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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 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 08/27/2020
One of the remarks that stuck with me from this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was Alison Rossiter’s casual mention, “I know how to rock a tray.” Rossiter is noted for her cameraless fine art photo prints, often made on expired photographic paper, some sheets dating back one hundred years or more. Her comment was a simple reference to how she guides developing solution over paper in the darkroom, but understanding the time and dedication she has put into her darkroom techniques, it seemed the ideal understatement for her refined yet simple processes, which include traditional photo printing, photograms, light drawings, and her current exploration, which enables vintage photo paper to speak for itself, processed and fixed, but free from the bullying dominance of projected light. With her ongoing exhibit, Substance of Density 1918-1948, at the Yossi Milo gallery, through September 26, 2020, Rossiter presents a “chronology of assemblages” made of expired photographic papers from her personal collection. Papers chosen from specific years create a minimalist narrative through three specific decades of the 20th Century, suggesting a relationship between these photographic “leftovers” and historical events of those years. The exposed photo papers are grouped and presented in such a way as to form dynamic abstract compositions, made more contemplative by the papers' own histories. The work is a creative comment on a range of themes fundamental to 20th-century film photography: archival preservation, industrial production, physical and chemical degradation, social justice, and even the medium’s creative response to painting and sculpture. With Rossiter, we speak about her darkroom techniques and supplies, about her evolution to cameraless photography, about sourcing expired paper, and the incredible gifts she has received in that regard. We also discuss the thrill of developing paper to find the clues of previous owners and the “fails” of the aged emulsion. Primarily, we revel in imagination and the stories that can be told when the past speaks to us through the still-verdant magic of the darkroom. Join us for this unique episode. Guest: Alison Rossiter Photograph © Alison Rossiter Eastman Kodak Azo, expired March 1918, processed 2010 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1919, processed 2010 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1936, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1921, 1922, 1923, processed 2019 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1938-1945, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1932-1938, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1941, 1945, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Gevaert Gevaluxe Velours, exact expiration date unknown, ca. 1930s, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/22/2020
Whether photographing your own garden or the sculpted acreage of the Rockefellers, following the light and finding infinite new angles to present the flora is time well spent. That is the clear takeaway from this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast with photographer Larry Lederman. However, we also discuss practical tips on bracketing, histograms, tripods, and zoom lenses for medium format cameras. It really is a nice chat with a photographer who has found pleasure in photographing not only his own garden, but some of the most immaculate gardens, both public and private, on the East Coast. Lederman is the author of six books featuring his botanical and horticultural photography, including the upcoming Garden Portraits: Experiences of Natural Beauty, which will be published by The Monacelli Press on October 13, 2020 and is available for pre-order. He has photographed for the New York Botanical Garden and other famed gardens in the New York area and brings a perspective that, forgive me, sees the forest for the trees. He understands blending the universal with the personal and capturing his impression of the natural and designed beauty while also illustrating the unique essence that the gardener, landscape architect, or owner has created. Largely self-taught as a photographer, Lederman discusses his transition from using Leica M system cameras to the Nikon D850 and the Pentax 645Z system. We also talk about his preference for zoom lenses, the relationship he feels between architecture and landscape photography, his technique when approaching a new space, and the need to return to a garden in all four seasons, often starting in winter, in order to fully understand and depict these spaces that are both natural and human-made. Join us for this informative chat and let us know in the Comments section the tricks and techniques you use to photograph the gardens in your life. Also join Larry Lederman as he leads a webinar for B&H on October 28, 2020. Guest: Larry Lederman Photograph © Larry Lederman The Beckoning Path, Armonk, NY. Mirrored fall colors. © Larry Lederman Hawks Nest, Chappaqua, NY. A