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Posted 06/03/2021
Every now and again there are conversations that flow and sparkle; they seem laden with professional insights and creative gems. Our chat with photographer Mona Kuhn is one, and perhaps it’s Kuhn’s self-awareness, her quiet confidence, and an ability to articulate her motivations that make it so. There are few who will disagree that her visual stories, her portraits, nudes, landscapes, and photo essays are among the most assured in contemporary photography, and on this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we just revel in her good humor and willingness to share process. We speak a good deal about Kuhn’s new book Mona Kuhn: Works, and how it distills twenty years of an evolving career without ever seeming like a “retrospective.” We discuss editing strategies for this and previous books, how she created her intimate series, and why the sustained connections and relationships with her subjects are, to Kuhn, the most successful results of her extremely well-regarded work. As mentioned, she is very generous with her thoughts on photography, on how she used photo techniques to avoid the “gratuitous presence of the nude” and that the human figures she photographs are used to communicate “beyond just what you see.” She also references the work of Mike Disfarmer, how the square Hasselblad format forced her to be creative when photographing the “rectangular” human body. In the second half of the program, we cover aspects of her commissioned work and the satisfaction of being spontaneous in editorial work and of exercising the “problem-solving side of your brain” in the commercial sphere. We also discuss the differences between stories told in a book compared to a gallery, how she is comfortable on a monitor using Lightroom, but her book edits need to be printed and arranged physically to cull and order into “visual sentences.” Finally, Kuhn offers a very nuanced thought on the meaning of her personal images, encouraging “a dialogue of meanings” and noting that sometimes "quiet images last longer.” Join us for this delightful chat and have a look at Kuhn’s other new book, Study, from TBW Books. Guest: Mona Kuhn Photograph © Mona Kuhn 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 03/11/2021
This is the second episode of the B&H Photography Podcast produced with the collaboration of Leica Camera, and we are pleased to welcome photographer Stella Johnson to the show. It is the “in-between moments of life” that Johnson describes as the subject of her work, work that includes books and documentary series made in Cameroon, Greece, Nicaragua, and Mexico. In this easygoing conversation, we discuss the nature of her long-term projects, and the motivations that return her to the same places year after year. We also talk about composing with rangefinder cameras, being at the eye level of your subject, and the weeks that go by without making pictures and the verbal and nonverbal communication necessary when you are invited as a photographer into a community or home, as Johnson has been. For her personal documentary work, Johnson has relied on Leica M cameras and a 35mm focal length lens. We discuss this focal distance in terms of a personal comfort zone and one that even felt safer during pandemic time. Johnson keeps her settings simple and concentrates on composition and the moment; she tends to find light and locations that she likes and waits for the images. Because Johnson’s compositions are so strong in black-and-white and her color work is minimal and adroit, we ask for her thoughts on how to work with both formats and if a fluidity between them is easy. Finally, in searching for a definition of documentary photography, we mulled over the effect of time, of returning to locations and subjects, of its distinction from photojournalism, as seeing “what life is like” and the stories of “just daily life.” Guest: Stella Johnson Photograph © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “RE-CREATIONS” © Stella Johnson 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 06/05/2019
Do you have undeveloped rolls of film that have been sitting around forever? Maybe you don't even realize that you have unprocessed rolls from the "good ol' days of analog" in an old camera bag or a dresser drawer. Now is the time to look into this matter and have the chance to explore and share your memories, perhaps even rediscover events and people that memory has left behind. On this week's episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome the directors of Lost Rolls America, Ron Haviv and Lauren Walsh. Inspired by Haviv's own The Lost Rolls book, they have initiated this project to create a national archive of lost, yet now found, images "to form a collective memory that prioritizes the role of photos in constructing our personal and shared pasts. In revisiting the past, this project also encourages contemplation of how the present and future will be remembered." The idea is simple, but one look at the growing archive and the memories shared, and it becomes clear how powerful this