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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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Silly Arkansas
Old 05-18-2016   #1
Bill Pierce
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Silly Arkansas

Here's one for you...

https://fstoppers.com/news/arkansas-...al-state-65704
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Old 05-18-2016   #2
farlymac
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It's funny, all these righteous politicians ran on the promise of creating more jobs for the common man, and all they are doing is pushing their ideologies, and creating more work for lawyers.

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Old 05-18-2016   #3
Darthfeeble
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Funny way to interpret Freedom.
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Old 05-18-2016   #4
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Obviously the politicians in Arkansas are unfamiliar with the Bill of Rights, Article One in particular - which has been the death of more than a few examples of this kind on arbitrary nonsense before.

They also seem to be blissfully ignorant of their proper place in the scheme of things; they are politicians, not emperors.

This is what happens when corrupt, arrogant, self-entitled weasels are elected to high office. Just saying...

Quote:
Unconstitutional Official Acts

16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256:

The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be In agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail. This is succinctly stated as follows:

The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it's enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.

Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it... A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the lend, it is superseded thereby.

No one Is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.



Source: http://www.constitution.org/uslaw/16amjur2nd.htm
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Old 05-18-2016   #5
daveleo
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I have long given up worrying about laws in other states.
Guns/no guns, gay rights (or lack of gay rights), abortion, voting photo ID's, stop-and-ask-for-papers, stand-your-ground-and-shoot.
Now it's (again) no photographs in public somewhere.

Is this what "states rights" is all about?
You can shoot someone "if you feel threatened" but you can't take his picture because *he* may feel threatened.
God bless America.
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Old 05-18-2016   #6
Ronald M
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I just do not know what to say.
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Old 05-18-2016   #7
charjohncarter
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So ever wedding guest would get a release form with their invitation. They said about Hubert Humphrey that he had a solution even when there wasn't a problem.
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Old 05-18-2016   #8
charjohncarter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
Obviously the politicians in Arkansas are unfamiliar with the Bill of Rights, Article One in particular - which has been the death of more than a few examples of this kind on arbitrary nonsense before.

...
I wouldn't limit that to Arkansas politicians.
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Old 05-18-2016   #9
splitimageview
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
Obviously the politicians in Arkansas are unfamiliar with the Bill of Rights, Article One in particular
You must be thinking of the First Amendment.

There is no shortage of politicians or judges who are unfamiliar with the Constitution.
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Old 05-18-2016   #10
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"Article the First", et al, were the proposed amendments of the First Congress. The actual amendments are referred to in the Bill of Rights, as Amendment I, etc.

"Article the Third" of the proposal actually ended up being the First Amendment. No one pleads Article the 7th on the witness stand.
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Old 05-18-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
You miss the point, Article if the First, is not Amendment one. Actually Article 3 is Amendment one as I remember.

Really you are both wrong, and yet we all knew what was meant. Why do people on the web fight grammar wars?
The Amendments are not referred to as Articles. That's not an incorrect statement. The Articles in the congressional proposal are not amendments.

Quote:
Actually Article 3 is Amendment one as I remember.
I think that's exactly what my post says...lol
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Old 05-18-2016   #12
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I worked down in Little Rock and El Dorado for a few months in the early 90's. We were moving the headquarters of a company up to the Chicago area. The main building was locked down at night. Locked down so tight that if you didn't have your electronic badge you could not get out. No emergency exits, building lost power and there was a fire, you were cooked.

I asked management why and they responded why not require it.

Driving between Little Rock and El Dorado it was shack, shack, shack, shack, Mansion, shack, shack, shack, shack, shack, MANSION, shack, shack......

Then the year after Katrina hit the family spent Christmas vacation helping to rebuild houses and on the way back north we passed the Hope Airport. It was shut down but full, fence to fence to fence, as far as the eye could see with trailers. Folks were still killing themselves because they had no place to live and the airport was full of new, unused trailers.

Nothing they do surprises me.

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Old 05-18-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
I worked down in Little Rock and El Dorado for a few months in the early 90's. We were moving the headquarters of a company up to the Chicago area. The main building was locked down at night. Locked down so tight that if you didn't have your electronic badge you could not get out. No emergency exits, building lost power and there was a fire, you were cooked.

I asked management why and they responded why not require it.

Driving between Little Rock and El Dorado it was shack, shack, shack, shack, Mansion, shack, shack, shack, shack, shack, MANSION, shack, shack......

Then the year after Katrina hit the family spent Christmas vacation helping to rebuild houses and on the way back north we passed the Hope Airport. It was shut down but full, fence to fence to fence, as far as the eye could see with trailers. Folks were still killing themselves because they had no place to live and the airport was full of new, unused trailers.

Nothing they do surprises me.

B2 (;->
I'm curious what this has to do with anything?

There are poor people, and well-to-do people, in every state of the union.

And there are poor managers, too.

And, of course, there are politicians in every state who don't know the Constitution, and/or do their best to chip away at it...
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Old 05-18-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveleo View Post
You can shoot someone "if you feel threatened" but you can't take his picture because *he* may feel threatened.
God bless America.
So I guess if you take his picture, he has the right to shoot you.

