Bruce Davidson: Thoughts On A Lifetime With Leica

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  • Why on earth don’t you video these interviews? I don’t know anybody who reads them. Wake up leica. It’s 2012. Photographers watch things. We’ve no time to read this much.

    • Leica Internet Team

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for the feedback – we do read all comments and take them to heart. For this particular series, we do film the interviews but so much of the interview is cut out for the short (dare I say, for the 2012 bite-size 2-4 minute) webisode that we also accompany it with text. We put a lot of time into transcribing the interview and turning it into a blog post for those who want to read everything that Bruce said, both on- and off camera. We have many more video interviews that you may also be interested in and can be viewed here: I will pass along your feedback to the entire team and we’ll definitely take it into consideration as we are continuously looking for ways to improve our efforts. If you have any other suggestions, please pass them along too.

      All the best,
      Leica Internet Team

  • Bruce,

    You are one of the Northern Stars by which I guide not only my own photography, but fine art photography as a whole. I never tire of pouring over your work with the photograph of girls on a raised subway platform being my all time favorite. Love this article and I love you.


    John Lou Miles

  • The subway work is probably the most phenomenal work that I have seen. It’s just so human.

    I spend a lot of timing shooting digital nowadays, but watching this video makes me really want to get back in the dark room again!

  • My whole final year University project and book ‘Going Underground’ was inspired by Bruce Davidisons ‘Subway’ and Walker Evans ‘Many are called’ The Subway book is unique to its time, awesome!

  • Truly a genius of photography. What a vision. I could read about Bruce Davidson all day long. Thank you for the wonderful interview.

  • I’m pretty certain Davidson didn’t use a Leica for anything in the Subway book. If I remember correctly he used a Canon SLR. I like Leicas, and I love Magnum, but this commercial affiliation is starting to annoy me a little. Magnum has become so commercial I don’t know if I can believe in their photojournalistic integrity any longer. What happened to the Magnum of old? HCB must be turning in his grave…

  • There’s so much to absorb here. This interview should be read several times. Something that stuck out for me was :

    Q: Do you have a favorite photograph that you’ve shot?
    A: My favorite shot is the one I haven’t taken yet.

  • I’d actually like to say “thank you for transcribing the interview” – personally I don’t have the time to watch interviews on video. I read text much faster than I can listen to it being spoken, and I can also read on a phone, in a noisy environment, and so on, where video is no use.

  • …talk about ‘inspiring stuff’!!

    Mr. Davidson,

    thank you so much for all your wonderful work and for sharing it with us,

    all the best

  • Amazing photographs. BD has an wonderful attitude of mind and humour. The interview is very inspiring, and one to READ over again. It certainly teaches that to achieve good work, there needs to be depth, and time spent on it. Thank you.

  • Loved this, thanks.

    A few points about the transcription: I think he said he became sensitized (not desensitized) in the South, and also that when you “enter” someone’s life, you have to live there awhile.

    • Leica Internet Team

      Hi Don,

      Glad you love this! Thanks for catching those – just updated the post! Appreciate the feedback!


  • Mark me down as a vote for not replacing these transcripts with videos – it’s far quicker for a time challenged photographer to read the transcript than listen to a video.

  • This is the most inspiring interview that I read for the last year, I think.
    Bruce seems to be very open and kind person. Fantastic story.

  • Hello everyone, how are you? I am a photographer living in Brazil since the beginning of my career, in 1986, only photographer with my lovely Leica M3, in my opinion, the best machine of all time until the present day, and I’m a fan of this wonderful photographer Bruce Davidson and my question is: what makes a photographer as famous as he migrate to digital photography, it will be soon, just want to make this work? It is still easy to find black and white movies. I really do not know … For me, digital photography is still far from having the same quality of an analogue photography, we all know …

  • Another vote for text transcripts as well as video. I can read text on my handphone while commuting. Video, not so much. Choice is good.

  • Just another vote for the transcript… watching a video is much more time-consuming. I prefer to read!

  • Please do not submit to the popular craze for video interviews.
    Reading a transcript takes far less time and bandwidth, and can be quoted verbatim easily.
    Videos are just sloppy journalism

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