hedge of forsythia that burst into brilliant yellow bloom in early spring. © Larry Lederman Hawks Nest, Chappaqua, NY. Winter reveals the structure of the Rose Garden. © Larry Lederman Hawks Nest, Chappaqua, NY. Fall leaves over the falling brook. © Larry Lederman Glimcher Garden, Long Island, NY. This work by Zhang Huan playfully commands the landscape. © Larry Lederman Innisfree, Millbrook, NY. Pond in a stand of conifers. © Larry Lederman Japanese Garden at Kykuit, Pocantico Hills, NY. © Larry Lederman Merrin Garden, Cortlandt Manor, NY. © Larry Lederman Brubeck Garden, Wilton, CT. A Japanese-style gate sets the tone of the garden and its surrounding planting. © Larry Lederman Cover art from “Garden Portraits: Experiences of Natural Beauty” by Larry Lederman, published by The Monacelli Press, 2020 Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/10/2020
On today's episode of the  B&H Photography Podcast, we are joined by Craig Semetko, a documentary and street photographer who is much more than those two descriptors. He came to photography from a career in performance and comedy and that makes a lot of sense, noting the observational skill and humor found in his compositions. His first book, UNPOSED, published in 2010, with a forward by Elliott Erwitt, was followed by India Unposed, in 2014. Sly, ironic, absurd, all come to mind when you see the moments he captures and we talk about how it’s hard to photograph “funny,” about attitudes and techniques, and the difference between laughing with someone and at them. We also ask about the work he has done during the pandemic shutdown. After a break, we welcome photographer Ashly Stohl. A Leica Ambassador, Stohl’s best known work concentrates on her family, particularly her three children. She is also the publisher and co-founder of Peanut Press, begun in 2015 with her first book, Charth Vader, which takes a look at her youngest son, clearly a big fan of Star Wars. Her second book, Days and Years, follows up with an intimate portrait of her three children. A quote from Stohl sums it up: “There is a saying that all portraits are really self-portraits. So, what are portraits of your kids? They are portraits of a parent. I take pictures of my kids, and if you’ll look closely you’ll also see me in there—my worries and fears, my attempts to correct the problems of my own childhood, my heart and my struggles.” Join us for this inspiring and enjoyable episode with two wonderful guests. Guests: Ashly Stohl and Craig Semetko Photograph © Craig Semetko From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko From “UNPOSED” © Craig Semetko From “India Unposed” © Craig Semetko From “India Unposed” © Craig Semetko Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/02/2020
We encourage all of our listeners to register for the free digital online edition of the Outdoor Photo/Video Travel Imaging Conference (OPTIC) 2020, hosted by B&H and sponsored by Panasonic, Sony, Nikon, Canon, FUJIFILM, Godox, and many others. As most of you know, the B&H Photography Podcast has regularly attended this annual conference, in New York, and recorded wonderful interviews with the likes of Michael Kenna, Joyce Tenneson, and Ron Magill. This year, the conference will be held online, but still with an incredible lineup of photographers and speakers, including keynote speakers Ami Vitale and Clyde Butcher. On today’s episode of the podcast, we offer a taste of the photographic insight found at OPTIC. First, we welcome wildlife and bird photographer Lisa Langell, who is also at Tamron and FotoPro Ambassador. With her photo gracing the cover of the current issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine, Langell discusses creating wildlife photography for the home and hotel décor market, about her favorite places in Alaska to photograph bear, and about the personal and interactive way she hosts seminars and webinars. She provides food for thought to those looking for new ways to photograph wildlife. After a break, we welcome National Geographic photographer and Sony Artisan of Light Pete McBride. McBride speaks of his amazing 750-mile walk across the Grand Canyon, which became a NatGeo story, and also a book and a feature-length documentary. At OPTIC you will get the full story—from “River to Rim”—along with images, but we also spoke with McBride about his long-term work shooting the world’s river systems; we gained some insight into aerial photography; and learned how his Sony a7RII weathered a year in the Grand Canyon—and with which he created not only a magazine story, but a book and a movie with that one camera. Guests: Lisa Langell and Pete McBride Photograph © Lisa Langell Aerial of the last time the Colorado River kissed the sea—during a pulse flow for restoration work. The connection lasted two days in 2014. The delta has been dry since. © Pete McBride Iceland River Delta © Pete McBride Black obsidian sand, silvery glacial rivers, and moss green volcanoes make up this vast Icelandic landscape. © Pete McBride Devprayag, India. Confluence of the Bagirathi and Alakanda rivers—the physical start of the Gagnes River © Pete McBride “Grand Canyon: From River to Rim” by Pete McBride Aerial view of the Colorado River winding through the Grand Canyon, Arizona © Pete McBride A day of traffic, 362 individual helicopter flights, merged into one frame to show what the collective soundscape and average traffic looks like along the western Grand Canyon border © Pete McBride © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 05/26/2020
