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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 08/21/2020
We present a fun and insightful conversation on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, perhaps due to the Midwestern charm of photographer Julie Blackmon and the enjoyable discussion of her wonderful tableaux vivants of family life in middle America. We also welcome back to the show gallery owner Robert Mann, who is currently hosting an exhibit of Blackmon’s photographs titled Talent Show. Mann was a guest on our show, in 2018, when we spoke about the work of Australian photographer Murray Fredericks. The medium format compositions of Julie Blackmon infuse innocent playtime with a creeping sense of danger to create works with a wonderful dark humor. There is also a welcome DIY spirit to her work, and we talk about the creation of her photos and the involvement of her own family and friends in the images; even photos that have up to twenty-five subjects are produced and organized with her sisters and fellow parents.  She is hands-on in all aspects of the work, including making the large prints herself. We also talk about her use of the Hasselblad H system and how she combines wide angle and normal perspectives in her detailed final prints. After a break, Robert Mann takes the lion’s share of the questions as we discuss the many challenges faced by photography galleries. In addition to the expense of a brick and mortar gallery and the proliferation of online viewing and sales, the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the idea of a public art gallery.  Mann relates the decision to close his Chelsea gallery and receive collectors on a by-appointment basis, as well as his thoughts on creating editions and limiting prints and the general state of the fine art photo market. Join us for this enlightening four-way conversation as we gain insight from the perspective of the artist and the gallerist. Guests: Julie Blackmon and Robert Mann Photograph © Julie Blackmon River, 2020 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Baby Toss, 2009 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Stock Tank, 2012 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Talent Show, 2019 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Outing, 2019 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Spray Paint, 2020 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/25/2019
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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Posted 07/17/2019
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome photographer Ashok Sinha, who talks about his forthcoming book, Driver-full City: The Unique Architecture of Car Culture in Greater Los Angeles, and discusses the Cartwheel Initiative, a nonprofit that he founded, which works with displaced and refugee youth, using photography and multimedia tools to inspire these youth to find their voice through art and creative thinking. Above photograph © Ashok Sinha Before we get into our conversation with Sinha, however, we want to let you know about an opportunity we are offering our listeners. We will be giving away forty free tickets to a private screening of the film, Jay Myself, directed by photographer Stephen Wilkes, about the photographer Jay Maisel. Wilkes will be in attendance for a Q/A session after the screening. Many of you may remember when Maisel and Wilkes joined us to talk about the making of this movie, and we are excited to extend this offer to the first forty listeners who request a ticket. This screening will be in New York City, on August 4, so if you cannot be in New York on that date, please do not request a ticket, which are limited to two per person. If you would like to attend the screening and meet the filmmakers, send a request to podcast@bhphoto.com or join our B&H Photography Podcast Facebook Group and comment on the post regarding the free screening. Screening details are in the post and we look forward to meeting you. Ashok Sinha is a complete photographer and filmmaker, able to make a living from his architecture and interior design photography, but also adept at large-scale landscapes, human-interest editorial stories, and portraiture. His photographs have been widely published by editorial outlets such as The New York Times, TIME, Interior Design, and exhibited by The Museum of the City of New York, the International Center of Photography, and The Royal Photographic Society. And, as mentioned, Sinha has found a wonderful way to use photography to give back to the youth most in need of a helping hand. Join us for this inspiring episode and request your free tickets to Jay Myself. Guest: Ashok Sinha “Driver-full City” © Ashok Sinha “Driver-full City” © Ashok Sinha “Driver-full City” © Ashok Sinha “Driver-full City” © Ashok Sinha “Driver-full City” © Ashok Sinha Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/19/2019
B&H recently hosted the OPTIC Outdoor, Photo/Video, Travel Imaging Conference, which gave us an opportunity to sit with many wonderful photographers including Ron Magill, Frans Lanting, and Erin Babnik, and we will be publishing these conversations over the next few weeks. Today we welcome representatives from Canon, Panasonic Lumix, and Sony to discuss their latest wares. First we speak with Ross Joseph from Canon about his company's  photo printer options, specifically the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000, a wonderful 17” desktop printer with professional features. Next we welcome Tom Curley from Panasonic to talk about the LUMIX camera line and the incredible new DC-S1H full-frame mirrorless camera and the L-mount consortium. Finally, we welcome Ben Manlove, Sr. Representative from Sony Digital Imaging PRO Support. Ben discusses new firmware updates and a range of Sony gear, including the gems of the E-mount system, new lenses from Sony and the waterproof/crushproof Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 II Digital Camera. Join us for this informative episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. Guests: Ross Joseph, Tom Curley, Ben Manlove Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 24" Professional Photographic Large-Format Inkjet Printer Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 60" Professional Photographic Large-Format Inkjet Printer Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. Lens Panasonic DMW-STC14 Lumix S 1.4x Teleconverter Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera Sony RX0 Ultra-Compact Waterproof/Shockproof Camera Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM 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 03/02/2018
