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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 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 07/21/2017
When you get a chance to speak with an expert, you take advantage. At this year’s OPTIC 2017 Conference, when Lance Keimig and Chris Nicholson passed by our mobile studio, we did just that. Keimig is an author, instructor, and above all, a photographer who specializes in night photography. Well before digital technology made photographing the Milky Way an easy endeavor, Keimig was experimenting with film stock and developing processes to create long-exposure images. He is currently an instructor at National Parks at Night and along with Nicholson, offers workshops in night photography at many US National Parks. On today’s episode, we speak with Keimig and Nicholson about the differences between creating night photography with film and with digital cameras. There are obviously many modes and functions on a digital camera that make night photography simpler, but at the heart of the enterprise, is the process the same? We ask this question and discuss techniques used with film and the advantages that accompany digital cameras. We also ask, “What is night photography?” and “What are the charms that keep these two photographers interested in this specific discipline?” Listen as Keimig provides insight into the history of night photography and Nicholson discusses his shooting methods and ideas on composition that he applies while working in national parks. Guests: Lance Keimig and Chris Nicholson Click here if you missed our episode,  Night Photography—Exploring the Creative Possibilities. Click here for Jill Waterman’s article on Lance Keimig’s switch from Canon to Nikon equipment. Film photograph, Lance Keimig Film photograph, Lance Keimig Film photograph, Lance Keimig Film photograph, Lance Keimig Film photograph, Lance Keimig Digital photograph, Lance Keimig Digital photograph, Lance Keimig Blue Ridge Parkway, Chris Nicholson Cape Cod National Seashore, Chris Nicholson Death Valley National Park, Chris Nicholson Joshua Tree National Park, Chris Nicholson Mount Rainier National Park, Chris Nicholson Olympic National Park, Chris Nicholson 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 06/09/2017
Underwater photography does not have to include sharks, whales, or seals and, for that matter, does not even have to utilize scuba equipment or be near the ocean. Our second episode on underwater photography profiles two photographers who have found their niche shooting wedding, portrait, fashion, and dance themes beneath the surface. Jenna Martin walked away from a career in psychiatry, built her own underwater housing and began using friends and models local to her home in Billings, Montana, to shoot portrait and fine art images. Surprisingly, Martin doesn’t use scuba gear or a wetsuit when shooting in pools, lakes, and oceans—she often utilizes props and, most notably, the texture and flow of fabric to create her sensuous and imaginative photos. Jenna Martin Adolfo Maciocco started as a dive instructor and eventually turned to underwater photography while working in the Red Sea and Thailand. Upon his return to his native Sardinia, Italy, he began to combine his day job as a wedding photographer with his passion for the water, and specializes in underwater wedding photography. He has also collaborated with ballet dancers and free divers in a series of images shot undersea, then flipped upside down to create a wonderful, disorienting effect. from the series, Liquid Dreams Adolfo Maciocco We speak with these two photographers about their technique and gear, and focus on their DIY approach, as well as on issues regarding safety, working with non-professional divers, and the differences between shooting in a pool and in open water. Be sure to chcek out our previous podcast on underwater photography, Black and White and Blue—Fine Art Underwater Photography. Guests: Jenna Martin and Adolfo Maciocco Jenna Martin Adolfo Maciocco 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 05/26/2017
Today we welcome two photographers from two distant parts of the globe, but both share a sense of a serene underwater world that they envision mostly in black-and-white. Perhaps, surprisingly, Hengki Koentjoro and Christian Vizl claim Ansel Adams as a prime influence on their work, and we talk with them about not only about their artistic influences but about their choice of gear, shooting styles, post-process techniques and safety concerns. We start our episode with Hengki Koentjoro, who is based in Indonesia, and whose work on land and sea is simply stunning. His black-and-white compositions of sea creatures and the interplay between sun and water are more still life than wildlife, as they explore the textures, lines, and shapes found in the waters of his native archipelago. Koentjoro speaks with us about the simple set of tools with which he captures his images and his uncomplicated approach to exploring the waters he knows so well. Hengki Koentjoro Christian Vizl brings a similar perspective to his relationship with the sea, although the creatures he normally photographs tend to be much bigger and faster-moving, and the waters he explores extend across the planet. A life-long diver, Vizl has recently received well-deserved attention for his black-and-white images of rays, sharks, and whales, including a 2017 Sony World Photography Award. His approach places experience before image and his respect for the sea and its animals is evident in all he does and says. Christian Vizl Stay tuned to the end of this show, when we announce a promo code for a 10% discount on all Ikelite camera housings, and, specifically for this episode, we encourage you to visit our podcast landing page to see examples of the images created by these two supremely talented photographers. Guests: Hengki Koentjoro and Christian Vizl Photograph by Hengki Koentjoro Photograph by Hengki Koentjoro Photograph by Christian Vizl Photograph by Christian Vizl Photograph by Christian Vizl 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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