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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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Santa
Old 12-20-2018   #1
Bill Pierce
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Santa

If Santa could give you anything for Christmas, what would it be? For me, it would be more time, time to shoot on the street, time to print, maybe even time to think.
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Old 12-20-2018   #2
Timmyjoe
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Ditto, time to shoot, time to travel to places I want to shoot, that's about it.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 12-20-2018   #3
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Another vote for time.
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Old 12-20-2018   #4
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Time to shoot and travel would both be very nice as would some more interesting weather such as fog and snow for shooting locally.
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Old 12-20-2018   #5
lynnb
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For me, it would be the opportunity to get out of the house and shoot more. That's if we're only talking photography here.
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Old 12-20-2018   #6
Nokton48
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I am retiring Dec 31st so Santa will be giving me the time I crave.
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Old 12-20-2018   #7
Phil_F_NM
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I would like Santa to pay off mine and my significant other's student loans.
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Old 12-20-2018   #8
Ko.Fe.
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RFF is load of gearheads, including me. The sinner.
Santa is not about something serious. It is basically the commerce vehicle.

Christmas is about keeping your soul clean.



So, Bill, keep Christmas out from it. Please.
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Old 12-20-2018   #9
TXForester
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Money, so I could afford to travel.
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Old 12-20-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokton48 View Post
I am retiring Dec 31st so Santa will be giving me the time I crave.
Hahaha... I had the opposite experience since leaving the office some years ago as I am more busy now then ever. So while time, money, interest, etc. are "nice" I was looking for something tangible to use...

So I recently presented myself with a used (in ex condition) NIKON Ai Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8 S with PN-11 auto extension ring and a new HS14 hood... to be used with a Nikon F3 / F3P. The first test shots come back from the lab later today.
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Old 12-20-2018   #11
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the shallow part of me would like time and money to shoot.
if i had the means i would travel from city to city and photograph till content...
and also catch a baseball game in every major league stadium.

the more thoughtful part of me would like to get serious and hopes that i can up my skill level with a camera...talent can't be taught but it can be nourished to its limit.
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Old 12-20-2018   #12
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A small efficient darkroom, in a small house, with a very small yard (maybe none), a one car garage, a small car that is pre-1976 so no smog test, a close large library, all within walking distance of my daughter's place.
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Old 12-20-2018   #13
skopar steve
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I'll ask him for some talent.
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Old 12-21-2018   #14
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Photography-wise, I'd ask for better mobility. Been having problems for over two years now with spine-related limitations to ambulation and postures. That's taken a toll on my photography and ability to travel.
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Old 12-21-2018   #15
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Right now, I have everything I need for photography. I wouldn`t pass up a Nikon D750 and a 50mm though. I would like a consistent salary here in Chile if Santa can provide that... I might even sit on his lap to get it. Hahaha.
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Old 12-21-2018   #16
dave lackey
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
A small efficient darkroom, in a small house, with a very small yard (maybe none), a one car garage, a small car that is pre-1976 so no smog test, a close large library, all within walking distance of my daughter's place.
Sounds like a nice dream and a road map for living. There are a lot of life experiences in that statement, John, that are the basis for your desire to live a simple life... similar to my own, too!

Hope you are doing well. (thumbs up!)
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Old 12-21-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
A small efficient darkroom, in a small house, with a very small yard (maybe none), a one car garage, a small car that is pre-1976 so no smog test, a close large library, all within walking distance of my daughter's place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Sounds like a nice dream and a road map for living. There are a lot of life experiences in that statement, John, that are the basis for your desire to live a simple life... similar to my own, too!

Hope you are doing well. (thumbs up!)
So simple, so nice...wish you all the best !
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Old 12-21-2018   #18
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Thanks Dave and Robert, hip surgery was canceled until 8th of January. I was able to get out an take a picture Wednesday and probably will today. Live easy.
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Old 12-21-2018   #19
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Better health would be nice or medication that worked without side effects and or strong addiction.
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Old 01-05-2019   #20
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Smile

I am pretty fortunate in that in my part-time job after retirement, I work as the black-and-white photo tech in the lab of a nearby junior college. I keep the lab stocked with chemistry and help students with their film and printing. I have free use of the darkroom and my boss will let me use a bit of the college's Ilford RC Multigrade, although I prefer my own fiber-base. I also help my boss shoot digital projects he has no time for (close-ups of pottery, artwork, etc.), hang prints around the college and whatever else he needs. At times I cover his classes if he's out sick. I have plenty of time to shoot.

I am learning a ton about digital shooting, studio lighting and so on. My boss is a former team photographer for the Dallas Cowboys, and a lifelong commercial pro, so he knows his stuff. I'm a retired journalist, so before this gig I worked as a writing tutor in the college's Student Success Center. The lab job pays better and is more fun. I am grateful for all this.

Having just spent a week in San Francisco with my 25-year-old son, I wish I had more opportunities to travel. I need to eradicate some debt, and lose some weight to improve my health. I am loved by a great wife who puts up with me, by my son, and four dogs and a cat. Overall, I am a very happy and lucky guy!
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Old 01-05-2019   #21
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If he/she could bring back Zone VI's Brilliant, graded bromide paper (all sizes), I'd be quite happy, and Summitek print washers...and perhaps Salthill print dryers.

and time...
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Old 01-05-2019   #22
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My original born-with eye sight...20/10 vision...that way I don't have to go shooting with glasses...
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