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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 05-08-2018   #1
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I'm going to be off line for a week; so, if anybody wants to start a thread, here's the space.
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Old 05-08-2018   #2
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Safe travels Bill.

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Old 05-08-2018   #3
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i wonder if i could go offline for a week?
somedays i would like to quit the whole computer thing.
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Old 05-09-2018   #4
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Worst things Last: it's also a smartphone thing .
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Old 05-09-2018   #5
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Got to do that once in the summer of 2012. Was blissful. Quite a shock to the system coming back online after being away for a week.

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Old 05-09-2018   #6
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Ok, I will take your offer, Bill.

My topic has to do with the fact that with all the advancement in camera technology, especially the amazing digital cameras, then how come we don't see more amazing photography, the kind that takes your breath way or makes you in awe of the image as a stand alone item of momentary creation of a slice of life?


Yes, I know that is a blanket statement and a personal generalisation but when I look through my collection of US Camera or Modern Photography or Popular Photography magazines from the 1950s to the 1970s, I don't see much improvement in the quality of photography in today's timeline, I mean I am not seeing today's HCB or Robert Frank or Ralph Gibson, or Tony Ray Jones or Diane Arbus.

Maybe I am not looking hard enough?
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Old 05-09-2018   #7
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Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
My topic has to do with the fact that with all the advancement in camera technology, especially the amazing digital cameras, then how come we don't see more amazing photography, the kind that takes your breath way or makes you in awe of the image as a stand alone item of momentary creation of a slice of life?
I think the problem is not that it doesn't exist but that it is near impossible to find among the billions of images online. You could spend all your time looking for it instead of making your own images, something I'm unwilling to do. My attention span on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, 500px, etc. is about 30 seconds. And I can't say the galleries are fulling their curatorial responsibilities.
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Old 05-09-2018   #8
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Dilution certainly plays a role, but also the disappearance of the structure for presentation. Hard copy magazines (not necessarily photo magazines), photo editors, brick and mortar sales venues, and maybe spending too much time playing with digital cameras and screwball lenses rather than taking photos: these all are different from the past.

One other thought, I know Ansel Adams was a manipulator of images in the darkroom, but generally in the past photos were really what you shot was the end product. Now people may not truly appreciate photos because they know that all of them are faked. They say I could do that if I spent the time to learn Photoshop.
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Old 05-09-2018   #9
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I think the problem is not that it doesn't exist but that it is near impossible to find among the billions of images online. You could spend all your time looking for it instead of making your own images, something I'm unwilling to do. My attention span on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, 500px, etc. is about 30 seconds. And I can't say the galleries are fulling their curatorial responsibilities.
+1 Used to enjoy paging through magazines and books admiring street and documentary photography, taking for granted the editorial/selection process that preceded publication. Aside from a few photographers working street/documentary that I try to follow online, I have no patience to wade through the flood of images everywhere. I can't tell whether there's been deterioration in quality since the days of HCB, Frank, and others.

Beyond street/documentary, I am equally unable to respond. Who is the equal today of people like Penn or Avedon in portraiture/fashion? In music, who stands in for Herman Leonard? How would I know unless I spend hours surfing the sites?

It is likely that the quality is still there, somewhere, but that the medium of presentation has left me behind.
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Old 05-09-2018   #10
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..maybe spending too much time playing with digital cameras and screwball lenses rather than taking photos...
Nothing new. You are probably too young to remember the Spiratone catalog.
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Old 05-09-2018   #11
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Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Dilution certainly plays a role, but also the disappearance of the structure for presentation. Hard copy magazines (not necessarily photo magazines), photo editors, brick and mortar sales venues, and maybe spending too much time playing with digital cameras and screwball lenses rather than taking photos: these all are different from the past.

One other thought, I know Ansel Adams was a manipulator of images in the darkroom, but generally in the past photos were really what you shot was the end product. Now people may not truly appreciate photos because they know that all of them are faked. They say I could do that if I spent the time to learn Photoshop.
I think you hit the nail on the head, dilution is at play here, too much to look at all at once and so easy to do.