Today we welcome a special guest to the B&H Photography Podcast: actor and comedian Jeff Garlin. Jeff Garlin is well known as a stand-up comedian and, of course, as a star of the hit television shows, The Goldbergs and Curb Your Enthusiam. About fifteen years ago, he turned a love for photography, for the work of the masters—Alfred Eisenstadt, Jim Marshall, Mary Ellen Mark, to name a few—into his own photographic practice, and we are all the beneficiaries of his engaged eye. In March, Garlin debuted his series, “A Big Bowl of Wonderful,” at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles, and we talk to him about how this series of portraits of his co-stars and friends in the television community—many taken on set or backstage—developed over a long curve, one founded in respect for the medium and applied with a simple stratagem: see something interesting and frame it in the most creative way possible. With that in mind, we talk about trusting your gut, not overthinking a shot, being comfortable with your subjects, but also about gaining the confidence to take photos, especially of those you know and respect. Garlin also talks about his affinity for Leica, especially the M system, about the difference between actors and comedians, and talking photography with Jeff Bridges. We also ask him about his role as executive producer on the film, Finding Vivian Maier. This really is a photography lover’s conversation, summed up best by one of Garlin’s comments: “I’m taking a picture because it brings me joy.” Guest: Jeff Garlin Photograph © Jeff Garlin John Mulaney © Jeff Garlin John Waters © Jeff Garlin Larry David © Jeff Garlin Sarah Silverman © Jeff Garlin Richard Lewis © Jeff Garlin JB Smoove © Jeff Garlin Richard Kind © Jeff Garlin Brian Cranston and Jonathan Banks © Jeff Garlin Trevor Noah © Jeff Garlin Wendy McClendon-Covey © Jeff Garlin "Jesus at the Comedy Store" © Jeff Garlin Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 05/06/2020
Ray Collins’s portraits of waves are hard to describe because you don’t want to describe them. Like the wave itself, the photographic abstraction refuses words; indescribable and amorphous become unique and powerful in his hands. One look at his work and it’s clear that he is in his element in the surf, transforming what he knows so well into a profound and universal statement. We have been looking forward to speaking with Collins for a while, and are very pleased to present our conversation with him on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. We start our chat asking how he went from being a coal miner in New South Wales, Australia, to a photographer, and then melding that new love with his first love, surfing and the ocean. It’s a good story and it gets better as we learn how he transitioned from surf photography to fine-art photography and book publishing. We ask about working in the ocean, the dangers, “knowing” certain waves, and the ability to maneuver his gear and body to anticipate the photos he wants to capture. We also discuss the gear he uses, from his Nikon D850 to Aquatech housing, to the surprising range of lenses he uses in the water. We also discuss the non-photo equipment he needs to stay afloat and navigate. After a short break, we discuss his post-process decisions and how he looks for texture as much as color when deciding upon which images he prefers. Interestingly, for a photographer whose color work is so gorgeous, Collins is color blind and he talks about how he has turned that into an advantage for him. We also chat about printmaking and book publishing with this incredibly talented and friendly photographer. Join us for an inspiring conversation and check out the work of Ray Collins. Guest: Ray Collins Photograph © Ray Collins Blue Curve © Ray Collins Crystal © Ray Collins Eagle © Ray Collins Holocene © Ray Collins Light Shower © Ray Collins Oil © Ray Collins The Wall © Ray Collins I © Ray Collins II © Ray Collins VII © Ray Collins Courtesy Ray Collins Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 04/28/2020
