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Posted 09/16/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome the founder and Executive Director of the Social Documentary Network, Glenn Ruga, and photographer Sofia Aldinio, who is the recipient of the 2021 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography, presented by the Social Documentary Network. As should be clear, our conversation today revolves around the Social Documentary Network, or “SDN,” and we learn about this community of documentary photographers and its website on which more than three thousand documentary series have been uploaded and are available for viewing. Ruga tells of the evolution of the site since its 2008 inception, and how adding classes, awards, portfolio reviews, and, most important, the online and print magazine ZEKE has led to the growth of this platform, which is open to all photographers. Our chat also draws from Ruga’s photography work and thoughts on documentary, in general. In the second half of the show we speak with Aldinio, a past guest, about “Awake in the Desert Land,” her photo series that received the ZEKE prize. Aldinio tells of the circumstances that brought her to Baja California, Mexico, during 2020 and this intimate series on village communities affected by climate change. We also speak with Aldinio about her working methods, about shelving her normal Canon system for a more stealth FUJIFILM, about making relationships with subjects, and the feedback and support she received from her SDN workshop leaders. We wrap by previewing the Social Documentary Network events and exhibits at Photoville 2021 and Aldinio’s presentation on her award-winning series. Guests: Sofia Aldinio and Glenn Ruga Photograph © Sofia Aldinio The cover and two interior spreads from the upcoming Fall, 2021 issue of ZEKE Magazine. Courtesy The Social Documentary Network “The newest cemetery in San Jose de Gracia, Baja California, Mexico, January 17, 2021. The small community has at least four different cemeteries generationally identified. The town lost most of its population after Hurricane Lester in 1992, the biggest storm the community has faced in its history. Since 2006, the community has lost 60 members and has a population of 12 today. “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Belonging” “Belonging” “Belonging” “Belonging” Previous Pause Next Sofia Aldinio Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 06/17/2021
Is the light in Chicago different than the light in New York? Can “street photography” set the subjects and control the scene? And just how long should you follow people carrying balloons to get a photograph? These are some of the questions we answer in this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. We welcome photographers Nina Welch Kling and Clarissa Bonet  to the program. Kling lives in New York and Bonet in Chicago, although both are from other places entirely. We talk a bit about the differences in each city’s visual makeup and what defines street photography, but we quickly turn toward the styles and workflow of our two guests. With Bonet we discuss how she constructs scenes using the language of street photography to tell internal stories. Her work is large scale, exacting, and utilizes the strong light, deep shadows, and geometries of the urban environment but, as we find out, she produces and casts her medium format photographs to get the exact image she wants, free of the disruption of the hustling crowd and uncooperative elements. We also ask about her incredible nightscape compositions called “Stray Light” and how they evolved to become large, collaged prints. After a break, we focus on the work of Nina Welch Kling and learn how she’s grown to understand the movement of light through the streets of New York. Kling also discusses positioning herself (“corralling”) and holding her camera to get the angles she needs, as well as to communicate her intention to potential subjects. In addition, we mention FUJIFILM cameras and the wide-angle lenses she prefers. We ask about her series “Duologue,” which pairs two photos together, and how that pairing can add or change meaning. We also dig into the classic themes of anonymity, isolation, and wonder in street photography and how quarantine redirected her practice a bit. Join us for this insightful and easygoing conversation. Guests: Clarissa Bonet and Nina Welch Kling Photograph © Nina Welch Kling © Nina Welch Kling © Nina Welch Kling © Nina Welch Kling © Nina Welch Kling © Nina Welch Kling © Nina Welch Kling “Glimpse” 2019 © Clarissa Bonet “Gust” 2018 © Clarissa Bonet “Zipper Effect” 2018 © Clarissa Bonet “Curated Landscape” 2019 © Clarissa Bonet “Open” 2020 © Clarissa Bonet “NYC” 2016 © Clarissa Bonet “Miami” 2020 © Clarissa Bonet “Chicago” 2017 © Clarissa Bonet 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 06/10/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we take a deep dive into the technical, legal, and even theoretical topics surrounding Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and their growing place in the art and photography worlds. To take on this subject, we welcome cryptocurrency expert and past guest of the show, Drew Hinkes. Hinkes is an attorney and professor and, in 2017, was nominated as one of Coindesk’s Most Influential People in Blockchain. He is also co-founder and General Counsel of Athena Blockchain, a firm focused on tokenized investment products. We also welcome Derek Paul Jack Boyle and Mitra Saboury, who together make up the art collaborative Meatwreck. Meatwreck has recently minted and sold NFTs associated with its art and we ask Boyle and Saboury how the process worked and their general thoughts on NFTs in relation to community and their art work. In addition to clearing some of the murky waters surrounding NFTs, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts, this episode discusses the future of