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Posted 04/29/2021
It’s Macro Photo Week at the Explora blog and you’ll find many helpful articles and videos about the tools, techniques, and practitioners of macro photography. On the podcast, however, we go deeper than macro, like 1000x deeper—our conversation is with geologist, gemologist, and microscopist Nathan Renfro, of the Gemological Institute of America. Renfro is a renowned photomicrographer, and his images of the interiors of gems, with their unique inclusions and imperfect perfections, are stunning color abstractions of the natural world. With Renfro we speak about the art, craft, and science of photomicrography—using microscopes to make photos—and how he documents the inner life of a stone. Renfro got his start in gemology thanks to the collection of rocks and gems his grandfather, a miner from North Carolina, left to him. From this collection a fascination grew, ultimately taking him to GIA as a protégé of John Koivula, noted gemologist and author of the Photo Atlas of Gems series. Renfro himself has become one of the leading image makers in his field, and we discuss the tools and techniques he uses to create his work, including fiber optic lighting, focus stacking, and Differential Interference Contrast. We also discuss the surprisingly simple cameras that he uses, as well as the adapters, filters, and apps that enable his wonderful creations. We ask about the advantages that mirrorless photography holds for his craft, about the commercial and scientific applications of his work, and how traditional photography with a standard zoom lens has improved his understanding of composition and color, thus benefiting his photomicrography. Join us for this exploration deep into microverses, which are as complex and unique as any place on Earth or beyond. Guest: Nathan Renfro Photograph © Nathan Renfro Today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was produced using Audio-Technica  microphones. Amethyst © Nathan Renfro Arkansas Quartz © Nathan Renfro Blue Diamond © Nathan Renfro Chrysoprase © Nathan Renfro New South Wales Sapphire © Nathan Renfro Greenland Diamond Trigons © Nathan Renfro Topaz © Nathan Renfro New South Wales Iris Agate © Nathan Renfro ZEISS microscope with Canon 6D DSLR © Nathan Renfro 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 09/02/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome editor, educator, and photographer Joan Liftin, and Michelle Dunn Marsh, founder and publisher of Minor Matters Books. In the first half of the show, we speak with Liftin about her latest book, Water for Tears, and then we focus on Minor Matters and the unique business model this publishing house utilizes. We also discuss the person who brought them together, the late photographer Charles Harbutt. Liftin was married to Harbutt and was his collaborator, and Marsh has recently published a book of Harbutt’s work and words, titled The Unconcerned Photographer. With Liftin we discuss the genesis of Water for Tears, which is a sort of photo memoir—images from travel and family and fleeting impressions that tie together a lifetime. We discuss editing, sequencing, collaboration, and the subtle difference between narrative and story. We also talk about editing Harbutt’s work and, along with Marsh, about the creation of The Unconcerned Photographer. After a break, Marsh elaborates on the publishing model they employ at Minor Matters—a hybrid of crowdfunding, support membership, and a direct, organic connection between artist, publisher, and consumer. Have a look at their catalog, which presents work from established photographers and new voices in the medium. Join us for this compelling discussion. Guests: Joan Liftin and Michelle Dunn Marsh Photograph © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin Cover of "The Unconcerned Photographer," published by Minor Matters Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/09/2019
On this week's episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome two artists whose work blurs the line between street photography, documentary, installation and digital art, while cultivating a contemporary interpretation of the art and craft of collage. Both artists utilize photography-based processes and take urban architecture and street scenes as their subject, but from there, the work goes in very different directions. Jennifer Williams creates large, often site-specific collages that inspect but distort the architectural scenes she documents. As she has stated, “The rectilinear shape that is the traditional photograph never fulfilled my desire to show everything in space," and that will be immediately clear upon seeing her work. Layering images of buildings upon one another, she creates angular and abstract collages while still providing a path for the viewer to connect the image she creates with the neighborhood or street that she photographed. Williams speaks about her process, including the original imaging, her manipulation in post-process, and her large-scale installations, often made on Photo Tex media. Tommy Mintz wrote a software program that creates "automated digital collages" and he has experimented over the years how he (and the program) composes the street scenes he photographs. The tools he uses for image capture and computation have evolved and become more powerful, but unlike the painstaking control Williams exercises over her collages, the key element in Mintz's process is the random arrangement and layering of images that the software creates. This is not to say that his images are out of control—after all, he wrote the program. He selects scenes to photograph and he does adjust the final product in Photoshop, but the software-generated placement of images creates layers, unexpected shadows, multiple exposures and even seeming glitches that add up to an intriguing and whimsical take on street photography. Join us as we learn about the conceptualizations and processes of these two visual artists and hear how they integrate Nodal Ninja, Epson 24" printers, and the Sigma dp2 Quattro Digital Camera into their workflow. Guests: Jennifer Williams and Tommy Mintz City of Tommorow- Manhatten: Billionaire's Row (57th Street) © Jennifer Williams Blacksburg Unfurled (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia) © Jennifer Williams Surveying Liberty (Newbugrh, NY) © Jennifer Williams The High Line Effect: Approaching Hudson Yards © Jennifer Williams Ladders (Installed at Robert Mann Gallery) © Jennifer Williams © Tommy Mintz © Tommy Mintz © Tommy Mintz © Tommy Mintz © Tommy Mintz Jennifer Williams, Tommy Mintz, 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 02/23/2018
