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Posted 05/06/2021
This is one of the most enjoyable chats on photography we’ve had in a while, and our subject is the history of amateur and popular photography as understood through photography how-to books and manuals. Joining us on the B&H Photography Podcast is Dr. Kim Beil, professor at Stanford University and author of Good Pictures: The History of Popular Photography, and with Professor Beil we not only speak about what is and has been considered a “good photo,” we specifically talk about her collection of photography how-to books and camera manuals, which act as a guide to this “good photography” over the years. A sense of the collection can be found on her Instagram page, and we discuss examples from various decades, as well as those aimed at certain disciplines and those written by popular instructors and well-known photographers, such as Ansel Adams and Gordon Parks. We also talk with Beil about certain trends in popular photography, including ideas as simple as cropping and the many techniques born of technical and artistic innovation. The role that Kodak played in the early years of amateur photography is touched upon, as is that of Polaroid instant photos of the 1970s. Beil has her favorite type of instructional book and we discuss authors who insisted on a prescriptive style of photography rules and those that were more “amateur to amateur.” We find out how she acquires books and also how YouTube tutorials are affecting the genre. Finally, we talk about digital photography trends and what she considers a good photo. Join us for this wide-ranging conversation sure to please any lover of amateur photography. Guest: Kim Beil Photograph © Kim Beil © Kim Beil © Kim Beil © Kim Beil © Kim Beil © Kim Beil © Kim Beil Cover of “Good Pictures: The History of Popular Photography” © Kim Beil From “Good Pictures: The History of Popular Photography” © Kim Beil From “Good Pictures: The History of Popular Photography” © Kim Beil 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 03/18/2021
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 06/17/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Margit Erb and Michael Parillo, of the Saul Leiter Foundation, to discuss Saul Leiter’s career and their work preserving the art and the legacy of this pioneer of color photography. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Leiter veered from the traditional religious path his parents desired for him and moved to New York City to follow his own calling. Met with early success in the 1950s—Leiter’s photography was included in exhibits at MoMA and he built a steady career as a fashion photographer for Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar —by the 1980s, he was forced to give up his studio and struggled financially, but late in life his huge archive of color street photography, much of which was unseen beyond a few curators and colleagues, became a treasure chest of fine art photography. A painter and photographer, he left behind a tremendous amount of work, including hundreds of rolls of unprocessed film, that has been entrusted to Erb and the Leiter Foundation. We talk with Erb and Parillo about Leiter’s early life, his growth as a photographer, his shooting style, his work in fashion, and even how he turned down an invitation to be included in the legendary “Family of Man” exhibition at MoMA. After a break, we discuss the nuts and bolts of organizing and maintaining an archive that is at once massive and unwieldy and a never-ending source of inspiration. Join us for this fascinating conversation about a photographer whose complete body of work is yet to be fully appreciated. Guests: Margit Erb and Michael Parillo Photograph © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery Sunday Morning at the Cloisters, 1947 © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Five and Dime, 1950 © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery From Harper’s Bazaar, February, 1959 © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Mirrors, 1962 © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Red Curtain, 1956 © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Red Umbrella, 1955 © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Haircut, 1956 © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Snow, 1970 © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Untitled, 1950s © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Self-portrait, 1950s © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/22/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome editorial, fashion, art, and music photographer Olivia Bee. That’s a lot of tags and she’s earned them all in a relatively short time span. Her “origin story” is well-documented in photo circles, so we