project can be. With Haviv and Walsh, we recount the genesis of the project, how PhotoShelter, PhotoWings, and FUJIFILM came onboard as partners, and they offer insight on the future plans for the project. They also discuss a few of the more interesting images and recollections submitted, how the submission process works and, of course, they encourage our listeners to submit lost rolls. Above Photograph © Mette Lampcov/Lost Rolls America Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Valentina Zavarin: I was leaving alone to America. Time for adventure away from my mother and siblings. I remember how excited I was for this new life ahead after World War II. Everyone is smiling but I remember they were in a shock that they were left behind. Valentina Zavarin/Lost Rolls America, 1950 Lost Rolls America: Does this photo bring back any memories? Debra Miller: Yes. Sadness, horror, shock. Debra Miller/ Lost Rolls America, 2001 Lost Rolls America: Is this what you expected to see? Elizabeth Kamir: No. The old roll of Tri-X that had taken up residence in my drawer for nearly 30 years always dared me to imagine. I never planned to develop it. I assumed if there was anything on the roll, it would either be something innocuous, like pictures of my grandmother or something embarrassing, like theatrical, nude self-portraits. I might have taken pictures like that back then. Elizabeth Kamir/Lost Rolls America, 1990 Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Mette Lampcov: It makes me think of how much I used to laugh my head off with her (Tracy). It makes me miss London and old friends, especially people who have a wicked sense of humor- and seeing her head float in the back garden is a perfect reminder of her beautiful funny madness. Mette Lampcov/Lost Rolls America, 2002 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Michael Starensic: I feel a sense of accomplishment that I was able to capture the times and emotions as the country swayed from crisis to crisis. This was the last interlude- "coming up for air" I called it- between the major tumult of the Kosovo War two months earlier and the start of renewed opposition that month. We soon headed back to the capital and events were intense for the next 14 months. Nevena and I married 2 months later in Belgrade in the midst of mounting protest and turmoil. Michael Starensic/Lost Rolls America, 1999 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Bruce Lampcov: Very nostalgic. I miss the days when my children were young and together we discovered new places, new cultures. Bruce Lampcov/Lost Rolls America, 2004 Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Tamika Jancewicz: Just how huge I was when I was pregnant! I think I felt that way when I took the picture as well. Tamika Jancewicz/Lost Rolls America, 2007 Lost Rolls America: What are we looking at here? Russell Gontar: This is my friend, Linda. We spent an afternoon taking pictures at the beach and old amusement park. I asked her to close her eyes in an attempt to be "arty". Russell Gontar/Lost Rolls America, 1977 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Jennifer Mitchell: As all the kiddos in the picture are my nieces and nephew, it makes me feel amazingly proud. One is in the Air Force Academy, one is a wedding planner in a Colorado Rocky Mountain resort, and one just got accepted into a PhD program for Astrophysics. I bet my sister (who is reading to them) thinks that she might have had a little something to do with it.:) When I showed her the picture, she sighed and said, "Oh, that was always one of my favorite things to do with those kids!" Jennifer Mitchell/Lost Rolls America, 2004 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Keith Munger: Like One Of The Miraculous Few That Loves His Wife As Much Now As In 1969. I Am A Very Lucky Guy! Keith Munger/Lost Rolls America, 1969 Guests: Lauren K. Walsh and Ron Haviv Ron Haviv is a is an Emmy nominated, award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the photo agency VII, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. He has worked in more than one hundred countries and published four critically acclaimed collections of photography. His work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries, including the Louvre, the United Nations, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Lauren Walsh is a professor and writer who teaches at The New School and NYU, where she is the Director of NYU Gallatin's Photojournalism Lab. She is editor of Macondo, a photo book documenting the long-term conflict in Colombia, and coeditor of the collection, The Future of Text and Image, as well as the Millennium Villages Project, a photography book about efforts to relieve extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. She has appeared on CNN as a scholar of photography and digital culture, as well as in the documentary 9/11: Ten Years Later. Ron Haviv, Allan Weitz, and Lauren Walsh John Harris   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/29/2017
