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Posted 09/09/2020
This is a wonderful conversation for fans of mirrorless cameras, of classic lens design, of the venerable M-mount, and, really, of photography. The joy that our host Allan Weitz exudes while discussing a few of his current favorite lenses is as contagious as it is educational. And I feel that this episode provides a bolt of creative curiosity that might infuse my own photography. For this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we asked Weitz to draw up a list of 10 favorite lenses from his personal collection. To be sure, these are not lenses sitting on a shelf or behind glass; these are accessible, affordable lenses that he incorporates regularly into his photography practice, but each has a certain signature or special feature that merits recognition. Most, like the Voigtländer VM 40mm f/2.8 Heliar Lens for Sony E-Mount or the 7Artisans Photoelectric 50mm f/1.1 Lens for Leica M can be purchased new, while some, such as the Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm f/8 lens, are still readily found in the used market. Others, like the Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 lens, are perennial favorites, while the Voigtländer Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical Lens seems classic but is relatively new to the market. While discussing these lenses, we stumble upon a mound of good photography chatter, including practical uses for these optics, tips for using extension tubes and mount adapters, notes on camera history, and plain simple fun facts. Toward the end of the episode we talk about the B&H Used Department, and Jason Tables and I share our current favorite lenses, as well. Join us for this breezy but informative episode and let us know your favorite lenses in the Comments section, below. Photograph © Allan Weitz Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens © Allan Weitz Zeiss 16mm f/8 Hologon Lens © Allan Weitz Voigtländer Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical Lens © Allan Weitz ZEISS Biogon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZM Lens © Allan Weitz Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5 Lens Voigtländer VM 40mm f/2.8 Heliar Lens for Sony E-Mount Three Lenses © Allan Weitz Taken with Zeiss Biogon 25mm f/2.8 ZM using Leica OUFRO Extension Tube © Allan Weitz Taken with Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm f/8 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Voigtlander Nokton 75mm f/1.5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with the Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 AI-S lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Nikon Reflex-NIKKOR 500mm f/5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Nikon Reflex-NIKKOR 500mm f/5 lens © Allan Weitz Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/29/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we present a conversation with two photographers. We start with Aaron Turner, who is also a scholar, an archivist, and the host of the podcast “Photographers of Color.” Turner stays with us as we speak later with Laylah Amatullah Barrayn about her street portraiture during the COVID-19 outbreak in New York and  the recent uprising in Minneapolis. With Turner, we talk about the genesis of The Center for Photographers of Color, which is currently located at the School of Arts at the University of Arkansas, and how it grew from a Twitter feed as an attempt to recognize and connect the many African-American photographers both currently working and of historical significance and influence. We discuss the Center and its research, exhibition, archiving goals, and overall mission to develop and maintain a community of photographers. We also chat with Turner about his personal photography and how that has evolved over the years from photojournalism to documentary to a more conceptual form integrating personal and cultural histories. After a break, we welcome Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and jump right into a conversation about her decision to return to her Brownsville, Brooklyn, neighborhood to photograph the residents during the early uncertain days of the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to an assignment on funeral directors, she created a wonderful series on the fashion and cultural statements of wearing a mask. We also speak about her work in Minneapolis during the June uprising there, and how she focused on portraiture of the residents, as opposed to the protests themselves. We also discuss technique with a FUJIFILM mirrorless system and a 35mm lens, the need to bear witness, the value of working with a community of photographers, and the “power of the archive.” Join us for this wide-ranging and passionate conversation about the importance of recognizing tradition, supporting your fellow photographers, and pushing for necessary changes within the photography sphere and the culture at large. Guests: Aaron Turner and Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Photograph © Aaron Turner Looking at Drue King, from The Black Alchemy, Vol 2 series, 2018 © Aaron Turner Untitled, from The Black