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Posted 06/30/2021
In support of the 2021 OPTIC Outdoor, Photo/Video, Travel Imaging Conference, to be held online July 11-12, 2021, the B&H Photography Podcast team conducted our own photo walk, much like they do as part of the OPTIC Conference events. For this episode we took our cameras and microphones to the beautiful Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, in West Hartford, Connecticut, and, with Allan as the group’s leader and Jason and I as participants, we completed several photo challenges and practiced our photography and storytelling techniques. Since this is a virtual and audio photo walk, we encourage our listeners to participate on your own time and in convenient locations, such as a local park or even your backyard. The episode is designed so that you can pause the recording after the challenge has been assigned and complete it on your own. You can also just listen as we work through our assigned shots with Allan fielding our questions. The gear we use is our own, nothing fancy, and the various challenges can be completed with almost any camera-and-lens combination. For my part, I am using a full-frame Nikon DSLR with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and Jason is using a full-frame Sony Alpha mirrorless camera with a Sony wide-angle lens and the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 lens. Assigned shots incorporate wide-angle and telephoto perspectives and utilize basic photo techniques, controlling aperture and shutter speed for varied affects, and applying ideas on composition, shadow, detail, and narrative. There is even a macro photography bonus challenge at the end of the episode, so bring that lens, too, if you have it. We look forward to “hanging out” with you in this virtual setting, as we do to soon returning to “IRL” photo walks with old and new friends. With that in mind, check out the OPTIC Conference events page with two days of online presentations, and register for the free conference hosted by B&H Photo and sponsored by Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Godox, and many others. Photograph © Jason Tables Photograph © Jason Tables Photograph © Jason Tables Photograph © Jason Tables Photograph © Jason Tables Photograph © Jason Tables Photograph © John Harris Photograph © John Harris Photograph © John Harris Photograph © John Harris Photograph © John Harris Photograph © Allan Weitz Photograph © John Harris 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 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 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 07/22/2020
Whether photographing your own garden or the sculpted acreage of the Rockefellers, following the light and finding infinite new angles to present the flora is time well spent. That is the clear takeaway from this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast with photographer Larry Lederman. However, we also discuss practical tips on bracketing, histograms, tripods, and zoom lenses for medium format cameras. It really is a nice chat with a photographer who has found pleasure in photographing not only his own garden, but some of the most immaculate gardens, both public and private, on the East Coast. Lederman is the author of six books featuring his botanical and horticultural photography, including the upcoming Garden Portraits: Experiences of Natural Beauty, which will be published by The Monacelli Press on October 13, 2020 and is available for pre-order. He has photographed for the New York Botanical Garden and other famed gardens in the New York area and brings a perspective that, forgive me, sees the forest for the trees. He understands blending the universal with the personal and capturing his impression of the natural and designed beauty while also illustrating the unique essence that the gardener, landscape architect, or owner has created. Largely self-taught as a photographer, Lederman discusses his transition from using Leica M system cameras to the Nikon D850 and the Pentax 645Z system. We also talk about his preference for zoom lenses, the relationship he feels between architecture and landscape photography, his technique when approaching a new space, and the need to return to a garden in all four seasons, often starting in winter, in order to fully understand and depict these spaces that are both natural and human-made. Join us for this informative chat and let us know in the Comments section the tricks and techniques you use to photograph the gardens in your life. Also join Larry Lederman as he leads a webinar for B&H on October 28, 2020. Guest: Larry Lederman Photograph © Larry Lederman The Beckoning Path, Armonk, NY. Mirrored fall colors. © Larry Lederman Hawks Nest, Chappaqua, NY. A hedge of forsythia that burst into brilliant yellow bloom in early spring. © Larry Lederman Hawks Nest, Chappaqua, NY. Winter reveals the structure of the Rose Garden. © Larry Lederman Hawks Nest, Chappaqua, NY. Fall leaves over the falling brook. © Larry Lederman Glimcher Garden, Long Island, NY. This work by Zhang Huan playfully commands the landscape. © Larry Lederman Innisfree, Millbrook, NY. Pond in a stand of conifers. © Larry Lederman Japanese Garden at Kykuit, Pocantico Hills, NY. © Larry Lederman Merrin Garden, Cortlandt Manor, NY. © Larry Lederman Brubeck Garden, Wilton, CT. A Japanese-style gate sets the tone of the garden and its surrounding planting. © Larry Lederman Cover art from “Garden Portraits: Experiences of Natural Beauty” by Larry Lederman, published by The Monacelli Press, 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 01/15/2020
