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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 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 10/14/2020
Recognized as a premier headshot and portrait photographer, Peter Hurley has quite the tale to tell. His work is known for the genuine expressions he captures, and he has expanded his business into an international organization. He is also an in-demand speaker and photo educator, but Hurley has an interesting “origin story” when it comes to photography, and we will discuss how he went from being a competitive sailor to a model to a photographer and how sailing remains an integral part of his creative life. This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a casual but insightful conversation about life’s twists and turns taking you to a place you never expected and how being open to challenges and to advice can motivate creativity. Sometimes “failing” is the best way to find your success, and Hurley tells us about competing for the U.S. Sailing Team and how accepting opportunities that seemed far from his initial goal led him to photography. We also talk about how he turned his headshot business into the “ Headshot Crew ” and now coaches and disperses work to a network of photographers around the world. Throughout the conversation, we touch on tips to improve your own portrait and headshot game, and Hurley mentions the lighting kit he has created with Westcott. We also discuss the “10,000 Headshot” project, for which he helped to organize his network of photographers to aid folks left unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of Canon and others, members of the Headshot Crew have photographed thousands of people, creating free headshots for anyone out of work. And as we discuss, a quality headshot is increasingly important in the “work from home” era. Join us for this enjoyable conversation. Guest: Peter Hurley Photograph © Peter Hurley Alfredo Plessman III © Peter Hurley Ben Yannette © Peter Hurley Carina Goldbach © Peter Hurley Deborah Robinson © Peter Hurley Fernando Romero © Peter Hurley Jan McCay © Peter Hurley Nancy Randall © Peter Hurley March Palou © Peter Hurley Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior 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 12/18/2019
The B&H Photography Podcast wraps up 2019 expanding our minds, with the help of Swedish photographer Erik Johansson. Enabling his playful and slightly sinister imagination with a wealth of design and photographic talent, Johannsson makes images that toy with the veracity of a photo while using relatively basic photographic processes to create them. It is certainly worth viewing Johansson’s website or Instagram feed before (or while) listening to this episode to familiarize yourselves with the images we discuss and to gain a sense of his mastery of scale and narrative. Combining landscape photography, staged scenes with actors, oversized props, and the best of digital collage, Johansson creates images that seem to emanate directly from his dreamy imagination, but are undoubtedly the product of much real-world work, and he kindly takes the time to explain his process and workflow to us. A woman emerges from a shopping mall escalator to find herself in a dark forest, a man pulls a lonely country road across a field like a bed sheet, a house is tossed as verdant farmland turns into a violent tidal wave. These scenes, along with many others (and some with a decidedly MC Escher feel), have us wondering, “how does he do it?” Join us for our conversation with Johansson to find out the tools he uses (starting with his Hasselblad camera system) and the amount of time and production it takes to create each of these surrealistic vignettes. As we celebrate our 200th episode, chime in on our Facebook group with your all-time favorite episode or let us know a subject you’d like us to cover in 2020. Thanks! And have a great New Year. Guest: Erik Johansson Above photograph © Erik Johansson Above All, 2019 © Erik Johansson Just Visiting, 2019 © Erik Johansson Self-Supporting, 2017 © Erik Johansson Lifetime, 2017 © Erik Johansson Road Closed Unexpectedly, 2019 © Erik Johansson Office Escape, 2019 © Erik Johansson The Cover-Up, 2013 © Erik Johansson Let’s Leave, 2013 © Erik Johansson Daybreaker, 2018 © Erik Johansson Demand & Supply, 2017 © Erik Johansson Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 03/23/2018