And as ptpdprinter has said, our attention span as diminished. I always suspected that spending too much time browsing on our computer, or tablet or smart-phone has re-wired our brain and killed our attention span.
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Old 05-09-2018   #12
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as ptpdprinter has said, our attention span as diminished. I always suspected that spending too much time browsing on our computer, or tablet or smart-phone has re-wired our brain and killed our attention span.

It's easy. Limit your exposure.
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Old 05-09-2018   #13
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Recently Deborah & I were day-tripping Central Texas during Bluebonnet time and visited a small town festival. A photographer with a "pop-up" studio was selling large color landscape photographs, rural Texas scenes. I guess they were gorgeous, but with colors and lighting hardly ever seen in nature, I found them somehow off-putting. I chalked it up to digital overkill.
My wife loved them.
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Old 05-09-2018   #14
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It's easy. Limit your exposure.
That may be too late now, the damage has been done, but hoping it is reversible by taking a long break from computer use, if possible.
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Old 05-10-2018   #15
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Recently Deborah & I were day-tripping Central Texas during Bluebonnet time and visited a small town festival. A photographer with a "pop-up" studio was selling large color landscape photographs, rural Texas scenes. I guess they were gorgeous, but with colors and lighting hardly ever seen in nature, I found them somehow off-putting. I chalked it up to digital overkill.
My wife loved them.
You see this over and over again--hyper reality. Colors that blast the eye, sharpness that cuts the optic nerve. Black and white photos that have only blacks and whites with no real gray tones in between. It's like an epidemic of "me to" photos spreading through the web.

Most of the photographers whose work I admire the most don't post their stuff online. Galleries and publishers might post their photos but most don't have websites or blogs. They just do their work and ignore the trends.

A few years ago, my wife and I would take 2-3 weeks and travel around free of the internet with only the automobile radio, motel TV and a few paperback books. Now we have iPhones, iPads and Kindles and we look for Wi-Fi everywhere we go. I don't think I could get away with limiting my exposure anymore.
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Old 05-10-2018   #16
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Most of the photographers whose work I admire the most don't post their stuff online. Galleries and publishers might post their photos but most don't have websites or blogs. They just do their work and ignore the trends.
I'd ask you who you admire, but it wouldn't matter if I could never see their work. Of course it is their choice, but obscurity is a not a virtue.
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Old 05-10-2018   #17
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I'd ask you who you admire, but it wouldn't matter if I could never see their work. Of course it is their choice, but obscurity is a not a virtue.
PTP,

I know many serious artists who remain under the radar. To me not only is it a badge of honor, but also a virtue.

Fame and wealth is not the goal for many, nor is it a judge of talent.

Cal
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Old 05-10-2018   #18
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Switching from one media type to another one has nothing to do with amount of gifted people. Increasing of exposure numbers only increasing amount of dross.
Absolute talent is constant value. Only few per century.
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Old 05-10-2018   #19
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Switching from one media type to another one has nothing to do with amount of gifted people. Increasing of exposure numbers only increasing amount of dross.
Absolute talent is constant value. Only few per century.
I agree with you to a certain extent but leaps or changes in technology in photography did give us new artists with a unique vision and a different and still artistic( In a different form) produced image.

No different from say the invention of dry plates and increased light sensitivity led to hand held small cameras and instantaneous photography when compared to large tripod mounted collodion wet plate cameras.
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Old 05-10-2018   #20
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I'd ask you who you admire, but it wouldn't matter if I could never see their work. Of course it is their choice, but obscurity is a not a virtue.
Of course, most of the photographers I admire the most were long dead before there was an internet. Even before there was an Al Gore claiming to have invented it. Those whose work are on the web or who are still alive and working are usually represented by galleries or else their work is on websites administered by someone else. Their pictures can be found online but they're not out there following trends and looking for "likes" or "friends".
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Old 05-10-2018   #21
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PTP,

I know many serious artists who remain under the radar. To me not only is it a badge of honor, but also a virtue.