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 07/20/2018
Anecdotes with insight are an important part of any good conversation, and we certainly heard some wonderful anecdotes from our guests at the OPTIC 2018 Conference. For today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we have cherry-picked a few stories from our conversations with Brian Smith, Seth Resnick, Vincent Versace, and Simon Lewis and have added a segment with Panasonic Marketing Manager Darin Pepple to round out the episode. Brian Smith is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning photographer most recognized for celebrity portraiture, but his work comfortably crosses all genres and his list of awards is impressive, including a World Press Photo Award. He is a Sony Artisan of Imagery, Profoto Legend of Light, Adobe Influencer, and X-Rite Master Coloratti. As a luxury lifestyle, destination, food, architecture, and interior photographer, Simon Lewis also understands that versatility is a crucial component to being a successful freelance photographer and, as his anecdote makes clear, some tenacity helps, too. His clients include Aman Resorts, Amazon, JetBlue, Ralph Lauren, Bon Appetit, Prada, and John Varvatos. Seth Resnick can do it all (I’m seeing a trend) and the graphic nature of his work and bold use of color and form make him in-demand across the editorial, travel, commercial, and fine art photography worlds. Chosen by Photo District News as one of the 30 most influential photographers of the decade, he was an original Canon “Explorer of Light,” consults for Adobe, X-Rite, and Epson, is an Ilford “Master” and is co-founder of D-65, a digital workflow consultancy. A few of our guests’ anecdotes were prompted by Allan Weitz’s “rabbit out of a hat” question but, with Vincent Versace, we were captivated and laughing too hard to even get to the question. Versace’s insight on photography comes from a range of disciplines and we learn how acting and some serious common sense influence his work. He is a Nikon Ambassador, recipient of the Smithsonian Award in Media Arts & Entertainment and his photography books, tutorials, and workshops are very popular. After a short break, we speak with Darin Pepple, Consumer Marketing Manager at Panasonic, about Lumix cameras, the evolution of the GH series, and the unique interaction between Lumix photographers and the product developers who continue to improve this innovative camera line. Guests: Brian Smith, Simon Lewis, Seth Resnick, Vincent Versace, and Darin Pepple Kelsey Grammer © Brian Smith Anne Hathaway © Brian Smith Taraji Henson © Brian Smith William H. Macy © Brian Smith © Seth Resnick © Seth Resnick © Seth Resnick © Seth Resnick from “Burma: The Last Page of the 19th Century” © Vincent Versace from “The Journey is the Destination” (India) © Vincent Versace Cuba © Vincent Versace Cuba © Vincent Versace © Simon Lewis © Simon Lewis © Simon Lewis © Simon Lewis Vincent Versace © 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 04/13/2018
The “Day to Night” series that Stephen Wilkes has been working on for several years has received much-deserved attention and has grown from its New York roots to encompass locations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. These photographs, which capture a full 24-hour cycle in one frame are awe-inspiring when viewed as a whole; fascinating when analyzed in detail, and monumental when considered as a production. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Stephen Wilkes and Bette Wilkes, his wife, business manager, and the behind-the-scenes producer of these incredible photographs. Our conversation is easy-going and bounces back and forth between Mr. and Ms. Wilkes, emphasizing their intertwined working relationship. With Mr. Wilkes, we speak of the genesis of the project and the influences he finds in the paintings of the Dutch Masters and the Hudson River School. We also discuss his process, which is both physically and technically demanding. He speaks of a desire to “get lost” in the moment and ultimately how his images are “a representation of his memory” from the day and place. With Ms. Wilkes, we speak of the knotty and time-consuming process of arranging a shoot that will last more than twenty-four continuous hours in some of the world’s busiest and most desolate locations. We discuss many photographs, but concentrate on two images from the “Day to Night” series to highlight their complicated productions—the first is a photograph of New York City’s Flatiron Building and, in the second half of the show, we visit a watering hole in the Serengeti Plain. To see these images, please visit our website, and, if you are in Washington D.C. prior to April 29, 2018, check out the “Day to Night” exhibit at the National Geographic Museum, and keep your eye out for the upcoming book, to be published by Taschen. Guests: Stephen Wilkes and Bette Wilkes The Highline, New York City © Stephen Wilkes Times Square, New York City © Stephen Wilkes The Flatiron Building, New York City © Stephen Wilkes Coney Island, New York City © Stephen Wilkes Santa Monica Pier © Stephen Wilkes The Western Wall, Jerusalem © Stephen Wilkes Inauguration Day, 2013, Washington D.C. © Stephen Wilkes Yosemite National Park, California © Stephen Wilkes Serengeti National Park, Tanzania © Stephen Wilkes The Grand Canyon © Stephen Wilkes Regata Storica, Venice, Italy © Stephen Wilkes Stephen Wilkes © John Harris Bette Wilkes © John Harris Stephen and Bette Wilkes © John Harris Bette Wilkes, Allan Weitz, and Stephen Wilkes © 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 02/09/2018
