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Posted 09/30/2020
It is important to be reminded of the power of photography to educate and explore, and to be a vehicle of self-expression, even self-realization. Equally crucial—through process and through memory—photography’s ability to bring people together, to share and to collaborate, is vital. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome a photographer who has built her life’s work around this idea of education through creative collaboration. For more than forty years, Wendy Ewald has led documentary “investigations” and collaborative projects that encourage the participants to use cameras to examine their own lives, families, and communities, and to make images of their fantasies and dreams. During these projects, she also photographs—normally with a 4 x 5 camera—and then asks her students and subjects to manipulate her images and negatives, further engaging with the process and adding to the authorship of the final work. With support of the most prestigious fellowships, from universities, NGOs, even from camera and film manufacturers, Ewald has directed photography programs in South America, India, Africa, Canada and, most notably, in Appalachia. In the 1970s, Ewald worked with schools and the Appalshop media center to teach photography to children living in rural Kentucky and, in 1985, published the groundbreaking book Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and Stories by Children of the Appalachians. This book has been an inspiration to countless educators and community photographers and, this year, Mack Books has published an expanded edition, which includes updates on the lives of several of the original students. Ewald also has co-directed a documentary film on the project and the reunion with her former students, which recently aired on the PBS program POV. Join us as we speak with Ewald about teaching in Kentucky and elsewhere, about the power of collaboration and creative expression, and about reuniting with her former students and the making of her powerful documentary. Guest: Wendy Ewald Photograph © Wendy Ewald Russel Akemon: “I am lying on the back on my old horse,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK Greg Cornett: Gary Crase and his mom and dad in front of their house on Campbells Branch,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK Denise Dixon: “Self-portrait reaching for the Red Star sky,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK Freddy Childers: “Self-portrait with the picture of my biggest brother, Everett, who killed himself when he came back from Vietnam,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK Mary Jo Cornett: “Mamaw and my sister with the picture of my cousin that died,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK. 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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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 11/06/2019
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome photojournalist and sports photographer Nick Didlick to our show. Didlick has been a freelance shooter, a staff photographer, an agency photographer for Reuters and UPI and, while covering the world news, was nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes. He also is an accomplished videographer, editor, and producer, and has served as Photo Chief for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and as Director of Photography at the Vancouver Sun, where he oversaw the staff change from film to digital photography. As a photographer, Didlick has always been ahead of the technological curve, willing to try new cameras and transmission systems and push existing technology to its limits. He joins us to discuss his technical evolution as a sports photographer and the features that he considers important to balance technological advances with age-old experience of craft. We ask Didlick to look back on his career and discuss important steps in the evolution of his kit, including autofocus features, compact lenses, telephoto extenders, remote control, wireless transmission and, of course, the development of digital photography. We also look ahead to improvements in metadata and artificial intelligence and his overarching philosophy that all advances should be embraced if they are needed to improve your workflow. Throughout the episode, Didlick pokes fun at my “old” DSLR technology in favor of his Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless camera but, in doing so, he underscores his point, that as photographers, the hardest part of advancing your skill set is “un-learning” what you considered fundamental and embrace the changes that can improve your photography. Join us for this rollicking and enjoyable episode. Guest: Nick Didlick Above Photograph © Nick Didlick Wayne Gretzky © Nick Didlick Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev © Nick Didlick Remnants of Pan Am Flight 103, Lockerbie, Scotland © Nick Didlick Tiger Woods © Nick Didlick 2019 NCAA Final Four © Nick Didlick Lindsey Vonn © Nick Didlick Rodeo © Nick Didlick Usain Bolt stumbles and falls during race © Nick Didlick IAAF World Athletics Championship, 2019 © Nick Didlick Venus Williams © Nick Didlick Sloane Stephens with U.S. Open trophy, 2018 ©Nick Didlick Aibo dogs from Sony © Nick Didlick Nick Didlick and Allan Weitz © John Harris Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 04/17/2019
The first amateur photographic entity in the United States was the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club, New York City, which existed from 1861–1863. The oldest continuously extant camera club in the United States founded, at least in part, by amateurs is the Photographic Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1862. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we talk about camera clubs and, specifically, the Coney Island School of Photography and Art, which, despite its pedagogic nomenclature, is an amateur camera club that takes the famed oceanfront community and amusement park in Brooklyn, New York, as its subject. For anyone who is familiar with Coney Island, it should be clear that photographing at this beach is less about sunsets and flamingoes and more about “polar bears,” freak shows, and street photography along the beach. We welcome three members of this camera club, Orlando Mendez, A.J. Bernstein, and Norman Blake, to discuss their personal photographic journeys, the benefits of having cohorts with whom to work and compare notes and, of course, the changing face of Coney Island itself. We also take time to talk about gear, technique, the different ways in which photographers will see the same subject, and the simple joy that photography can bring to our lives. Join us for this entertaining episode. Guests: A.J. Bernstein, Norman Blake, and Orlando Mendez © A.J. Bernstein © A.J. Bernstein © A.J. Bernstein © A.J. Bernstein © A.J. Bernstein © Orlando Mendez © Orlando Mendez © Orlando Mendez © Orlando Mendez © Orlando Mendez © Norman Blake © Norman Blake © Norman Blake © Norman Blake © Norman Blake © Norman Blake Filming of the 1979 movie, “The Warriors” © Norman Blake A.J. Bernstein, Allan Weitz, Orlando Mendez, and Norman Blake © John Harris Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 02/13/2019
