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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 01/21/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Malike Sidibe to the show. With just 23 years under his belt, Sidibe has accomplished a great deal in his relatively short time on planet Earth, and not just photographically. But 2020 has been quite a busy year, even for him. His photography has generally been in the realm of editorial, fashion, and personal projects, and he has a lengthy list of clients that include Time, The Atlantic, Nikon, Nike, and The New Yorker, but this year he created a bold body of work covering the Black Lives Matter marches in New York and made a name for himself with editors shooting portraits via Zoom and FaceTime. We talk with Sidibe about how he has been able to move back and forth between these various genres of photography, concentrating the first part of the show on his experiences covering protests in Brooklyn and how his emotions brought him to the street, but his photographer’s spirit and eye enabled him to capture some of the most arresting images of the summer. We discuss shooting style, the Nikon Z 7 and lens choices, keeping gear secure, and staying safe in the midst of chaos. In addition, we talk about his process in portrait shoots through FaceTime, the iPad he used, and the tools he sent to his models and subjects for these unique collaborations. We also discuss Sidibe’s personal story of immigrating to the United States at age 13, his early struggles in school, and how NYC SALT, a high school photography program, helped him on his journey. It’s easy to recognize the talent, time, and work that Sidibe is dedicating to “making the future me happy,” but his good humor and creative love for photography are evident in this informative and lively conversation. Join us. Guest: Malike Sidibe Photograph © Malike Sidibe From “Black Lives Matter” series © Malike Sidibe From “Black Lives Matter” series © Malike Sidibe From “Black Lives Matter” series © Malike Sidibe From “Mami Wata” series © Malike Sidibe From “Mami Wata” series © Malike Sidibe From “Mami Wata” series © Malike Sidibe From “Mami Wata” series © Malike Sidibe From “facetime” series © Malike Sidibe From “facetime” series © Malike Sidibe Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/31/2020
For our final episode of 2020, we look back at the year that was—and what a year it was. We learned new remote recording skills and virtual conversation styles, but the B&H Photography Podcast never missed a beat; we recorded an episode the very first week of quarantine and have continued recording throughout this unprecedented time. Many aspects of this production were made significantly more difficult by being “all remote,” but it did allow us to speak with photographers around the world and those who could never have made it into our humble but homey studio. On this week’s episode, we run down the list of episodes we recorded this year, which included conversations with legends of sports photography, of fine art photography, of photo education, and even with a supermodel and with a television celebrity. Of course, we also talked about the latest camera releases and the “best” cameras of 2020. Allan, Jason, and I each relate our favorite episodes from the year and mention some of the episodes that were best received by our listeners. And because this year we had many conversations about photography books, we also mention a few of our favorite books from 2020. Join us for this casual recounting of podcasts from a year no one will soon forget. Photograph © Karles Vives, winner of the 2020 B&H Photography Podcast Leica Challenge Allan Weitz, Adriane Ohanesian, and Nancy Borowick, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz and Sebastian Meyer, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz, Joseph Holmes, and Sara Bennett, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz and Shari Belafonte, 2020 © John Harris Clyde Butcher and John Harris, 2020 © Niki Butcher Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/10/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we offer an insightful overview of the best cameras released in 2020 and discuss significant trends in the photography industries. Our guest is Kevin Rickert, Senior Sales Trainer for B&H Photo. Rickert is often the first person at B&H to get new cameras in his hands and is responsible for training our staff on the features of a wide variety of gear. He knows his stuff. We start by mentioning the Canon EOS R5, which many members of our team listed as their favorite camera of 2020, and then we move to new cameras from Leica and FUJIFILM and the unique full-frame entry from ZEISS. We then discuss the compact Sony Alpha a7C full-frame camera and other new cameras from Sony and Nikon, including the D780 DSLR. Also, Ricoh, Olympus, and the impressive Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 get mentioned, and we wrap up cameras by discussing the new iPhones and Hasselblad’s incredible 907X 50C medium format mirrorless camera. Throughout the conversation, we muse on important developments and trends of the year, including Canon’s and Nikon’s continued investment in their full-frame mirrorless cameras and lenses, the increasing number of high-resolution entries from a range of makers, the importance of firmware updates, the use of artificial intelligence in cameras, and, of course, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We close by mentioning a few of the more interesting lenses to arrive this year, including fixed-aperture telephotos from Canon, a great telephoto zoom from Olympus, and fast-aperture prime lenses from Sony, FUJIFILM, and Nikon. Join us for this informative episode. Guest: Kevin Rickert Nikon Z 7II Mirrorless Digital Camera Hasselblad 907X 50C Medium Format Mirrorless Camera FUJIFILM X100V Digital Camera Sony Alpha a7C Mirrorless Digital Camera Leica Q2 Monochrom Digital Camera Canon PowerShot ZOOM Digital Camera ZEISS ZX1 Digital Camera Ricoh GR III Street Edition Digital Camera Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO Lens FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR 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 09/09/2020
