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Posted 04/29/2021
It’s Macro Photo Week at the Explora blog and you’ll find many helpful articles and videos about the tools, techniques, and practitioners of macro photography. On the podcast, however, we go deeper than macro, like 1000x deeper—our conversation is with geologist, gemologist, and microscopist Nathan Renfro, of the Gemological Institute of America. Renfro is a renowned photomicrographer, and his images of the interiors of gems, with their unique inclusions and imperfect perfections, are stunning color abstractions of the natural world. With Renfro we speak about the art, craft, and science of photomicrography—using microscopes to make photos—and how he documents the inner life of a stone. Renfro got his start in gemology thanks to the collection of rocks and gems his grandfather, a miner from North Carolina, left to him. From this collection a fascination grew, ultimately taking him to GIA as a protégé of John Koivula, noted gemologist and author of the Photo Atlas of Gems series. Renfro himself has become one of the leading image makers in his field, and we discuss the tools and techniques he uses to create his work, including fiber optic lighting, focus stacking, and Differential Interference Contrast. We also discuss the surprisingly simple cameras that he uses, as well as the adapters, filters, and apps that enable his wonderful creations. We ask about the advantages that mirrorless photography holds for his craft, about the commercial and scientific applications of his work, and how traditional photography with a standard zoom lens has improved his understanding of composition and color, thus benefiting his photomicrography. Join us for this exploration deep into microverses, which are as complex and unique as any place on Earth or beyond. Guest: Nathan Renfro Photograph © Nathan Renfro Today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was produced using Audio-Technica  microphones. Amethyst © Nathan Renfro Arkansas Quartz © Nathan Renfro Blue Diamond © Nathan Renfro Chrysoprase © Nathan Renfro New South Wales Sapphire © Nathan Renfro Greenland Diamond Trigons © Nathan Renfro Topaz © Nathan Renfro New South Wales Iris Agate © Nathan Renfro ZEISS microscope with Canon 6D DSLR © Nathan Renfro Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 02/25/2021
Live event and concert photography have, obviously, been drastically impacted by the global pandemic and related shutdowns. Let’s give a shout-out to all the photographers, musicians, technicians, and crew who have struggled with the loss of that part of their income and craft, but also make time on the B&H Photography Podcast to talk about concert photography as we inch toward a hopeful return to live music and art performances. Today’s guest is Christie Goodwin, a premier concert and music photographer. She has been the tour photographer for the likes of Taylor Swift and Usher and has shot in venues around the world. She is also the house photographer for the famed Royal Albert Hall, in London. Her work is impeccable, and a quick glance at her website features some of the most recognized faces in contemporary music today. With Goodwin we speak on a range of topics, including her goals as a concert photographer based on the needs of the artist, the management team, the venue, or the fans. We also talk about life on tour, the trust necessary to work with musicians, shooting techniques learned from experience, and how she lets a concert “speak to her” as she decides her photographic approach. We also talk briefly about her Canon DSLR cameras and lenses, and about her side hustle, creating conceptual images for book covers, and how this primarily mirrorless endeavor is the yin to her concert photography yang. Join us for this insightful and practical conversation. Guest: Christie Goodwin Photograph © Christie Goodwin Celine Dion, Hyde Park, London, 2019 © Christie Goodwin Dream Theater, Wembley Arena, London, 2014 © Christie Goodwin Iggy Pop, Royal Albert Hall, London, 2016 © Christie Goodwin Marillion, Royal Albert Hall, London, 2017 © Christie Goodwin James Taylor backstage at Royal Albert Hall, London, 2014 © Christie Goodwin Sting backstage at Royal Albert Hall, London, 2015 © Christie Goodwin Photograph © Christie Goodwin Photograph © Christie Goodwin Photograph © Christie Goodwin Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 02/11/2021
When we started the B&H Photography Podcast more than six years ago, the concept was “watercooler conversations” with photographers, about gear. Well, honestly, it hasn’t always turned out that way, but this episode with famed photojournalist David Burnett comes as close to that idea as any we have done; there’s barely an edit in the whole episode. Burnett joins us, and we just talk. We begin with his coverage of the recent presidential inauguration and his decision to use a 1930 Graflex 4 x 5 camera in addition to his Sony mirrorless with an FE 100-400mm lens. Burnett reflects on the reasons he incorporates vintage cameras and lenses into his workflow and the need to challenge your own point of view as a photographer. We discuss the motivations that bring a particular camera to his eye and his sense of “obligation to all that has come before.” In the second half of the show, we talk about using legacy glass on mirrorless cameras and the relentless (and at times “goofy”) experimentation that both Burnett (and Allan) enjoy. From aerial reconnaissance lenses to old Kodak cine lenses, there is nothing that can’t be adapted, and we go into