The wedding-photography business is very competitive, so to have a distinct client base and a way to stand out from the crowd is crucial—almost necessary. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we discuss niche wedding photography with three photographers who have forged a career path by photographing the weddings of a specific niche demographic. To be clear, each of these photographers shoot weddings for all ilks, but they have been able to distinguish themselves by embracing a specific market. We discuss how each of them discovered their photographic specialty, the importance of understanding traditions while balancing demands of new generations, specific tips for photographing within their areas of expertise, and how incorporating and embracing their own life stories helped find their career path. In the first half of the show, we are joined by Charmi Peña and Petronella Lugemwa, with whom we spoke at the 2019 Depth of Field Wedding and Portrait Conference. Peña is a Nikon Ambassador and a wedding and portrait photographer who specializes in photographing Indian weddings. Lugemwa runs a New York-based, international wedding photography studio whose embrace of “multi-cultural weddings” echoes her personal celebration of her cultural identity. After a break, we speak with portrait and wedding photographer Steven Rosen, who is featured in our “What is Photography?” series. His impeccable portraiture informs his wedding work, and our conversation concentrates on Rosen’s work photographing same-sex weddings. Join us for this compelling episode, which blends personal motivations with practical tips. Guests: Charmi Peña, Petronella Lugemwa, Steven Rosen © Charmi Peña © Charmi Peña © Charmi Peña © Charmi Peña © Charmi Peña © Petronella Photography © Petronella Photography © Petronella Photography © Petronella Photography © Petronella Photography © Steven Rosen © Steven Rosen © Steven Rosen © Steven Rosen © Steven Rosen Charmi Peña © John Harris Petronella Lugemwa and Allan Weitz © John Harris Steven Rosen, outtake from “What is Photography?” © Cory Rice Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 08/24/2018
Edvard Munch noted that “colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas” and, on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we dip our brushes into the palette of art and color theory and, then, we explore practical (and beautiful) applications of color through the eyes of a documentarian and a fashion photographer. We start our conversation with photographer/artist/explorer Adam Marelli, who muses on color theory from a painter’s and a photographer’s point of view and endures our novice questions on the subject. We discuss a few basic terms, learn about Michel Chevreul, and then get into questions about his use of color, about film color compared to digital, printing, and Marelli’s understanding that colors are never static, and should not be considered such when creating images—look for the color between colors, he suggests. In the second half of the show, we welcome Natasha Wilson, a Los Angeles-based fashion and lifestyle photographer who imbues her work with the colors that dreams are made of. Whether bold and bright or with a muted palette, when you see her work, there will be no doubt why we thought of Wilson for this conversation. We ask her about her process, both behind a lens and in front of a monitor, and we discuss how she finds locations, picks her teams, and finds the balance between foreground and background colors—and between her artistic imagination and the client’s needs. Her laid-back approach belies the intensity of her vision. Guests: Adam Marelli and Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Natasha Wilson © Adam Marelli © Adam Marelli © Adam Marelli © Adam Marelli © Adam Marelli © Adam Marelli Adam Marelli © John Harris Adam Marelli and 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 01/26/2018
We welcome back Chris Williams, of Lens Therapy Live, and photographer David Speiser, of lilibirds.com, to the B&H Photography Podcast for a discussion on the applications, techniques, and specific features of super-telephoto lenses. Super-telephoto lenses are most often used by sports and wildlife photographers—however, photojournalists, law-enforcement, and even landscape photographers are known to use them, as well. They offer the build quality to withstand tough conditions and the optical quality to capture distant subjects clearly. For this conversation, we define “super telephoto” as a lens with a six-degree angle of view, which, on a full-frame sensor, corresponds to a 400mm lens. On APS-C format DSLRs you can get an even longer reach with your super telephotos and, while Fujifilm, Olympus, and Panasonic offer a few super teles for their mirrorless cameras, the ultra-long lenses are still the domain of the professional DSLR. There are high-quality super-telephoto zooms from Sigma and Tamron, but our conversation concentrates on the fast-aperture, prime lenses made by Nikon and Canon. We discuss their unique features, image stabilization systems, filters, methods of support, and the techniques used to handle them effectively. Join us for this very informative episode and, while you are at it, subscribe to our show and check out the B&H Photography Podcast: Canon 5D Mark IV Sweepstakes for your chance to win a Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR or a Canon 80D DSLR! Guests: David Speiser and Chris Williams Hermit Thrush Nelson’s Sparrow Northern Hawk Owl Peregrine Falcon Scissor Tailed Flycatcher Gyrfalcon David Speiser, Allan Weitz, and Chris Williams Previous Pause Next David Speiser DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/28/2017
