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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 04/22/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we focus on the work of photographer Todd Webb and, specifically, the series of images he created in Africa in 1958, while on assignment for the United Nations. We are joined by Betsy Evans Hunt, the Executive Director of the Todd Webb Archive, and by Aimée Bessire and Erin Hyde Nolan, coauthors of the new book, Todd Webb in Africa—Outside the Frame. With our guests, we discuss the photographic career of Todd Webb, including his work in New York and Paris in the 1940s and 1950s, and the founding and mission of the Todd Webb Archive. Our primary topic, however, is the rediscovery (in a steamer trunk) and eventual archiving and publishing of Webb’s photographs taken in several African nations over the course of a multi-month assignment organized by the United Nations. The images are notable not only for their fateful recovery but for their large and medium format color composition and intelligent eye; they tell a vibrant story of Africa at a moment between colonization and independence. With authors Bessire and Nolan, we discuss the making of their book, which is both a photography book of unique vision and a multifaceted study of the images themselves, with essays and interviews providing historical context and cultural and artistic analysis. Join us for this conversation on the work of an overlooked 20th-century master photographer and on a sweeping series of color photos that sat unseen for almost 60 years. Guests: Betsy Evans Hunt, Aimée Bessire, and Erin Hyde Nolan Photograph © Todd Webb Cover, “Todd Webb in Africa – Outside the Frame” © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive 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 04/08/2021
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome B&H Senior Sales Trainer Kevin Rickert back to the program to discuss the latest cameras and lenses released over the past few months. For today’s episode, we have the support of Audio-Technica and are using its BP40 Large Diaphragm Dynamic Broadcast Microphone. We start with Sony’s new flagship camera, the Alpha A1 Mirrorless Digital Camera, and discuss its impressive features, as well some of the new lenses Sony has introduced, including the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens. We also talk about the new FUJIFILM GFX 100S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera and the FUJIFILM X-E4 Mirrorless Camera. The rest of the episode is dedicated to lenses and a quick look back at some camera releases from late 2020. We mention the incredible new Leica M-mount 35mm f/2 lens and the 28mm f/2 SL lens, a trio of  Pentax  "Limited" lenses, including the tiny 43mm f/1.9 lens, a 15mm Sunstar lens from NiSi, and several others. Cameras from late last year that get a mention are the Nikon Z6 II, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III, and the Canon PowerShot ZOOM. Join us for this informative chat and start thinking about your spring and summer photography plans! Guest: Kevin Rickert Editor’s Note: Since this podcast was recorded, both Pentax and Sigma have announced new cameras. Both are substantial updates to existing models: Pentax announced the new APS-C flagship Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR and Sigma introduced the modular fp L Mirrorless Digital Camera. Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera FUJIFILM GFX 100S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera FUJIFILM X-E4 Mirrorless Digital Camera Sigma fp L Mirrorless Digital Camera Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. Lens Pentax HD Pentax-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited NiSi 15mm f/4 Sunstar ASPH Lens Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 03/18/2021
Eye-catching and grotesque are words not often placed together, but those accurate descriptors are part of the charm and beauty in the still life and food photography of Emma Ressel. Ressel joins us on this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast to talk about her work, which takes inspiration from, among other things, Dutch Master paintings and her own upbringing in Maine. We discuss with Ressel the evolution of her work and how she attempts to balance the genres of food photography and still life. Many of her images contain aspects of decay and death, and in her personal fine art photography, food is one way to address these topics. She also is a commercial photographer of food, wine, and still life work commissioned by New York Magazine, Refinery29, and other publications and clients. Ressel works with both a 4 x 5" Toya medium format film camera and with a Nikon DSLR, and we find out how and why she chooses which system to utilize. We also talk about her varied lighting choices and how she came to food photography not knowing much about professional workflows and food stylists and how that may have helped her define her look. She is very hands-on with her work, and we discuss sourcing items as diverse as coral snakes and pig’s heads. We also consider issues of waste and overconsumption and how her work attempts to deal with those ideas within an industry that uses food for purposes not directly related to human sustenance. Ressel also tells us about an inspiring artists residency in which she tackled the subject of a decaying whale carcass. This is a very well-rounded conversation, at ease discussing the technical issues of using a view camera as easily as literary inspiration, and how to walk the fine line between working as a commercial food photographer and pushing the genre to uncomfortable new places. Join us for a listen and have a look at Ressel’s Artfare page to see her larger prints. Guest: Emma Ressel Photograph © Emma Ressel From “Trouble in the Garden” © Emma Ressel From “Trouble in the Garden” © Emma Ressel From “Trouble in the Garden” © Emma Ressel From “Olives in the Street” © Emma Ressel From “Olives in the Street” © Emma Ressel From “Olives in the Street” © Emma Ressel From “Insatiable Hunger and the Peacock’s Plume” © Emma Ressel Commission for New York Magazine © Emma Ressel Commission for Wines of Sicily/Refinery29 © Emma Ressel © Emma Ressel 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 02/25/2021