intellectual property and how the blockchain is changing the way we value, store, resell, and protect our copyrighted images. Join us for this in-depth and informative conversation. Guests: Drew Hinkes, Derek Paul Jack Boyle, Mitra Saboury Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 12/17/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome photographer Matthew Franklin Carter to the program. Like many photographers, Matt Carter wears a lot of hats. In his case, literally and figuratively, but his photography work blends documentary, editorial, and portrait work and reflects the place he calls home—Greenville, South Carolina. He shoots for regional and specialty magazines and does corporate work and portraits for local artists and businesses. He also assists other photographers and, of course, he has his personal projects. Family, food, fishing, hunting, drag racing, and dirt cars are depicted with humility and grace and a touch of humor. With Carter we discuss a range of topics, but keep our conversation focused on how to work comfortably in varied settings and with different communities of folk. Carter may be at home on the rivers shooting fly fishing, but he also has produced wonderful series at local car-racing tracks, a world with which he is much less familiar. We talk about these two racing projects—“Dirt” and “Glory”—and how he mingles with the drivers and crowd, as well as the gear he uses, from FUJIFILM to Mamiya, to create portraits and documentary-style images. We also discuss photographing hunting and fishing and the portrait work he does, in studio and on location, and the lighting he uses for each situation. We close on the topic of “finding your voice,” and for Carter how his latest project on local food production unites his many passions. Join us for this easygoing and informative conversation. Guest: Matthew Franklin Carter Above photograph © Matthew Franklin Carter From the series “Glory” © Matthew Franklin Carter From the series “Glory” © Matthew Franklin Carter From the series “Glory” © Matthew Franklin Carter From the series “Glory” © Matthew Franklin Carter From the series “Dirt” © Matthew Franklin Carter From the series “Dirt” © Matthew Franklin Carter © Matthew Franklin Carter © Matthew Franklin Carter © Matthew Franklin Carter © Matthew Franklin Carter © Matthew Franklin Carter Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/08/2020
Our conversation on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is with the fabulous and innovative Duane Michals. Of the many comments he made about his photography practice, a practice that has been commercially and artistically successful for almost sixty years, one that stood out was his aside that “photography has failed [him] as an art form.” The comment comes late in our conversation but refers to the idea that Michals' goal of pure expression is not accommodated by photography alone; he needs to turn to sequential narrative, to writing on photo prints, even to painting on photos to get to the expression that he wants to convey. For anyone looking for how-tos or technique tips, you’ve come to the wrong episode, but to light the path to a true artistic self-expression, Michals’ words hold much promise. We spoke with him about a range of subjects, from how a constant curiosity combined with good work habits fueled his work and success. We talk about his working-class upbringing, his youthful adventures to Texas and, later, to the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, where he first took photos in earnest. About specific images, we asked about his “Death Comes to the Old Lady,” and he also related a story about photographing Warren Beatty in a New York hotel room. We even spoke about Canon cameras and the references he draws upon for his work, from Walt Whitman and William Blake to Pierre Bonnard and Robert Frank, but mostly we discuss his creative instincts and process, which seem to start and end with the idea, “If you already know what you’re going to do, then you’re not being creative.” Join us for this insightful conversation with a true photographic innovator. Guest: Duane Michals Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York 2nd Prize Winner – B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge – “Work & Dance from Home” © Ajay Raina, 2020 1st Prize Winner – B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge – “Applause” © Karles Rives 2020 Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/29/2020
I don’t know if we’ve ever had two photographers with such divergent styles on the same episode. It would make little sense to even have them on together, except that their individual work is exceptional, and they are married to each other. This week on the B&H Photography Podcast, we return to a format that has served us well in the past —speaking with a couple who both work in photography. We really hit the jackpot this time, with Sara Bennett and Joseph Holmes, not simply because they are interesting photographers and really nice folks but, between them, they embody a wide range of photo skills, from the technical and artistic, to the narrative and journalistic, from portraiture and art photography, to advocacy and social documentary. It’s quite an interesting situation and Holmes and Bennett, each in their own way, offer personal insight into their varied projects, and they also generously allow us a glimpse into how they work together as a couple, raising a family and supporting each other’s work. Sara Bennett’s photography, which has been published in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and the PBS/News Hour, grew from her years working as a lawyer, primarily on cases related to battered women and the wrongly convicted. Her portraiture of women in prison and transitioning from incarceration humanizes as it advocates and educates. Her books, Life After Life in Prison, The Bedroom Project, and Looking Inside: