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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 09/08/2017
The title “The Falling Man” has been acknowledged as the name of the photograph of a man falling from the north tower of the World Trade Center during the attacks of September 11, 2001. The image depicts a lone figure falling headfirst against the backdrop of the vertical lines of the twin towers. As an image, it is a striking composition and the casual position of the man’s body bisecting the two towers, has even been described as graceful. These visual elements mask the horror of its immediate context and perhaps add to the upsetting response that often accompanies this image. Unlike other photographs from that day, this image does not explicitly depict carnage and destruction, but it is this image that has been often singled-out as too disturbing to view, too galling to publish. In fact, the image was published by many newspapers on the day following the attacks and was received with such recoil that editors were called to apologize for its inclusion and almost immediately, it fell under a shroud of obscurity, which in the sixteen years since 9/11, has been slowly lifted. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome veteran Associated Press photojournalist Richard Drew who took this now iconic photograph. We talk with Drew about his experiences on September 11, 2001, about media self-censorship and about how this photo, which is simultaneously peaceful and deeply painful, had been received, rejected and perhaps now, accepted as part of the whole story and a symbol of all that was lost that day. Guest: Richard Drew Editor’s Note: We have decided to not use “The Falling Man” photograph in our blog post because of its painful depiction, but we feel the conversation we hold has educational, emotional and historical value, especially as we approach the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11. We produced it and present it with the utmost of respect for those whose lives has been affected by the attacks of September 11, 2001, particularly the survivors, the victims and their families, the first-responders and the journalists, who also risked their lives that horrible morning. Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, Los Angeles, 1968. Photograph: Richard Drew Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, Los Angeles, 1968. Photograph: Richard Drew Muhammad Ali watches as defending world champion George Foreman goes down to the canvas in the eighth round of their WBA/WBC championship match in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Frank Sinatra escorts Jackie Onassis to the '21' Club on September 17, 1975 after she attended his concert at the Uris theater (AP Photo/Richard Drew) President Richard Nixon attends a baseball game at Yankee Stadium after his term in office (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Andy Warhol (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Texas billionaire Ross Perot laughs in response to reporters asking when he plans to formally enter the Presidential race. New York City, May 5, 1992 (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Britain’s Prince Charles, during a charity polo match in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park. February 17, 1993 (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Cuban President Fidel Castro at a special commemorative meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, October 22, 1995. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Specialist Anthony Rinaldi is reflected in a screen at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Richard Drew at the B&H Photography Podcast. Photograph: John Harris Allan Weitz and Richard Drew. Photograph: John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/23/2017
On August 21, 2017 there will be a total solar eclipse passing across the United States from the northwest to the southeast. While the path of totality will be in the center of the country, at least 60% obscuration will be seen throughout the U.S. and into Canada and Mexico. This is a historic event and millions of people will be viewing and photographing it. On today’s episode, we will discuss the what, when, and where of the eclipse and concentrate on the best and safest ways to view and photograph it. Joining us for this discussion are Senior Staff Writer Christopher Witt, our in-house telescope and optics expert, and B&H Photography Podcast veteran Todd Vorenkamp, who will explore the best ways for novices as well as experts to view and photograph the eclipse. After a break, we welcome noted astronomer and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren who will offer his thoughts on the eclipse and explain why it might be best to not photograph this eclipse. Finally, we will be joined by Dr. Laura Peticolas from the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. Laura will discuss her plans for the eclipse, specifically discussing the Eclipse Megamovie project, a crowd-sourcing effort to collect and share images across the path of totality. Join us for a multi-faceted conversation about this once-in-a-lifetime event. Guests: Dr. Tyler Nordgren, Dr. Laura Peticolas, Christopher Witt, Todd Vorenkamp Route of 2017 solar eclipse across United States Global map of 2017 solar eclipse The 2013 eclipse as seen from the deck of a four-masted sailing ship racing across the Atlantic Ocean, totality