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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 04/22/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we focus on the work of photographer Todd Webb and, specifically, the series of images he created in Africa in 1958, while on assignment for the United Nations. We are joined by Betsy Evans Hunt, the Executive Director of the Todd Webb Archive, and by Aimée Bessire and Erin Hyde Nolan, coauthors of the new book, Todd Webb in Africa—Outside the Frame. With our guests, we discuss the photographic career of Todd Webb, including his work in New York and Paris in the 1940s and 1950s, and the founding and mission of the Todd Webb Archive. Our primary topic, however, is the rediscovery (in a steamer trunk) and eventual archiving and publishing of Webb’s photographs taken in several African nations over the course of a multi-month assignment organized by the United Nations. The images are notable not only for their fateful recovery but for their large and medium format color composition and intelligent eye; they tell a vibrant story of Africa at a moment between colonization and independence. With authors Bessire and Nolan, we discuss the making of their book, which is both a photography book of unique vision and a multifaceted study of the images themselves, with essays and interviews providing historical context and cultural and artistic analysis. Join us for this conversation on the work of an overlooked 20th-century master photographer and on a sweeping series of color photos that sat unseen for almost 60 years. Guests: Betsy Evans Hunt, Aimée Bessire, and Erin Hyde Nolan Photograph © Todd Webb Cover, “Todd Webb in Africa – Outside the Frame” © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive © Todd Webb, 1958/Todd Webb Archive 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 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 01/28/2021
Photography has long been used as a tool to explore and analyze history, but in the hands of an artist, that same tool is not asked to be exacting or accurate to the historical record. If anything, artists challenge this idea of photography as fact. And for this reason, it is such a pleasure to welcome artist and photographer Barbara Mensch to the B&H Photography Podcast. Mensch has created a book of history by using photographs she took as an artist. Having lived in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge for many years, she photographed the bridge in varied light and perspective, but it was not until she ventured inside the bridge's anchorage that she become interested in using her photographic story as the basis for a researched and nuanced study of the three principle creators of the Brooklyn Bridge. The book, In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators, is the successful result of her work, and we talk with Mensch about reevaluating older work, the endurance needed to complete a long project, the ability of photography to tell stories, and about square format and Hasselblad. In the second half of the program, we take up Mensch’s current book project, which also re-addresses earlier work, in this case from her wonderful series on the workers of the South Street Seaport or, as it was then called, the “waterfront.” Here we discuss the intrapersonal skills needed to photograph in authentic, yet potentially dangerous situations, the creative and youthful zeal that fuels such projects, and even about Bergger photography paper. Join us for this engaging conversation. Guest: Barbara Mensch Photographs © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch From “In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators” © Barbara Mensch Klebber’s Murder © Barbara Mensch Child in Shoe Bin, Lower East Side © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch From the upcoming book, "Ghosts of South Street" © Barbara Mensch Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 10/22/2020
In the 1970s, under the aegis of the Great Society’s Model Cities Program, photographer Earlie Hudnall, Jr. began to document the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Houston’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th wards, and for more than forty years he has continued to create an indelible portrait of life in these neighborhoods. To be sure, Hudnall has photographed all around the world, and worked for years as the photographer for Texas Southern University, but it is his images of the people of Houston that we discuss today, and that are included in his current exhibition at the Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery in Dallas, running through October 31, 2020. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we talk with Hudnall about the relationship between the stories he tells with his images and those he grew up with in his native Mississippi; how the tradition, culture, and community of his youth reveal themselves in the faces and facades of modern Houston. We also talk about his organic approach to photography and how respect for his subjects informs his process, and how eye contact and body language are tools to connect with people on the street. Hudnall is old school—he works with digital cameras when needed—but his Hasselblad and Nikon film cameras are his primary tools and he discusses why he chooses one over the other to make a particular image. Hudnall also prints his photographs, so we talk about sourcing supplies, Ilford paper, and darkroom techniques. And while we do get into camera talk and a “sweet, sweet, sweet, soft Rolleiflex,” much of our conversation with Hudnall focuses on how memory and inspiration react in a moment to create a powerful image and how staying sensitive to your surroundings will serve your imaging. It is a joy to listen to Hudnall; please join us for this conversation. Guest: Earlie Hudnall, Jr. Photograph © Earlie Hudnall, Jr. Mr. Shine, 3rd Ward, Houston, 1988 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Girl with Flag, 3rd Ward, Houston, 1991 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Hip Hop, Galveston, TX, 1993 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Looking Out, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1991 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Feeling the Spirit, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1987 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Boy Eastern Star, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1984, © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, T Roots, 1997 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX 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 01/08/2020
