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Posted 09/16/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome the founder and Executive Director of the Social Documentary Network, Glenn Ruga, and photographer Sofia Aldinio, who is the recipient of the 2021 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography, presented by the Social Documentary Network. As should be clear, our conversation today revolves around the Social Documentary Network, or “SDN,” and we learn about this community of documentary photographers and its website on which more than three thousand documentary series have been uploaded and are available for viewing. Ruga tells of the evolution of the site since its 2008 inception, and how adding classes, awards, portfolio reviews, and, most important, the online and print magazine ZEKE has led to the growth of this platform, which is open to all photographers. Our chat also draws from Ruga’s photography work and thoughts on documentary, in general. In the second half of the show we speak with Aldinio, a past guest, about “Awake in the Desert Land,” her photo series that received the ZEKE prize. Aldinio tells of the circumstances that brought her to Baja California, Mexico, during 2020 and this intimate series on village communities affected by climate change. We also speak with Aldinio about her working methods, about shelving her normal Canon system for a more stealth FUJIFILM, about making relationships with subjects, and the feedback and support she received from her SDN workshop leaders. We wrap by previewing the Social Documentary Network events and exhibits at Photoville 2021 and Aldinio’s presentation on her award-winning series. Guests: Sofia Aldinio and Glenn Ruga Photograph © Sofia Aldinio The cover and two interior spreads from the upcoming Fall, 2021 issue of ZEKE Magazine. Courtesy The Social Documentary Network “The newest cemetery in San Jose de Gracia, Baja California, Mexico, January 17, 2021. The small community has at least four different cemeteries generationally identified. The town lost most of its population after Hurricane Lester in 1992, the biggest storm the community has faced in its history. Since 2006, the community has lost 60 members and has a population of 12 today. “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Belonging” “Belonging” “Belonging” “Belonging” Previous Pause Next Sofia Aldinio Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 09/09/2021
What do the films Goodfellas, The Devil Wears Prada, Creed, Ocean’s 8, and Die Hard with a Vengeance have in common? The poster art, publicity, and behind-the-scenes photography for these and about one hundred other feature films were made by photographer Barry Wetcher, and we welcome Wetcher to this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. On-set still photography or, simply, “still photography” is one of the more unique jobs found under the big tent that is photography. The skills needed to excel in this work incorporate abilities from many photographic genres. Portraiture, documentary, news, action, and still life talents are all called upon to create the images needed for varied purposes, but perhaps the most important skill is the ability to understand the many moving parts and dynamic personalities of a film shoot and to find a way to be everywhere but nowhere at the same time. With Wetcher, we talk about the specific demands of the craft, about the evolution of gear from film to DSLR and, ultimately, to mirrorless (Nikon and FUJIFILM, in Wetcher’s case), and mostly about how to best navigate the world of producers, directors, cinematographers, and actors to create the seemingly ephemeral but truly indelible images of movie history. We also find time to ask Wetcher about some of the legendary actors and directors he has photographed over the years. Join us for this enjoyable and informative chat with Wetcher and, as it turns out, his “Brooklyn Brother,” host Allan Weitz. Guest: Barry Wetcher Photograph © Barry Wetcher Chadwick Boseman in “Marshall,” 2017 © Barry Wetcher/Open Road Films Human Green Screen from “I Am Legend,” 2007 © Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Pictures James Gandolfini in “Not Fade Away,” 2012 © Barry Wetcher/Paramount Vantage Joe Pesci in “GoodFellas,” 1990 © Barry Wetcher/ Warner Bros. Pictures 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 08/10/2021
We have been looking forward to this conversation for weeks. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we sit down with retired Detective 1 st Grade Michael Cunningham, of the New York City Police Department, to talk about crime-scene unit photography. Cunningham is an expert on crime-scene photography and forensics—in addition to his twenty-seven years with the NYPD, he has worked as a trainer for the Department of Homeland Security, authored a book on crime-scene management, and currently works for ShotSpotter Investigate, an investigative case management solution service. We discuss the various aspects of crime-scene photography, from camera and lens selection to shooting technique, along with storage, retrieval, and sharing of images. We compare the use of film and digital imaging and the challenges and benefits brought on by new technology. In addition, we talk about photos used for case solving and those of evidentiary value and the different photography departments within the NYPD. Cunningham walks us through the procedures and shot selection of a photographer when approaching a crime scene, and the protocols involved when documenting it. He also regales us with a few stories of his many investigations during his years on the force. We would like to hear from our listeners about the B&H Photography Podcast. Please take a minute to complete this simple survey about listening habits and potential topics. Thank you, from the B&H Podcast team. Guest: Michael Cunningham Photograph: Courtesy of Michael Cunningham Photograph: Courtesy of Michael Cunningham Michael Cunningham and Allan Weitz. Photograph © John Harris 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 06/10/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we take a deep dive into the technical, legal, and even theoretical topics surrounding Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and their growing place in the art and photography worlds. To take on this subject, we welcome cryptocurrency expert and past guest of the show, Drew Hinkes. Hinkes is an attorney and professor and, in 2017, was nominated as one of Coindesk’s Most Influential People in Blockchain. He is also co-founder and General Counsel of Athena Blockchain, a firm focused on tokenized investment products. We also welcome Derek Paul Jack Boyle and Mitra Saboury, who together make up the art collaborative Meatwreck. Meatwreck has recently minted and sold NFTs associated with its art and we ask Boyle and Saboury how the process worked and their general thoughts on NFTs in relation to community and their art work. In addition to clearing some of the murky waters surrounding NFTs, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts, this episode discusses the future of intellectual property and how the blockchain is changing the way we value, store, resell, and protect our copyrighted images. Join us for this in-depth and informative conversation. Guests: Drew Hinkes, Derek Paul Jack Boyle, Mitra Saboury Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 03/04/2021