For the B&H Photography Podcast, 2017 has been a wonderful year. We published our 100 th episode, surpassed one million downloads, and reached #1 on the iTunes podcast chart in the Visual Arts category. Achievements aside, we are simply pleased with the remarkable guests we have hosted on our show, the variety of subjects we have covered, and the consistently entertaining and intelligent conversations we have published. And honestly, we are proud to have maintained our production output—week in week out—and to still really enjoy what we do. With this in mind and with gratitude to our listeners, guests, co-workers, and the management at B&H, we have cobbled together a 2017 year-in-review episode in which we discuss our favorite shows from 2017 and play a few clips of the most interesting moments from these episodes. The highlights were many and hard to narrow down, but Allan Weitz chose our episode with photographer Lynn Goldsmith as his favorite, with a close second being our talk with Bellamy Hunt, aka the Japan Camera Hunter. He also mentioned our talks with Richard Drew on his photograph, referred to as “Falling Man,” and our episodes with photojournalists (and husband and wife) Ben Lowy and Marvi Lacar. As for Jason Tables, he pointed to History of Hip-Hop Photography and Night Photography—From Film into Digital, as his favorites. My list included a few of those mentioned above, as well as an episode on social documentary projects and the clip I chose from our serial segment, “Dispatch,” with Adriane Ohanesian, in which she recounts the story of a fatal attack she survived while covering a story in Congo. We discuss several more episodes during this end-of-year extravaganza and hope that the clips pique your interest and inspire you to subscribe to our show and check out programs from our catalog, which now includes more than 100 episodes. Thank you and happy New Year from Allan, Jason, and John. Guests: Lynn Goldsmith, Bellamy Hunt, Richard Drew, Ben Lowy, Marvi Lacar, Danny Hastings, Eric Johnson, Janette Beckman, Vicky Tobak, Chris Nicholson, Lance Keimig, Adriane Ohanesian   Jason Tables, Allan Weitz, and John Harris   Jolene Lupo, Penumbra Foundation 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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Posted 03/10/2017
Today’s episode broadens our normal photographic sphere as we discuss ophthalmic photography and how the eye’s own optical system is used in conjunction with camera equipment—some techniques very common, some not so—to examine the interior of the eye and to diagnose illnesses that go far beyond problems with vision. We are joined by Mark Maio, clinical medical and ophthalmic photographer and developer of the first high-resolution digital imaging system in ophthalmology. We talk with Maio about his early interest in social justice photography, working as a “jack-of-all-trades” photographer for a hospital, and how his eventual concentration in ophthalmic photography led to early adoption of digital technology and the development of a tool that helped to transform the industry. Throughout this conversation, we learn about the use of analog and digital photography in the biomedical field and how fundus cameras and other specialized gear are used to diagnose optical and systemic maladies. When the pupil is dilated, they eye becomes a portal into the body, and with the proper tools, we can see inside our corporeal system without cutting. Maio is also an accomplished fine art and documentary photographer, and we will also discuss how these various disciplines have intersected throughout his career and resulted in the workshops he leads on ophthalmic imaging, documentary, and landscape photography on the beautiful Isle of Skye. Guest: Mark Maio From the series Saving Sight-- The Flying Eye Hospital From the series Against the Grain – Buffalo Grain Industry From the series, Isle of Skye Previous Pause Next All photographs by Mark Maio 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 01/20/2017
We are living in a Golden Age of landscape photography. Digital cameras and improved software enable the kind of imaging that until recently was only possible via the budgets of large publications and the talents and ambitions of a few select photographers. Ambition and talent remain, and with enhanced dynamic range and color algorithms, higher sensitivity settings, simplified stitching and compositing software, and a network of websites to display work, impressive landscape photography is abundant; however,  there are new masters and the skill set of current practitioners includes not only those of the photographer, but also of the savvy digital graphic artist.  With the ability to pull details from shadows, augment colors, and combine distinct files into a single image now easier than ever, we must ask—is it acceptable to represent nature without natural characteristics, to merge photos from different focal lengths into one image, or add a blazing sunset to a foreground taken hours or days apart? Can images composed in such a way even be defined as photography and does an ethos, akin to that in photojournalism, apply to nature photography? These are some of the questions we pose to two incredible landscape photographers,  Adam Burton  and  Ryan Dyar. We spoke with them separately, but prepared a similar set of questions, and asked them to walk us through their in-camera workflow and post-process techniques. We spoke about their approach to a scene, their use of “grad-filters” and plug-ins, acceptable degrees of enhancement, and strove to understand if there is indeed an ethics to landscape photography. Guests:  Ryan Dyar and Adam Burton Unprocessed image (left) and post processed image (right) Adam Burton Adam Burton Adam Burton Adam Burton Adam Burton Adam Burton Unprocessed image (left) and post processed image (right) Ryan Dyar Ryan Dyar Ryan Dyar Ryan Dyar Ryan Dyar 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 12/02/2016