During a little holiday trip, producer John Harris made a visit to the gallery and studio of photographer Clyde Butcher. For anyone who grew up in Florida, Butcher’s work should be very familiar; his photography is often found on the walls of local libraries, municipal buildings, and, as Miami native Jason Tables points out, “every doctor’s office I’ve ever been in.” Butcher’s images of the Florida landscapes, particularly of the Everglades, are legendary, and although he has a brisk print-sales business, many of the photos in libraries have the attached placard, “Donated by Clyde Butcher.” Although he is known primarily for his large format black-and-white photography of “the swamp,” Butcher’s photographic career extends back many decades and includes architectural photography, mountain and western landscapes, filmed documentaries, and decorative color photography. Interestingly, Butcher began his career selling prints at small art fairs and, in the 1970s, he had a thriving business selling thousands of prints through department stores such as Sears and Montgomery Ward. This episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a casual conversation that glides through several topics, including Butcher’s work with large format cameras, his recent foray into Sony digital cameras paired with Canon tilt-shift lenses, the incredible set of vintage enlargers in his giant darkroom space, the business models he and his family employ to market his images, water conservation, and, of course, his relationship to the Florida landscape for which he will be forever linked. Join us for this conversation with a true master. Guest: Clyde Butcher Above photograph © Clyde Butcher Tamiani Trail © Clyde Butcher Cigar Orchid Pond © Clyde Butcher Ochopee © Clyde Butcher Big Cypress © Clyde Butcher Moonrise © Clyde Butcher Plaja-S’Arenella-with-Boat, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Cadaques, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Cap-de-Creus, from Salvador Dali series © Clyde Butcher Clocks by Clyde Butcher circa, 1970s © Clyde Butcher Clyde Butcher and John Harris © Niki Butcher Niki and Clyde Butcher © John Harris Clyde Butcher in his Venice, Florida office © John Harris Butcher workshop and darkroom, 2019 © John Harris Niki Butcher with enlarger, 2019 © John Harris Clyde Butcher in Movie Dome with 11 x 14" view camera © Clyde 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 10/03/2019
We welcome to the B&H Photography Podcast two photographers who have brought their talent and dedication to bear on the complex and beautiful lives that exist on the U.S.-Mexico border. Our first guest is photographer Stefan Falke, who is engaged in a 10-year portrait project called LA FRONTERA: Artists along the US-Mexico Border, which is dedicated to documenting the “influence that artists have on their community.” He has photographed more than 200 artists, writers, singers, and photographers who live on both sides of the 2,000-mile-long border. With Falke we discuss the development of this project, his style of shooting, how he met the many artists he has photographed, and the complications and joys of shooting in border towns in the U.S. and Mexico. He also discusses how he pared down his camera and lens choices for this project to just his trusty Nikon D850 and a 24-70mm lens. After a short break, we welcome photographer Monica Lozano, who is included in Falke’s project, and describes her portrait session with him in the main market, in Juarez, Mexico. We also discuss her incredible photographic series, which blend documentary and fine art styles to bring awareness to the struggle of migrants in Europe and the Americas. Lozano, a Mexican-American artist with roots in both countries, brings a compassionate yet objective depiction to a complex situation, and she even blends in a touch of humor. With Lozano, we discuss her evolution as an artist, the differing effects that stylized photos have compared to straight documentary, and the resounding need to understand the long and evolving history and culture of “la frontera.” Join us for this compelling conversation and check out the B&H Photography Podcast Facebook Group. Guests: Stefan Falke and Monica Lozano Raechel Running, Agua Prieta, Mexico, 2015© Stefan Falke Alfredo “Libre” Gutierrez, Tijuana, Mexico, 2016 © Stefan Falke Tom Kiefer, Ajo Arizona, 2017 © Stefan Falke Jellyfish, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, 2015 © Stefan Falke Monica Lozano, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, 2015 © Stefan Falke Pablo Llana, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, 2016 © Stefan Falke from the “What Remains” series © Monica Lozano from the “What Remains” series © Monica Lozano from the “What Remains” series © Monica Lozano from the “What Remains” series © Monica Lozano from the “Borders” series © Monica Lozano from the “Borders” series © Monica Lozano from the “Borders” series © Monica Lozano from the “Hugs Not Walls” series © Monica Lozano from the “Hugs Not Walls” series © Monica Lozano Allan Weitz, Monica Lozano, and Stefan Falke © 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 07/31/2019