If inspiration is what you are looking for, the story of how Eric Kruszewski became a photographer should supply you with plenty of it. Of course, it all starts with a personal desire but, planning, networking, hard work, and even a simple Google search like the eponymic one above, all go into the recipe for success. Photographs © Eric Kruszewski Taking up photography as a hobby in your thirties seems a commonplace occurrence, but deciding to change careers and become a working photographer is another story altogether. Join us as we speak with travel, editorial, and documentary photographer Eric Kruszewski about his journey from newbie to National Geographic. We talk about the value of workshops, mentors, cold calls, and persistence, and trace Eric’s career from its inauspicious beginnings through long-term personal projects, one-off jobs, artistic setbacks, learning new skills and, ultimately, a satisfying career—paying the bills by doing what he loves. Guest: Eric Kruszewski At India’s Jaisalmer Fort, a street performer walks a tightrope in a unique way—on her knees (with a metal plate) while pushing herself along only with her toes and balancing a vase of water on her head. Cowboys from across America gather at the Pendleton Roundup to prepare for its annual rodeo. From the series, “American Rodeo.” It is quite common that families travel together with the Davis Carnival. In camp, one woman observes her neighbors—a mother and daughter—through the window. From the series, “Behind the Ferris Wheel.” Richmond Shepard, a mime based in New York City, poses for a portrait in his studio. During the annual Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland, a motorcycle stunt driver takes off amongst fireworks. The performance is held for about three weeks, with the Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop. A woman walks through a mirror maze, part of the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions exhibits in Edinburgh's Old Town. Chris Turner poses for a portrait in his childhood neighborhood of Northeast Washington, D.C. Chris was one of several people accused of the murder of Catherine Fuller in 1984. He served 26 years in prison and maintains his innocence. At the Elephant Conservation Center in Laos, a mahout (elephant trainer) jumps between two elephants. He stuck the landing. Andreas Georgiou, a Greek economist, poses for a portrait in his United States home A young girl dons a costume inside the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia. She dresses in costume to pose for photos with visitors. 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 09/08/2017
The title “The Falling Man” has been acknowledged as the name of the photograph of a man falling from the north tower of the World Trade Center during the attacks of September 11, 2001. The image depicts a lone figure falling headfirst against the backdrop of the vertical lines of the twin towers. As an image, it is a striking composition and the casual position of the man’s body bisecting the two towers, has even been described as graceful. These visual elements mask the horror of its immediate context and perhaps add to the upsetting response that often accompanies this image. Unlike other photographs from that day, this image does not explicitly depict carnage and destruction, but it is this image that has been often singled-out as too disturbing to view, too galling to publish. In fact, the image was published by many newspapers on the day following the attacks and was received with such recoil that editors were called to apologize for its inclusion and almost immediately, it fell under a shroud of obscurity, which in the sixteen years since 9/11, has been slowly lifted. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome veteran Associated Press photojournalist Richard Drew who took this now iconic photograph. We talk with Drew about his experiences on September 11, 2001, about media self-censorship and about how this photo, which is simultaneously peaceful and deeply painful, had been received, rejected and perhaps now, accepted as part of the whole story and a symbol of all that was lost that day. Guest: Richard Drew Editor’s Note: We have decided to not use “The Falling Man” photograph in our blog post because of its painful depiction, but we feel the conversation we hold has educational, emotional and historical value, especially as we approach the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11. We produced it and present it with the utmost of respect for those whose lives has been affected by the attacks of September 11, 2001, particularly the survivors, the victims and their families, the first-responders and the journalists, who also risked their lives that horrible morning. Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, Los Angeles, 1968. Photograph: Richard Drew Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, Los Angeles, 1968. Photograph: Richard Drew Muhammad Ali watches as defending world champion George Foreman goes down to the canvas in the eighth round of their WBA/WBC championship match in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Frank Sinatra escorts Jackie Onassis to the '21' Club on September 17, 1975 after she attended his concert at the Uris theater (AP Photo/Richard Drew) President Richard Nixon attends a baseball game at Yankee Stadium after his term in office (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Andy Warhol (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Texas billionaire Ross Perot laughs in response to reporters asking when he plans to formally enter the Presidential race. New York City, May 5, 1992 (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Britain’s Prince Charles, during a charity polo match in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park. February 17, 1993 (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Cuban President Fidel Castro at a special commemorative meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, October 22, 1995. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Specialist Anthony Rinaldi is reflected in a screen at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Richard Drew at the B&H Photography Podcast. Photograph: John Harris Allan Weitz and Richard Drew. Photograph: John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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