Alchemy, Vol. 1 series, 2015 © Aaron Turner Great Uncle Sammie's Funeral, Marion, Arkansas, 2014 © Aaron Turner Bethel A.M.E. Church, Lansing, Arkansas, 2015 © Aaron Turner Terrence D., Dumas, Arkansas, 2015 © Aaron Turner Lougè Delcy, also known as Dapper Lou, wears a custom-designed mask near the entrance of Prospect Park, May, 2020 © Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Aïssatou, from Conakry, Guinea, waits for the shuttle train at the Prospect Park station, Brooklyn, May 2020 © Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Minneapolis, June, 2020 © Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Minneapolis, June, 2020 © Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Mutual aid networks, distributing food and supplies in north Minneapolis, June 2020 © Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/14/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we discuss lighting gear from the best, with the best, Shar Taylor and Cliff Hausner, of Profoto. Taylor is a past guest on our show and Hausner is one of the most recognized people in the New York photo industry, having worked for a variety of companies and events, and being an established photographer in his own right. While we do talk specifically about Profoto’s latest light modifiers and AirX updates for iPhones, we also take a minute to get to know the work of our guests, including Hausner’s work lighting the annual team photo for the New York Giants football team and his biannual trip to Washington, D.C., to light the official photo of the U.S. House of Representatives. During the second half of our conversation, we really dig into the range of lighting options that Profoto has to offer for the professional studio photographer, including the Pro-10 Power Pack, and for the photographer who needs portable lighting solutions, such as the C1 Plus. Our guests also offer insights as to why Profoto’s emphasis on simple design and ease of use attracts new customers who might be timid venturing into the world of off-camera lighting, as well as seasoned professionals who recognize the value of a proven system. We discuss the incorporation of LED lighting into their systems, the advantages of TTL, and compatibility across lines. You can be sure that both the incredible B10 and B10 Plus Flash Heads are discussed, as is the D2i Industrial Monolight. Join us for this very informative and, at times, hilarious conversation. Guests: Cliff Hausner and Shar Taylor Profoto Air Remote TTL Profoto B10 OCF Flash Head Profoto C1 Plus Profoto D2i Industrial 1000Ws Monolight Profoto OCF II Grid and Gel Kit Profoto Pro-10 2400 AirTTL Power Pack Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/08/2020
Our conversation on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is with the fabulous and innovative Duane Michals. Of the many comments he made about his photography practice, a practice that has been commercially and artistically successful for almost sixty years, one that stood out was his aside that “photography has failed [him] as an art form.” The comment comes late in our conversation but refers to the idea that Michals' goal of pure expression is not accommodated by photography alone; he needs to turn to sequential narrative, to writing on photo prints, even to painting on photos to get to the expression that he wants to convey. For anyone looking for how-tos or technique tips, you’ve come to the wrong episode, but to light the path to a true artistic self-expression, Michals’ words hold much promise. We spoke with him about a range of subjects, from how a constant curiosity combined with good work habits fueled his work and success. We talk about his working-class upbringing, his youthful adventures to Texas and, later, to the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, where he first took photos in earnest. About specific images, we asked about his “Death Comes to the Old Lady,” and he also related a story about photographing Warren Beatty in a New York hotel room. We even spoke about Canon cameras and the references he draws upon for his work, from Walt Whitman and William Blake to Pierre Bonnard and Robert Frank, but mostly we discuss his creative instincts and process, which seem to start and end with the idea, “If you already know what you’re going to do, then you’re not being creative.” Join us for this insightful conversation with a true photographic innovator. Guest: Duane Michals Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York 2nd Prize Winner – B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge – “Work & Dance from Home” © Ajay Raina, 2020 1st Prize Winner – B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge – “Applause” © Karles Rives 2020 Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 02/19/2020