If you follow photography industry news, two words that may have caught your attention recently are “Kodak” and “cryptocurrency,” and the fact that they were in the same sentence might just have caused you to sit up and click. There was an outburst of opinion filling the blogosphere after the January announcement that KODAK and WENN Digital had entered into a brand-licensing agreement to launch KODAKOne, an image rights management platform, and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency. The worlds of cryptocurrency and blockchain, the distributed ledger technology supporting many cryptocurrencies, are arcane, but merging one of the most recognized brands in photography with these new platforms and adding into the mix a potential fix for the image licensing business brought not only a lot of opinion, but a good deal of confusion. On this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we hope to clear the air and to do so we sit with the principals behind KodakOne and experts on both blockchain technology and image-rights licensing. We welcome Jan Denecke, the CEO of KODAKOne, and Volker Brendel, their CTO, to this discussion. We are also joined by attorney Andrew Hinkes, a professor at New York University and author of more than twenty articles on blockchain technologies and virtual currency, and Maria Kessler, the former president of Digital Media Licensing Association and an expert in stock photography and digital-image licensing. Join us for this rousing conversation in which we get firsthand information on KODAKOne’s business plans, insight on how the blockchain will affect photographer’s interests, and a general sense of what we can buy with a KODAKCoin. Guests: Jan Denecke, Volker Brendel, Andrew Hinkes, and Maria Kessler Jan Denecke, Volker Brendel, Maria Kessler, Philipp Kohn, Allan Weitz, Jason Tables John Harris 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 03/09/2018
Are the 1990s history? Well, for today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we look back to that decade when a new aesthetic in fashion photography was born in England, and later spread to the United States and the world; a transformative style whose influence is apparent almost thirty years after its birth. First appearing in small but influential magazines such as The Face, i-D, and Blitz, and growing from a reactionary youth culture, this raw style reflected a new aesthetic, one that rejected the glam, the supermodel, and the highly stylized photos of the 1980s in favor of eclectic clothing, waifish models, a low-tech, "straight-up" photo style, and a lot of “frickin’ attitude.” For this episode, we welcome fashion photographer Michael Sanders, who is a regular contributor to Italian Elle and who shot for many of the ’90s “style bibles” mentioned above. Sanders came of age in this era and discusses the social and economic factors that lead to this new aesthetic, the cyclical nature of fashion, and the overly simplistic idea of heroin-chic. He also provides a sense of the technologies that made this movement a reality, the gear most commonly used, and the assignment process and shooting-styles embraced. Finally, Sanders offers firsthand insight into the community of photographers, stylists, and models who are associated with this movement, including David Sims, Corinne Day, Kate Moss, Melanie Ward, and the important photographer and bridge figure, Nick Knight. Join us for this interesting look back to the birth of a style and photographic movement that is still reverberating. Guest: Michael Sanders Photograph © Corinne Day, model: Kate Moss, The 3rd Summer of Love cover from “The Face.” 1990 Photograph © Michael Sanders from “Blood Simple”, “The Face.” 1997 Photograph © Michael Sanders from “Blood Simple”, “The Face.” 1997 Photograph © Michael Sanders from “Blood Simple”, “The Face.” 1997 Photograph © Michael Sanders from “Blood Simple”, “The Face.” 1997 Photograph © Michael Sanders from “Blood Simple”, “The Face.” 1997 Photograph © Michael Sanders from “Blood Simple”, “The Face.” 1997 Photograph © Michael Sanders, 2018 from “Italian Elle”, March 2018 Photograph © Michael Sanders, 2018 from “Italian Elle”, March 2018 Photograph © Michael Sanders, 2018 from “Italian Elle”, March 2018 Photograph © Michael Sanders, courtesy “Italian Elle” Allan Weitz and Michael Sanders, 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 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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Posted 05/19/2017
It has been “Macro Week” at B&H Explora, and this week’s episode will put a nice bow on all the articles and photos we have published on the subject, with an overview of what type of macro photography lenses and systems are available. We begin this podcast talking with photographer Marc Silber about his new book Advancing Your Photography: A Handbook for Creating Photos You’ll Love, in which he provides a complete guide to get you from concept to completion. He stresses visualizing your image, gathering the correct gear to accomplish that, and walks the reader through all the steps of production, post-production, and exhibition. The tools he provides are apt for beginners. Enthusiasts—and even pros—will pick up a few tricks. After a short break, we continue the macro photography theme with a listing of the latest macro lenses available at B&H, and a practical conversation on what defines macro, techniques for improving your macro photography, and alternative methods for creating close-up and macro images. Guest: Marc Silber Image courtesy Marc Silber Image courtesy Marc Silber Eiffel Tower by Marc Silber Marc Silber and Allan Weitz, photograph by John Harris Previous Pause Next Photos by Allan Weitz unless otherise 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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