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we’re talking gear—specifically, the latest gear announced at the two most recent trade shows, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI). In addition to a summary of some of the items announced at CES, like the Panasonic Lumix GH5S, we speak with B&H writers Shawn Steiner and Liz Groeschen, who are currently in attendance at WPPI. Steiner gives us the lowdown on some of the big-ticket items and mentions many of the new lenses announced at this important conference and Groeschen offers her opinion on the latest cameras and items of specific interest to wedding photographers. Some of the cameras we discuss are the new Sony a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera, the Fujifilm X-H1, the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9, the Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera, the Pentax K-1 Mark II DSLR and the Polaroid Originals OneStep2 Instant Film Camera. In terms of lenses, we mention the new set of Sigma Art lenses for Sony E mount cameras, as well as the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD,  the Rokinon SP 50mm f/1.2 for Canon EF, the Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4, and others. Two new flashes made our critic’s picks: the new Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI with auto intelligent bounce head, and the Sony HVL-F60RM Wireless Radio Flash, as did a handful of paper and presentation material. Join us for this informative episode. Guests: Shawn Steiner and Liz Groeschen Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence N
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Posted 11/03/2017
New York City affords a photographer many opportunities, including the annual gathering of photo professionals at the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo. Founded in 1983, it is the largest photography and imaging event in North America and features seminars, master classes, portfolio reviews, and a convention center filled with the latest cameras, lenses, and accessories from the major manufacturers and the not-so-major manufacturers. It is at the latter at whom we aimed our microphones as we wandered around the Expo floor. It’s certainly beneficial to handle new cameras and test lenses, but at events like these, speaking with the functionaries from Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. rarely elicits candid answers or information you can’t already find on a press release, so we decided to skip the big booths and concentrate on the vendors from smaller manufacturers to find out what they are bringing to market. We spoke with representatives of long-established firms like Beseler, Fotodiox, Denny Manufacturing, and Platypod to hear what’s new in their catalogs, and we also spoke with newer brands and services such as My Case Builder, Foto Op, COOPH and Film Toaster to better understand their new ideas and products, with hopes they will find a life in the competitive business of photography. Guests: Charlie Knecht, Steven Holand, Robert Maclay, Bohuš Blahut, Cecil Williams, Ulrich Grill, Colbert Colin, Larry Tiefenbrunn The expo floor of PhotoPlus Expo 2017 from the Javits Center entrance, New York Bohuš Blahut, of Fotodiox, speaking with Allan Weitz The Fotodiox booth at PhotoPlus Expo 2017 Steve Holand at the My Case Builder booth with examples of his company's handiwork Bob Maclay, of Denny Manufacturing, speaks with Allan Weitz at PhotoPlus Expo. Examples of backdrops at the Denny Manufacturing booth at PhotoPlus Expo 2017 Cecil Williams, of Film Toaster, describes the company's custom-built film carriers to Allan Weitz at PhotoPlus Expo. Ulrich Grill, of COOPH, explains the features of their photographer apparel at PhotoPlus Expo 2017 The Beseler 23C III Enlarger on display at PhotoPlus Expo 2017 A Platypod Max on display outside the Javits Center, New York City A visitor to Photo Plus Expo 2017 checks out Nikon cameras, lenses, and accessories. An overview of the entrance to PhotoPlus Expo 2017, in New York City 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 09/01/2017
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we continue our exploration of photographic collaboration with photojournalists Ben Lowy and Marvi Lacar. In addition to sharing a vocation, they also share two children and a life together. Photojournalism is a decidedly independent, at times dangerous, career, certainly not one known for a routine home life, but when domestic responsibilities and children enter the picture, how does a couple balance craft and career with the need to earn a living and the time needed to nurture relationships? More so, when both people are working in the same field, how does bolstering one career cross the line into debilitating the other and how do the individuals comprising a creative couple find ways to support each other’s efforts? Lowy and Lacar bring an animated humor and a willingness to talk about the difficult moments from their lives and careers, and explain how they have come to recognize their best personal and professional attributes, bringing those strengths into a working relationship that continues to evolve. Guests: Marvi Lacar and Ben Lowy From the series "Melting Pot," Marvi Lacar From the series "Melting Pot," Marvi Lacar From the series "U.S. Bases," Marvi Lacar From the series "U.S. Bases," Marvi Lacar From “This Is a Love Story,” Marvi Lacar From “This Is a Love Story,” Marvi Lacar 2004 Democratic National Convention, Ben Lowy Protest at 2004 Republican National Convention, Ben Lowy Iraq Perspectives #1, Ben Lowy Iraq perspectives, #2, Ben Lowy Wounded soldier, Iraq, Ben Lowy Ski Jumper, Sochi, 2014, Ben Lowy Speed Skater, Sochi, 2014, Ben Lowy Great White Shark, 2016, Ben Lowy Seal, 2016, Ben Lowy Ben Lowy and Marvi Lacar at B&H Photography Podcast, 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 06/16/2017
At this year’s OPTIC Photography Conference, we sat down with representatives from camera and gear manufacturers to talk about their latest products, and question them on their company philosophies and the general state of the camera industry. We present here a compilation of conversations with four of our guests: Rudy Winston from Canon, Marc Farb from Sigma, Thomas Curley from Panasonic and Rod Clark, founder and CEO of Wine Country Camera. Within this informative episode, we speak about Canon’s response to the rise of the smartphone, the success of entry-level DSLRs, possible mirrorless offerings and this year’s new releases, at 02:05. With Sigma, we discuss the latest Art series lenses and just who is buying the Foveon-sensor cameras, at 34:40 and, with Panasonic, there is much talk about the GH5, but also about new lenses and the company’s Lumix point-and-shoots, at 47:15. Finally, we chat with Wine Country, which is producing beautiful filter systems for high-end users, and how this small company is making a go of it in the tricky business of camera and lens accessories, at 58:30. Guests: Rudy Winston, Marc Farb, Thomas Curley, Rod Clark 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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