I think I'll avoid Arkansas.
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Old 05-18-2016   #15
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not putting a damper on my arkansas photo retreat in october... I've never had a single problem there...
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Old 05-18-2016   #16
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It was vetoed, much ado about nada.
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Old 05-18-2016   #17
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No wonder the Governor vetoed it, just imagine:
1. How about attending a political rally, will that be covered - no more media coverage for these guys just in case Im standing near to them and appear in the picture?
2. No more scene setting pictures of 'downtown' in case, with the high res images possible, I am recognisable at magnifications of 100x, I will sue you know
3. how about the County Fair? Oh no, it is a public space with people in it - out of bounds
4. I imagine the movie lawyers will be drawing up new guidelines for their producers, anywhere but Arkansas
5. No live news coverage
The Governor must have woken up and realised that his/her next campaign may be text based only, mind you, a thousand babies were heaving sighs of relief that they no longer had to submit to kisses from the Governor - ooh that sounds so weird when written down.
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Old 05-19-2016   #18
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Of course the article Bill referenced is over a year old. I don't recall such a law having been put into effect since then (but I don't keep up with politics too closely).

Crackpot politicians are everywhere. Arkansas has no monopoly. Luckily the proposals these morons come up with seldom actually are made law--thank goodness.
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Old 05-19-2016   #19
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According to the interview in this article from the NYT Arkansas is the state where Robert Frank had to spend a night in jail
I feel everywhere, where I live included is that photography in public not touristic spaces is getting more and more difficult, it's not a crime but it has become a suspicious activities...
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Old 05-19-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
.... I feel everywhere, where I live included is that photography in public not touristic spaces is getting more and more difficult,....
It has for me too. Security at bus and rail stations has gotten what I call Camera-Stupid. I was working above one of the train stations in Chicago, came down stairs to leave the building, noticed really interesting lighting coming through the large windows playing on the super structure, tried to take a picture and heard "Sir, no pictures allowed in the station" as this guy in a building security coat walked towards me.
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Old 05-19-2016   #21
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Arkansas is my adopted home state, these past 23 years, and amongst a lot of others, I submitted to our Governor serial emails, calls, etc. exhorting him to veto this bill, which ultimately he did.

That said, I recently had occasion to withdraw some photos from a submission for publication, when it became apparent that in British Columbia, where they had been taken, there had been some court cases supporting the ownership of individuals of the copyright to their own likeness, even if they had been photographed in a public place. This is similar to the law in Quebec, as I understand it, as well as France, after which the other laws appear to have been modeled.

In the case of the photos I withdrew from a juried submission, it was evident that, while a court might uphold my right to take and publish the photos, the potential legal costs would probably not make the effort worthwhile. This would be especially true if we get these laws in the US, where lawyers are able to charge contingency fees. The photographer would not have, in this case, the luxury of cost-free legal representation in a lawsuit such as this. While there has in some cases been a provision in these laws for "newsworthy" and "journalistic" use, the clear definitions of these terms have not been [as in B.C.] clearly delineated, and it appears that enforcement of these laws has been all over the map. Maybe Tom A. has some thoughts about the local events in his province.

Many of the photographers I know who have always carried a camera with them have stopped taking shots of any scenes that include children, as well as some adult bystanders, even if they are incidental to the scene. I seem to recall an article within the past couple of years, highlighting posters that had been placed on the "tube" in London, UK. The posters, if I remember correctly, advised people to call a toll free telephone number, should they see someone taking a photograph of something they regarded as suspicious or otherwise not a subject they would consider of interest.

I'm beginning to understand the attraction of green bell peppers and commodes as subjects for photography.
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Old 05-19-2016   #22
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Agreed, this proposed law didn't have much chance, glad it was vetoed. But in other countries, they really do have laws against street photography. Not in American, on most streets that aren't in front of a nuke facility or submarine base anyway.
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Old 11-24-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
It was vetoed, much ado about nada.
It was likely vetoed because of the "ado."
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Old 11-25-2016   #24
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"I recently had occasion to withdraw some photos from a submission for publication, when it became apparent that in British Columbia, where they had been taken, there had been some court cases supporting the ownership of individuals of the copyright to their own likeness, even if they had been photographed in a public place. This is similar to the law in Quebec, as I understand it."

quadtones, your post was extremely interesting - and scary!

I photograph mainly in Canada, and now I'm learning how to design a book which will contain many street pictures in it.

A while ago, I asked this Forum for any information / experience folks had with Canadian laws about publishing pix of people in public places. I was reassured by the replies, but now I'm seriously concerned.

quadtones, do you have any more information about those B.C. and Quebec laws?

Can anyone else add anything about Canadian laws that deal with publishing, or exhibiting street photography?
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Old 11-25-2016   #25
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It was vetoed?

If so at least one Governor is not an imbecile.
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Old 11-25-2016   #26
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
It was vetoed, much ado about nada.
Sounds like momentary group insanity. Threat has passed, move on.
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Old 11-25-2016   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Ursus View Post
...
Can anyone else add anything about Canadian laws that deal with publishing, or exhibiting street photography?
Nothing was widely reported as changed since you have asked.

Quote:
For all activities, whether commercial in nature or not, provincial and common law privacy protections limit the distribution of photographs. Any court may recognize a lawsuit based on a violation of privacy under the common law. As well, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have privacy legislation that specifically gives individuals the right to sue for privacy breaches. In Quebec, privacy is protected by a person's “right to respect for his private life” under the Quebec Charter. Distributing an identifiable image of a person without consent is likely to violate one or more of these privacy laws.
https://cippic.ca/en/FAQ/Photography_Law#distribute

IMO, book is distribution and if Canadians in this book are taken in over-Gilden style without permission they have at least moral rights to sue.
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