This is a wonderful conversation for fans of mirrorless cameras, of classic lens design, of the venerable M-mount, and, really, of photography. The joy that our host Allan Weitz exudes while discussing a few of his current favorite lenses is as contagious as it is educational. And I feel that this episode provides a bolt of creative curiosity that might infuse my own photography. For this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we asked Weitz to draw up a list of 10 favorite lenses from his personal collection. To be sure, these are not lenses sitting on a shelf or behind glass; these are accessible, affordable lenses that he incorporates regularly into his photography practice, but each has a certain signature or special feature that merits recognition. Most, like the Voigtländer VM 40mm f/2.8 Heliar Lens for Sony E-Mount or the 7Artisans Photoelectric 50mm f/1.1 Lens for Leica M can be purchased new, while some, such as the Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm f/8 lens, are still readily found in the used market. Others, like the Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 lens, are perennial favorites, while the Voigtländer Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical Lens seems classic but is relatively new to the market. While discussing these lenses, we stumble upon a mound of good photography chatter, including practical uses for these optics, tips for using extension tubes and mount adapters, notes on camera history, and plain simple fun facts. Toward the end of the episode we talk about the B&H Used Department, and Jason Tables and I share our current favorite lenses, as well. Join us for this breezy but informative episode and let us know your favorite lenses in the Comments section, below. Photograph © Allan Weitz Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens © Allan Weitz Zeiss 16mm f/8 Hologon Lens © Allan Weitz Voigtländer Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical Lens © Allan Weitz ZEISS Biogon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZM Lens © Allan Weitz Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5 Lens Voigtländer VM 40mm f/2.8 Heliar Lens for Sony E-Mount Three Lenses © Allan Weitz Taken with Zeiss Biogon 25mm f/2.8 ZM using Leica OUFRO Extension Tube © Allan Weitz Taken with Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm f/8 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Voigtlander Nokton 75mm f/1.5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with the Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 AI-S lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Nikon Reflex-NIKKOR 500mm f/5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Nikon Reflex-NIKKOR 500mm f/5 lens © Allan Weitz Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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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 02/19/2020
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a healthy set of conversations with gear representatives and camera experts from several of the major camera and lighting companies that we recorded at the 2020 Depth of Field Conference. First we speak with Steve Heiner, of Nikon, discussing that company’s new DSLRs, including the flagship D6 and the D780. We also ask about the mirrorless Z system cameras and new lenses for that system. Next up is Joe Edelman, of Olympus, to discuss his company’s new flagship, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, and its incredible image stabilization system. Our next guest is Shar Taylor, from Profoto, and with her we discuss the A1 AirTTL Studio Light, the Air Remote TTL, as well as the popular Profoto B10 OCF Flash Head. After a short break, we welcome Casey Krugman, product develop from Luxli, to discuss the incredible LED light panels, including the new Taiko 2x1 RGBAW LED light. Our next guest is food photographer Chelsea Kyle, who joins us on behalf of Canon to discuss the gear she works with, including the Canon EOS 5DS DSLR. Canon has also just announced the new EOS R5 full-frame mirrorless camera and other lenses in development. It has also released the RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM lens for its full-frame mirrorless system. Following our visit with Chelsea Kyle, we welcome Marc Farb, from Sigma, to update us on the latest news from the L-mount alliance and the Sigma fp Mirrorless Digital Camera. He also discusses new lenses, including the highly anticipated Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens for Sony E-mount cameras and the 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens from Leica L mount cameras. Our final guest is Jason Mantell, of Sony, who updates us on the