Live event and concert photography have, obviously, been drastically impacted by the global pandemic and related shutdowns. Let’s give a shout-out to all the photographers, musicians, technicians, and crew who have struggled with the loss of that part of their income and craft, but also make time on the B&H Photography Podcast to talk about concert photography as we inch toward a hopeful return to live music and art performances. Today’s guest is Christie Goodwin, a premier concert and music photographer. She has been the tour photographer for the likes of Taylor Swift and Usher and has shot in venues around the world. She is also the house photographer for the famed Royal Albert Hall, in London. Her work is impeccable, and a quick glance at her website features some of the most recognized faces in contemporary music today. With Goodwin we speak on a range of topics, including her goals as a concert photographer based on the needs of the artist, the management team, the venue, or the fans. We also talk about life on tour, the trust necessary to work with musicians, shooting techniques learned from experience, and how she lets a concert “speak to her” as she decides her photographic approach. We also talk briefly about her Canon DSLR cameras and lenses, and about her side hustle, creating conceptual images for book covers, and how this primarily mirrorless endeavor is the yin to her concert photography yang. Join us for this insightful and practical conversation. Guest: Christie Goodwin Photograph © Christie Goodwin Celine Dion, Hyde Park, London, 2019 © Christie Goodwin Dream Theater, Wembley Arena, London, 2014 © Christie Goodwin Iggy Pop, Royal Albert Hall, London, 2016 © Christie Goodwin Marillion, Royal Albert Hall, London, 2017 © Christie Goodwin James Taylor backstage at Royal Albert Hall, London, 2014 © Christie Goodwin Sting backstage at Royal Albert Hall, London, 2015 © Christie Goodwin Photograph © Christie Goodwin Photograph © Christie Goodwin Photograph © Christie Goodwin Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/28/2021
Photography has long been used as a tool to explore and analyze history, but in the hands of an artist, that same tool is not asked to be exacting or accurate to the historical record. If anything, artists challenge this idea of photography as fact. And for this reason, it is such a pleasure to welcome artist and photographer Barbara Mensch to the B&H Photography Podcast. Mensch has created a book of history by using photographs she took as an artist. Having lived in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge for many years, she photographed the bridge in varied light and perspective, but it was not until she ventured inside the bridge's anchorage that she become interested in using her photographic story as the basis for a researched and nuanced study of the three principle creators of the Brooklyn Bridge. The book, In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators, is the successful result of her work, and we talk with Mensch about reevaluating older work, the endurance needed to complete a long project, the ability of photography to tell stories, and about square format and Hasselblad. In the second half of the program, we take up Mensch’s current book project, which also re-addresses earlier work, in this case from her wonderful series on the workers of the South Street Seaport or, as it was then called, the “waterfront.” Here we discuss the intrapersonal skills needed to photograph in authentic, yet potentially dangerous situations, the creative and youthful zeal that fuels such projects, and even about Bergger photography paper. Join us for this engaging conversation. Guest: Barbara Mensch Photographs © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch Klebber’s Murder © Barbara Mensch Child in Shoe Bin, Lower East Side © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/03/2020
Today we welcome back to the B&H Photography Podcast  Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and friend to the show, Salwan Georges. Georges joined us four years ago to talk about his documentary project centered around the Arabic communities in Michigan, but a great deal has changed since then, and today he joins us to discuss his work covering the 2020 presidential campaigns for the Washington Post. With Georges, we dig into the nuts and bolts of navigating a presidential election in the middle of a pandemic. We talk about press pools, political rallies, booking your own airfare, and making sure your hotel room is disinfected. We also discuss getting new angles to tell stories, prime versus zoom, switching to the Sony a9 II, and using an iPhone when that’s the only option. Georges also relates his experiences working with editors, having the backs of other photographers, and his additional work covering the opioid crisis and other painful stories of our time. Join us for this insightful conversation that we recorded in the days immediately following the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Guest: Salwan Georges Photograph © Salwan Georges Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listen outside of the Chase Center as he speaks during the Democratic National Convention, in Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday, August 20, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post President Donald J. Trump listens to a question from a reporter during a news briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at The White House, in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, September 27, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate, gives a victory speech after winning the New Hampshire Primary during Primary Night Celebration at SNHU Field House on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post President Donald J. Trump throws a hat to supporters during a “Make America Great Again Victory Rally,” in Waterford Township, Michigan on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife, Jill Biden, greet supporters with Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, outside of the Chase Center, the secondary location of the Democratic National Convention, in Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday, August 20, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post The final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden appears on screens during a flight from Detroit on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post Nash Ismael, 20, places his arms around his sisters Nadeen, 18, left, and Nancy, 13, as they visit the gravesite of their parents on Father's Day at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery on Sunday, June 21, 2020, in Troy, MI. The Ismael children lost their parents within weeks to COVID-19. Photograph © Salwan Georges/The Washington Post Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/12/2020