This week, we welcome two photographers who know the joys of spending a late afternoon waiting for super cells to form, or that perfect lightning strike to appear, as well as the perils of rising waters, golf-ball-sized hail, and projectile debris in flight. Our topic today is extreme-weather photography, and we welcome photographers from two different continents to tell us about their shooting styles, safety precautions, gear, and their general thoughts on weather, social media, and the photography business. We are joined first by photographer and filmmaker Jim Reed, who is a represented by National Geographic Image Collection. His work has been published in National Geographic magazine, the New York Times, Scientific American, and The Guardian, and has been featured on the Weather Channel, Discovery Network, and the Oprah show. He is the author of the critically acclaimed 2007 photo book, “Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey.” With Reed, we discuss his minimal gear setup, safety precautions, useful apps, and how his client base has shifted during his thirty-year career. After a short break, we welcome Jordan Cantelo, from the Western Australian town of Jurien Bay. Cantelo is a local wildfire officer who began photographing weather during long stints in the bush. With Cantelo, we speak about the specific weather and storm types in Western Australia, his use of lightning triggers, his preference for medium format cameras, landscape compositions, and how he follows weather systems to get the shots he is after. For many photographers, being a “storm chaser” seems like a thrilling way to earn a living, so tune in to the B&H Photography Podcast for our conversation with two seasoned weather and landscape photographers to get a better understanding of the dos, the don’ts, and the practical side of extreme-weather photography. Guests: Jim Reed and Jordan Cantelo Above photograph © Jim Reed Professional storm chasers monitor an approaching tornado in western Kansas on May 8, 2008 © Jim Reed Concurrent Tornadoes at Night, 2012 © Jim Reed A Bolt from the Gray, 2004 © Jim Reed A severe thunderstorm brings much needed rain to a drought-stricken farm near Roswell, New Mexico, 2013. © Jim Reed Cloud-to-ground lightning bolts strike a field in eastern Wyoming, 2011. © Jim Reed Waves explode over a seawall and into Galveston, Texas as Hurricane Ike approaches, on September 12, 2008. © Jim Reed Ominous Skies © Jordan Cantelo Dowerin Evening Lightning © Jordan Cantelo Microburst- Between Beacon and Wialki © Jordan Cantelo Electric Skies – Beacon © Jordan Cantelo Kimberley Wet Season Skies © Jordan Cantelo Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/24/2019
For this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we took our portable recorders to an elegant mansion along Central Park, which had been decked out by Sony as a series of stylized photography sets, complete with full lighting, backdrops, and models. They also happened to have on hand many brand-new Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital Cameras and hundreds of lenses for the guests to shoot with in these mini studios. Let’s not forget about the great music, delicious food, and open bar Sony provided. All in all, it was a wonderful event to celebrate the highest megapixel full-frame camera on the market. Sony invited many impressive photographers, writers, influencers, retailers, and… us. And we made our way through the many rooms, speaking with Sony representatives and photographers, getting their first impressions of this latest incarnation of the Alpha a7R series. Needless to say, people were impressed and, after seeing the specs and handling this new camera, so were we. Our first guest is Michael Bubolo, Senior National Manager from Sony PRO Support. We sat with Bubolo before the crowds arrived and were able to go over some of the upgrades and features and get his thoughts on what makes this camera stand out from previous models. Next, we welcome the one and only Ken Rockwell to ask his thoughts on the camera and anything else he wanted to talk about. After a short break, we speak with visual artist Lori Grinker about her potential uses for the a7R IV and, then, with landscape and travel photographer Jude Allen, who happened to be in town from San Francisco, about his first impressions after handling the camera. Finally, we sit down with Sony Artisans Andy Katz and Colby Brown, who both had had the opportunity to shoot the new camera for a couple of weeks and report back on the features they most appreciate for the specific work they do. Join us for this in-depth look at the latest Sony full-frame mirrorless camera, and let us know if you are ready to upgrade. Guests: Michael Bubolo, Ken Rockwell, Lori Grinker, Jude Allen, Andy Katz, and Colby Brown created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Andy Katz created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Andy Katz created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Andy Katz created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Andy Katz created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Andy Katz created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Colby Brown created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Colby Brown created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Colby Brown created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Colby Brown created with the new Sony Alpha a7R IV camera © Colby Brown © Allan Weitz © Allan Weitz Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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