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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 04-05-2018   #81
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Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
There has NEVER, ever, EVER been a difference in grain between shots on the same film with the same film size, developed in the same developer. The film has no clue what camera it was used in.
It is not the food that makes the differences but it is the fine china plates, the crisp and expensive linen tablecloth and the highly polished silver plated forks and spoons that add so much to the dining experience.
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Old 04-05-2018   #82
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It is not the food that makes the differences but it is the fine china plates, the crisp and expensive linen tablecloth and the highly polished silver plated forks and spoons that add so much to the dining experience.
If it is the experience of photographing rather than the resulting photograph that is important to you, I can understand why you might (or might not) prefer Leica. If so, you needn't even load film.
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Old 04-05-2018   #83
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More popcorn!

Hooray!
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Old 04-05-2018   #84
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Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
I recall reading about professional photographers 'discovering' Japanese lenses back in the 50's and 60's (I assume Nikon and Canon equipment) and ditching their Leica's en-masse. I'm fairly sure it wasn't because they were looking for a retro, gritty look
I thought this was more of a discovering the advantages of SLRs vs. RF and not necessarily about lenses.
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Old 04-05-2018   #85
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
If it is the experience of photographing rather than the resulting photograph that is important to you, I can understand why you might (or might not) prefer Leica. If so, you needn't even load film.
I say the whole package from soup to nuts is important, to me at least and maybe to most of us on this "specialised camera" forum.
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Old 04-05-2018   #86
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I just bought a Leica II, circa 1935. Did I need it - no? Will it generate income - no?. Will others care about the pictures I will make with it - no? Will it give me real pleasure to use a precision tool made eighty-three years ago - ABSOLUTELY!!! Your mileage may vary.
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Old 04-05-2018   #87
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I thought this was more of a discovering the advantages of SLRs vs. RF and not necessarily about lenses.
Not at all. During the Korean War, David Douglas Duncan, Horace Bristol, Carl Mydans, and others were given Nikkor lenses to test on their III-series Leicas. They promptly dumped their Leitz lenses and switched to Nikkors. The photographs for Duncan's great book This Is War! were taken with Nikkors on Leica rangefinder bodies. It was not until the late '50s that SLRs began to edge out rangefinders.
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Old 04-05-2018   #88
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Not at all. During the Korean War, David Douglas Duncan, Horace Bristol, Carl Mydans, and others were given Nikkor lenses to test on their III-series Leicas. They promptly dumped their Leitz lenses and switched to Nikkors. The photographs for Duncan's great book This Is War! were taken with Nikkors on Leica rangefinder bodies. It was not until the late '50s that SLRs began to edge out rangefinders.
Ah, I see... I was thinking the 50s and beyond. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2018   #89
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I was just stating the fact that digital cameras cannot create photographs, only files. At least according to my understanding of what a photograph is: an image created by the action of light on a substance. A negative being that image, and later the optical print.

The fact that you can't insert light sensitive material into a digital camera for it to record a photographic image, means it doesn't have the ability to create a photograph. An ability that all film cameras do have. Ergo that ability is removed from the 'photographer' when they use digital imaging instead of film.

Pedantic? Yes, but still true.
Utter rubbish. Talk about flogging a dead horse...!

Digital and analogue cameras create images by exactly the same basic process: an image is focused on a light-sensitive surface, exciting electrons to create a related pattern. This pattern is latent and cannot be seen, and so is converted to a visible image. This image can then be printed (optional). The printing process can be the same for both digital and analogue: for example, Lightjet C-type printing on traditional silver paper using light (laser).

Different kinds of processes have been used throughout the history of photography - daguerreotype, tintype, ambrotype, Autochrome, Kodachrome... on metal, glass, celluloid, plastic, paper... And today, silicon wafers - including digital cameras that work like traditional Polaroid cameras: you take a photo and a paper print comes out.

As you’re being pedantic, which of the above do you consider “photography”?