the weeds to discuss some of the many, many lenses Burnett has not just tried, but used successfully for his professional assignments. We also ask about the new Sony Alpha 1, the benefits of customizable functions, and his preference for the Sony a9 II and a6600 cameras. Join us for this easy-going conversation. Guest: David Burnett Photograph © David Burnett A soldier with a letter from home, Lang Vei, Vietnam, 1971 © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Bob Marley, 1976 © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Al Gore on the presidential campaign trail, 2001 © David Burnett/ Contact Press Images John Kerry in the last days of the presidential campaign, Manchester, New Hampshire, 2004 © David Burnett /Contact Press Images Daniel Céspedes arrested by the Chilean military, 1973 © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Ayatollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the Iran Revolution, 1979 © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Mary Decker looks on in pain after colliding with Zola Budd and falling during the 3000-meter race at the 1984 Olympics, in Los Angeles © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/31/2020
For our final episode of 2020, we look back at the year that was—and what a year it was. We learned new remote recording skills and virtual conversation styles, but the B&H Photography Podcast never missed a beat; we recorded an episode the very first week of quarantine and have continued recording throughout this unprecedented time. Many aspects of this production were made significantly more difficult by being “all remote,” but it did allow us to speak with photographers around the world and those who could never have made it into our humble but homey studio. On this week’s episode, we run down the list of episodes we recorded this year, which included conversations with legends of sports photography, of fine art photography, of photo education, and even with a supermodel and with a television celebrity. Of course, we also talked about the latest camera releases and the “best” cameras of 2020. Allan, Jason, and I each relate our favorite episodes from the year and mention some of the episodes that were best received by our listeners. And because this year we had many conversations about photography books, we also mention a few of our favorite books from 2020. Join us for this casual recounting of podcasts from a year no one will soon forget. Photograph © Karles Vives, winner of the 2020 B&H Photography Podcast Leica Challenge Allan Weitz, Adriane Ohanesian, and Nancy Borowick, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz and Sebastian Meyer, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz, Joseph Holmes, and Sara Bennett, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz and Shari Belafonte, 2020 © John Harris Clyde Butcher and John Harris, 2020 © Niki 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 12/10/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we offer an insightful overview of the best cameras released in 2020 and discuss significant trends in the photography industries. Our guest is Kevin Rickert, Senior Sales Trainer for B&H Photo. Rickert is often the first person at B&H to get new cameras in his hands and is responsible for training our staff on the features of a wide variety of gear. He knows his stuff. We start by mentioning the Canon EOS R5, which many members of our team listed as their favorite camera of 2020, and then we move to new cameras from Leica and FUJIFILM and the unique full-frame entry from ZEISS. We then discuss the compact Sony Alpha a7C full-frame camera and other new cameras from Sony and Nikon, including the D780 DSLR. Also, Ricoh, Olympus, and the impressive Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 get mentioned, and we wrap up cameras by discussing the new iPhones and Hasselblad’s incredible 907X 50C medium format mirrorless camera. Throughout the conversation, we muse on important developments and trends of the year, including Canon’s and Nikon’s continued investment in their full-frame mirrorless cameras and lenses, the increasing number of high-resolution entries from a range of makers, the importance of firmware updates, the use of artificial intelligence in cameras, and, of course, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We close by mentioning a few of the more interesting lenses to arrive this year, including fixed-aperture telephotos from Canon, a great telephoto zoom from Olympus, and fast-aperture prime lenses from Sony, FUJIFILM, and Nikon. Join us for this informative episode. Guest: Kevin Rickert Nikon Z 7II Mirrorless Digital Camera Hasselblad 907X 50C Medium Format Mirrorless Camera FUJIFILM X100V Digital Camera Sony Alpha a7C Mirrorless Digital Camera Leica Q2 Monochrom Digital Camera Canon PowerShot ZOOM Digital Camera ZEISS ZX1 Digital Camera Ricoh GR III Street Edition Digital Camera Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO Lens FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR Lens Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 08/27/2020
