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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 11-30-2018   #11
bmattock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
... as long as you have a way to find the "keepers" out of the burst.

I shoot bursts and brackets regularly, and with new camera tech (e.g. 30fps, you pick the keeper) it will become even more effective as a photo technique.

The "4K" button on my latest Point 'n Shoot forces me to pick. iPhone encourages, but will happily keep the whole burst.
I do, and that to me is the point. I realize that it is a point of religiosity that one must be a qualified photographer to the extent that one can select the decisive moment and take that one momentously important photograph each and every time the opportunity presents itself, or scourge oneself for one's shortcomings by missing the shot entirely (yes, I've been told this, although not in such flowery language). I'm not that good and I'm not into testing my purity even if I thought I was. My DSLR lets me hammer away at things like parades and events where so much is happening so quickly, and sometimes the shot I thought I wanted has someone picking their nose prominently inside the frame. The next shot in my machine-gun series, they are not. So I am grateful and fully intend to keep machine-gunning away, despite being told I'm not a 'real photographer' because of it.
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