If it’s the use of light that concerns you throughout the entire process (notwithstanding that light creates the latent undeveloped image in both digital and analogue cameras, and can be used to create silver prints from both types of image), we can build a camera that uses a digital sensor and places the latent image onto traditional film: of course, that would be ridiculous, but it could be done - would that be a photograph according to your rules, since you then have a “traditional” negative that needs to be developed chemically using light?

Short summary: a photograph is any image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface. End of.
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Old 04-05-2018   #90
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The film versus digital and Leica 'quality' (however you define it) versus other manufacturer's 'quality' debates are irrelevant with respect to the thread's question (and pretty irrelevant anyway IMO). What is more pertinent is the enjoyment of using the 'right' tool for the photographer. To me this is why I use Leica's. I like their rangefinders and lenses and enjoy using them. I'm also very familiar with their simplistic controls. As a consequence I take 'better' images with them. I don't care whether other gear may be as good or even better because its not as relevant as enjoying using what I have, and wanted to use, and as a consequence take better photos with it. So to me my Leicas are 'worth it'.

Others may have very different views and take better images with other gear. Great, I have no problem with that. I use other gear too when its more capable than the Leicas for the application.
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Old 04-05-2018   #91
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Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
You know of a digital-only camera that outputs a photograph? Which one? I've seen a few and they all just churn out files, the same as my Mac.
Given that you have defined the term "photograph" narrowly to include only film, of course not. So yours is merely a semantic argument. Others take a broader view. Photography etymologically is light writing. There is no requirement that the light writing be on film rather than a sensor, other than one you yourself arbitrarily impose.
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Old 04-05-2018   #92
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You know of a digital-only camera that outputs a photograph? Which one? I've seen a few and they all just churn out files, the same as my Mac.
Technically, you are correct...

Raw image files fulfill the same role as negatives in film photography, but the RAW is not directly usable as an image (instead being a file which has all of the information needed to create an image). A film negative is an image already. We can view it as such. However, nobody (or very very few) shows off their negatives as finished images.... you need to print or display them as positives generally speaking. So why does it matter what the image capturing medium is if we only care about the resulting image in its display format?
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Old 04-05-2018   #93
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Some years ago I was looking for a film rangefinder - looked at a Leica 6 and a MP. The film loading was still 1930's - everyone else in the world moved on to rapid loading following the Nikon F mode. So I bought Cosina RA2 and RA4 and still had money left over for a few lenses.
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Old 04-05-2018   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
...
The fact that you can't insert light sensitive material into a digital camera for it to record a photographic image, means it doesn't have the ability to create a photograph. An ability that all film cameras do have. Ergo that ability is removed from the 'photographer' when they use digital imaging instead of film.

Pedantic? Yes, but still true.
LOL the light sensitive material in a digital camera is called sensor surface, just in case you are not aware. And it can be used over and over again.

When was the last time you have pulled out a photographic image ready to show out of a FILM camera? It's been a while but last time I worked with an analog camera, I open the film canister in a darkroom an developed the exposed film to transfer the latent silver image into something commonly called negative. If you take a closer look at said negative, you will see the silver grain(s). There is a chemical reaction somewhat proportionally to the exposure intensity of the light in the film emulsion. On the sensor this light intensity is translated into electrical values and stored as digital information. Exactly same thing - just a different tool.

If you only like one tool ... limit yourself.

If you deny the other tool the ability to work per your own definition, well ... lock yourself in and have fun with the dead horse.
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Old 04-06-2018   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
....

An activity that involves using cameras that output nothing but data, should not be called photography, in my opinion.
So your activity above involving a computer shouldn´t be called writing?

Nonsens in my opinion. That devides just because of a subjective mental state.
No practical use and no logics.

Quote:
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...I’d like to know how you feel about Leica rangefinders, both film and digital. Are they worth it and if so, why?
They are I mean. But I have not enough money to afford one again.
My M6 was a real tool, I learned much about how simple photography can be. Today I break down every camera I own to
the basic concept of time and aperture. And light meters are only a hint, not more. Old school? Maybe.
When you don´t want to look what a camera probably can and enjoy photographing instead you see what a camera does.
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Old 04-06-2018   #96
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So your activity above involving a computer shouldn´t be called writing?
... it shouldn't be called *handwriting*.