One of the remarks that stuck with me from this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was Alison Rossiter’s casual mention, “I know how to rock a tray.” Rossiter is noted for her cameraless fine art photo prints, often made on expired photographic paper, some sheets dating back one hundred years or more. Her comment was a simple reference to how she guides developing solution over paper in the darkroom, but understanding the time and dedication she has put into her darkroom techniques, it seemed the ideal understatement for her refined yet simple processes, which include traditional photo printing, photograms, light drawings, and her current exploration, which enables vintage photo paper to speak for itself, processed and fixed, but free from the bullying dominance of projected light. With her ongoing exhibit, Substance of Density 1918-1948, at the Yossi Milo gallery, through September 26, 2020, Rossiter presents a “chronology of assemblages” made of expired photographic papers from her personal collection. Papers chosen from specific years create a minimalist narrative through three specific decades of the 20th Century, suggesting a relationship between these photographic “leftovers” and historical events of those years. The exposed photo papers are grouped and presented in such a way as to form dynamic abstract compositions, made more contemplative by the papers' own histories. The work is a creative comment on a range of themes fundamental to 20th-century film photography: archival preservation, industrial production, physical and chemical degradation, social justice, and even the medium’s creative response to painting and sculpture. With Rossiter, we speak about her darkroom techniques and supplies, about her evolution to cameraless photography, about sourcing expired paper, and the incredible gifts she has received in that regard. We also discuss the thrill of developing paper to find the clues of previous owners and the “fails” of the aged emulsion. Primarily, we revel in imagination and the stories that can be told when the past speaks to us through the still-verdant magic of the darkroom. Join us for this unique episode. Guest: Alison Rossiter Photograph © Alison Rossiter Eastman Kodak Azo, expired March 1918, processed 2010 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1919, processed 2010 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1936, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1921, 1922, 1923, processed 2019 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1938-1945, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1932-1938, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1941, 1945, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Gevaert Gevaluxe Velours, exact expiration date unknown, ca. 1930s, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/10/2020
On today's episode of the  B&H Photography Podcast, we are joined by Craig Semetko, a documentary and street photographer who is much more than those two descriptors. He came to photography from a career in performance and comedy and that makes a lot of sense, noting the observational skill and humor found in his compositions. His first book, UNPOSED, published in 2010, with a forward by Elliott Erwitt, was followed by India Unposed, in 2014. Sly, ironic, absurd, all come to mind when you see the moments he captures and we talk about how it’s hard to photograph “funny,” about attitudes and techniques, and the difference between laughing with someone and at them. We also ask about the work he has done during the pandemic shutdown. After a break, we welcome photographer Ashly Stohl. A Leica Ambassador, Stohl’s best known work concentrates on her family, particularly her three children. She is also the publisher and co-founder of Peanut Press, begun in 2015 with her first book, Charth Vader, which takes a look at her youngest son, clearly a big fan of Star Wars. Her second book, Days and Years, follows up with an intimate portrait of her three children. A quote from Stohl sums it up: “There is a saying that all portraits are really self-portraits. So, what are portraits of your kids? They are portraits of a parent. I take pictures of my kids, and if you’ll look closely you’ll also see me in there—my worries and fears, my attempts to correct the problems of my own childhood, my heart and my struggles.” Join us for this inspiring and enjoyable episode with two wonderful guests. Guests: Ashly Stohl and Craig Semetko Photograph © Craig Semetko From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko From “UNPOSED” © Craig Semetko From “India Unposed” © Craig Semetko From “India Unposed” © Craig Semetko Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/02/2020
We encourage all of our listeners to register for the free digital online edition of the Outdoor Photo/Video Travel Imaging Conference (OPTIC) 2020, hosted by B&H and sponsored by Panasonic, Sony, Nikon, Canon, FUJIFILM, Godox, and many others. As most of you know, the B&H Photography Podcast has regularly attended this annual conference, in New York, and recorded wonderful interviews with the likes of Michael Kenna, Joyce Tenneson, and Ron Magill. This year, the conference will be held online, but still with an incredible lineup of photographers and speakers, including keynote speakers Ami Vitale and Clyde Butcher. On today’s episode of the podcast, we offer a taste of the photographic insight found at OPTIC. First, we welcome wildlife and bird photographer Lisa Langell, who is also at Tamron and FotoPro Ambassador. With her photo gracing the cover of the current issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine, Langell discusses creating wildlife photography for the home and hotel décor market, about her favorite places in Alaska to photograph bear, and about the personal and interactive way she hosts seminars and webinars. She provides food for thought to those looking for new ways to photograph wildlife. After a break, we welcome National Geographic photographer and