with the Honorary Golden Bear at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2015.[20] In 2016, Wenders received the Großer Kulturpreis of the Sparkassen Culture-Foundation Rhineland, one of the highest endowed cultural honorings in Germany, with previous winners such as photographer legend Hilla Becher, sculptor Tony Cragg, musician Wolfgang Niedecken and director Sönke Wortmann. In 2017, Wenders received the Douglas Sirk Award at the Hamburg Film Festival.
[21]
__________________
Remember: today is the Day !
from Ruth Bernhard recipe for a long and happy life

my quiet photographer's blog

My RFF photos and my albums on RFF
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #67
johannielscom
Ich bin ein Barnacker
 
johannielscom's Avatar
 
johannielscom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Universitas Terre Threntiae
Posts: 7,369
Personally I covet the label 'photographer' so I'd rather distinct between a photographer and a phonygrapher, the latter being a person who snaps with a phone, while the former creates photos with a camera.

And yes there's that exception where truly beautiful photos are created with a smart phone but I'd base the distinction on general usage and results: there's a far greater amount of crap images that mimick photos produced with smart phones than there is crap images that resemble smart phone snaps produced with cameras. So therefor the smart phone images are the phony ones and the camera images are the real photos.
__________________
Gegroet,
Johan Niels

I write vintage gear reviews on www.johanniels.com |

flickr | instagram |
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #68
jsrockit
Moderator
 
jsrockit's Avatar
 
jsrockit is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santiago, Chile
Age: 46
Posts: 20,018
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
I don't think most of the social media photographers can tell the difference. Recently, a neighbor looked an an old gallery portfolio of my work and dismissed it as complete BS. These are images that have been popular over the years .. and I don't claim to be a great photographer.. There was no one standing on the edge of a cliff, no one being dragged by a high speed car, no burger and fries photos .. so, just BS. my neighbor takes photos constantly and is in her 50s. She wonders how I could consider myself a photographer. Times have changed.
Yes, I have seen this too... not only about my photos, but regarding established artists that I deem special (IMO). I think people think they know photography due to knowing the cliches, but fall outside of that box and they do not understand. It's ok... Saul Leiter had artist friends who would forget the prints he gave them at his apartment...and never remember to ask for them again. Then many years later, those prints are in books and galleries doing well.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #69
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Yes, I have seen this too... not only about my photos, but regarding established artists that I deem special (IMO). I think people think they know photography due to knowing the cliches, but fall outside of that box and they do not understand. It's ok... Saul Leiter had artist friends who would forget the prints he gave them at his apartment...and never remember to ask for them again. Then many years later, those prints are in books and galleries doing well.
What I see as very different today is, many people see no value in Art. This is pretty common i think. First TV, and more recently social media have played a big roll in this. And, I think the trend has more mass here than in Europe. I'm curious about what you see in SA ?

Most of the social network related photos that "people" like, are photos involving "them". They are the center of attention. It's what "they" are eating, where "they" are going, what "they"" did, who "they" met (they are in the photo), what "they" own.. The concept of selfie extends far beyond a self picture, taken at arms length. A lot of people think this trend is restricted to the under 35 age group but, it looks like social media has many 50 and over locked in. I read that some local restaurants have installed "special" lighting or seating in specially lit areas that are more favorable for good food photos. customers insist on photographing everything they eat and the restaurant owners want their food looking as good as possible if it's making an appearance.

A serious problem many pro photographers are experiencing is, photo assistants snapping photos of sets and portrait subjects (especially if they are famous) and posting them to social media during the work day. Most photographers want their clients, portrait subjects and work place free from this kind of thing. The photo kiddies doing this stuff are quickly booted and word gets around. But many, knowing this will happen, do it anyway. The attention they get over rides the loss of a job or future work.

It's all about making yourself famous, as quickly as possible, and art plays no part in this.
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #70
ptpdprinter
Registered User
 
ptpdprinter is online now
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
Most of the social network related photos that "people" like, are photos involving "them". They are the center of attention. It's what "they" are eating, where "they" are going, what "they"" did, who "they" met (they are in the photo), what "they" own.. The concept of selfie extends far beyond a self picture, taken at arms length. A lot of people think this trend is restricted to the under 35 age group but, it looks like social media has many 50 and over locked in. I read that some local restaurants have installed "special" lighting or seating in specially lit areas that are more favorable for good food photos. customers insist on photographing everything they eat and the restaurant owners want their food looking as good as possible if it's making an appearance.
Photographers bear a fair amount of the blame for this. Social media started out as a place where people shared snapshots of their lives - vacations, meals, kids - a giant electronic shoebox. When it became apparent that this is where people were spending time looking at images, photographers started posting their work there looking for followers, likes, and money. They essentially threw their art in the shoebox, and now complain their work is diluted and lost among the snapshots. Well, duh.
__________________
ambientlightcollection.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #71
PKR
Registered User
 
PKR is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Photographers bear a fair amount of the blame for this. Social media started out as a place where people shared snapshots of their lives - vacations, meals, kids - a giant electronic shoebox. When it became apparent that this is where people were spending time looking at images, photographers started posting their work there looking for followers, likes, and money. They essentially threw their art in the shoebox, and now complain their work is diluted and lost among the snapshots. Well, duh.
I know a few photographers who have Instagram pages. The few who come to mind, teach on an annual basis. So, i guess that makes some sense, as per announcements and other info. I don't know many amateur photographers, except for the ones here. And, don't know what they do. I don't look at the images posted to this site. Many pros still have websites up that are updated constantly. Some, even have blog sites for quick updates. For some, this might be good for business but, i'll bet a lot of it is just vanity. I don't have any social media presence. I no longer have a website. I put up temporary sites on a per project basis that are only up for a month or two. They are visited by my client and me... that's it. There is a gallery site that has some of my old stuff on it. I don't think it generates a lot of traffic, I don't know.