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a healthy set of conversations with gear representatives and camera experts from several of the major camera and lighting companies that we recorded at the 2020 Depth of Field Conference. First we speak with Steve Heiner, of Nikon, discussing that company’s new DSLRs, including the flagship D6 and the D780. We also ask about the mirrorless Z system cameras and new lenses for that system. Next up is Joe Edelman, of Olympus, to discuss his company’s new flagship, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, and its incredible image stabilization system. Our next guest is Shar Taylor, from Profoto, and with her we discuss the A1 AirTTL Studio Light, the Air Remote TTL, as well as the popular Profoto B10 OCF Flash Head. After a short break, we welcome Casey Krugman, product develop from Luxli, to discuss the incredible LED light panels, including the new Taiko 2x1 RGBAW LED light. Our next guest is food photographer Chelsea Kyle, who joins us on behalf of Canon to discuss the gear she works with, including the Canon EOS 5DS DSLR. Canon has also just announced the new EOS R5 full-frame mirrorless camera and other lenses in development. It has also released the RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM lens for its full-frame mirrorless system. Following our visit with Chelsea Kyle, we welcome Marc Farb, from Sigma, to update us on the latest news from the L-mount alliance and the Sigma fp Mirrorless Digital Camera. He also discusses new lenses, including the highly anticipated Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens for Sony E-mount cameras and the 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens from Leica L mount cameras. Our final guest is Jason Mantell, of Sony, who updates us on the latest from the Alpha mirrorless systems, including the Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital Camera and the Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital Camera. Join us for this informative conversation. Guests: Steve Heiner, Joe Edelman, Shar Taylor, Casey Krugman, Chelsea Kyle, Marc Farb, and Jason Mantell Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens Canon EOS Rebel T8i DSLR Camera Luxli Taiko 2x1 RGBAW LED Light Nikon D6 DSLR Camera Nikon D780 DSLR Camera Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Mirrorless Digital Camera Profoto A1X AirTTL-C Studio Light Profoto Air Remote TTL-N Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens for Sony E Sigma fp Mirrorless Digital Camera Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital Camera Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital Camera Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/29/2020
I don’t know if we’ve ever had two photographers with such divergent styles on the same episode. It would make little sense to even have them on together, except that their individual work is exceptional, and they are married to each other. This week on the B&H Photography Podcast, we return to a format that has served us well in the past —speaking with a couple who both work in photography. We really hit the jackpot this time, with Sara Bennett and Joseph Holmes, not simply because they are interesting photographers and really nice folks but, between them, they embody a wide range of photo skills, from the technical and artistic, to the narrative and journalistic, from portraiture and art photography, to advocacy and social documentary. It’s quite an interesting situation and Holmes and Bennett, each in their own way, offer personal insight into their varied projects, and they also generously allow us a glimpse into how they work together as a couple, raising a family and supporting each other’s work. Sara Bennett’s photography, which has been published in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and the PBS/News Hour, grew from her years working as a lawyer, primarily on cases related to battered women and the wrongly convicted. Her portraiture of women in prison and transitioning from incarceration humanizes as it advocates and educates. Her books, Life After Life in Prison, The Bedroom Project, and Looking Inside: Portraits of Women Serving Life Sentences, are beautiful and simple documents that serve a higher purpose, and we talk with Bennett about her intentions and the long process to find the right women to photograph and the complications and joys of photographing in prison. With Joseph Holmes, we start the conversation with New York City—and I don’t think we ever leave. Holmes could make a great image in a dark closet, but his work has such an understanding of our city and the subjects he has chosen to photograph—“ Cooks on Breaks,” “Urban Wilderness,” “Streit’s Matzoh Factory,” and “ Tracing the Underground,” are so New York, without ever touching the boiler plate. Blending portraiture, documentary, and street photography, Holmes’s dedication to the photo series and his technical aplomb represent the best of fine-art reportage. His work is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery, and pieces are included in the permanent collection of several museums, including the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Check out his photo annuals and enjoy this wonderful conversation as much as we did. Guests: Sara Bennett and Joseph Holmes Photograph © Joseph Holmes Karen, from “The Bedroom Project,” 2017 © Sara Bennett Traci, from “The Bedroom Project,” 2017 © Sara Bennett Jennifer, from “Looking Inside,” 2018 © Sara Bennett Sahiah, from “Looking Inside,” 2019 © Sara Bennett Patrice, from “Looking Inside,” 2018 © Sara Bennett Kat, from “Looking Inside,” 2019 © Sara Bennett from “Tracing the Underground,” 2017 © Joseph Holmes from “Tracing the Underground,” 2017 © Joseph Holmes from “Streit’s,” 2015 © Joseph Holmes from “Streit’s,” 2015 © Joseph Holmes Walter, from “Custom Machinery,” 2009 © Joseph Holmes Hugo, from “Custom Machinery,” 2009 © Joseph Holmes Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machine, 2009 © Joseph Holmes Van Norman Duplex Milling Machine, 2009 © Joseph Holmes Joseph O. Holmes and Sara Bennett © Allan Weitz Allan Weitz, Joseph O. Holmes, and Sara Bennett © John Harris Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/08/2020