was 42 seconds long. Photograph by Tyler Nordgren My first eclipse photo that I took in 1999 superimposed on the Hungarian stamp I bought there commemorating the eclipse by showing its path across the country. Photograph by Tyler Nordgren A petroglyph in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico showing what could be a 1000 year old solar eclipse. Photograph by Tyler Nordgren A partial phase of an eclipse just a minute or two before totality in the Faroe Islands. Those clouds totally socked us all in 30 seconds before totality so we saw nothing. Photograph by Tyler Nordgren The 2012 partial solar eclipse in San Diego, California with approximately 76% obscuration. Photograph by Todd Vorenkamp The sun photographed with a 50mm lens on a full frame camera with Mylar white light solar filter. Photograph by Todd Vorenkamp The sun photographed with a 300mm lens on an APS-C sensor camera with Mylar white light solar filter. Photograph by Todd Vorenkamp The sun photographed with a 300mm lens on APS-C sensor camera using a DayStar Camera Quark Hydrogen-alpha filter. Photograph by Todd Vorenkamp Photographing the sun with a 300mm lens on APS-C sensor camera using a DayStar Camera Quark Hydrogen-alpha filter and iOptron Sky Guider Pro Tracking Mount Mylar white light filter. Photograph by Todd Vorenkamp Digiscoping with iPhone and Skywatcher Virtuoso Telescope with Motorized Mount and Carson HookUpz 2.0. Photograph by Christopher Witt Prime-focus solar photography through a Sky Watcher Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope with Canon DSLR, on Sky Watcher Virtuoso motorized mount. Photograph by Christopher Witt 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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Posted 09/08/2016
In Part II of our series on astrophotography, we talk with Ian Norman, founder of Lonely Speck, a site dedicated to making astrophotography easy and accessible to all photographers. The website is loaded with great advice, gear reviews, and simple tutorials on how to photograph the night sky and specifically, the Milky Way. Our conversation with Ian centers on his development as a photographer and provides many tips on how, with very affordable equipment and apps and basic processing, you can create stunning dark sky images. As you will hear, Norman, like his website, is all about sharing experiences and advice on how to simplify and improve your photography. As he says, “there are few photographs that have as much existential impact as a nighttime landscape against the Milky Way.” Join us for this educational and inspirational episode. Guests: Ian Norman Photo: Ian Norman, LonelySpeck.com Last week's episode, Shooting Stars, Part I – Imaging from the Hubble Telescope Trona Pinnacles looking south with Milky Way Lone Pinnacle, Pinnacles National Park and Milky Way Eastern Sierras by moonlight and the Milky Way Milky Way and Alabama Hills Diana Southern and the Heavens Above Her Diana Southern, Allan Weitz, and Ian Norman Don't miss an episode! Subscribe on iTunes;   Stitcher; and  Google Play         Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/02/2016
In the first of our two-part series on astrophotography, we are fortunate to be joined by two scientists responsible for some of the most awe-inspiring images ever created. Astrophysicist Dr. Jeff Hester was a member of the team that built the camera on the Hubble Space Telescope and is credited with taking the “Pillars of Creation,” an extraordinary image of the Eagle Nebula that has been selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential photographs in history. Dr. Hester tells us about his time working on the Hubble and how this image was created, as well as offering his insight on the nature of beauty and the relationship between science and art (Hint: They’re not as different as you might think.) Also participating in our conversation is Zoltan Levay, the Imaging Team Leader at the Space Telescope Science Institute, whose principal responsibility is to produce and publicize pictures from the Hubble. Mr. Levay discusses the relative nature of color, his techniques for coloring and composing photographs, and the differences between the images that come to him as “data” from the telescope and the published images with which we are more familiar. Again, science and art blend as we ask why certain colors are chosen to represent various celestial bodies, and come to realize that the decisions made and processes used in the top tiers of astrophotography are not that different from those we ourselves make in our own post-processing. Guests: Zoltan Levay and Dr. Jeff Hester Next week’s episode, Shooting Stars, Part II- Deep Sky DIY The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the individual guests and do not necessarily represent the views of B&H Photo. Bubble Nebula NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) The “Pillars of Creation” from the Eagle Nebula NASA, ESA, STScI, J. Hester and P. Scowen (Arizona State University) Carina Nebula Mosaic NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744 NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300 NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Image Processing Workflow Image Courtesy of Zoltan Levay and STScI Don't miss an episode! Subscribe on iTunes;   Stitcher; and  Google Play         Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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