Agreed?

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Originally Posted by Axel100 View Post
Nonsens in my opinion. That devides just because of a subjective mental state.
No practical use and no logics.
Please, try it *handwritten*, perhaps then I understand what you're talking about.
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Old 04-06-2018   #97
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Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
... it shouldn't be called *handwriting*.

Agreed?



Please, try it *handwritten*, perhaps then I understand what you're talking about.
No. The item I replied to was "photography" so the other proper example is "writing". In general. That´s the point.
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Old 04-06-2018   #98
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I don't understand why people using digital gear get so defensive about this, and why there's always the comments about 'limiting yourself' and being a luddite etc. I also don't understand why people think separating the two disciplines is in some way a denigration of digital, or it comes about from having a sense of superiority, as one of the other posters accused film users of having. It's actually very odd....

An activity that involves using cameras that output nothing but data, should not be called photography, in my opinion.
You don't see that your denying a different camera tool of doing the same job comes across as exactely what you describe above?
A photographer sees frames exposes an image. It's the exact same process. How you end up with a printed image of the exposure might be different.

Your analogy of a potter with a craftsman skill and a user of a 3D printer doesn't really work. IMHO.
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Old 04-06-2018   #99
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No. The item I replied to was "photography" so the other proper example is "writing". In general. That´s the point.
Well, no, because: *nicht alles, was hinkt, ist ein Vergleich*.

Writing is *several thousand years* old, photography mere 200.

Classic photography (involving chemistry) is just a tiny branch of all possible arts; so, why not grant the new art without chemistry a new wording?
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Old 04-06-2018   #100
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Regarding lenses causing grain, please do your own test!
Use ONE roll and HP5+, Kentmere 400 Tri-X.
Develop in D-76,HC-110 or the worst for grain Rodinal.
No T-Max or Delta as they are too fine.
Shoot a few different scenes with older LEICA lenses.
Remove film and expose in any SLR, Spotmatic, Nikon or Canon.
Make 8x10 prints and compare.
The only "April Fool" are those believing I am wrong.
Erwin Puts came up with same conclusion.
Do the test!
The RFF is for sharing experiences and knowledge.
I shot thousands of rolls doing PJ, Fashion and Documentary.
PS I like grain!
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Old 04-06-2018   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
Classic photography (involving chemistry) is just a tiny branch of all possible arts; so, why not grant the new art without chemistry a new wording?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
However, photography in general encompasses lots of different processes, skills, materials and actions, which is why when taken as a whole, the two are very different and, I think, need different names.
Hm... what about

Photo-graphy versus Photo-cybernetics?

I'd propose *photocyby* (pronounced like: scifi) as abbreviation

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Old 04-06-2018   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
...

And if you disagree, then you must also agree that the 3D modeller in my analogy is a potter, which really is nonsense.
Why shouldn´t a 3D modeller called potter as long as he uses similar materials and creates something similar like his fathers?

Don´t know why such terms come up in a thread with a clear theme.
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Old 04-06-2018   #103
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Your analogy is too narrow which is why you're missing the point. If you take one small part of digital photography and film photography - let's say, composition within a viewfinder - then of course both processes are almost identical. However, photography in general encompasses lots of different processes, skills, materials and.....
Content and composition are generally the most important parts though. Without you don’t have much to work with. Luckily museums and galleries accept digital for what it is... photography.
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Old 04-06-2018   #104
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I love Leica M film cameras. There are times the 35mm format is just too tiny, so I go to a Bronica ETRSi.