Fame and wealth is not the goal for many, nor is it a judge of talent.

Cal
You only need to look to painters who's talent was discovered after their death for proof.

The psychological makeup of many highly talented people requires a second participant to bring "public success", Lee Krasner & Jackson Pollock for instance.
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Old 05-10-2018   #22
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Old 05-10-2018   #23
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You only need to look to painters who's talent was discovered after their death for proof.

The psychological makeup of many highly talented people requires a second participant to bring "public success", Lee Krasner & Jackson Pollock for instance.
PKR,

Back before WWII there was this painter Van Me-GAR-ann who was mighty discouraged. The critics wrote him off as being untalented. Van-Me-GAR-ann decided he would exploit some art history and started to paint forgeries of the flemesh painter Vermeer's work. He was rather clever in acquiring vintage canvas, stripping off the old paint, and in baking forged paintings he created in an oven to age the oil paints.

So he released some of these "discovered" Vermeers and became the "darling" art dealer by the very same critics that previously had cruxified him and said that he had no talent.

So WWII breaks out and he is selling forgeries of Vermeer to the Nazi's, and after WWII he is tried and convicted for being a traitor because "he conspired with the enemy."

So to defend himself he reveals the truth that he created all these forgeries, but the critics say that this body of work is Vermeer's best work and reiterate that he is an awful painter and not capable of such mastery.

So in prison he paints a forgery to prove his innocence of being a traitor, and he was eventually released.

*****************

A few years ago a documentary film was made called "Twenty Feet From Stardom." It told the story of the back-up singers. In the song "Gimme Shelter" from the Rolling Stones the words "Rape" "Murder" "Is-Just-A-Shout-A-Way" is what sets the hook of the song that makes it iconic. Remove that part of the song and it likely would have been a dud.

Pretty much the unsung hero's: not everyone gets the opportunity to be a "Rock-Star." Some people do art because it is in there blood, for some it is their life, not everybody can be like a "Rock-Star." Many are excluded.

The art world, the music industry, and the literary world are all gated communities.

BTW "Twenty Feet From Stardom" received an Oscar for best documentary.

Cal
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Old 05-10-2018   #24
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PKR,

Back before WWII there was this painter Van Me-GAR-ann who was mighty discouraged. The critics wrote him off as being untalented. Van-Me-GAR-ann decided he would exploit some art history and started to paint forgeries of the flemesh painter Vermeer's work. He was rather clever in acquiring vintage canvas, stripping off the old paint, and in baking forged paintings he created in an oven to age the oil paints.

So he released some of these "discovered" Vermeers and became the "darling" art dealer by the very same critics that previously had cruxified him and said that he had no talent.

So WWII breaks out and he is selling forgeries of Vermeer to the Nazi's, and after WWII he is tried and convicted for being a traitor because "he conspired with the enemy."

So to defend himself he reveals the truth that he created all these forgeries, but the critics say that this body of work is Vermeer's best work and reiterate that he is an awful painter and not capable of such mastery.

So in prison he paints a forgery to prove his innocence of being a traitor, and he was eventually released.

*****************

A few years ago a documentary film was made called "Twenty Feet From Stardom." It told the story of the back-up singers. In the song "Gimme Shelter" from the Rolling Stones the words "Rape" "Murder" "Is-Just-A-Shout-A-Way" is what sets the hook of the song that makes it iconic. Remove that part of the song and it likely would have been a dud.

Pretty much the unsung hero's: not everyone gets the opportunity to be a "Rock-Star." Some people do art because it is in there blood, for some it is their life, not everybody can be like a "Rock-Star." Many are excluded.

The art world, the music industry, and the literary world are all gated communities.

BTW "Twenty Feet From Stardom" received an Oscar for best documentary.

Cal
So what you are saying is what is popular in art or music or culture in general is pre-selected for you and not a natural spontaneous event based on sheer talent that makes a break through to the public by its sheer beauty and talent and cleverness.

