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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 09/11/2019
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we take a deep dive into one bag and then into another one, and another. We welcome Jeannette Garcia and Yaakov Katz, two experts from the B&H SuperStore, to discuss the materials, capacities, features, and styles of camera bags and cases that are available today. We start with a simple question for each of them: what should one ask when purchasing a new camera bag? Both offer simple yet insightful answers to that question as they walk us down the path to finding the right camera bag for our needs. From slings to messenger bags, holsters, and pouches, we examine the differences in materials and mention the features that might serve one’s particular photographic application. We also consider rolling cases, hard cases,  lens cases, designer camera bags, and  inserts and run down a list of various brands to get feedback from Garcia and Katz, including several well-known bag companies that were founded by photographers, such as Think Tank, Tenba, and  Domke. Join us for this informative and enjoyable conversation. Guests: Jeannette Garcia and Yaakov Katz Jeannette Garcia, Allan Weitz, and Yaakov Katz John Harris   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/15/2017
From where do all the celebrity photos in People, Us Weekly, Vanity Fair, and other magazines come? They come from hard-working professional photographers plying their trade, and the agencies that distribute and license these images, of course. On today's episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we will discuss the nuts and bolts of working in the celebrity and fashion news business—from the point of view of the agency and of the photographer. There is no shortage of entertainment news photos, many of which are taken on the "red carpet" and through a collaborative network of celebrities, publicists, photographers, and agencies. Others, shot in less controlled settings, are a product of a photographer's instinct and dogged persistence. This type—for good or bad—we call paparazzi photos. Arranged portrait sessions, concerts, and press conferences can also fall into this category of celebrity "news" and our guests, having experience in all the above, will discuss the distinctions between these, as well as the ins and outs of making a living in this arena. We welcome Chris Doherty, founder and owner of Instar Images. With offices in New York, London, and Australia, Instar is one of the top independent agencies specializing in entertainment news and events. We also speak with photographer Jennifer Graylock of Graylock.com, recipient of the 2017 Top Red Carpet Photographer Award. In addition to her work for celebrity and corporate clients, her photos often grace the pages of People, TV Guide, InStyle, and Glamour magazines. We ask Doherty what agencies look for in a photographer and what makes a good celebrity image. We also discuss the varying clients he works with, Instar's website and archive, payment structures, and changes in the industry in the wake of smartphones and social media. Graylock brings the photographer's perspective and talks about gear choices, protocol within the "pen," protecting your copyright, and how to maintain relationships, get access, and stay "current."  Join us for this very informative episode. Guests: Chris Doherty and Jennifer Graylock Prince Harry and Meghan Markle © Doug Peters / Courtesy of Instar Images Jessica Biel © Lionel Hahn / Courtesy of Instar Images Nicole Kidman © Munawar Hosain /Courtesy of Instar Images Mick Jagger, Courtesy of Instar Images Paris Hilton © Karl Larsen / Courtesy of Instar Images Matt Lauer © Matt Agudo / Courtesy of Instar Images Adele © Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com Jennifer Hough © Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com Kate Middleton and Prince William © Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com Jennifer Lopez © Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com Furry fingernails, backstage at the Libertine fashion show © Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com Cate Blanchett and Eddie Redmayne © Jennifer Graylock-Graylock.com Chris Doherty and Allan Weitz © 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 06/02/2017
It’s a short week here at the B&H Photography Podcast, so we thought we’d take care of some cleaning that we have put off all winter. Unless one is a full-time pro or serious enthusiast, most of one’s photography is done in the fairer months of spring and summer, whether that be on family vacations, at sporting events, weekend picnics, or just working out that macro lens in the garden. So, it’s time to pull the camera bag from the closet and give our gear a quick once-over to make sure everything is in working order. In this episode, we discuss little ways to maintain cameras and lenses, and things to do to prepare them for the shooting season. From firmware upgrades to mode settings to dust and grease removal, there is a lot you can do in a short time to better understand your camera and to keep it functioning smoothly. In the second half of the show, we continue our serial “Dispatch,” with Adriane Ohanesian. This ongoing segment takes an inside look at the life and work of a freelance photojournalist working in East Africa. In this episode, Ohanesian updates us on her coverage of the conflict in Somalia as she spends time embedded with African Union troops and travels north, to photograph the effects of the ongoing drought in Puntland. She discusses being contracted by the International Rescue Committee to document the refugees “flowing” from war-torn South Sudan to settlement camps in Uganda and, finally, analyzes the risks and expenses freelance photographers take on while working in conflict zones—and the often adverse objectives of news organizations and NGOs. Guests: Todd Vorenkamp and Adriane Ohanesian Click here if you missed Episode 1 of "Dispatch." Photographs © Adriane Ohanesian Mohamed Abdi Bare, age 4, stares at the line of people inside of the waiting area at the Department of Refugee Affairs office in Shauri Moyo, Nairobi, Kenya, January, 2017. Ugandan African Union armored personnel carriers at dusk along the Afgooye road outside of Mogadishu, Somalia, February, 2017. The Ugandan African Union Special Forces wait inside of an armored personnel carrier during a night patrol in Mogadishu, Somalia, February, 2017. The shelters of nearly 400 pastoralists families who have lost a majority of their livestock due to drought, have set up camp along the road in search of food and water in Uusgure, Puntland, Somalia, February, 2017. Severely malnourished, Farhiyah, age 2, lies on the floor of her family’s hut where she stays with her three siblings and mother who came to the area in search of food and water in Uusgure, Puntland, Somalia, February, 2017. The remains of dead goats lie next to the road in Puntland, Somalia, February, 2017. South Sudanese gather to collect their belongings that were transported to the Imvepi settlement for South Sudanese refugees who have fled to northern Uganda. March, 2017. 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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