Sony Artisan of Light Pete McBride. McBride speaks of his amazing 750-mile walk across the Grand Canyon, which became a NatGeo story, and also a book and a feature-length documentary. At OPTIC you will get the full story—from “River to Rim”—along with images, but we also spoke with McBride about his long-term work shooting the world’s river systems; we gained some insight into aerial photography; and learned how his Sony a7RII weathered a year in the Grand Canyon—and with which he created not only a magazine story, but a book and a movie with that one camera. Guests: Lisa Langell and Pete McBride Photograph © Lisa Langell Aerial of the last time the Colorado River kissed the sea—during a pulse flow for restoration work. The connection lasted two days in 2014. The delta has been dry since. © Pete McBride Iceland River Delta © Pete McBride Black obsidian sand, silvery glacial rivers, and moss green volcanoes make up this vast Icelandic landscape. © Pete McBride Devprayag, India. Confluence of the Bagirathi and Alakanda rivers—the physical start of the Gagnes River © Pete McBride “Grand Canyon: From River to Rim” by Pete McBride Aerial view of the Colorado River winding through the Grand Canyon, Arizona © Pete McBride A day of traffic, 362 individual helicopter flights, merged into one frame to show what the collective soundscape and average traffic looks like along the western Grand Canyon border © Pete McBride © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 05/26/2020
Today we welcome a special guest to the B&H Photography Podcast: actor and comedian Jeff Garlin. Jeff Garlin is well known as a stand-up comedian and, of course, as a star of the hit television shows, The Goldbergs and Curb Your Enthusiam. About fifteen years ago, he turned a love for photography, for the work of the masters—Alfred Eisenstadt, Jim Marshall, Mary Ellen Mark, to name a few—into his own photographic practice, and we are all the beneficiaries of his engaged eye. In March, Garlin debuted his series, “A Big Bowl of Wonderful,” at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles, and we talk to him about how this series of portraits of his co-stars and friends in the television community—many taken on set or backstage—developed over a long curve, one founded in respect for the medium and applied with a simple stratagem: see something interesting and frame it in the most creative way possible. With that in mind, we talk about trusting your gut, not overthinking a shot, being comfortable with your subjects, but also about gaining the confidence to take photos, especially of those you know and respect. Garlin also talks about his affinity for Leica, especially the M system, about the difference between actors and comedians, and talking photography with Jeff Bridges. We also ask him about his role as executive producer on the film, Finding Vivian Maier. This really is a photography lover’s conversation, summed up best by one of Garlin’s comments: “I’m taking a picture because it brings me joy.” Guest: Jeff Garlin Photograph © Jeff Garlin John Mulaney © Jeff Garlin John Waters © Jeff Garlin Larry David © Jeff Garlin Sarah Silverman © Jeff Garlin Richard Lewis © Jeff Garlin JB Smoove © Jeff Garlin Richard Kind © Jeff Garlin Brian Cranston and Jonathan Banks © Jeff Garlin Trevor Noah © Jeff Garlin Wendy McClendon-Covey © Jeff Garlin "Jesus at the Comedy Store" © Jeff Garlin Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 05/06/2020
Ray Collins’s portraits of waves are hard to describe because you don’t want to describe them. Like the wave itself, the photographic abstraction refuses words; indescribable and amorphous become unique and powerful in his hands. One look at his work and it’s clear that he is in his element in the surf, transforming what he knows so well into a profound and universal statement. We have been looking forward to speaking with Collins for a while, and are very pleased to present our conversation with him on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. We start our chat asking how he went from being a coal miner in New South Wales, Australia, to a photographer, and then melding that new love with his first love, surfing and the ocean. It’s a good story and it gets better as we learn how he transitioned from surf photography to fine-art photography and book publishing. We ask about working in the ocean, the dangers, “knowing” certain waves, and the ability to maneuver his gear and body to anticipate the photos he wants to capture. We also discuss the gear he uses, from his Nikon D850 to Aquatech housing, to the surprising range of lenses he uses in the water. We also discuss the non-photo equipment he needs to stay afloat and navigate. After a short break, we discuss his post-process decisions and how he looks for texture as much as color when deciding upon which images he prefers. Interestingly, for a photographer whose color work is so gorgeous, Collins is color blind and he talks about how he has turned that into an advantage for him. We also chat about printmaking and book publishing with this incredibly talented and friendly photographer. Join us for an inspiring conversation and check out the work of Ray Collins. Guest: Ray Collins Photograph © Ray Collins Blue Curve © Ray Collins Crystal © Ray Collins Eagle © Ray Collins Holocene © Ray Collins Light Shower © Ray Collins Oil © Ray Collins The Wall © Ray Collins I © Ray Collins II © Ray Collins VII © Ray Collins Courtesy Ray Collins Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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