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Posted 07/22/2021
On this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we discuss food photography and ask our two guests to create their vision of the ideal spread for a summer food photography shoot. In the first half of the show, we welcome photographer  Meika Ejiasi, who is a food, lifestyle, and portrait photographer from Oakland, California. With Ejiasi we discuss how she would photograph ice cream and popsicles, as well as about tips and tricks for keeping pizza looking hot after many takes. We talk about utilizing food substitutes, including acrylic ice cubes, about shooting at working restaurants, and about the joys and challenges of getting a call from a big brand. Ejiasi also shares with us hopeful plans for a project dedicated to corn on the cob. Yeah. In the second half of the episode, we speak with photographer Cherry Li, whose work crosses genres and cultures, but always imparts her love for food and photography. We speak about the idea of play with Li when it comes to creativity, whether that be playing with food, with flavors, or with the concepts of food photography via lens and styling decisions. We chat about shooting in kitchens, about power packs vs. speedlites, such as the Godox AD200, and also about monitoring tethered to a computer, or wirelessly, to an iPad. We wrap with a brief chat about Li’s new venture―a new studio and an online photo course dedicated to food photography. Her work really stands out. Join us for this informative episode and check out the articles and videos presented on the B&H Explora blog as we celebrate Food Photography Week. Guests: Meika Ejiasi and Cherry Li Photograph © Meika Ejiasi Photograph © Cherry Li/CherryFoodPhoto Photograph © Cherry Li/CherryFoodPhoto Photograph © Cherry Li/CherryFoodPhoto Photograph © Cherry Li/CherryFoodPhoto From the Skin and Flesh series © Cherry Li/CherryFoodPhoto From the Seafood Fairytales series © Cherry Li/CherryFoodPhoto Photograph © Cherry Li/CherryFoodPhoto Photograph © Meika Ejiasi Photograph © Meika Ejiasi Photograph © Meika Ejiasi Photograph © Meika Ejiasi Photograph © Meika Ejiasi 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 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 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 03/11/2021
This is the second episode of the B&H Photography Podcast produced with the collaboration of Leica Camera, and we are pleased to welcome photographer Stella Johnson to the show. It is the “in-between moments of life” that Johnson describes as the subject of her work, work that includes books and documentary series made in Cameroon, Greece, Nicaragua, and Mexico. In this easygoing conversation, we discuss the nature of her long-term projects, and the motivations that return her to the same places year after year. We also talk about composing with rangefinder cameras, being at the eye level of your subject, and the weeks that go by without making pictures and the verbal and nonverbal communication necessary when you are invited as a photographer into a community or home, as Johnson has been. For her personal documentary work, Johnson has relied on Leica M cameras and a 35mm focal length lens. We discuss this focal distance in terms of a personal comfort zone and one that even felt safer during pandemic time. Johnson keeps her settings simple and concentrates on composition and the moment; she tends to find light and locations that she likes and waits for the images. Because Johnson’s compositions are so strong in black-and-white and her color work is minimal and adroit, we ask for her thoughts on how to work with both formats and if a fluidity between them is easy. Finally, in searching for a definition of documentary photography, we mulled over the effect of time, of returning to locations and subjects, of its distinction from photojournalism, as seeing “what life is like” and the stories of “just daily life.” Guest: Stella Johnson Photograph © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “RE-CREATIONS” © Stella Johnson 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 05/19/2020
As an industry and as a hobby, the numbers indicate that drone flying and drone photography are still primarily the domain of men, but sustaining this disparity is ridiculous and it should and will change. Our two guests today are part of bringing about that change, and they do so by being good at their craft, by spreading the joy of flying, and teaching drone operation and photography to women and girls. Our first guest today is an Emmy Award-winning camerawoman for CBS News and F.A.A. licensed drone pilot Carmaine Means, who incorporates quadcopter footage into her news coverage and, of course, flies for fun. After a break, we are joined by Yasmin Tajik, a documentary photographer and F.A.A. licensed drone operator who is also the Brand Ambassador Director for the educational and advocacy group Women Who Drone. We get to know the work of each guest, asking Means how and when she decides to use aerial footage in a news segment, what her personal guidelines are for launching a drone, and what the planning stage is like with her producers. We also talk about the value of certain aerial shots in telling a story, about the equipment she uses, and handling the drones in various conditions. Currently, she flies with a DJI Phantom and an Inspire. With Yasmin Tajik, we mention the Federal Aviation Administration licensing process and she recommends the FAA Drone Zone as a good place to start. We also ask her about using drones in documentary work and some of the restrictions placed on flying in the U.S. and other countries. As a resident of Arizona, she discusses some of the advantages of flying in that state, as well as unique guidelines they have established. We also speak about how she learned to fly after initially being hesitant, the work done by Women Who Drone, and taking her Tello Quadcopter into schools and the interest it generates from the next generation of flyers. Tajik also points to the many industries and services that are incorporating drones and the growing opportunities available