latest from the Alpha mirrorless systems, including the Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital Camera and the Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital Camera. Join us for this informative conversation. Guests: Steve Heiner, Joe Edelman, Shar Taylor, Casey Krugman, Chelsea Kyle, Marc Farb, and Jason Mantell Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens Canon EOS Rebel T8i DSLR Camera Luxli Taiko 2x1 RGBAW LED Light Nikon D6 DSLR Camera Nikon D780 DSLR Camera Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Mirrorless Digital Camera Profoto A1X AirTTL-C Studio Light Profoto Air Remote TTL-N Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens for Sony E Sigma fp Mirrorless Digital Camera Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital Camera Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital Camera Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/08/2020
During a little holiday trip, producer John Harris made a visit to the gallery and studio of photographer Clyde Butcher. For anyone who grew up in Florida, Butcher’s work should be very familiar; his photography is often found on the walls of local libraries, municipal buildings, and, as Miami native Jason Tables points out, “every doctor’s office I’ve ever been in.” Butcher’s images of the Florida landscapes, particularly of the Everglades, are legendary, and although he has a brisk print-sales business, many of the photos in libraries have the attached placard, “Donated by Clyde Butcher.” Although he is known primarily for his large format black-and-white photography of “the swamp,” Butcher’s photographic career extends back many decades and includes architectural photography, mountain and western landscapes, filmed documentaries, and decorative color photography. Interestingly, Butcher began his career selling prints at small art fairs and, in the 1970s, he had a thriving business selling thousands of prints through department stores such as Sears and Montgomery Ward. This episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a casual conversation that glides through several topics, including Butcher’s work with large format cameras, his recent foray into Sony digital cameras paired with Canon tilt-shift lenses, the incredible set of vintage enlargers in his giant darkroom space, the business models he and his family employ to market his images, water conservation, and, of course, his relationship to the Florida landscape for which he will be forever linked. Join us for this conversation with a true master. Guest: Clyde Butcher Above photograph © Clyde Butcher Tamiani Trail © Clyde Butcher Cigar Orchid Pond © Clyde Butcher Ochopee © Clyde Butcher Big Cypress © Clyde Butcher Moonrise © Clyde Butcher Plaja-S’Arenella-with-Boat, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Cadaques, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Cap-de-Creus, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Clocks by Clyde Butcher circa, 1970s © Clyde Butcher Clyde Butcher and John Harris © Niki Butcher Niki and Clyde Butcher © John Harris Clyde Butcher in his Venice, Florida office © John Harris Butcher workshop and darkroom, 2019 © John Harris Niki Butcher with enlarger, 2019 © John Harris Clyde Butcher in Movie Dome with 11 x 14" view camera © Clyde Butcher 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 08/15/2019
We are in the midst of our B&H Photography Podcast Panasonic LUMIX S1 Sweepstakes and encourage you to check the link to enter to win a Panasonic LUMIX DC-S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 24-105mm Lens or a Panasonic LUMIX DC-G95 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 12-60mm Lens. For today’s episode, we present encore conversations with photographers Sisse Brimberg and Xyza Cruz Bacani. Sisse Brimberg is a veteran adventure and travel photographer who has more than thirty stories for National Geographic to her credit. Much of her work is devoted to historical and cultural stories, but our chat focuses on the informal portraiture she does in the streets, marketplaces, and country roads around the world. Brimberg relates how she is always “seeing” photographs, how she interacts with her subjects, and how to know when a photograph is worth taking. We also discuss her late husband and shooting partner, NatGeo photographer Cotton Coulson, and how her approach to work has changed since his death. Xyza Cruz Bacani, a Magnum Foundation fellow currently covering the civil unrest in Hong Kong, started taking photography seriously while employed as a domestic worker there. Her street photography blossomed into a career as a documentary photographer and photojournalist covering immigration, social justice, and human rights issues, but she still devotes time to “street.” We discuss the differences between the two disciplines, as well as her techniques and cameras and lens choices. Bacani has recently published the incredible book, We Are Like Air, about her mother and other migrant workers in Hong Kong. Join us for this insightful episode and don’t forget to enter our sweepstakes and subscribe to the B&H Photography Podcast. Guests: Sisse Brimberg and Xyza Cruz Bacani © Sisse Brimberg © Xyza Cruz Bacani “We Are Like Air” by Xyza Cruz Bacani Panasonic LUMIX S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Panasonic LUMIX G95 Mirrorless Digital Camera Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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