won’t go into that much, but in a career now a decade old, we discuss where those early successes have brought her, what she enjoys about photography, and what she is working on now. With clients that include Hermes, Nike, L’Oreal, Sony, and editorial assignments from Vice, Elle, the New York Times, and Complex Magazine, Bee has created a comprehensive body of commercial work while continuing to evolve the personal aesthetic that got her noticed in the first place. She is also now directing music and other videos and beginning a narrative film effort. We speak with Bee from her bucolic Oregon acreage and discuss a wide range of topics, from the evolution of her gear, including her current use of view cameras, to her self-portraiture techniques, to publishing her first book, Kids in Love, with Aperture. We also spend some time discussing her work with musicians, the different approaches to an editorial assignment with a musician, and working on album art or a portrait. Finally, Bee lets us in on her dream assignment and Allan promises to make that dream come true. Join us for this pleasant and informative conversation. Guest: Olivia Bee Lovers, 2013; from “Kids in Love” © Olivia Bee Baller, 2011; from “Kids in Love” © Olivia Bee Purple Haze, 2011; from “Enveloped in a Dream” © Olivia Bee from “Viva Las Vegas,” 2015 © Olivia Bee from “Viva Las Vegas,” 2015 © Olivia Bee Migos for Billboard, 2017 © Olivia Bee Kesha for Billboard, 2017 © Olivia Bee Larsen Thompson, 2016 © Olivia Bee Birdy for REDValentino SS16 Campaign © Olivia Bee Schiaparelli Couture © Olivia Bee Max and Opal (Barely Seventeen), 2016 © Olivia Bee Portrait of the American West, 2017 © Olivia Bee Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/15/2020
Imagine the privilege of being present at the creation of one of the “wonders of the world,” and then imagine being asked to document the magnitude—and the details—of that creation. Our guest on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast has just that privilege and that responsibility and, as he puts it, this telescope may “change the way we understand our universe.” Chris Gunn has been a NASA contract photographer for almost twenty years but, for the past ten, he has dedicated himself to the James Webb Space Telescope and documenting the construction and eventual launch of this spacecraft, which will replace the Hubble as NASA’s most powerful telescope. We speak with Gunn about all aspects of his job and, specifically, about the gorgeous medium format images he creates that are made available to the public. Gunn is responsible for documenting the construction process, which includes portraits of scientists, as well as macro shots of screws, and he relates how he has “taken the extra step” to evolve as a photographer, incorporating medium format photography and detailed setups. Gunn must be prepared to shoot any style of photo and he discusses his daily responsibilities, how his gear has evolved over time, the lighting he chooses, and his interaction with the hundreds and technicians and scientists he works with regularly. We also discuss marketing yourself as a photographer and the specific challenges that make his job like no other, including working in giant “clean rooms,” accepting that your work is immediately in the public domain, and incorporating the aesthetics from science-fiction films. Sitting in on this recording is our own member of the B&H Space Force, writer Todd Vorenkamp. Join us for this fascinating episode in which we learn about this incredible spacecraft and the work that goes into documenting its creation and check out our 2016 episode, in which we speak with the imaging scientists from the  Hubble Telescope mission. Guest: Chris Gunn Above photograph © Chris Gunn Chamber A Door © Chris Gunn/NASA Blanket Inspection © Chris Gunn/NASA Wings Deployed © Chris Gunn/NASA Lights Out Inspection © Chris Gunn/NASA Container Doors © Chris Gunn/NASA Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/01/2018
When you think of an image from your favorite movie, what comes to mind? Is it a well-edited sequence, a dramatic crescendo, or perhaps simply a static photo, maybe even the poster art itself? If it is a static image, chances are it’s a photo taken by an on-set “still” photographer. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we discuss this craft with two photographers who make their living  as still photographers, working on location and in-studio on television and film productions alongside the camera assistants, boom operators, grips, DPs and myriad crew members, who make the movie magic. Joining us are  JoJo Whilden, a fine art and still photographer who has worked on numerous films, including Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter and television series such as Orange Is the New Black, and Homeland. Her clients include HBO, Netflix, CBS, Sony, and Killer Films. She is the 2018 recipient of The Society of Camera Operators Lifetime Achievement Award in Still Photography. Also joining us in the studio is David Giesbrecht, an editorial and still photographer with credits on The House of Cards, The Blacklist, Mr. Robot, Jessica Jones, and many other programs and films. We speak with Giesbrecht and Whilden about the specific photography skills required on-set, the working relationship within a film crew, their gear setup, and the changes that the profession has seen with the onset of digital streaming, cell phones, mirrorless cameras, social media, and the growth of the episodic television series. This is a very informative episode about a craft that is often overlooked and misunderstood. Guests: JoJo Whilden and David Giesbrecht  From “Orange is the New Black”, Photograph Courtesy JoJo Whilden From “Boardwalk Empire”, Photograph Courtesy JoJo Whilden From “Olive Kitteridge”, Photograph Courtesy JoJo Whilden From “A Late Quartet”, Photograph Courtesy JoJo Whilden From “The Fighter”, Photograph Courtesy JoJo Whilden John Turturro directing “Fading Gigolo”, Photograph Courtesy JoJo Whilden From “Jessica Jones”, Photograph Courtesy David Giesbrecht From “Jessica Jones”, Photograph Courtesy David Giesbrecht From “Luke Cage”, Photograph Courtesy David Giesbrecht From “House of Cards”, Photograph Courtesy David Giesbrecht Box art from “The Tick”, Photograph Courtesy David Giesbrecht JoJo Whilden and David Giesbrecht hamming it up in the podcast studio Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/06/2018
The spot where still photography, video, animation, and drawing on your shoes meet is where you can find Sam Cannon and Matthias Brown. They may not always be together at that spot, but they’re sure to be within shouting distance. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we discuss the role that still photography plays in their work and how they see the distinctions between still and moving images, as well as between old and new technologies. Matthias Brown is also TraceLoops, an “animation experiment centered around hand-drawn, physical animations that experiments with the creation and perception of movement.” He specializes in hand-drawn, stop-motion, black-and-white animation and his work has been commissioned by Converse, MTV, Purina, Warby Parker, and others, and his fine art work has been displayed at the Tate Modern. Sam Cannon is an artist and director who works between still photography and video and focuses on the “manipulation of time, space, and the female form.” Whichever format the final image takes—still, video, GIF—her works asks us to explore the “never-ending” moment. She has produced commercial assignments for Nike, Samsung, and H&M, editorial and fashion pieces, and her fine art work has been exhibited extensively, including at MANA Contemporary, in Jersey City. True multi-disciplinarians, Cannon and Brown are comfortable with a variety of techniques and art forms; we discuss rotoscopes and oscilloscopes, After Effects and Dragonframe, projection pieces and soap sculptures. We also talk briefly on camera gear, self-portraiture, William Kentridge and, once and for all, we resolve the pronunciation of GIF. Join us for this enjoyable conversation. Guests: Sam Cannon and Matthias Brown Animation © Sam Cannon Animation © Sam Cannon Animation © Sam Cannon Animation © Sam Cannon Photo © Sam Cannon Photo © Sam Cannon Animation © Matthias Brown Animation © Matthias Brown Animation © Matthias Brown Animation © Matthias Brown Photo © Matthias Brown Photo © Matthias Brown Previous Pause Next NOTE: Please click to view animated images. Sam Cannon & Matthias Brown provided four animated images, and two still photos. 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 06/29/2018
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome photographer Michael Sanders and model Jayne Moore to discuss the collaborative process between model and photographer on a fashion shoot. From “go-sees” and casting via Instagram, to the rhythm of a shoot, working with on-set teams, lighting insights, and the dos and don'ts of professional interaction, we discuss the P.O.V. from both sides of the lens. The thread that runs through our conversation, though, is how a photographer and a model work together to create the best images to please themselves and their clients. Jayne Moore is represented by IMG Models, and has appeared in Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire and in ads for Calvin Klein and L’Oreal, among many others. She has worked with photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Dean Isidro, and Pamela Hanson, and brings to the conversation an incredible insight, not only to the work of a model, but also