for licensed pilots, but we don’t forget to talk about the joy she gets by using her DJI Mavic 2 to provide a perspective on the world that our land-based cameras can never match. Join us for this enjoyable and inspirational conversation and if you are a female drone flyer, we’d love to hear your experiences and see your images. Guests: Carmaine Means and Yasmin Tajik Photograph © Yasmin Tajik​ © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik Courtesy Yasmin Tajik © Carmaine Means © Carmaine Means © Carmaine Means Courtesy Carmaine Means Carmaine Means © Phillip Dembinsky Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 05/11/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we talk about food photography with photographer Chelsea Kyle and food stylist Drew Aichele. There are few photography disciplines that are as complicated as food photography. With the pressure of time, heat, cold, color, and light, a small team must work together to create an image that realistically illustrates the sumptuousness of a dish, but also is a visually striking composition. Collaboration is key and, in this case, it’s fortunate that Kyle and Aichele are also a couple, engaged to be married. We are grateful they were able to join us today. We discuss aspects of the professional process from client and editor, to recipe experts, to the stylists and photographers, and ask who determines what the “look” will be and how that is played out on set. We also discuss camera and lenses, lighting gear, and all accessories that are used in this space, which is part kitchen, part workshop, and part photo studio. Kyle stumps host Allan Weitz, mentioning a piece of grip gear with which even he is not familiar. Because our guests live together, and despite the huge hit the industry has taken, they have been able to work during the shutdown, and we discuss how they have adapted to handling all aspects of a shoot in their own kitchen. We talk about sourcing supplies when many stores and bakeries are closed, about using Zoom to direct a remote shoot, and speculate on the future of this very collaborative profession. Join us for this insightful episode and let us know how these tough times have affected your photography… and your cooking. Guests: Chelsea Kyle and Drew Aichele Above photograph © Chelsea Kyle​ Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Image © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Image © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/05/2019
Do you have undeveloped rolls of film that have been sitting around forever? Maybe you don't even realize that you have unprocessed rolls from the "good ol' days of analog" in an old camera bag or a dresser drawer. Now is the time to look into this matter and have the chance to explore and share your memories, perhaps even rediscover events and people that memory has left behind. On this week's episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome the directors of Lost Rolls America, Ron Haviv and Lauren Walsh. Inspired by Haviv's own The Lost Rolls book, they have initiated this project to create a national archive of lost, yet now found, images "to form a collective memory that prioritizes the role of photos in constructing our personal and shared pasts. In revisiting the past, this project also encourages contemplation of how the present and future will be remembered." The idea is simple, but one look at the growing archive and the memories shared, and it becomes clear how powerful this project can be. With Haviv and Walsh, we recount the genesis of the project, how PhotoShelter, PhotoWings, and FUJIFILM came onboard as partners, and they offer insight on the future plans for the project. They also discuss a few of the more interesting images and recollections submitted, how the submission process works and, of course, they encourage our listeners to submit lost rolls. Above Photograph © Mette Lampcov/Lost Rolls America Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Valentina Zavarin: I was leaving alone to America. Time for adventure away from my mother and siblings. I remember how excited I was for this new life ahead after World War II. Everyone is smiling but I remember they were in a shock that they were left behind. Valentina Zavarin/Lost Rolls America, 1950 Lost Rolls America: Does this photo bring back any memories? Debra Miller: Yes. Sadness, horror, shock. Debra Miller/ Lost Rolls America, 2001 Lost Rolls America: Is this what you expected to see? Elizabeth Kamir: No. The old roll of Tri-X that had taken up residence in my drawer for nearly 30 years always dared me to imagine. I never planned to develop it. I assumed if there was anything on the roll, it would either be something innocuous, like pictures of my grandmother or something embarrassing, like theatrical, nude self-portraits. I might have taken pictures like that back then. Elizabeth Kamir/Lost Rolls America, 1990 Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Mette Lampcov: It makes me think of how much I used to laugh my head off with her (Tracy). It makes me miss London and old friends, especially people who have a wicked sense of humor- and seeing her head float in the back garden is a perfect reminder of her beautiful funny madness. Mette Lampcov/Lost Rolls America, 2002 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Michael Starensic: I feel a sense of accomplishment that I was able to capture the times and emotions as the country swayed from crisis to crisis. This was the last interlude- "coming up for air" I called it- between the major tumult of the Kosovo War two months earlier and the start of renewed opposition that month. We soon headed back to the capital and events were intense for the next 14 months. Nevena and I married 2 months later in Belgrade in the midst of mounting protest and turmoil. Michael Starensic/Lost Rolls America, 1999 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Bruce Lampcov: Very nostalgic. I miss the days when my children were young and together we discovered new places, new cultures. Bruce Lampcov/Lost Rolls America, 2004 Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Tamika