A book by Dave McGowan I recently finished reading alludes to the groovy late 1960s California rock music scene was a totally manufactured and controlled event.
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Old 05-10-2018   #25
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I think what Calzone is saying--and I ask him to correct me if I'm wrong--is that there are numerous influences involved in making art (or music or culture) popular. But talent, ability and craft are not always in the top tier.
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Old 05-10-2018   #26
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Nothing new. You are probably too young to remember the Spiratone catalog.

I'm younger than John and I remember the Spiratone catalogue.


(By the way, like John, I use my middle name and I have the same first name he has. )


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Old 05-10-2018   #27
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So what you are saying is what is popular in art or music or culture in general is pre-selected for you and not a natural spontaneous event based on sheer talent that makes a break through to the public by its sheer beauty and talent and cleverness.

A book by Dave McGowan I recently finished reading alludes to the groovy late 1960s California rock music scene was a totally manufactured and controlled event.
I had a graphic design client who, apparently, is/was a painter. I did work for this women over a number of years; we often traveled together on jobs. We had many conversations about art and other topics but, I had no idea she was a painter. She spent a lot of her free time at it, but never talked about it.

I found out about her painting from one of my art dealer friends. She's an instant genius success, after twenty five years at it in secret. I think, since she closed her design shop, she needed money to continue painting and found a dealer. Knowing her, it's about money to pay for her continued painting, without having to deal with corporate clients and business bs. If she was wealthy, she might have never showed her work to the public.

Think about Koudelka, not showing any of his photos to any but his friends for many years. Same kind of hidden talent, that just want's to produce art for the love of making it. This kind of thing is likely foreign to a lot of people. Especially the kiddies who, can't wait to be discovered as geniuses.
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Old 05-11-2018   #28
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I had a graphic design client who, apparently, is/was a painter. I did work for this women over a number of years; we often traveled together on jobs. We had many conversations about art and other topics but, I had no idea she was a painter. She spent a lot of her free time at it, but never talked about it.

I found out about her painting from one of my art dealer friends. She's an instant genius success, after twenty five years at it in secret. I think, since she closed her design shop, she needed money to continue painting and found a dealer. Knowing her, it's about money to pay for her continued painting, without having to deal with corporate clients and business bs. If she was wealthy, she might have never showed her work to the public.

Think about Koudelka, not showing any of his photos to any but his friends for many years. Same kind of hidden talent, that just want's to produce art for the love of making it. This kind of thing is likely foreign to a lot of people. Especially the kiddies who, can't wait to be discovered as geniuses.
You could be very well right about genius artists in many different mediums that keep their work to themselves and hidden from the rest of the world.
Vivian Maier was one of these until a John Maloof bought her work to world attention posthumously.
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Old 05-11-2018   #29
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I think what Calzone is saying--and I ask him to correct me if I'm wrong--is that there are numerous influences involved in making art (or music or culture) popular. But talent, ability and craft are not always in the top tier.
Dogman got my context. Back in the day when West Broadway in Soho was an important gallery scene, Ivan Karp of OK Harris Gallery was interested in my paintings. I basically took his suggestion to commodify my work as insult because I was an angry 20 year old who did not know how to respond appropriately to someone interested in representing me. I decided back then to work a day-job and to maintain my artistic integrity of scratching my own itch and not massage someone's back. Very blatant for me: do I serve myself; or do I serve others with my art?

Also some people expend their creativity in a commercial manner as a day job. Many of my friends that did that found out that their identity got diluted, they compromised their artistic freedom, and expended their talent making an agency money. At home they were too tired to make and pursue art.

In the art world it works like a gated community: careers are managed and directed; work is commodified for sale motivated by profits; and artistic freedom and control gets compromised.

Ever hear of a recording artist getting a record deal and then having their work "shelved?" How about a photographer like W.Eugene Smith getting blackballed because he wanted to exert editorial control over his work involving Pitsburg? How about Marcel Duchamp's submission of a urinal at the famous Armory Show being rejected. How do we include "counter-culture?" Most times is it not dismissed?