We are delighted, at the B&H Photography Podcast, to present our chat with acclaimed portrait photographer Chris Buck. Buck is an in-demand celebrity and advertising photographer, but he also maintains ongoing personal projects, such as his current series, “Gentleman’s Club.” We speak with him on a range of topics, from concept development, shooting technique, and gear, to editing decisions and self-publishing. With a flexible yet unmistakable style that blends insight, a touch of dry, almost absurdist humor, and a pinch of the darkness within, Buck has photographed a host of luminaries from the worlds of film, music, and politics, including four of our last five Presidents. His most recent book, Uneasy, is a 30-year compendium of incredible portraits; we discuss the making of this book and, of course, some of his most recognized images. We also speak with Buck about process: his “three tiers of ideas,” thoughts on humor, his adjustment to digital photography, and DSLR versus medium format. In this wide-ranging conversation, Buck opines on his relationship with subjects, the nature of portraiture, his influences from pop culture and photography, and how “being relaxed and having fun are the enemies of a good Chris Buck photo.” Guest: Chris Buck Barack Obama, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Elvis Costello, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck George McGovern, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Leonard Cohen, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Steve Martin, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Steve Martin, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck William F. Buckley, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Jonathan Millet, from the "Gentleman’s Club" series © Chris Buck Vincent Rodriguez, from the "Gentleman’s Club" series © Chris Buck Chris Buck on the B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris Allan Weitz and Chris Buck © 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
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Posted 05/19/2017
It has been “Macro Week” at B&H Explora, and this week’s episode will put a nice bow on all the articles and photos we have published on the subject, with an overview of what type of macro photography lenses and systems are available. We begin this podcast talking with photographer Marc Silber about his new book Advancing Your Photography: A Handbook for Creating Photos You’ll Love, in which he provides a complete guide to get you from concept to completion. He stresses visualizing your image, gathering the correct gear to accomplish that, and walks the reader through all the steps of production, post-production, and exhibition. The tools he provides are apt for beginners. Enthusiasts—and even pros—will pick up a few tricks. After a short break, we continue the macro photography theme with a listing of the latest macro lenses available at B&H, and a practical conversation on what defines macro, techniques for improving your macro photography, and alternative methods for creating close-up and macro images. Guest: Marc Silber Image courtesy Marc Silber Image courtesy Marc Silber Eiffel Tower by Marc Silber Marc Silber and Allan Weitz, photograph by John Harris Previous Pause Next Photos by Allan Weitz unless otherise noted 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 03/31/2017
This is one of our most informative and, dare I say, best episodes yet. We talk about emulsion-based and inkjet photographic paper, with an emphasis on inkjet papers. We are fortunate to be joined by two talented and articulate guests, photographer Robert Rodriguez Jr. and August Pross, Print Manager and co-owner of LTI-Lightside photographic lab, in New York City. In addition to his outstanding landscape photography, Rodriguez is an author with three books on photography to his credit. He leads a very popular workshop series and is an ambassador for Canson-Infinity paper products. LTI-Lightside is well-known for its professional photo services and as the custom printer for many acclaimed fine-art photographers. In this episode, we talk about the various types of paper available for printing at home and at a lab, and discuss the differences between paper from Fujifilm, Epson, Kodak, Hahnemuhle, Ilford, and others. Topics we touch upon are optical brighteners, outgassing, printing profiles, and Wilhelm Imaging Research, but the focus of our conversation often returns to the tactile nature of the print and the need to understand a photographic print as an entirely different concept than an image on a screen. In addition to the wonderful dialogue, stay tuned throughout the episode for a B&H Photography Podcast exclusive promo code for a discount on all Canson paper products. Also, be sure to visit our podcast homepage for all of our episodes and, while you are there, leave us a voice message on the SpeakPipe widget. Click on this link to subscribe to our show on iTunes. Guests: Robert Rodriguez Jr. and August Pross Robert Rodriguez, Allan Weitz, August Pross Previous Pause Next Robert Rodriguez Jr 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 02/03/2017
As we asked in an earlier episode, “When was the last time you touched a photograph?” It’s an interesting question and some of us are still enjoying the tactile nature of a print, or our time in the darkroom, but most photographers now only experience their photos through a monitor. On today’s episode, we try to change all that with a visit from printer and printing experts Jay Tanen and Sam Celebi. We offer an overview of the options available when it comes to printing your photographs digitally. Yes, you can still go to some drugstores and get a set of images in a nice envelope, but even that is less common now, and the quality has always been questionable. Basically, if you want to make common digital prints, your choices are to go (or send your files) to a “lab” and get digital C-prints, inkjet prints, or perhaps “dye-sub” prints, and we’ll compare these types. However, the options for quality printing at home have expanded dramatically as the price of printers has dropped. We talk about the options available up and down the price range for home printing, as well as sort out some of the specifics that differentiate one printer from the next. We take a look at prices for residual items and maintenance and suss what’s best for various photographic needs, from family pics on the mantle to an exhibit of your finest photographs. Join us for this informative episode and keep an eye out for our upcoming show about photographic paper. Guests: Jay Tanen and Sam Celebi Jay Tanen, Allan Weitz, Sam Celebi 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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