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Posted 06/24/2021
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is produced in collaboration with Leica Camera, and we are pleased to welcome photographer and journalist Cheriss May to the program. One of the qualities needed to tell good stories is an ability to listen and, in conversation with May, it becomes clear that her skill for framing and capturing an image with her camera begins with her skill for listening and for engaging with people and their stories. As a freelance editorial and portrait photographer, these talents are continuously in use, whether the story she is telling has been assigned to her by an editor or is one she is pursuing and photographing of her own accord. We discuss some of May’s recent assignments with her, as well as self-assignments for The New York Times and other outlets, and how she develops stories, pitches them, and, at times, even attaches herself as the writer. We also discuss the cameras, lenses, and techniques she uses to create these series. May is also a regular photographer on the political beat in Washington, D.C. She is a White House pool photographer and was on assignment at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and she shares stories of covering that event and other major news stories of the past few years. She is also a long-time professor at Howard University and relates some of her thoughts on teaching (and learning) photography. In addition, as a former graphic designer and photographer who works in multiple genres, it should come as no surprise that she also exhibits her work, and currently has a photo series on display at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles and will be a part of the wonderful “Eyes on Main Street” exhibit in Wilson, North Carolina. We encourage you to check out her images from these series, as well as the rest of her wide range of purposeful work. Guest: Cheriss May Photograph © Cheriss May Kenneth Meeks holding his two-year-old son Mosiya's hand, watching the oldest known living survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, Hughes Van Ellis, 100, Lessie Benningfield Randle, 106, and Viola "Mother" Fletcher, 107, go by in a horse-drawn carriage followed by descendants of the Massacre, during a march on Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa, Ok., on Friday, May 28, 2021. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Ian T’senre stands on Greenwood Avenue in a moment of silence during a candlelight vigil, to remember the victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, at 10:30 p.m. on May 31, 2021, the exact day and time the first shot was fired 100 years ago. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Washington D.C. Councilman Robert White, Jr., with his daughter. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Parents actively show their children how to speak out and take a stand against inequality. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden wave from the North Portico of the White House, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Official White House Photo by Cheriss May) Natural Beauty. On exhibit — Leica Gallery Los Angeles. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Sisterhood. On exhibit — Leica Gallery Los Angeles. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group 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 05/20/2021
Making photographs about the important social issues of our day should not be only in the hands of photojournalists working for large news organizations. Greg Constantine and Monica Lozano, our guests on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, as well as past guests of our program, distribute and exhibit their work outside the familiar “news” outlets. Both use their photographic work to address the stories of migrants, and both have spent the last two years documenting the human consequences of the United States’ ever-changing immigration policies. We welcome them back to discuss the specific work they have produced and how they disseminate their images. Monica Lozano is a respected fine art and documentary photographer who grew up in Texas and Mexico. Her work deals with issues of immigration, normally from a slightly abstracted and decontextualized, yet emotionally powerful, vantage point. For her recent series, “The Camps,” however, Lozano went directly to the refugee camps that began to appear in her hometown of Juarez, Mexico, in 2019. Her images tell the stories of the stranded asylum seekers by documenting the conditions they lived in and the community they developed. We speak with Lozano about her working process before and during the COVID pandemic. Greg Constantine, prior to joining us on a 2018 episode, had spent years in Asia documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis and other “stateless” peoples. Over the last three years, he has worked on a project about the U.S. immigration detention system. With grant funding and his own money, he has traveled the country creating a comprehensive yet personal document, taking photos and videos, and interviewing numerous detainees and their families. His work came to fruition in the journal Seven Doors, which has an online component, a print version, and exhibits in pop-up shows. We speak with Constantine about the difficulty and pride of being his own “author,” about grant writing, about using FUJIFILM and Mamiya film cameras, and about the value of giving away magazines and being a part of a larger community of image makers. Constantine and Lozano are moved by the injustices they see and have made it their lives’ work to document them and to tell the stories of those most vulnerable, and it is our pleasure to shine a light on their hard work. Guests: Monica Lozano and Greg Constantine Photograph © Greg Constantine © Greg Constantine/Seven Doors © Greg Constantine/Seven Doors © Greg Constantine/Seven Doors © Greg Constantine/Seven Doors © Greg Constantine/Seven Doors From “The Camps” series © Monica Lozano From “The Camps” series © Monica Lozano From “The Camps” series © Monica Lozano From “The Camps” series © Monica Lozano From “The Camps” series © Monica Lozano 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 02/11/2021