To me going online or posting is playing to a crowd and looking for mass approval through "likes" and "followers." Not sure if this best serves artistic expression which to me is more about an individual dynamic where the primary concern is not mass appeal, but individual satisfaction even if it means only pleasing oneself.

Cal
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Old 05-11-2018   #30
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Cal, it's like high school..there was ALWAYS that one person that went on and on about wanting to be "rich and famous". Me....I'd rather be rich and nobody know about it.
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Old 05-11-2018   #31
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But talent, ability and craft are not always in the top tier.
Seems to be true of most of human endeavors, not only artistic ones. The powerful (Cal's gatekeepers) don't graciously concede the advantages of their power to those more talented. Typically, it's the opposite. They seek to control (or marginalize) those with greater talent and ability to avoid disruption of their privileged position.

Commercial acceptance itself doesn't make a work of art better or worse, and the same goes for the artist. It only makes a livelihood better or worse.
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Old 05-11-2018   #32
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Cal, it's like high school..there was ALWAYS that one person that went on and on about wanting to be "rich and famous". Me....I'd rather be rich and nobody know about it.
MFM,

Kinda funny is I have a very wealthy older brother who could be mistaken as a homeless person. Interesting to note that he looks like Pancho Villa even though he is an Asian.

Got a full scholarship to Brooklyn College, but dropped out after a year, joined the Navy and saved his salary during his service on a nuclear attack submarine as the Nuclear Operator. Invested in microwave companies before there were cell phones.

So for a car he once bought this red Toyota that had been repo'ed. The owner took a baseball bat to every body panel before the bank got hold of it. "It is still a new car," he said. LOL.

Later on I worked at Brookhaven National Lab, and the Radiation Safety Offercer looked at my badge for my last name and asked, "Do you have a brother who was the Nuclear Operator at Shoram?" Shoram Nuclear Power Supply was a famous nuclear power plant built out on Long Island for a cost of 2.2 billion dollars that never went online that was built and then immediately decommissioned.

When I told him yes, the next question was, "Does he still drive that beat up old red Toyota?" LOL. Everyone knew he was worth millions, and basically he only kept the job for health benefits. "Health insurance is expensive," he said. Pretty much my brother read the Wall Street Journal at work, because he just had to be on-hand because he was the one with the Nuclear License. Lazy slacker behavior I think runs in my family. LOL.

So while one of my older brothers is UBER wealthy, I am the one in the family that has the rich life. I'm the most educated, and I'm the one with the craziest life. Pretty much am reckless and at every crossroad I always took the path that was hardest and most fraught with risk. Never thought I would be this old. No regrets.

Cal
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Old 05-11-2018   #33
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All hail to Cal!

I wonder if this was the reason for GW to leave commercial photography.
To avoid blending. In Russian Winogrand is very close to vine grapes.

On the opposite side, Eliot Erwitt was highly ranked commercially and according to him it allowed his amateur photography to be published. Where is his commercial work now? And in opposite his after work photography is well known and alive.

Who was stronger? Winogrand who quit or Erwitt who did it after and between...

Or Allen street photography, book and exhibition are coming. I think his corporate work helped with street photography with very obvious reason. He is using highly sufficient gear not only for street but switched to it for his work. Basically he is new era old style photographer who is using Leica cameras as the only tools.

I also think what for paid photography it is possible to keep your vision, but it is limiting.
Our daughter is one of the first nightclubs female photographers in GTA.
She had her own style, not set of cliches, which reminds me Winogrand events photography.
And she doesn't work for those who demind - do this and such. But it doesn't give her a lot of work, due to her insist to be independent in style and vision.
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Old 05-11-2018   #34
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Seems to be true of most of human endeavors, not only artistic ones. The powerful (Cal's gatekeepers) don't graciously concede the advantages of their power to those more talented. Typically, it's the opposite. They seek to control (or marginalize) those with greater talent and ability to avoid disruption of their privileged position.

Commercial acceptance itself doesn't make a work of art better or worse, and the same goes for the artist. It only makes a livelihood better or worse.
M,

I have had "Art Directors" for print and online magazines ask for "High-Res" image files. When I politely ask definitively for them to define the generic term "High-Res" I don't get DPI and an image size that would be useful information. This is totally lame and IMHO unprofessional. Get up to speed if this is your job.

