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Posted 06/03/2021
Every now and again there are conversations that flow and sparkle; they seem laden with professional insights and creative gems. Our chat with photographer Mona Kuhn is one, and perhaps it’s Kuhn’s self-awareness, her quiet confidence, and an ability to articulate her motivations that make it so. There are few who will disagree that her visual stories, her portraits, nudes, landscapes, and photo essays are among the most assured in contemporary photography, and on this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we just revel in her good humor and willingness to share process. We speak a good deal about Kuhn’s new book Mona Kuhn: Works, and how it distills twenty years of an evolving career without ever seeming like a “retrospective.” We discuss editing strategies for this and previous books, how she created her intimate series, and why the sustained connections and relationships with her subjects are, to Kuhn, the most successful results of her extremely well-regarded work. As mentioned, she is very generous with her thoughts on photography, on how she used photo techniques to avoid the “gratuitous presence of the nude” and that the human figures she photographs are used to communicate “beyond just what you see.” She also references the work of Mike Disfarmer, how the square Hasselblad format forced her to be creative when photographing the “rectangular” human body. In the second half of the program, we cover aspects of her commissioned work and the satisfaction of being spontaneous in editorial work and of exercising the “problem-solving side of your brain” in the commercial sphere. We also discuss the differences between stories told in a book compared to a gallery, how she is comfortable on a monitor using Lightroom, but her book edits need to be printed and arranged physically to cull and order into “visual sentences.” Finally, Kuhn offers a very nuanced thought on the meaning of her personal images, encouraging “a dialogue of meanings” and noting that sometimes "quiet images last longer.” Join us for this delightful chat and have a look at Kuhn’s other new book, Study, from TBW Books. Guest: Mona Kuhn Photograph © Mona Kuhn Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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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 04/22/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we focus on the work of photographer Todd Webb and, specifically, the series of images he created in Africa in 1958, while on assignment for the United Nations. We are joined by Betsy Evans Hunt, the Executive Director of the Todd Webb Archive, and by Aimée Bessire and Erin Hyde Nolan, coauthors of the new book, Todd Webb in Africa—Outside the Frame. With our guests, we discuss the photographic career of Todd Webb, including his work in New York and Paris in the 1940s and 1950s, and the founding and mission of the Todd Webb Archive. Our primary topic, however, is the rediscovery (in a steamer trunk) and eventual archiving and publishing of Webb’s photographs taken in several African nations over the course of a multi-month assignment organized by the United Nations. The images are notable not only for their fateful recovery but for their large and medium format color composition and intelligent eye; they tell a vibrant story of Africa at a moment between colonization and independence. With authors Bessire and Nolan, we discuss the making of their book, which is both a photography book of unique vision and a multifaceted study of the images themselves, with essays and interviews providing historical context and cultural and artistic analysis. Join us for this conversation on the work of an overlooked 20th-century master photographer and on a sweeping series of color photos that sat unseen for almost 60 years. Guests: Betsy Evans Hunt, Aimée Bessire, and Erin Hyde Nolan Photograph © Todd Webb Cover, “Todd Webb in Africa – Outside the Frame” © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive 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 03/18/2021
Eye-catching and grotesque are words not often placed together, but those accurate descriptors are part of the charm and beauty in the still life and food photography of Emma Ressel. Ressel joins us on this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast to talk about her work, which takes inspiration from, among other things, Dutch Master paintings and her own upbringing in Maine. We discuss with Ressel the evolution of her work and how she attempts to balance the genres of food photography and still life. Many of her images contain aspects of decay and death, and in her personal fine art photography, food is one way to address these topics. She also is a commercial photographer of food, wine, and still life work commissioned by New York Magazine, Refinery29, and other publications and clients. Ressel works with both a 4 x 5" Toya medium format film camera and with a Nikon DSLR, and we find out how and why she chooses which system to utilize. We also talk about her varied lighting choices and how she came to food photography not knowing much about professional workflows and food stylists and how that may have helped her define her look. She is very hands-on with her work, and we discuss sourcing items as diverse as coral snakes and pig’s heads. We also consider issues of waste and overconsumption and how her work attempts to deal with those ideas within an industry that uses food for purposes not directly related to human sustenance. Ressel also tells us about an inspiring artists residency in which she