Murray Fredericks considers his landscape photography series, "Vanity," as just one aspect of a larger body of work, a project for which he has spent fifteen years shooting in southern Australia's remote Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre. However, this part of the larger series has one aspect that the others do not—a large mirror placed in the lake bed, reflecting other angles of the land and sky. This seemingly simple idea transforms not only the vista but our visual understanding of this singular place, and I think it's fair to say that there is nothing comparable to these large color photographs that attempt to represent the "overwhelming emptiness and powerful emotional resonance of remote land and sky." For this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we took our mics to the Robert Mann Gallery, in New York, to speak with Murray Fredericks and gallery owner Robert Mann on the opening day of Fredericks’s first solo exhibit in the United States. We walked through the gallery, soaking up the sublimity of these images and discussing the challenges of the project, the gear, the prints, and all aspects of the collaboration between artist and gallery. Join us for this extraordinary conversation. Stay tuned toward the end of the show, when we chat with the two winners of our Canon 5D Mark IV Sweepstakes and hear their reactions to winning and how they will be using their new cameras. Guests: Murray Fredericks and Robert Mann; Canon Sweepstakes winners Hillary Dunning and Tim Couch Mirror 8, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Mirror 12, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Mirror 7, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Mirror 14, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Mirror 16, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Mirror 18, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Mirror 19, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Mirror 21, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Installation view of “Vanity”, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Murray Fredericks and the B&H Podcast team © Todd Vorenkamp Robert Mann, Allan Weitz, Murray Fredericks © 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 07/21/2017
When you get a chance to speak with an expert, you take advantage. At this year’s OPTIC 2017 Conference, when Lance Keimig and Chris Nicholson passed by our mobile studio, we did just that. Keimig is an author, instructor, and above all, a photographer who specializes in night photography. Well before digital technology made photographing the Milky Way an easy endeavor, Keimig was experimenting with film stock and developing processes to create long-exposure images. He is currently an instructor at National Parks at Night and along with Nicholson, offers workshops in night photography at many US National Parks. On today’s episode, we speak with Keimig and Nicholson about the differences between creating night photography with film and with digital cameras. There are obviously many modes and functions on a digital camera that make night photography simpler, but at the heart of the enterprise, is the process the same? We ask this question and discuss techniques used with film and the advantages that accompany digital cameras. We also ask, “What is night photography?” and “What are the charms that keep these two photographers interested in this specific discipline?” Listen as Keimig provides insight into the history of night photography and Nicholson discusses his shooting methods and ideas on composition that he applies while working in national parks. Guests: Lance Keimig and Chris Nicholson Click here if you missed our episode,  Night Photography—Exploring the Creative Possibilities. Click here for Jill Waterman’s article on Lance Keimig’s switch from Canon to Nikon equipment. Film photograph, Lance Keimig Film photograph, Lance Keimig Film photograph, Lance Keimig Film photograph, Lance Keimig Film photograph, Lance Keimig Digital photograph, Lance Keimig Digital photograph, Lance Keimig Blue Ridge Parkway, Chris Nicholson Cape Cod National Seashore, Chris Nicholson Death Valley National Park, Chris Nicholson Joshua Tree National Park, Chris Nicholson Mount Rainier National Park, Chris Nicholson Olympic National Park, Chris Nicholson 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 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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