Also how would you feel if one of your images got printed as a full page in Vogue Italia (out of all the editions of Vogue the Italian edition is rated as having the best art direction) without your photo credit. The file and my name was supplied by my gal who also provided an interview. How hard is it to give someone their photo credit? Shame on you Vogue.

Understand that my gal has close to half a million followers and has become a celeb due to her fashion blog, so I know first hand the other side. Pretty much the photography I do for her gets lifted, reposted, and basically is stolen.

As you see I could make myself sick over the exploitation and abuse, but I would rather be happy and concentrate on being a creative who only needs to impress myself.

Cal
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Old 05-11-2018   #35
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KoFe,

Thanks for the praise, but I'm no hero.

Just trying to express without the bitterness my foolish struggle over the decades. Of course what is right for me does not apply to others.

I have to ask myself of why I struggled all these decades in the arts? My only answers are that art gives my life meaning where otherwise there is no point. I definitely don't do it for money although sometimes I do get paid.

My gal cannot go to any city in the world without getting engaged or approached by her followers, but I find that this level of being widely known as uncomfortable, and it is not for me.

Pretty much I'm happy just being a guy with a pony tail and under the radar. No delusions, I hope. LOL.

Cal
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Old 05-11-2018   #36
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As you see I could make myself sick over the exploitation and abuse, but I would rather be happy and concentrate on being a creative who only needs to impress myself.

Cal
Makes sense to me, Cal. The alternative - to oppose the exploitation - would consume no small amount of time, energy, relationships, and money. But then I'm old(er) and appreciate deeply the value of lost time, energy, and relationships.
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Old 05-11-2018   #37
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Makes sense to me, Cal. The alternative - to oppose the exploitation - would consume no small amount of time, energy, relationships, and money. But then I'm old(er) and appreciate deeply the value of lost time, energy, and relationships.
Mike,

I'm right behind you. We don't have time to waste anymore. The point is to be happy, and I am.

Also some old geezer wisdom I gleened from my gal's blog that she started less than 4 years ago. The only digital camera I owned during that time was my MM so we were limited to only B&W photography. If you visit fashion blogs they all do color photography, so what we did was different, although not by choice.

Because of the difference mentioned above "Maggie" (not her real name) got a lot of traction, and trying to do fashion in B&W with a manual focus camera is not easy and was a challenge. "Grey Magazine" decided to do a feature and a cover about "Maggie" early on emulating the B&W photography we started. After that it became quadratic leaps in followers.

So the moral of the story here I learned was, "If you want to stand out don't do what everyone else is doing."

Cal
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Old 05-11-2018   #38
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I think the problem is not that it doesn't exist but that it is near impossible to find among the billions of images online. You could spend all your time looking for it instead of making your own images, something I'm unwilling to do. My attention span on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, 500px, etc. is about 30 seconds. And I can't say the galleries are fulling their curatorial responsibilities.
I agree to that statement. There a billions upon billions of images that it make it hard to really appreciate brilliant images, unless you look specifically for a know photography/group. Would rather go shooting that looking at bland photos, trying to find one that inspire, amaze, etc.

Problem is that it pretty easy to make tons of digital pictures now, and even photographer is unwilling to sort and pick a keeper, just post/upload the bunch of it. On analog, because all the effort/cost involved, keepers where easier to sort. Being more careful (because film was/is expensive) usually lead to better though photos.

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Old 05-11-2018   #39
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I am comfortable with the estimate that the subset of "good' or 'worthwhile' or 'interesting' photos, out of the set consisting of all photos shot, is the same size now as it was in 1940 or 1980. The increase in human (and camera) populations means more stuff, and more good stuff, but the overall proportion of good to bad is roughly the same.
The increased availability of cameras and web distribution actually makes it more difficult to find the new 'greats', but they are out there and among us.
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Old 05-11-2018   #40
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