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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 05/11/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we talk about food photography with photographer Chelsea Kyle and food stylist Drew Aichele. There are few photography disciplines that are as complicated as food photography. With the pressure of time, heat, cold, color, and light, a small team must work together to create an image that realistically illustrates the sumptuousness of a dish, but also is a visually striking composition. Collaboration is key and, in this case, it’s fortunate that Kyle and Aichele are also a couple, engaged to be married. We are grateful they were able to join us today. We discuss aspects of the professional process from client and editor, to recipe experts, to the stylists and photographers, and ask who determines what the “look” will be and how that is played out on set. We also discuss camera and lenses, lighting gear, and all accessories that are used in this space, which is part kitchen, part workshop, and part photo studio. Kyle stumps host Allan Weitz, mentioning a piece of grip gear with which even he is not familiar. Because our guests live together, and despite the huge hit the industry has taken, they have been able to work during the shutdown, and we discuss how they have adapted to handling all aspects of a shoot in their own kitchen. We talk about sourcing supplies when many stores and bakeries are closed, about using Zoom to direct a remote shoot, and speculate on the future of this very collaborative profession. Join us for this insightful episode and let us know how these tough times have affected your photography… and your cooking. Guests: Chelsea Kyle and Drew Aichele Above photograph © Chelsea Kyle​ Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Photograph © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Image © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Image © Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Drew Aichele Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris 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 12/22/2017
Photographing food is far from being a new facet of photography. Whether for commercial or artistic purposes—think William Henry Fox Talbot, Edward Weston, Irving Penn—it can be found throughout eras and styles, but it sure seems like we are currently witnessing a boom in food photography. With the foodie culture exploding and the profusion of #foodporn and #foodstagramming, there is no shortage of photographed meals flying around the Internet. Our guests on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast have a wealth of experience in this arena, having shot food photography for a combined total of... many years. Specifically, they join us to talk about their latest book, Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food, but while at it, we discuss food photography in general, from gear and technique to workflow for editorial and commercial assignments, and even for cookbooks. We also discuss the change in food photography styles over the years and ask their opinions on the proliferation of “food selfies.” Aaron Rezny has photographed major campaigns for Nestlé, Duncan Hines, Kellogg's, Russell Stover, Nabisco, and Applebee’s, and his work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, New York Magazine, and other publications. Jordan Schaps is an author, Professor of Photography at the School of Visual Arts, and the former Director of Photography at New York Magazine. He has produced shoots for inStyle, GQ, Lincoln Motors, and many other commercial and editorial clients. Together, they have produced a wonderfully engaging book. Join us for this educational and, at times, hilarious episode. Guests: Jordan Schaps and Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © Aaron Rezny Photograph © John Harris 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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Posted 07/14/2017
Steve Giralt is an accomplished still life, food, and product photographer and director with a list of advertising clients that includes Harman Kardon, Godiva, BBDO, Starbucks, PepsiCo, Petrossian, and Verizon. With a deep background in digital tech and engineering, and a long list of awards for his still photography, he began to include motion capture in his repertoire and is now on the cutting edge of what he has dubbed, “ visual engineering.” This term is an attempt to describe what he does, but more so, to describe a new way of shooting in which photography, video, and modern imaging technologies are integrated—integrated within the creation process, as well as in the final product he offers to clients. To complete assignments with this level of integration and with the highest quality of reproduction, Giralt has had to invent new methods for image capture, as well as the tools needed to do so. On today’s episode, we visit Giralt in his Manhattan studio and talk about his theory and process for shooting stills and video simultaneously, and the lighting systems and mechanisms he has developed for these tasks. Of course, we ask him about his cameras and lenses, but we also discuss 3D printers, Arduino controllers, LED panels, robotic arms, and an array of old and new tech that he combines to create stunning explosions, slo-mo splashes, and cascading hamburgers! Join us on this forward-thinking discussion to see how much thought and work goes into “visual engineering” before and after the shutter button is pressed. Guest: Steve Giralt Petrossian caviar advertisement From Budweiser advertisement Food test shot Splash test Catapult test Vince Camuto advertisement Phantom and Hasselblad dual camera setup Dual-camera setup for splash test Allan Weitz and Steve Giralt. Photograph © John Harris Previous Pause Next Steve Giralt, except where 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 05/12/2017
A simple twist of fate (OK, I clicked a link) introduced me to the wedding photography of Jide Alakija and I immediately knew he should be a guest on the podcast. His work falls into the category of documentary wedding photography, but the intimate connection he seems to make with his subjects, as well as his compositional skills, place his work above the popular trend of fly-on-the-wall work. He captures moments of humor, tenderness, and joy that many photographers would miss, but still fills a frame the way Grandma wants the photos on her mantel to look. We talk about his composition decisions and shooting techniques, but we also wanted him on the show because his work brings him to many different countries and cultures. With this in mind, we take on numerous aspects of traveling to shoot a wedding, whether that is a "destination" wedding or simply being invited to shoot a wedding far from home. Our conversation includes the practical side of travel—what gear to bring, who to hire as an assistant, how to budget—but we also discuss the intricacies of working in a locale where you are not familiar with the cultural traditions and may not even speak the language. Join us for a lively chat with our new friend, Jide Alakija. Guest: Jide Alakija Jide Alakija and Allan Weitz Previous Pause Next All Photographs by Jide Alakija 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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