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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 09/09/2021
What do the films Goodfellas, The Devil Wears Prada, Creed, Ocean’s 8, and Die Hard with a Vengeance have in common? The poster art, publicity, and behind-the-scenes photography for these and about one hundred other feature films were made by photographer Barry Wetcher, and we welcome Wetcher to this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. On-set still photography or, simply, “still photography” is one of the more unique jobs found under the big tent that is photography. The skills needed to excel in this work incorporate abilities from many photographic genres. Portraiture, documentary, news, action, and still life talents are all called upon to create the images needed for varied purposes, but perhaps the most important skill is the ability to understand the many moving parts and dynamic personalities of a film shoot and to find a way to be everywhere but nowhere at the same time. With Wetcher, we talk about the specific demands of the craft, about the evolution of gear from film to DSLR and, ultimately, to mirrorless (Nikon and FUJIFILM, in Wetcher’s case), and mostly about how to best navigate the world of producers, directors, cinematographers, and actors to create the seemingly ephemeral but truly indelible images of movie history. We also find time to ask Wetcher about some of the legendary actors and directors he has photographed over the years. Join us for this enjoyable and informative chat with Wetcher and, as it turns out, his “Brooklyn Brother,” host Allan Weitz. Guest: Barry Wetcher Photograph © Barry Wetcher Chadwick Boseman in “Marshall,” 2017 © Barry Wetcher/Open Road Films Human Green Screen from “I Am Legend,” 2007 © Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Pictures James Gandolfini in “Not Fade Away,” 2012 © Barry Wetcher/Paramount Vantage Joe Pesci in “GoodFellas,” 1990 © Barry Wetcher/ Warner Bros. Pictures 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 08/10/2021
We have been looking forward to this conversation for weeks. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we sit down with retired Detective 1 st Grade Michael Cunningham, of the New York City Police Department, to talk about crime-scene unit photography. Cunningham is an expert on crime-scene photography and forensics—in addition to his twenty-seven years with the NYPD, he has worked as a trainer for the Department of Homeland Security, authored a book on crime-scene management, and currently works for ShotSpotter Investigate, an investigative case management solution service. We discuss the various aspects of crime-scene photography, from camera and lens selection to shooting technique, along with storage, retrieval, and sharing of images. We compare the use of film and digital imaging and the challenges and benefits brought on by new technology. In addition, we talk about photos used for case solving and those of evidentiary value and the different photography departments within the NYPD. Cunningham walks us through the procedures and shot selection of a photographer when approaching a crime scene, and the protocols involved when documenting it. He also regales us with a few stories of his many investigations during his years on the force. We would like to hear from our listeners about the B&H Photography Podcast. Please take a minute to complete this simple survey about listening habits and potential topics. Thank you, from the B&H Podcast team. Guest: Michael Cunningham Photograph: Courtesy of Michael Cunningham Photograph: Courtesy of Michael Cunningham Michael Cunningham and 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 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 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 03/04/2021
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome wedding and portrait photographer Kesha Lambert. We are excited to speak with Lambert about her approach to wedding photography on today’s show, but she is also speaking at the upcoming 4th annual Depth of Field Portrait, Wedding, and Event Photography Conference, which is a free virtual event to be held on March 7 – 8, 2021. The conference is hosted by B&H Photo and sponsored by Sony, Nikon, Canon, Godox, HP/NVIDIA, and others. The work of Kesha Lambert stands out for its ability to be both joyous and intimate. She deftly uses color and composition, as well as experience and intuition to tell unique and universal wedding day stories. Did I mention that Lambert is also a lawyer, mom to three boys, a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association, and a Sony Artisan of Imagery? In our conversation, we discuss her business, intrapersonal, and photography skills to get a sense of how she runs her successful studio. Her website is a lesson in design and good business practices, and we discuss cameras and lenses, getting ahead of client expectations, contracts, and subjects as diverse as lighting kits and keeping large wedding parties focused and in frame. Join us for this insightful and enjoyable chat and register for Depth of Field 2021. Guest: Kesha Lambert Photograph © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert 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 02/18/2021