During a little holiday trip, producer John Harris made a visit to the gallery and studio of photographer Clyde Butcher. For anyone who grew up in Florida, Butcher’s work should be very familiar; his photography is often found on the walls of local libraries, municipal buildings, and, as Miami native Jason Tables points out, “every doctor’s office I’ve ever been in.” Butcher’s images of the Florida landscapes, particularly of the Everglades, are legendary, and although he has a brisk print-sales business, many of the photos in libraries have the attached placard, “Donated by Clyde Butcher.” Although he is known primarily for his large format black-and-white photography of “the swamp,” Butcher’s photographic career extends back many decades and includes architectural photography, mountain and western landscapes, filmed documentaries, and decorative color photography. Interestingly, Butcher began his career selling prints at small art fairs and, in the 1970s, he had a thriving business selling thousands of prints through department stores such as Sears and Montgomery Ward. This episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a casual conversation that glides through several topics, including Butcher’s work with large format cameras, his recent foray into Sony digital cameras paired with Canon tilt-shift lenses, the incredible set of vintage enlargers in his giant darkroom space, the business models he and his family employ to market his images, water conservation, and, of course, his relationship to the Florida landscape for which he will be forever linked. Join us for this conversation with a true master. Guest: Clyde Butcher Above photograph © Clyde Butcher Tamiani Trail © Clyde Butcher Cigar Orchid Pond © Clyde Butcher Ochopee © Clyde Butcher Big Cypress © Clyde Butcher Moonrise © Clyde Butcher Plaja-S’Arenella-with-Boat, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Cadaques, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Cap-de-Creus, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Clocks by Clyde Butcher circa, 1970s © Clyde Butcher Clyde Butcher and John Harris © Niki Butcher Niki and Clyde Butcher © John Harris Clyde Butcher in his Venice, Florida office © John Harris Butcher workshop and darkroom, 2019 © John Harris Niki Butcher with enlarger, 2019 © John Harris Clyde Butcher in Movie Dome with 11 x 14" view camera © Clyde Butcher Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/10/2019
It’s that time of year again at the B&H Photography Podcast. Now firmly established as a tradition, with the end of the year in sight and gifting season in full swing, we take an episode to talk about the most interesting—dare I say, best—cameras of the year. Our guests include podcast regular Levi Tenenbaum and B&H SuperStore camera expert Georgina Diaz. This year, we start with an overview of mirrorless cameras announced in 2019, including the new full-frames from Panasonic, Sony, Leica and Sigma. We also mention the new APS-C and Micro Four Thirds format cameras such as the FUJIFILM X-Pro 3, the Sony Alpha a6600, the Nikon Z50, and the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Mirrorless Digital Camera. Perhaps most interesting are the mirrorless medium format high-resolution cameras that were introduced, including the FUJIFILM GFX 100 and Hasselblad X1D II 50C. Jumping ahead to DSLR cameras, we see that Nikon and Canon updated their flagship models, Canon offering the EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR and Nikon, the D6 DSLR Camera. Canon also announced its compact mirrorless full frame, the Canon EOS RP. High-end point-and-shoots from Sony and Canon were released, as were three new waterproof tough cameras from Ricoh, FUJIFILM, and Olympus. After a break, we take on the subject of lenses and accessories and highlight a few lenses that caught our attention, such as the FUJIFILM XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR, the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens, and several others. We wrap up the episode with a discussion of lights, tripods, drones, and other accessories. Our guests bring their expertise to this conversation as we compare new cameras to their predecessors, discuss specs, and get insight from the SuperStore floor regarding what have been the hot items from 2019. Join us for this timely and educational episode. Guests:  Georgina Diaz and Levi Tenenbaum   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/06/2019