The Leica M cameras have taught me to concentrate on the essentials of an image, and that having lots of different focal length lenses does not matter to me as much as expressing my vision/version of reality on film in monochrome - also in infrared. I enjoy the limitations, mostly, of just using an M6 or M2 and just one lens. It helps one concentrate on the image, IMO. I also use a tripod with the M film cameras - not always, but for those times when I need certain degrees of sharpness and depth of field.

I'm the black-and-white darkroom tech at a local junior college. My boss, Tony Bennett, is a well-known (at least around northwest New Mexico) retired commercial photographer who teaches one B&W film class and four digital classes, so I am learning a lot about studio lighting and the digital process. Also about framing large prints and setting up student photography shows, as well as covering/teaching his classes when he can't be there. It's a good gig. I also am a writing tutor at the college's Writing Center. I'm technically retired but I've never been busier in my life!

I have the run of the darkroom and can develop/print whenever I want for free. My recent printing this semester has helped me better hone in on what I'm trying to do. Also fine tuning my exposures to the density I want.

I will audit one of his digital classes this Fall. I bought a used Nikon D5600 and a cheap zoom lens to play around with. I have used some of Tony's digital Canon gear for small product shoots for him. I enjoy the convenience of it but cannot say I'm sold on digital completely. There's so much digital post-production to the process. I still love film.

I hope to take a short night shooting/star formation seminar at the nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado in June. It's all digital, so I will be there with my little Nikon and Leitz Tiltall tripod. It's put on by the National Park Service and Tamron, so I'll get to play around with their digital lenses. Should be fun. I will also shoot some slide film on my M6 when I'm there - what the hey - why not?

I believe there is so much to learn about both formats. Not to mention learning about life itself through photography. =)
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Old 04-06-2018   #105
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Utter rubbish. Talk about flogging a dead horse...!

Digital and analogue cameras create images by exactly the same basic process: an image is focused on a light-sensitive surface, exciting electrons to create a related pattern. This pattern is latent and cannot be seen, and so is converted to a visible image. This image can then be printed (optional). The printing process can be the same for both digital and analogue: for example, Lightjet C-type printing on traditional silver paper using light (laser).

Different kinds of processes have been used throughout the history of photography - daguerreotype, tintype, ambrotype, Autochrome, Kodachrome... on metal, glass, celluloid, plastic, paper... And today, silicon wafers - including digital cameras that work like traditional Polaroid cameras: you take a photo and a paper print comes out.

As you’re being pedantic, which of the above do you consider “photography”?

If it’s the use of light that concerns you throughout the entire process (notwithstanding that light creates the latent undeveloped image in both digital and analogue cameras, and can be used to create silver prints from both types of image), we can build a camera that uses a digital sensor and places the latent image onto traditional film: of course, that would be ridiculous, but it could be done - would that be a photograph according to your rules, since you then have a “traditional” negative that needs to be developed chemically using light?

Short summary: a photograph is any image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface. End of.
This form of hair splitting was invented as a method to exclude digital photography from the historic category of photographic processes. People who believe it are quite dogmatic about it even though it is a false distinction. I think they're just insecure about the future of film-based photography and want to defend their territory.
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Old 04-06-2018   #106
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Originally Posted by mich rassena View Post
This form of hair splitting was invented as a method to exclude digital photography from the historic category of photographic processes. People who believe it are quite dogmatic about it even though it is a false distinction. I think they're just insecure about the future of film-based photography and want to defend their territory.
I don't see it in that manner, photographic technology moves on and there is room for all to indulge their hobby or even their profession.

It is all good, what ever floats your boat, anachronistic photography or the latest digital doodad photography, it is all photography. The hard part is mastering your craft and not what tools you choose to use to accomplish your goal.

It is like daguerreotypists knocking the wet plate collodion guys or the collodion guys putting down the lazy dry plates fanatics etc.

Or the miniature camera aficionados (35mm film ) of the 1930s being berated by the 5x7 Graflex dudes and so on.
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Old 04-06-2018   #107
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Content and composition are generally the most important parts though. Without you don’t have much to work with. Luckily museums and galleries accept digital for what it is... photography.