Portraits of Women Serving Life Sentences, are beautiful and simple documents that serve a higher purpose, and we talk with Bennett about her intentions and the long process to find the right women to photograph and the complications and joys of photographing in prison. With Joseph Holmes, we start the conversation with New York City—and I don’t think we ever leave. Holmes could make a great image in a dark closet, but his work has such an understanding of our city and the subjects he has chosen to photograph—“ Cooks on Breaks,” “Urban Wilderness,” “Streit’s Matzoh Factory,” and “ Tracing the Underground,” are so New York, without ever touching the boiler plate. Blending portraiture, documentary, and street photography, Holmes’s dedication to the photo series and his technical aplomb represent the best of fine-art reportage. His work is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery, and pieces are included in the permanent collection of several museums, including the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Check out his photo annuals and enjoy this wonderful conversation as much as we did. Guests: Sara Bennett and Joseph Holmes Photograph © Joseph Holmes Karen, from “The Bedroom Project,” 2017 © Sara Bennett Traci, from “The Bedroom Project,” 2017 © Sara Bennett Jennifer, from “Looking Inside,” 2018 © Sara Bennett Sahiah, from “Looking Inside,” 2019 © Sara Bennett Patrice, from “Looking Inside,” 2018 © Sara Bennett Kat, from “Looking Inside,” 2019 © Sara Bennett from “Tracing the Underground,” 2017 © Joseph Holmes from “Tracing the Underground,” 2017 © Joseph Holmes from “Streit’s,” 2015 © Joseph Holmes from “Streit’s,” 2015 © Joseph Holmes Walter, from “Custom Machinery,” 2009 © Joseph Holmes Hugo, from “Custom Machinery,” 2009 © Joseph Holmes Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machine, 2009 © Joseph Holmes Van Norman Duplex Milling Machine, 2009 © Joseph Holmes Joseph O. Holmes and Sara Bennett © Allan Weitz Allan Weitz, Joseph O. Holmes, and Sara Bennett © John Harris Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/15/2020
Imagine the privilege of being present at the creation of one of the “wonders of the world,” and then imagine being asked to document the magnitude—and the details—of that creation. Our guest on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast has just that privilege and that responsibility and, as he puts it, this telescope may “change the way we understand our universe.” Chris Gunn has been a NASA contract photographer for almost twenty years but, for the past ten, he has dedicated himself to the James Webb Space Telescope and documenting the construction and eventual launch of this spacecraft, which will replace the Hubble as NASA’s most powerful telescope. We speak with Gunn about all aspects of his job and, specifically, about the gorgeous medium format images he creates that are made available to the public. Gunn is responsible for documenting the construction process, which includes portraits of scientists, as well as macro shots of screws, and he relates how he has “taken the extra step” to evolve as a photographer, incorporating medium format photography and detailed setups. Gunn must be prepared to shoot any style of photo and he discusses his daily responsibilities, how his gear has evolved over time, the lighting he chooses, and his interaction with the hundreds and technicians and scientists he works with regularly. We also discuss marketing yourself as a photographer and the specific challenges that make his job like no other, including working in giant “clean rooms,” accepting that your work is immediately in the public domain, and incorporating the aesthetics from science-fiction films. Sitting in on this recording is our own member of the B&H Space Force, writer Todd Vorenkamp. Join us for this fascinating episode in which we learn about this incredible spacecraft and the work that goes into documenting its creation and check out our 2016 episode, in which we speak with the imaging scientists from the  Hubble Telescope mission. Guest: Chris Gunn Above photograph © Chris Gunn Chamber A Door © Chris Gunn/NASA Blanket Inspection © Chris Gunn/NASA Wings Deployed © Chris Gunn/NASA Lights Out Inspection © Chris Gunn/NASA Container Doors © Chris Gunn/NASA Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/26/2019
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome California-based advertising, sports, dance, and fashion photographer (and director), Alexis Cuarezma, who packs a considerable amount of practical and creative insight into our hour-long conversation. Ostensibly, Cuarezma was joining us to talk about his lighting techniques and, while he does dive deep into lighting schemes, we discuss so much more. Cuarezma is generous with is thoughts on production, composition, models, gear, self-promotion, and marketing really anything that he understands to help him in his burgeoning photo business. Just a glance at his work, and one will realize why Cuarezma is here to discuss lighting techniques, he has shot for Sports Illustrated (including six covers), Fortune magazine, Ring magazine, the New York Times, and his clients include Nike. Cuarezma emphasizes his belief that getting it right “in-camera” is the key to his success, not just for the sake of the final image, but for his creative process. Researching, planning, arriving early, being hands-on in every phase of the work, and understanding that your vision, when properly executed, will win over a client, is the other key to his success. With Cuarezma we discuss his decision-making process when creating a portrait; each of the small problems that needs to be solved to create the desired look that works best for his particular subject. While comfortable renting the needed gear to fulfill each project, he also discusses the gear he owns and uses, including Profoto B1 lights, Rosco Gels, and his Canon 5DS. Join us for this insightful and very educational episode. Guest: Alexis Cuarezma Photograph © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma Christine Shevchenko, American Ballet Theater © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma Hunter Strickland © Alexis Cuarezma Chris Paul © Alexis Cuarezma John Harris, Allan Weitz, Alexis Cuarezma, and Jason Tables © Jason Tawiah Previous Pause Next