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome photojournalist and sports photographer Nick Didlick to our show. Didlick has been a freelance shooter, a staff photographer, an agency photographer for Reuters and UPI and, while covering the world news, was nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes. He also is an accomplished videographer, editor, and producer, and has served as Photo Chief for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and as Director of Photography at the Vancouver Sun, where he oversaw the staff change from film to digital photography. As a photographer, Didlick has always been ahead of the technological curve, willing to try new cameras and transmission systems and push existing technology to its limits. He joins us to discuss his technical evolution as a sports photographer and the features that he considers important to balance technological advances with age-old experience of craft. We ask Didlick to look back on his career and discuss important steps in the evolution of his kit, including autofocus features, compact lenses, telephoto extenders, remote control, wireless transmission and, of course, the development of digital photography. We also look ahead to improvements in metadata and artificial intelligence and his overarching philosophy that all advances should be embraced if they are needed to improve your workflow. Throughout the episode, Didlick pokes fun at my “old” DSLR technology in favor of his Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless camera but, in doing so, he underscores his point, that as photographers, the hardest part of advancing your skill set is “un-learning” what you considered fundamental and embrace the changes that can improve your photography. Join us for this rollicking and enjoyable episode. Guest: Nick Didlick Above Photograph © Nick Didlick Wayne Gretzky © Nick Didlick Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev © Nick Didlick Remnants of Pan Am Flight 103, Lockerbie, Scotland © Nick Didlick Tiger Woods © Nick Didlick 2019 NCAA Final Four © Nick Didlick Lindsey Vonn © Nick Didlick Rodeo © Nick Didlick Usain Bolt stumbles and falls during race © Nick Didlick IAAF World Athletics Championship, 2019 © Nick Didlick Venus Williams © Nick Didlick Sloane Stephens with U.S. Open trophy, 2018 ©Nick Didlick Aibo dogs from Sony © Nick Didlick Nick Didlick and Allan Weitz © John Harris Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 10/03/2019
We welcome to the B&H Photography Podcast two photographers who have brought their talent and dedication to bear on the complex and beautiful lives that exist on the U.S.-Mexico border. Our first guest is photographer Stefan Falke, who is engaged in a 10-year portrait project called LA FRONTERA: Artists along the US-Mexico Border, which is dedicated to documenting the “influence that artists have on their community.” He has photographed more than 200 artists, writers, singers, and photographers who live on both sides of the 2,000-mile-long border. With Falke we discuss the development of this project, his style of shooting, how he met the many artists he has photographed, and the complications and joys of shooting in border towns in the U.S. and Mexico. He also discusses how he pared down his camera and lens choices for this project to just his trusty Nikon D850 and a 24-70mm lens. After a short break, we welcome photographer Monica Lozano, who is included in Falke’s project, and describes her portrait session with him in the main market, in Juarez, Mexico. We also discuss her incredible photographic series, which blend documentary and fine art styles to bring awareness to the struggle of migrants in Europe and the Americas. Lozano, a Mexican-American artist with roots in both countries, brings a compassionate yet objective depiction to a complex situation, and she even blends in a touch of humor. With Lozano, we discuss her evolution as an artist, the differing effects that stylized photos have compared to straight documentary, and the resounding need to understand the long and evolving history and culture of “la frontera.” Join us for this compelling conversation and check out the B&H Photography Podcast Facebook Group. Guests: Stefan Falke and Monica Lozano Raechel Running, Agua Prieta, Mexico, 2015© Stefan Falke Alfredo “Libre” Gutierrez, Tijuana, Mexico, 2016 © Stefan Falke Tom Kiefer, Ajo Arizona, 2017 © Stefan Falke Jellyfish, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, 2015 © Stefan Falke Monica Lozano, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, 2015 © Stefan Falke Pablo Llana, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, 2016 © Stefan Falke from the “What Remains” series © Monica Lozano from the “What Remains” series © Monica Lozano from the “What Remains” series © Monica Lozano from the “What Remains” series © Monica Lozano from the “Borders” series © Monica Lozano from the “Borders” series © Monica Lozano from the “Borders” series © Monica Lozano from the “Hugs Not Walls” series © Monica Lozano from the “Hugs Not Walls” series © Monica Lozano Allan Weitz, Monica Lozano, and Stefan Falke © John Harris Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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