That's it, full stop. The people who keep howling at the moon and stamping their feet like children because they don't accept that digital photography isn't photography are basically saying: "The world's museum curators, art historians, art dealers, patrons, and collectors are all too stupid to know the truth, but I have outsmarted them all. I know the truth!"

Seventeen years ago, I was forced by serious chemical allergies to stop using the darkroom to print. I bought a film scanner and an inkjet printer, and since then ALL of my photographs have been printed digitally. I later bought my first digital camera; have owned several over the years, and sold many prints from them.

Not once in all of that time has any museum curator, gallery director, art dealer, or collector anywhere in the world ever told me that my prints were not real photographs. The only people to ever spout such nonsense where amateur photographers. If I listened to them, I'd have had to stop doing photography nearly 20 years ago because of the health problems that have plagued me since childhood.
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Old 04-06-2018   #108
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The only people to ever spout such nonsense where amateur photographers. If I listened to them, I'd have had to stop doing photography nearly 20 years ago because of the health problems that have plagued me since childhood.
This is the key... only listen to those who you respect and whose work you respect. AND do what is right for you and your photography.
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Old 04-07-2018   #109
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Chris - I agree. But if you read my posts again you'll see that I'm doing nothing but arguing it should have a different name to acknowledge how different it is from analogue photography. I'm not saying it shouldn't be valued, used, bought, exhibited etc.

Museums, galleries, dealers and collectors all value collage, but they don't mix it up with sculpture, painting, drawing or print making. When something has a name, it helps everyone understand the processes and materials used to create the end result.

And if we are now living in a world where nothing matters but the final print, then a lot of computer-generated art should also be called 'photography', because there is practically no way to distinguish it from a 'real' photograph.

I've read them, but you're still wrong. Curators, historians, artists, dealers, galleries, museums, publications, university art programs all disagree with you. Are they all frauds and liars, conspiring to destroy 'real' photography while you alone know the 'truth'?

As for computer art, if its made from different photographs combined to make a new, conceptualized scene, then it is photography. This is not new to digital work; people like Jerry Uelsmann have been doing such work in the darkroom for decades. No one has ever suggested that Uelsmann is not a photographer, or that his work is not photography. Quite the opposite; he is regarded as one of the greatest photographers in history, yet virtually none of his work is 'straight' unmanipulated work.

Here's a great article from the Smithsonian about it.
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Old 04-07-2018   #110
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As I have asked without an answer, what makes you think that you know better than all of those curators, historians, universities, museums, galleries, and collectors? Are they all frauds? Liars? Dishonest *******s? Satan's minions?

There is such a thing as right and wrong in language. Words have meanings because the majority of those who use those words agree on their meanings. You don't get to change them. I'm a retired English teacher. Imagine if each individual got to assign his own meanings to words? It would be impossible to teach literature, reading, or writing. More importantly, communication between people would be impossible.

Whether you like it or not, digital is a form of photography. That is not up for debate; its a settled fact. "Photography" is French for "Drawing with Light." The definition has no qualifiers for process or equipment choice. If you wanted to limit it to the processes used when photography was invented 190 years ago, then virtually no photography has been done for the last 150 of those years!

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To me, it's nothing to do with calling people out for being wrong, or being angry at anyone - it's simply about proper categorisation so viewers understand what they're seeing.

I get what you're saying about photo-manipulation being as old as photography itself, but people like Jerry Uelsmann took pieces of analogue photographs and created other analogue photographs from them. His images have never been near a computer. They are all hand-crafted photographic collages.

What I'm referring to are 'photographs' like this of Heath Ledger:

Labelling this as 'photography' in an exhibit would mis-inform the viewer. Whoever created this has skills beyond my wildest dreams, should be applauded and sell their work for a high price, but they never sat in front of Heath Ledger and took a photo of him. They sat in front of a computer for weeks. Which is why it's called something other than photography, despite the end result being almost indistinguishable from a 'real' photograph.