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 01/21/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Malike Sidibe to the show. With just 23 years under his belt, Sidibe has accomplished a great deal in his relatively short time on planet Earth, and not just photographically. But 2020 has been quite a busy year, even for him. His photography has generally been in the realm of editorial, fashion, and personal projects, and he has a lengthy list of clients that include Time, The Atlantic, Nikon, Nike, and The New Yorker, but this year he created a bold body of work covering the Black Lives Matter marches in New York and made a name for himself with editors shooting portraits via Zoom and FaceTime. We talk with Sidibe about how he has been able to move back and forth between these various genres of photography, concentrating the first part of the show on his experiences covering protests in Brooklyn and how his emotions brought him to the street, but his photographer’s spirit and eye enabled him to capture some of the most arresting images of the summer. We discuss shooting style, the Nikon Z 7 and lens choices, keeping gear secure, and staying safe in the midst of chaos. In addition, we talk about his process in portrait shoots through FaceTime, the iPad he used, and the tools he sent to his models and subjects for these unique collaborations. We also discuss Sidibe’s personal story of immigrating to the United States at age 13, his early struggles in school, and how NYC SALT, a high school photography program, helped him on his journey. It’s easy to recognize the talent, time, and work that Sidibe is dedicating to “making the future me happy,” but his good humor and creative love for photography are evident in this informative and lively conversation. Join us. Guest: Malike Sidibe Photograph © Malike Sidibe From “Black Lives Matter” series © Malike Sidibe From “Black Lives Matter” series © Malike Sidibe From “Black Lives Matter” series © Malike Sidibe From “Mami Wata” series © Malike Sidibe From “Mami Wata” series © Malike Sidibe From “Mami Wata” series © Malike Sidibe From “Mami Wata” series © Malike Sidibe From “facetime” series © Malike Sidibe From “facetime” series © Malike Sidibe Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/03/2020
Today we welcome back to the B&H Photography Podcast  Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and friend to the show, Salwan Georges. Georges joined us four years ago to talk about his documentary project centered around the Arabic communities in Michigan, but a great deal has changed since then, and today he joins us to discuss his work covering the 2020 presidential campaigns for the Washington Post. With Georges, we dig into the nuts and bolts of navigating a presidential election in the middle of a pandemic. We talk about press pools, political rallies, booking your own airfare, and making sure your hotel room is disinfected. We also discuss getting new angles to tell stories, prime versus zoom, switching to the Sony a9 II, and using an iPhone when that’s the only option. Georges also relates his experiences working with editors, having the backs of other photographers, and his additional work covering the opioid crisis and other painful stories of our time. Join us for this insightful conversation that we recorded in the days immediately following the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Guest: Salwan Georges Photograph © Salwan Georges Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listen outside of the Chase Center as he speaks during the Democratic National Convention, in Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday, August 20, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post President Donald J. Trump listens to a question from a reporter during a news briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at The White House, in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, September 27, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate, gives a victory speech after winning the New Hampshire Primary during Primary Night Celebration at SNHU Field House on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post President Donald J. Trump throws a hat to supporters during a “Make America Great Again Victory Rally,” in Waterford Township, Michigan on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife, Jill Biden, greet supporters with Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, outside of the Chase Center, the secondary location of the Democratic National Convention, in Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday, August 20, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post The final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden appears on screens during a flight from Detroit on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post Nash Ismael, 20, places his arms around his sisters Nadeen, 18, left, and Nancy, 13, as they visit the gravesite of their parents on Father's Day at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery on Sunday, June 21, 2020, in Troy, MI. The Ismael children lost their parents within weeks to COVID-19. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/26/2020
What a treat to welcome photographer Ami Vitale to the B&H Photography Podcast. Vitale is mustering her high profile as a National Geographic photographer, as well as the talents of eighty-nine other incredible photographers, to raise funds for Conservation International. The Prints for Nature Sale runs until December 10, 2020 and offers gorgeous gallery-quality prints at a very affordable price. Please check this link for more information and to support this worthy initiative. We also speak with Vitale about her career trajectory and commitment to telling the stories of endangered species and the humans around them. We discuss her work photographing Sudan, the last male white rhinoceros in existence, and her incredible series about pandas in China. We also ask Vitale how she bridges the gap (or perceived gap) between journalism and advocacy photography and about her commitment to long-term engagement with the stories she covers. Vitale also addresses the changing dynamics of print journalism and the need to find funding for her projects, and we briefly mention her work as a Nikon ambassador. The dearth of tourism to many protected wildlife parks around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought conservation efforts to a crisis point and the Prints for Nature Sale, with images by Art Wolfe, Steve Winter, Pete McBride, Alison Wright (all past guests of the podcast) and many other great photographers, is a way that lovers of wildlife and of photography can help. Guest: Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Anand Varma, from the Prints for Nature Sale Photograph © David Doubilet, from the Prints for Nature Sale Photograph © Jody MacDonald, from the Prints for Nature Sale Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/12/2020