Eight months ago, on the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcomed four photojournalists who were covering the beginning stages of the COVID-19 crisis in New York. We discussed their fears and the stories they hoped to cover; we also discussed safety precautions, limited access to subjects, and altered workflows. It was the beginning of a new reality. On today’s episode, we welcome back two of those photographers— Desiree Rios and Sarah Blesener —for a follow-up conversation on how their work has evolved since March. We first welcome Desiree Rios, who photographs for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. We speak with Rios about her daily assignments covering the effects of the pandemic in New York, primarily in the Bronx. We talk about using her work as a support for the community, about building solidarity with the people she photographs, and about trying to tell deeper aspects of a story with daily news images. We also marvel over how attitudes about masks and PPE were so different in March. After a break, we speak with Sarah Blesener. She also works for the Times and WSJ, but thanks to a commission from the International Center for Photography and a grant from National Geographic, she was able to focus on a long-term project over these months. Specifically, she photographed her eighty-year-old landlady and how she, along with the neighborhood community she is a part of, came together to withstand the effects of the pandemic and shutdown. Blesener relates how she came to appreciate working in a less intimate and less spontaneous manner than normal, how she avoided risky assignments so as not to risk infecting her landlady, and how the project grew to involve the neighborhood and became a very optimistic story, despite the situation. This series is currently on exhibition at ICP. Join us for this topical and interesting conversation on the evolving role of photojournalism during 2020. Guests: Desiree Rios and Sarah Blesener Photograph © Sarah Blesener From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 Our Lady of Mount Carmel was open for private prayer in the Belmont neighborhood of The Bronx, New York on Sunday, May 24, 2020. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times Mercedes poses for a portrait with her daughter down the street from her apartment building in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York on June 19, 2020. Mercedes, who has no income since her husband lost his construction job due to the pandemic, is unable to receive unemployment benefits because of their immigration status. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times Residents wear face masks while sitting on the stoop of their building in the Morrisania neighborhood of The Bronx, New York on April 14, 2020. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times 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 09/23/2020
For the headline of this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we lifted a line from our guest’s own Instagram bio. It would have been too easy to call a show with Walter Iooss Jr. “Sports Photography Legend” or some such, but that pigeonholes Iooss too easily, and does not recognize the scope of his engagement with photography and with the creative process. Yes, Walter Iooss Jr. is sports photography. He has more than 300 Sports Illustrated covers to his name, his first professional gig was at age 17, and for six decades he has photographed several Hall of Fames’s worth of athletes, including names like Arnold, Mary Lou, Muhammad, and Tiger, and his work with Michael Jordan is unparalleled. Also—every Super Bowl. But he has also photographed rock stars, models, fashion and commercial assignments, portraits, and documentary series. And he tells us of his love for music and that if not for a twist of fate, he might have been a musician. The man is a creator for life, a photographer for life. With Iooss, our conversation takes a leisurely approach, touching on a few of his more memorable photos and some of the interesting lesser knowns; the breadth of his work alone could keep us talking for hours. Along the way, we learn a little about his upbringing, the love for music, his mentors, and the time he shot for Atlantic Records. We discuss how he builds a composition, whether it be an action shot during a game or a complicated portrait setup. We also talk about using a giant Polaroid camera, the coming of autofocus, and Canon DSLRs. Join us for this pleasant conversation that is sure to interest not only fans of sports, but fans of photography. Guest: Walter Iooss Jr. Photograph © Walter Iooss Jr. Andy Samberg, 2011 © Walter Iooss Jr. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, 2003 © Walter Iooss Jr. Emmet Ashford, 1968 © Walter Iooss Jr. Tony Scott and Gary Templeton, 1979 © Walter Iooss Jr. Greg Louganis, 1984 © Walter Iooss Jr. Dave Parker and Grant Jackson, 1980 © Walter Iooss Jr. Jack Nicklaus, 1967 © Walter Iooss Jr. The Blue Dunk, Michael Jordan, 1987 © Walter Iooss Jr. The Corner, Havana, Cuba, 1999 © Walter Iooss Jr. Leipzig, East Germany, 1976 © Walter Iooss Jr. Lee Trevino, 1991 © Walter Iooss Jr. Willis Reed, 1973 © Walter Iooss Jr. Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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