Now, I'm not saying digital photography is as different to analogue photography as this extreme, but I believe it's far enough away to deserve it's own name that should be used instead of the generic 'photography'.
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Old 04-07-2018   #111
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...if we are now living in a world where nothing matters but the final print, then a lot of computer-generated art should also be called 'photography', because there is practically no way to distinguish it from a 'real' photograph.
You say “should” as if this isn’t already the case. Over time, it has become accepted that a photograph is simply an image created by a camera - how or what happens to it is of no consequence.

Accepted by whom you may ask. Most people: Chris C lists a few. When the meaning of something is established (acknowledging that meaning evolves over time), it’s sensible to accept this. If I decide my own definitions, communication fails! Surely you’d agree that refusing the modern meaning of, say, “meat” would be foolish: originally it meant food in general, not flesh.

Returning to photography and adding another example photographer, consider Gursky. Gursky is well known for digitally manipulating images taken with a camera, often changing their appearance dramatically and creating one image from several. Yet he’s considered one of the most important living photographers and his photographs are owned by major museums such as MoMA in the US and The Tate in the UK, and I’ve just seen a massive exhibition in London’s prestigious Hayward Gallery of this “acclaimed German photographer” (as the gallery labels him).

In fact, Gursky’s photographs are considered so important to contemporary art that one became the most expensive ever sold at $4.5 million. That was “Rhine II” where all distracting objects such as buildings were Photoshopped out, to give a deliberate bland, banal appearance:



So, we need to go with the flow: photography today includes digital images and their manipulation, as well as film images. What folk are grumbling at is your attempt to define photography for everyone.

How you personally make photographs is a different matter. If you only use film and make darkroom prints, and have no interest in digital photography, that’s fine. I use both film and digital, and my line in the sand is that I refuse to alter reality by adding or removing a feature that would be impossible in real life, so I’ll tidy up by cloning out, say, an annoying piece of trash that I couldn’t reach, but I won’t change a sky, delete a tree or move a lamp post.

The Heath Ledger image you posted involves far too much digital manipulation to interest me in working similarly and has moved too far from reality for my taste - but it is still photography, and I have absolutely no problem thinking of it as a photograph even though it’s an entirely new image collaged out of other photographs. As we all know, photographs are all fictions anyway and never depict the truth, with photographers showing you only what they want you to see...
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Old 04-07-2018   #112
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Tedious.

After the discussion on what is real photography, we'll gather to discuss if photography is art.
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Old 04-07-2018   #113
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When people display photographs created using process X, they almost always say so, in large letters: An Exhibition of Tintypes by Joe Bloggs.

Why the reluctance when it comes to digital photos?

An Exhibition of Digital Photography by Joe Bloggs...

...is something I never see, but would be informative in helping people understand the work within the broader sphere of photography.
I have never been to a museum or gallery that put the specific process in an exhibition's title. I lived a couple years in Santa Fe, a major center for fine art photography. Never saw that in any of Santa Fe's many art galleries, including those that specialized in photography.

The plain hard truth is that no one in the art world gives a **** what process or camera type a photographer used. Only photographers obsess about that stuff. When I was getting started 20 yrs ago, a museum curator, when I started telling him about my process, stopped me and told me that no one cares how I made the photo; they care about the image and my intellectual reasons for making it. Nothing else. He told me that those who insist on broadcasting to the world that they used a certain process were compensating for lack of creativity; quality in art does not depend on materials or process. He warned me not to do that or it would make me look like an amateur.

Over the years, I have always thought of that when I encounter people in photo forums trying to claim that digital photographs are not 'real' photos.
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Old 04-07-2018   #114
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I don’t know better than anyone else, but my opinions are as valid as any art critic or gallery owner, and I have the same right to express them. Having said that, I’m sure a lot of the categorisation of photography by people involved with museums and galleries is driven more by commercial decisions than a desire to inform the public about how their works are created.