Eight months ago, on the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcomed four photojournalists who were covering the beginning stages of the COVID-19 crisis in New York. We discussed their fears and the stories they hoped to cover; we also discussed safety precautions, limited access to subjects, and altered workflows. It was the beginning of a new reality. On today’s episode, we welcome back two of those photographers— Desiree Rios and Sarah Blesener —for a follow-up conversation on how their work has evolved since March. We first welcome Desiree Rios, who photographs for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. We speak with Rios about her daily assignments covering the effects of the pandemic in New York, primarily in the Bronx. We talk about using her work as a support for the community, about building solidarity with the people she photographs, and about trying to tell deeper aspects of a story with daily news images. We also marvel over how attitudes about masks and PPE were so different in March. After a break, we speak with Sarah Blesener. She also works for the Times and WSJ, but thanks to a commission from the International Center for Photography and a grant from National Geographic, she was able to focus on a long-term project over these months. Specifically, she photographed her eighty-year-old landlady and how she, along with the neighborhood community she is a part of, came together to withstand the effects of the pandemic and shutdown. Blesener relates how she came to appreciate working in a less intimate and less spontaneous manner than normal, how she avoided risky assignments so as not to risk infecting her landlady, and how the project grew to involve the neighborhood and became a very optimistic story, despite the situation. This series is currently on exhibition at ICP. Join us for this topical and interesting conversation on the evolving role of photojournalism during 2020. Guests: Desiree Rios and Sarah Blesener Photograph © Sarah Blesener From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 Our Lady of Mount Carmel was open for private prayer in the Belmont neighborhood of The Bronx, New York on Sunday, May 24, 2020. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times Mercedes poses for a portrait with her daughter down the street from her apartment building in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York on June 19, 2020. Mercedes, who has no income since her husband lost his construction job due to the pandemic, is unable to receive unemployment benefits because of their immigration status. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times Residents wear face masks while sitting on the stoop of their building in the Morrisania neighborhood of The Bronx, New York on April 14, 2020. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/02/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome editor, educator, and photographer Joan Liftin, and Michelle Dunn Marsh, founder and publisher of Minor Matters Books. In the first half of the show, we speak with Liftin about her latest book, Water for Tears, and then we focus on Minor Matters and the unique business model this publishing house utilizes. We also discuss the person who brought them together, the late photographer Charles Harbutt. Liftin was married to Harbutt and was his collaborator, and Marsh has recently published a book of Harbutt’s work and words, titled The Unconcerned Photographer. With Liftin we discuss the genesis of Water for Tears, which is a sort of photo memoir—images from travel and family and fleeting impressions that tie together a lifetime. We discuss editing, sequencing, collaboration, and the subtle difference between narrative and story. We also talk about editing Harbutt’s work and, along with Marsh, about the creation of The Unconcerned Photographer. After a break, Marsh elaborates on the publishing model they employ at Minor Matters—a hybrid of crowdfunding, support membership, and a direct, organic connection between artist, publisher, and consumer. Have a look at their catalog, which presents work from established photographers and new voices in the medium. Join us for this compelling discussion. Guests: Joan Liftin and Michelle Dunn Marsh Photograph © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin Cover of "The Unconcerned Photographer," published by Minor Matters Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 05/19/2020
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 09/25/2019
When one of the world’s most “followed” photographers is available for a conversation, you make the time to talk with him, and when that photographer is acclaimed adventure, landscape, travel, and surf photographer Chris Burkard, expect that conversation to include some serious insights into the passion and ambition it takes to create the beautiful images he makes. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Burkard about a range of subjects—and this conversation does not disappoint. We get right into it by asking about his penchant for shooting in frigid locations, and how stubbornness and even persistence can be the enemy of good photography in sub-zero temperatures. We discuss the composition of his photographs and how that is indicative of his views on nature, and we dig into his “origin story” and why clients began to come to him for the kind of photography he creates. In general, however, we stick to the nuts and bolts of his photography. We learn why he prefers mirrorless cameras, specifically the Sony Alpha a7R IV, how he organizes his commercial workflow to make time for the adventures he craves, and how he sets time aside to be with his young family. After a break, we ask Burkard to walk us through the creation of a few of his best-known images. Not only does he offer insight into the photographic aspects, but he elaborates to give us a better understanding of the remote locations he finds and the teamwork needed. To quote Burkard, “to better understand how the Earth was made, we must look at it from new perspectives.” Join us for this eye-opening conversation. Guest: Chris Burkard Aleutian Islands, 2013 © Chris Burkard Westfjord, Iceland, 2016 © Chris Burkard Highlining in Joshua Tree with Garrison Rowland on Hall of Horrors formation during the Supermoon, 2016 © Chris Burkard Skógar, Iceland, 2014 © Chris Burkard Westfjord, Iceland, 2016 © Chris Burkard Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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