Has the Canon EOS R5 changed the conversation about using mirrorless cameras for bird and wildlife photography? This is the position of our guest, David Speiser, who, this summer, traded his Canon 1D X Mark III for the R system camera and lenses. But his colleague, fellow bird photographer and—for now—DSLR stalwart Grace Scalzo, is not quite ready to make that switch. Today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast focuses on the features of the Canon R5 and RF lenses that specifically benefit bird photographers. Speiser relates his decision to sell a treasure trove's worth of gear and reinvest in Canon’s mirrorless system. He notes the advanced eye focus, the customization features, in-body image stabilization, and new, sharp lenses as factors in his decision. Scalzo, however, is not ready to give up her rugged, fast, and ergonomically balanced DSLR with its broad selection of quality glass and an optical viewfinder. This is a fun-spirited and well-articulated debate between two shooters who really know their gear and their craft. In addition to the DSLR vs. mirrorless smackdown, we discuss 600mm lenses, adapters, gimbal heads, tripods, sharpening software, and even some land management and wildlife ethics issues. Join us for this vastly informative conversation, ideal for Canon photographers and wildlife shooters considering their next purchase. Also, please check out the Musea Gathering virtual photo conference, a wonderful two-day event on wedding and family photography. Guests: Grace Scalzo and David Speiser Photograph © David Speiser Black-chinned Hummingbird. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 1.4x teleconverter. 1/3200 second at ISO 1600 © Grace Scalzo Great Horned Owl. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 1.4x teleconverter. 1/125 second at ISO 1600 © Grace Scalzo Summer Tanager with Bug. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/640 second at ISO 1600 © Grace Scalzo Gray Fox. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens. 1/500 second at ISO 3200 © Grace Scalzo Painted Lady on Thistle. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/640 second at ISO 400 © Grace Scalzo Common Cuckoo, 2020. Canon R5 with adapter and 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/4000 second at ISO 1600 © David Speiser Barred Owl, NYC, 2020. Canon R5 with RF 100-500mm f/4.5 Lens. 300mm at 1/40 second, ISO 3200 © David Speiser Western Tanager, NYC, 2020. Canon R5 with RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM Lens. 500mm at 1/320 second, ISO 2000 © David Speiser Atlantic Puffin, 2020. Canon R5 with adapter and 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/2500 second at ISO 800 © David Speiser Black Guillemot, 2020. Canon R5 with adapter and 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/2500 second at ISO 800 © David Speiser Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 2020. Canon R5 with adapter and 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/800 second at ISO 3200 © David Speiser Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 10/22/2020
In the 1970s, under the aegis of the Great Society’s Model Cities Program, photographer Earlie Hudnall, Jr. began to document the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Houston’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th wards, and for more than forty years he has continued to create an indelible portrait of life in these neighborhoods. To be sure, Hudnall has photographed all around the world, and worked for years as the photographer for Texas Southern University, but it is his images of the people of Houston that we discuss today, and that are included in his current exhibition at the Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery in Dallas, running through October 31, 2020. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we talk with Hudnall about the relationship between the stories he tells with his images and those he grew up with in his native Mississippi; how the tradition, culture, and community of his youth reveal themselves in the faces and facades of modern Houston. We also talk about his organic approach to photography and how respect for his subjects informs his process, and how eye contact and body language are tools to connect with people on the street. Hudnall is old school—he works with digital cameras when needed—but his Hasselblad and Nikon film cameras are his primary tools and he discusses why he chooses one over the other to make a particular image. Hudnall also prints his photographs, so we talk about sourcing supplies, Ilford paper, and darkroom techniques. And while we do get into camera talk and a “sweet, sweet, sweet, soft Rolleiflex,” much of our conversation with Hudnall focuses on how memory and inspiration react in a moment to create a powerful image and how staying sensitive to your surroundings will serve your imaging. It is a joy to listen to Hudnall; please join us for this conversation. Guest: Earlie Hudnall, Jr. Photograph © Earlie Hudnall, Jr. Mr. Shine, 3rd Ward, Houston, 1988 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Girl with Flag, 3rd Ward, Houston, 1991 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Hip Hop, Galveston, TX, 1993 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Looking Out, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1991 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Feeling the Spirit, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1987 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Boy Eastern Star, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1984, © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, T Roots, 1997 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/16/2020