So, that's the extent of my knowledge on photographers having a web presence. I think most of the "photographers" you are talking about are maybe amateur people or maybe Art photographers wanting to sell prints? In all the cases I've mentioned, the quantity of photos on the websites / social media pages are often fewer than 100 images. In the case of one photographer friend, his Instagram account represents the bulk of his 50 years of working professionally. I think he has about 110 images posted. These were edited before being published and again edited further by him. None of these people have uploaded 100 photos of their lunch. There is a vast divide in the two camps of "photographers".

I think the bigger point is that, many of the New Photographers see no difference between my friends 100+ pictures of his years of travel ( https://www.instagram.com/williamalbertallard/?hl=en ) and the 2500 they uploaded of their 2 week vacation...
https://chrisguillebeau.com/the-ques...h-thomas-hawk/
__________________
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. Dorothea Lange
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #72
helenhill
Mod chasing Shadows Light
 
helenhill's Avatar
 
helenhill is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New Yawk
Posts: 5,641
Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
phonygraphy.
hahaha .... like that Johannes
__________________
Flickr.

________________________
To the question "what are you after"
I respond: The Moment...The Memory of what Once was
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #73
helenhill
Mod chasing Shadows Light
 
helenhill's Avatar
 
helenhill is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New Yawk
Posts: 5,641
if a 'Photo' moves, grips, or questions you
than that's all that matters ...not the medium


though I must confess... give me a camera and I am bound to take a Great Shot...give me a phone and I suck, plain & simple...don't know why
__________________
Flickr.

________________________
To the question "what are you after"
I respond: The Moment...The Memory of what Once was
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #74
Bill Pierce
Registered User
 
Bill Pierce's Avatar
 
Bill Pierce is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,177
As to there being a lot of photographers…..

When I started as a freelance news photographer, I believe it was the American Society of Magazine Photographers (now “Media Photographers”) that published an article saying that there were 200 “editorial freelance” photographers who made enough each year to pay income tax ($600). If you were average, you were the 100th best editorial freelance in America. Your skills were broad ranging in that you could both use an exposure meter for natural light and guide numbers for on-camera flash. Years later the situation had not changed that much. When Rick Smolan did his first Day in the Life book and flew 100 photographers to Australia, one magazine editor worried that if the plane went down the magazines wouldn’t have any of their major photographers. He was right.

But, it’s not just that there were fewer photographers, there were fewer publications - and less competition between them. The same subscriber probably got both Life Magazine and its arch rival Look Magazine.

Today capturing people’s attention on an internet packed with choices (a zillion competitors) is an imperative for survival. Thus, changing the pictures often or directing specific images to a smaller more targeted audience is more important than picture quality. If you were a loyal subscriber to the printed Life Magazine, you were stuck with the same pictures for a week. That doesn’t work for today’s web viewer. So, yes, picture quality has dropped in favor of fresh but lessor images. If you are a photographer, you think that is awful. If you are an editor, you think that is the inevitable result of the need for higher volume. If you are a viewer, you are probably unaware that this is being done to hold your attention.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2018   #75
jsrockit
Moderator
 
jsrockit's Avatar
 
jsrockit is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santiago, Chile
Age: 46
Posts: 20,018
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
What I see as very different today is, many people see no value in Art. This is pretty common i think. First TV, and more recently social media have played a big roll in this. And, I think the trend has more mass here than in Europe. I'm curious about what you see in SA ?
I agree... Art just isn't that popular in general. Especially today when it takes a great deal of buying into abstract ideas and conceptual concepts. In Chile, I do feel that they are trying to have better exhibits here and that things are getting better and not worse. I have a few Facebook groups were we talk about work and photography in general. Not ideal for me, but better than nothing...and it helps because I can use google translate. I have met a few people in person, but the talent levels vary wildly. There does not seem to be the focus on gear above all else here... probably because it costs 30-40% higher than in the US. That said, I do not have a great grasp on everything because I don't speak the language well at all. I just keep photographing.

Quote:
Most of the social network related photos that "people" like, are photos involving "them". They are the center of attention. It's what "they" are eating, where "they" are going, what "they"" did, who "they" met (they are in the photo), what "they" own.. The concept of selfie extends far beyond a self picture, taken at arms length. A lot of people think this trend is restricted to the under 35 age group but, it looks like social media has many 50 and over locked in. I read that some local restaurants have installed "special" lighting or seating in specially lit areas that are more favorable for good food photos. customers insist on photographing everything they eat and the restaurant owners want their food looking as good as possible if it's making an appearance.
Yes, and there is nothing wrong with this... but it serves a different purpose than Art, etc. I tend to find that many online experts are generally just novices that think they know a lot.

Quote:
A serious problem many pro photographers are experiencing is, photo assistants snapping photos of sets and portrait subjects (especially if they are famous) and posting them to social media during the work day. Most photographers want their clients, portrait subjects and work place free from this kind of thing. The photo kiddies doing this stuff are quickly booted and word gets around. But many, knowing this will happen, do it anyway. The attention they get over rides the loss of a job or future work.

It's all about making yourself famous, as quickly as possible, and art plays no part in this.
That's sad... but to be young, is to be ... No problem with young people, but I was a dummy as a young guy.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:44.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.