to the fashion industry in general and to the role a photographer should play. Michael Sanders is a return guest to our show and a regular contributor to Italian Elle magazine. His work can also be found in the international editions of Vogue, Glamour, and Marie Claire, and in the June, 2018 edition of U.S. Elle he photographed model Hailey Baldwin on the beaches of St. Lucia. Loaded with insight for photographers of any stripe and certainly for aspiring models or anyone interested in the creative fields, this is an enjoyable and informative chat. Join us. Guests: Jayne Moore and Michael Sanders © Michael Sanders for Elle Italia © Michael Sanders for Elle US © Michael Sanders for Elle US © Michael Sanders for Elle International Courtesy Jayne Moore Courtesy Jayne Moore Courtesy Jayne Moore Courtesy Jayne Moore © Pamela Hanson, Courtesy Jayne Moore Courtesy Jayne Moore Michael Sanders, Jayne Moore, Allan Weitz © 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 06/01/2018
From massive ensemble photographs to celebrity portraiture, advertising high-rollers, and about every movie and television poster you’ve ever seen, Art Streiber anchors the spot where Hollywood and the magazine industry meet. His versatility and production acumen are well recognized, and our conversation ambles easily through a wide range of subjects, but what remains evident—in addition to his quick wit—is that Streiber is a problem solver. Big concept, small budget? No problem. Giant set piece with 150 A-list subjects? We’ll figure it out. Just you, me, a camera and a hotel room window? Done. Streiber learned early that being a jack-of-all-trades does not correlate to a master-of-none and that the answer is always, “Yes.” In addition to his obvious photographic chops, this attitude seems to be at the heart of his success. With Streiber, we speak about soaking up the magazine aesthetic through his family’s business in Los Angeles, about early rejections, understanding the story behind a photo concept, and how the image “bears the burden” of telling that story. We also dig deep into his archive to discuss specific images of Steven Spielberg, Paul Rudd, Oscar nights, and others. We touch on picture research, budgeting concepts, lighting choices, working with celebrities, seeing big photos on small screens, older CCD sensors, and “how to eat an elephant.” This is a funny and incredibly informative episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. Join us. Guest: Art Streiber Seth Rogen as Cary Grant, in "North by Northwest," 2008 © Art Streiber Paul Rudd as Gene Wilder, in "Young Frankenstein" © Art Streiber Paramount 100th Anniversary Photo, 2012 © Paramount Pictures, Courtesy Art Streiber Campus Climate Challenge Activists © Art Streiber Steven Spielberg, for Empire Magazine © Art Streiber Brie Larson, for WWD, 2016 © Art Streiber Cate Blanchett, for Entertainment Weekly, 2014 © Art Streiber Behind the scenes at the Oscars © Art Streiber Behind the scenes at the Oscars © Art Streiber Behind the scenes at the Oscars © Art Streiber The cast of "The Princess Bride," for Entertainment Weekly, 2011 © Art Streiber The cast of "Taking Woodstock," for Vanity Fair, 2009 © Art Streiber Blaine Lourd, for Conde Nast Portfolio © Art Streiber Art Streiber on B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris Allan Weitz and Art Streiber © 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 05/04/2018
The B&H Photo SuperStore recently hosted the two-day Depth of Field Portrait, Wedding, and Event Photography Conference, in New York City, and invited many talented, experienced photographers to speak and show work. The conference also included representatives from most of the major camera, lens, and lighting companies. We set up our mics close to the main stage, grabbed vendors as they passed by and spoke with them about their latest and greatest offerings for photographers and videographers. For this week's episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we have edited together a sampling of our conversations with the following manufacturers: Nikon, Pentax/Ricoh, Westcott, Sony, Sigma, Luxli, Canon LG, TogTees, Godox, Leica, and Adobe. It's a long one, but we have blended a bit of elucidation with some humor and, hopefully, created an informative and enjoyable show. Join us, por favor. Guests: Lindsay Silverman, Nikon (01:16) Ken Curry, Ricoh (03:15) David Piazza, Westcott (08:16) Lavonne Hall, Adobe (16:35) Jason Mantell, Sony (22:20) Marc Farb, Sigma (36:24) Casey Krugman, Luxli (45:06) Rudy Winston, Canon (53:04) Gregg Lee, LG (01:00:54) Pano Kalogeropoulos, TogTees (01:10:14) Stephen Gomez, Godox (01:18:32) John Kreidler, Leica (01:25:49) Top Shot © Lindsay Adler 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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