On this week’s episode, we return to our roots—and not just our photographic roots—but we return to our podcast’s original design of chatting about photography among B&H photographers and writers. We welcome back an original co-host of the podcast, Todd Vorenkamp, as we discuss the basics of photography—the control of light through aperture, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity. Yes, this episode could be considered a Photo 101 course, and for those who are new to photography (or new to manual control of your imaging) this episode should be very helpful. We walk through the core concepts of how to expose your images to get the look you want and try to clarify the sometimes confusing nomenclature and camera settings. We talk depth of field, diffraction, motion blur, digital noise, “Sunny 16,” and the necessary balance between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO that is required for proper exposure. Photo veterans should tune in, too, because our conversation is by photographers for photographers, and will provide insights and anecdotes that may even improve your skills. Guest: Todd Vorenkamp Shallow depth of field can be created by opening up your lens to its maximum aperture.         John Harris High ISO settings enable sharp imaging in low light but can also produce “noise,” apparent in the sky. John Harris Even a shutter speed of less than 1 second can create blur or, in this case, a short light trail.     John Harris Utilizing a 30 second exposure with tripod, low ISO and a small (f/22) aperture, long light trails and intentional blur are created. An auto white balance setting facilitates the proper rendition of the many different color temperatures in this frame. Jason Tables   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 11/03/2016
The B&H Photography Podcast was very fortunate to be invited to the 29th Eddie Adams Workshop this year. The annual workshop, officially sponsored by Nikon, with support from B&H, is a unique and inspiring event, bringing together 100 young photographers with some of the world’s most recognized photojournalists and editors, including thirteen Pulitzer Prize winners, for four intense days of photographic presentation and collaboration. Tim Rasmussen, Director of Digital and Print Photography at ESPN, joined us for a chat in our improvised studio in the fabled barn on the Eddie Adams farm. Prior to ESPN, Rasmussen was the Assistant Managing Editor of Photography and Multimedia at the Denver Post and under his lead, their photo department earned three Pulitzer Prizes. Tim is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Eddie Adams Workshop and, in addition to having been a team leader, producer and editor at the workshop, he was a student in its very first year—1988. Our conversation with Rasmussen revolves around the workshop—how he came to attend the first-ever workshop, why it has become a breeding ground and “sanctuary” for two generations of talented photojournalists and, of course, around Eddie Adams himself. We also talk with Rasmussen about his own career, transition from photographer to editor, and how he ended up at ESPN. Within this relaxed conversation there is much to learn—about the threads of life and the nature of commitment, about the practice of photojournalism and, particularly for young photographers, about what an editor looks for when hiring a photographer. Photograph above © Tim Rasmussen Guest: Tim Rasmussen Eddie Adams. Photograph by ©Tim Rasmussen The Board of Directors of the Eddie Adams Workshop, 1992. Photo Courtesy Tim Rasmussen The first Black Team at the workshop recreates Joe Rosenthal’s famous Iwo Jima image with Rosenthal in attendance. Photo Courtesy Tim Rasmussen Gregory Heisler at the first ever Eddie Adams Workshop, 1988. Photo courtesy Tim Rasmussen From the 2016 Eddie Adams Workshop Photographer Carol Guzy preparing for her talk at the barn Photographer Adrees Latif with student at 11:30 Club portfolio review Tim Rasmussen editing student’s work Photographer Marco Grob during his talk in the barn Editor Jim Colton offers advice to a student Photographer Nick Ut running for “president” at the 2016 Eddie Adams Workshop Students check out each other’s work at 11:30 Club   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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