tackled the subject of a decaying whale carcass. This is a very well-rounded conversation, at ease discussing the technical issues of using a view camera as easily as literary inspiration, and how to walk the fine line between working as a commercial food photographer and pushing the genre to uncomfortable new places. Join us for a listen and have a look at Ressel’s Artfare page to see her larger prints. Guest: Emma Ressel Photograph © Emma Ressel From “Trouble in the Garden” © Emma Ressel From “Trouble in the Garden” © Emma Ressel From “Trouble in the Garden” © Emma Ressel From “Olives in the Street” © Emma Ressel From “Olives in the Street” © Emma Ressel From “Olives in the Street” © Emma Ressel From “Insatiable Hunger and the Peacock’s Plume” © Emma Ressel Commission for New York Magazine © Emma Ressel Commission for Wines of Sicily/Refinery29 © Emma Ressel © Emma Ressel 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 01/28/2021
Photography has long been used as a tool to explore and analyze history, but in the hands of an artist, that same tool is not asked to be exacting or accurate to the historical record. If anything, artists challenge this idea of photography as fact. And for this reason, it is such a pleasure to welcome artist and photographer Barbara Mensch to the B&H Photography Podcast. Mensch has created a book of history by using photographs she took as an artist. Having lived in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge for many years, she photographed the bridge in varied light and perspective, but it was not until she ventured inside the bridge's anchorage that she become interested in using her photographic story as the basis for a researched and nuanced study of the three principle creators of the Brooklyn Bridge. The book, In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators, is the successful result of her work, and we talk with Mensch about reevaluating older work, the endurance needed to complete a long project, the ability of photography to tell stories, and about square format and Hasselblad. In the second half of the program, we take up Mensch’s current book project, which also re-addresses earlier work, in this case from her wonderful series on the workers of the South Street Seaport or, as it was then called, the “waterfront.” Here we discuss the intrapersonal skills needed to photograph in authentic, yet potentially dangerous situations, the creative and youthful zeal that fuels such projects, and even about Bergger photography paper. Join us for this engaging conversation. Guest: Barbara Mensch Photographs © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch Klebber’s Murder © Barbara Mensch Child in Shoe Bin, Lower East Side © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch 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 10/22/2020
In the 1970s, under the aegis of the Great Society’s Model Cities Program, photographer Earlie Hudnall, Jr. began to document the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Houston’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th wards, and for more than forty years he has continued to create an indelible portrait of life in these neighborhoods. To be sure, Hudnall has photographed all around the world, and worked for years as the photographer for Texas Southern University, but it is his images of the people of Houston that we discuss today, and that are included in his current exhibition at the Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery in Dallas, running through October 31, 2020. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we talk with Hudnall about the relationship between the stories he tells with his images and those he grew up with in his native Mississippi; how the tradition, culture, and community of his youth reveal themselves in the faces and facades of modern Houston. We also talk about his organic approach to photography and how respect for his subjects informs his process, and how eye contact and body language are tools to connect with people on the street. Hudnall is old school—he works with digital cameras when needed—but his Hasselblad and Nikon film cameras are his primary tools and he discusses why he chooses one over the other to make a particular image. Hudnall also prints his photographs, so we talk about sourcing supplies, Ilford paper, and darkroom techniques. And while we do get into camera talk and a “sweet, sweet, sweet, soft Rolleiflex,” much of our conversation with Hudnall focuses on how memory and inspiration react in a moment to create a powerful image and how staying sensitive to your surroundings will serve your imaging. It is a joy to listen to Hudnall; please join us for this conversation. Guest: Earlie Hudnall, Jr. Photograph © Earlie Hudnall, Jr. Mr. Shine, 3rd Ward, Houston, 1988 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Girl with Flag, 3rd Ward, Houston, 1991 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Hip Hop, Galveston, TX, 1993 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Looking Out, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1991 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Feeling the Spirit, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1987 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Boy Eastern Star, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1984, © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, T Roots, 1997 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX 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 01/08/2020
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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