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Posted 11/20/2019
Of course, there are several renowned photography book publishers, but if you know just one name in photo book publishing, it should be Aperture. Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, Stephen Shore, Sally Mann, Deana Lawson, and Martin Parr are just a few of the artists who have had at least one of their most significant books published by Aperture Publishing. Book publishing is just one of the ways that this non-profit organization, founded by Minor White and others, supports the art and craft of photography; they produce their quarterly magazine, host exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, sponsor book and portfolio awards, and publish The PhotoBook Review and the Aperture blog. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Lesley Martin, Creative Director at Aperture and Publisher of The Photobook Review. Who better to speak about the process of photography-book publishing and, in general, the state of the photobook community today? With Martin, we discuss the important books from their 2019 catalog and how their editorial team decides which projects to publish each year, how large the runs will be and the costs associated with publishing in the US and abroad. We also examine what distinguishes Aperture—their non-profit status, the platform they create for artists, their collaborative philosophy, and the need to balance contemporary photo projects with compilation and themed photo books, classic editions and works about photography. We also ask about the impact of Amazon on their book trade and general questions on the current state of the photo-book business. In the second half of our show, we discuss the recently announced winners of the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. This important award has three categories: Photography Catalogue of the Year, First PhotoBook of the Year, and Photobook of the Year. We ask about the criteria for judging in each category, about the subtle distinctions between a good photo series and a good photo book and clarify who can submit to the contest. Finally, we ask Martin about some of her personal dos and do nots when it comes creating your own photography book. This is a very enlightening conversation for those interested in creating a photobook and for anyone curious about what goes into running a successful editorial house. Guest: Lesley Martin “Brooklyn: The City Within” by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb “Deana Lawson: An Aperture Monograph” by Deana Lawson, Essay by Zadie Smith “Immediate Family” by Sally Mann “Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph” Fortieth-anniversary edition by Diane Arbus “The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion” by Antwaun Sargent “Walter Chandoha: The Cat Photographer,” Interviews by David La Spina and Brittany Hudak “Border Cantos” by Richard Misrach Allan Weitz and Lesley Martin © John Harris Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 10/24/2019
Perhaps there is one thing on which all photographers can agree: we love to photograph our pets. From amateur to professional, a simple photo of our dog, cat, or guinea pig making “that face” is almost irresistible and, based on the current exhibit at The Museum of the Dog, this fascination with photographing our pets reaches into the past for as long as the medium has existed. On this week’s episode, we welcome author and vernacular photography collector Catherine Johnson, and Alan Fausel, Executive Director and CEO of the Museum of the Dog, to discuss the current exhibit on display at this museum. Johnson began collecting archival photos of dogs as a young girl, mostly from local flea markets, but over the years has amassed a unique collection of images—snapshots, posed portraits, cabinet cards, tintypes—dating back to the 1880s. This collection was made into the 2007 book, Dogs, and is now a wonderful exhibition at the Museum of the Dog, during the inaugural year in its new home, in Midtown Manhattan. With Johnson, we discuss the origin of her collection, the distinction between vernacular and amateur photography, and what makes for a good dog photo. We also touch upon her time working for photographer Norman Parkinson and her other photography work. Mr. Fausel, who has thirty years of art-world experience as a scholar, curator, appraiser, and regular guest on the Antiques Roadshow, now heads the Museum of the Dog, which is affiliated with the American Kennel Club. With Fausel, we speak about curating this exhibit, the challenges and joys of running a multi-faceted institution with such a specific theme, and how to balance the interests of dog lovers of varying stripes. We also discuss the growing interest in vernacular photography in the art world and its hard-to-be-determined appraisal value. Join us for this interesting episode and check out the “Photos: Please do not Bend, the Catherine Johnson Collection” on display through December 29, 2019, at the Museum of the Dog. Guests: Catherine Johnson and Alan Fausel © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC, Image Courtesy AKC Museum of the Dog © Catherine Johnson LLC, Image Courtesy AKC Museum of the Dog Jason Tables and Catherine Johnson, © John Harris Alan Fausel © John Harris Allan Weitz, Catherine Johnson, and Alan Fausel © John Harris Allan and his “look-a-like” © John Harris Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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