As museums in New York and around the world begin to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a brand-new museum is facing the challenge of its grand reopening in the competitive New York City art and culture world. We welcome the inaugural Director of Exhibitions of Fotografiska, Amanda Hajjar, to the B&H Photography Podcast to discuss the unique model of this for-profit arts center and its plans to make a mark on the photography scene in New York. After opening, in December 2019, Fotografiska New York was forced to close after just ninety days and, of course, we will also ask Hajjar how they handled the quarantine disruption and are adjusting to the new protocols placed on museums. Fotografiska New York is the third of three like-named museums, with more scheduled to open around the world. The original began in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010, and adopted a different paradigm than the traditional museum—it displays a wide range of photography styles, it has no permanent collection, and it works with the artists themselves to design the exhibitions. It also relies on admission sales, as well as café, restaurant, and special event business to generate income. It created much buzz in the months before opening in New York, and its initial reviews were positive, for its events and photo exhibition programming. We speak with Hajjar about the museum’s exhibition philosophy and how its model facilitates an institution able to react to and comment on current social issues, as well as examine relevant images from the past. We discuss its attempt to create a hybrid between gallery and museum and shine a light on its current exhibitions, including works by Cooper & Gorfer and by Martin Schoeller. Finally, we get to the bottom of what the word Fotografiska really means. Join us for this enjoyable conversation. Guest: Amanda Hajjar Photograph courtesy Fotografiska Israa With Yellow Boxes, 2020 © Cooper & Gorfer Yellow Roseline, 2020 © Cooper & Gorfer Gary Drinkhard, 2019, video and sound installation © Martin Schoeller Kwame Ajamu, 2019, video and sound installation. © Martin Schoeller Ezra, 2019 © Julie Blackmon. Courtesy the artist and Robert Mann Gallery The Shan Hai Jing Hotel Room 002, 2019 © Zhongjia Sun Untitled, 2019 © Cristina Bartley Dominguez The Church Mission Building, 2019. Courtesy Fotografiska Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/30/2019
In terms of its sheer reach and influence on photographers, there is no magazine that compares to LIFE. From the 1930s into the 1970s, it was the weekly go-to for news, lifestyle, entertainment and, of course, world-class photography. With the likes of Margaret Bourke-White, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Capa, Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lange, and Alfred Eisenstadt under contract, and a commitment to the photo essay, LIFE was a groundbreaking publication that has yet to be equaled. At its most popular, it sold 13.5 million copies per week. With America’s attention switching to television by the early 1960s and, eventually, away from print media in general, LIFE slowly became a remnant of another era, but its influence on photography is still immense. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we discuss the magazine, and particularly its print and online reincarnations in the 2000s. Joining us for this conversation is the former editor-in-chief of LIFE, Bill Shapiro. Shapiro, a long-time editor at Time Inc., brought LIFE out of mothballs, in 2004, and launched LIFE.com in 2009. We examine these two iterations of the famed journal. Underscoring this conversation is the larger issue of the consumer switch from print journalism to digital journalism as the primary source of news and photography. Shapiro walks us through the decisions that were made to keep LIFE viable as the eventual changes in the industry took hold, and how he infused creativity into the print magazine and the website, while maintaining its long tradition of great photography. We also talk with Shapiro about his work as an author and, particularly, the book he co-authored, What We Keep, and how that book was influenced by the work he did at LIFE magazine. Join us for this look back at the final years of one the most important publications in American photography history. Guest: Bill Shapiro Bernie Mac, 2005 Bill Murray, 2004 Tina Fey and John McCain, 2004 Sarah Jessica Parker, 2004 Steve Carell, 2005 Jennifer Hudson, 2007 Special Issue, WWII Photography, 2010 Bill Shapiro Bill Shapiro with "What We Keep" book Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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