And I’m no English scholar, but isn’t Photography derived from the Greek?
Its French. Remember that photography was invented there. The French root words of Photography probably are ultimately derived from Latin and/or Greek, as many words in Romance Languages (Eg. French, Spanish, Italian) are.
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Old 04-07-2018   #115
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Photography is actually derived from Ancient Greek: photo = light, graphé = drawing. I'm not sure that we know who first thought it up but if you look up in wiki (with the usual caveats) there are some suggestions. I see no reason for digital camera images not to come under the meaning of the word, so they should most accurately be described as photographs. However, digital images manipulated on a computer would seem to drift outside it and should perhaps, if we want to be as accurate as possible, be referred to as 'photographically derived digital art'. Many images are ambiguous.

Getting back to the thread's topic. If a photographer who was used to using a 1950's Leica M3 picked up a current digital M, it would seem to be a modern variant of the M3 and be familiar in many respects. If the 'capture device' looks like a film camera then it may well be used for taking photographs. And on the topic of being 'worth it', well we've never really had such excellent cameras and in terms of the number of images they are capable of they are cheaper than film cameras ever were overall.
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Old 04-07-2018   #116
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Well, your opinions may be valid to you, but not to me. Dismissing an entire world of photography and people who like these images because they happen to be digital and you don't care for them is silly, IMO. But sure, you're entitled to your opinion. It just does not make it valid to me.

Chris is absolutely correct. No one save photography enthusiasts give a rip how the image was produced.

I have spent hours on black and white darkroom prints by varying the contrast, exposure and toning or hand coloring. Does that make it manipulated? Sure it does.

No one cares, except purists on photo blogs. And that is my opinion, which does connote validity.

Just sayin' ...

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I don’t know better than anyone else, but my opinions are as valid as any art critic or gallery owner, and I have the same right to express them. Having said that, I’m sure a lot of the categorisation of photography by people involved with museums and galleries is driven more by commercial decisions than a desire to inform the public about how their works are created.

And I’m no English scholar, but isn’t Photography derived from the Greek?
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Old 04-07-2018   #117
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As far as I'm aware (and correct me if I'm wrong) no digital camera is capable of actually producing an image that the human eye can see.
Well, given that no camera can produce an image as the eye sees it (fortunately, the eye is a very dodgy optic and your perceived images are based on experience and massive infilling by the brain. The eye/brain system is extremely complex and only the central area of the eye sees colour and or any degree of sharp image) this isn't really any sort of argument about any sort of camera, digital or analogue.

From your statements it would seem that the only real photographs are transparencies as any other system requires some sort of intermediate stage. Mind you I always preferred to shoot slide film in my film Leicas.
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Old 04-07-2018   #118
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"And on the topic of being 'worth it', well we've never really had such excellent cameras and in terms of the number of images they are capable of they are cheaper than film cameras ever were overall. (digital M)."
That's a bit of a stretch, since you can still use a 1954 M3. In 50 years will an M10 be more than a paperweight? How long does it take to amortize the $7k US....& subsequent service?
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Old 04-07-2018   #119
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You shouldn't listen or respect the opinions of people who have views different to your own? That would make for......oh......the world we live in!
I think you twisted my words... I was speaking of photography. Why would I care what someone thinks if they don't know what they are talking about when it comes to photography? In that way, I think it is best to choose who you let influence you.
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Old 04-07-2018   #120
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When people display photographs created using process X, they almost always say so, in large letters: An Exhibition of Tintypes by Joe Bloggs.
I believe this is when the process is an archaic process which means as much to the work as the content. They wouldn't have said this when tintypes were the mainstream process.

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Why the reluctance when it comes to digital photos?

An Exhibition of Digital Photography by Joe Bloggs...
Because digital is the norm...just as C-prints and silver gelatin prints were the norm. It would be so redundant to mention it all of the time. That said... every museum states how an image was printed on every single title card next to the image... silver-gelatin print, c-print, inkjet, etc. Most color work seems to be digital printed now when I go to galleries... even if the original capture medium was film. It's just more archival.
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