This week on the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome journalist, curator, and author Ekow Eshun to discuss his incredible new book, Africa State of Mind. With more than 250 photographs by fifty photographers, the book is a gorgeous collection of contemporary art photography from throughout Africa. Established artists such as Pieter Hugo and Zanele Muholi are profiled, along with many lesser-known photographers working in (and between) a range of genres. Supported by Eshun’s insightful commentary, the book delves into the unique voices depicting their Africa experience today. Our conversation begins with the master portrait photographers of the mid 20th century, such as Malick Sidibé, but quickly jumps to the contemporary as we ask about his research for the book, the book’s four intriguing sections, and the common threads that tie together the varied photographers’ work. "I was really interested in photographers who aren't interested in reality per se… who don't claim that their photos are what is!" Like our conversation, this book offers an introduction to the artists, from Morocco to South Africa, who are utilizing their subjective experiences and particular talents to reimagine what it means to be African. Join us for this informative and enjoyable discussion. Guest: Ekow Eshun Ditaola VII, 2014 © Mohau Modisakeng Afrikan Boy Sittin’, 2013 © Hassan Hajjaj People washing their clothes in the swimming pool of The Grande, a once luxurious hotel in Beira, Mozambique, 2013 © Guillaume Bonn Swimming Pool III, Bamako, 2009 © François-Xavier Gbré Nana and Razak, 2016 © Eric Gyamfi Bhekezakhe, Parktown, 2016 © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York This is how you start a party! 2017 © Musa N. Nxumalo Kingsley Ossai, Nsukka, Enugu state, Nigeria, 2017 © Ruth Ossai Night of the Long Knives I, 2013 © Athi-Patra Ruga. Courtesy WHATIFTHEWORLD Untitled, 2012 © Nobukho Nqaba Eleventh, 2018 © Lina Iris Viktor, 2018. Courtesy the Artist and Marianne Ibrahim Gallery, Chicago Mevetwapi Joya, Kunene Region, Namibia, 2015 © Kyle Weeks Ekow Eshun © Antonio Olmos Previous Pause Next
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Posted 04/22/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome National Geographic photographer Steve Winter back to the program. Winter joined us, in 2016, to discuss his wildlife photography, specifically his work photographing cougars in the hills of Los Angeles, California, and today we will be discussing tigers. Over the past several years, Winter has been working on stories about tigers, initially in Sumatra, Thailand, and India, but most recently in the United States, where there are more tigers in captivity than exist in their increasingly shrinking natural habitats in Asia. The majority of these tigers are pets, are in sanctuaries, or are used as part of small private zoos and tourist attractions. His most recent story for NatGeo, which was honored with a 2020 World Press Photo award, explores this phenomenon—the good, the bad, and very ugly of it. We speak with Winter about the production and research for this series, about photographing the animals, as well as the owners, handlers, and tourists, and the dangers of each. We discuss how he utilized his news and documentary skills, in addition to his wildlife photography experience, and about the gear decisions he made to help bring this story to life. We also dig into the practice of breeding, crossbreeding, and maintaining predator cats for profit and the issues of illegal trafficking, tiger farms, and of legitimate sanctuaries. Finally, we focus on the positive changes that have come from Winter’s many stories on the world’s big cats. Guest: Steve Winter Photograph © Steve Winter Tigers cool off in a pool at The Wild Animal Sanctuary, in Keenesburg, Colorado, USA. The sanctuary rescues animals and cares for them in large open habitats, giving them veterinary attention and proper nutrition. Visitors view them from afar, with no interaction. July, 2019. © Steve Winter for National Geographic Gregg Woody, owner of Woody’s Menagerie, and his wife display an eight-week-old cub named Sophie at the Ogle County Fair in Illinois, USA. August, 2018. © Steve Winter for National Geographic Staff at Myrtle Beach Safari entertainment facility in South Carolina, USA, control tigers during a photo session. April, 2019. © Steve Winter for National Geographic Gir, a lion-tiger hybrid, now at the Tiger Haven Sanctuary in Kingston, Tennessee, USA, was rescued from an exotic animal park after he grew too large for public handling and has serious health issues caused by inbreeding and malnutrition. June, 2019. © Steve Winter for National Geographic Lori Ensign-Scroggins feeds chicken tidbits to Langley, a 125-kilogram tiliger (two-thirds tiger, one-third lion) that she adopted when he grew too big for petting, in her kitchen in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA. March, 2019. © Steve Winter for National Geographic Owner Pat Craig and his dog Little Bit make the rounds of The Wild Animal Refuge, in Colorado, USA. The accredited carnivore sanctuary includes a 4,000 hectare refuge for rescued animals that is not accessible to the public. July, 2019. © Steve Winter for National Geographic © Steve Winter for National Geographic, 2018 USFW officer James Markley displays one of five tiger skulls he dug up at GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. © Steve Winter for National Geographic, 2019 © Steve Winter for National Geographic, 2019 A toy stuffed-animal tiger placed in an abandoned car at Disaster City in College Station Texas, which is a part of Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and used for training first responders. © Steve Winter for National Geographic, 2019 Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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