Jancewicz: Just how huge I was when I was pregnant! I think I felt that way when I took the picture as well. Tamika Jancewicz/Lost Rolls America, 2007 Lost Rolls America: What are we looking at here? Russell Gontar: This is my friend, Linda. We spent an afternoon taking pictures at the beach and old amusement park. I asked her to close her eyes in an attempt to be "arty". Russell Gontar/Lost Rolls America, 1977 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Jennifer Mitchell: As all the kiddos in the picture are my nieces and nephew, it makes me feel amazingly proud. One is in the Air Force Academy, one is a wedding planner in a Colorado Rocky Mountain resort, and one just got accepted into a PhD program for Astrophysics. I bet my sister (who is reading to them) thinks that she might have had a little something to do with it.:) When I showed her the picture, she sighed and said, "Oh, that was always one of my favorite things to do with those kids!" Jennifer Mitchell/Lost Rolls America, 2004 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Keith Munger: Like One Of The Miraculous Few That Loves His Wife As Much Now As In 1969. I Am A Very Lucky Guy! Keith Munger/Lost Rolls America, 1969 Guests: Lauren K. Walsh and Ron Haviv Ron Haviv is a is an Emmy nominated, award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the photo agency VII, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. He has worked in more than one hundred countries and published four critically acclaimed collections of photography. His work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries, including the Louvre, the United Nations, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Lauren Walsh is a professor and writer who teaches at The New School and NYU, where she is the Director of NYU Gallatin's Photojournalism Lab. She is editor of Macondo, a photo book documenting the long-term conflict in Colombia, and coeditor of the collection, The Future of Text and Image, as well as the Millennium Villages Project, a photography book about efforts to relieve extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. She has appeared on CNN as a scholar of photography and digital culture, as well as in the documentary 9/11: Ten Years Later. Ron Haviv, Allan Weitz, and Lauren Walsh John Harris   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/22/2017
Photographing food is far from being a new facet of photography. Whether for commercial or artistic purposes—think William Henry Fox Talbot, Edward Weston, Irving Penn—it can be found throughout eras and styles, but it sure seems like we are currently witnessing a boom in food photography. With the foodie culture exploding and the profusion of #foodporn and #foodstagramming, there is no shortage of photographed meals flying around the Internet. Our guests on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast have a wealth of experience in this arena, having shot food photography for a combined total of... many years. Specifically, they join us to talk about their latest book, Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food, but while at it, we discuss food photography in general, from gear and technique to workflow for editorial and commercial assignments, and even for cookbooks. We also discuss the change in food photography styles over the years and ask their opinions on the proliferation of “food selfies.” Aaron Rezny has photographed major campaigns for Nestlé, Duncan Hines, Kellogg's, Russell Stover, Nabisco, and Applebee’s, and his work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, New York Magazine, and other publications. Jordan Schaps is an author, Professor of Photography at the School of Visual Arts, and the former Director of Photography at New York Magazine. He has produced shoots for inStyle, GQ, Lincoln Motors, and many other commercial and editorial clients. Together, they have produced a wonderfully engaging book. Join us for this educational and, at times, hilarious episode. Guests: Jordan Schaps and Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © John Harris Photograph © John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/14/2017
Steve Giralt is an accomplished still life, food, and product photographer and director with a list of advertising clients that includes Harman Kardon, Godiva, BBDO, Starbucks, PepsiCo, Petrossian, and Verizon. With a deep background in digital tech and engineering, and a long list of awards for his still photography, he began to include motion capture in his repertoire and is now on the cutting edge of what he has dubbed, “ visual engineering.” This term is an attempt to describe what he does, but more so, to describe a new way of shooting in which photography, video, and modern imaging technologies are integrated—integrated within the creation process, as well as in the final product he offers to clients. To complete assignments with this level of integration and with the highest quality of reproduction, Giralt has had to invent new methods for image capture, as well as the tools needed to do so. On today’s episode, we visit Giralt in his Manhattan studio and talk about his theory and process for shooting stills and video simultaneously, and the lighting systems and mechanisms he has developed for these tasks. Of course, we ask him about his cameras and lenses, but we also discuss 3D printers, Arduino controllers, LED panels, robotic arms, and an array of old and new tech that he combines to create stunning explosions, slo-mo splashes, and cascading hamburgers! Join us on this forward-thinking discussion to see how much thought and work goes into “visual engineering” before and after the shutter button is pressed. Guest: Steve Giralt Petrossian caviar advertisement From Budweiser advertisement Food test shot Splash test Catapult test Vince Camuto advertisement Phantom and Hasselblad dual camera setup Dual-camera setup for splash test Allan Weitz and Steve Giralt. Photograph © John Harris Previous Pause Next Steve Giralt, except where noted DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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