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome wedding and portrait photographer Kesha Lambert. We are excited to speak with Lambert about her approach to wedding photography on today’s show, but she is also speaking at the upcoming 4th annual Depth of Field Portrait, Wedding, and Event Photography Conference, which is a free virtual event to be held on March 7 – 8, 2021. The conference is hosted by B&H Photo and sponsored by Sony, Nikon, Canon, Godox, HP/NVIDIA, and others. The work of Kesha Lambert stands out for its ability to be both joyous and intimate. She deftly uses color and composition, as well as experience and intuition to tell unique and universal wedding day stories. Did I mention that Lambert is also a lawyer, mom to three boys, a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association, and a Sony Artisan of Imagery? In our conversation, we discuss her business, intrapersonal, and photography skills to get a sense of how she runs her successful studio. Her website is a lesson in design and good business practices, and we discuss cameras and lenses, getting ahead of client expectations, contracts, and subjects as diverse as lighting kits and keeping large wedding parties focused and in frame. Join us for this insightful and enjoyable chat and register for Depth of Field 2021. Guest: Kesha Lambert Photograph © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert © Kesha Lambert 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 02/18/2021
Has the Canon EOS R5 changed the conversation about using mirrorless cameras for bird and wildlife photography? This is the position of our guest, David Speiser, who, this summer, traded his Canon 1D X Mark III for the R system camera and lenses. But his colleague, fellow bird photographer and—for now—DSLR stalwart Grace Scalzo, is not quite ready to make that switch. Today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast focuses on the features of the Canon R5 and RF lenses that specifically benefit bird photographers. Speiser relates his decision to sell a treasure trove's worth of gear and reinvest in Canon’s mirrorless system. He notes the advanced eye focus, the customization features, in-body image stabilization, and new, sharp lenses as factors in his decision. Scalzo, however, is not ready to give up her rugged, fast, and ergonomically balanced DSLR with its broad selection of quality glass and an optical viewfinder. This is a fun-spirited and well-articulated debate between two shooters who really know their gear and their craft. In addition to the DSLR vs. mirrorless smackdown, we discuss 600mm lenses, adapters, gimbal heads, tripods, sharpening software, and even some land management and wildlife ethics issues. Join us for this vastly informative conversation, ideal for Canon photographers and wildlife shooters considering their next purchase. Also, please check out the Musea Gathering virtual photo conference, a wonderful two-day event on wedding and family photography. Guests: Grace Scalzo and David Speiser Photograph © David Speiser Black-chinned Hummingbird. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 1.4x teleconverter. 1/3200 second at ISO 1600 © Grace Scalzo Great Horned Owl. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 1.4x teleconverter. 1/125 second at ISO 1600 © Grace Scalzo Summer Tanager with Bug. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/640 second at ISO 1600 © Grace Scalzo Gray Fox. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens. 1/500 second at ISO 3200 © Grace Scalzo Painted Lady on Thistle. Canon 1D X Mark II with 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/640 second at ISO 400 © Grace Scalzo Common Cuckoo, 2020. Canon R5 with adapter and 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/4000 second at ISO 1600 © David Speiser Barred Owl, NYC, 2020. Canon R5 with RF 100-500mm f/4.5 Lens. 300mm at 1/40 second, ISO 3200 © David Speiser Western Tanager, NYC, 2020. Canon R5 with RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM Lens. 500mm at 1/320 second, ISO 2000 © David Speiser Atlantic Puffin, 2020. Canon R5 with adapter and 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/2500 second at ISO 800 © David Speiser Black Guillemot, 2020. Canon R5 with adapter and 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/2500 second at ISO 800 © David Speiser Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 2020. Canon R5 with adapter and 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and 2.0x teleconverter. 1/800 second at ISO 3200 © David Speiser Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 07/08/2020
Our conversation on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is with the fabulous and innovative Duane Michals. Of the many comments he made about his photography practice, a practice that has been commercially and artistically successful for almost sixty years, one that stood out was his aside that “photography has failed [him] as an art form.” The comment comes late in our conversation but refers to the idea that Michals' goal of pure expression is not accommodated by photography alone; he needs to turn to sequential narrative, to writing on photo prints, even to painting on photos to get to the expression that he wants to convey. For anyone looking for how-tos or technique tips, you’ve come to the wrong episode, but to light the path to a true artistic self-expression, Michals’ words hold much promise. We spoke with him about a range of subjects, from how a constant curiosity combined with good work habits fueled his work and success. We talk about his working-class upbringing, his youthful adventures to Texas and, later, to the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, where he first took photos in earnest. About specific images, we asked about his “Death Comes to the Old Lady,” and he also related a story about photographing Warren Beatty in a New York hotel room. We even spoke about Canon cameras and the references he draws upon for his work, from Walt Whitman and William Blake to Pierre Bonnard and Robert Frank, but mostly we discuss his creative instincts and process, which seem to start and end with the idea, “If you already know what you’re going to do, then you’re not being creative.” Join us for this insightful conversation with a true photographic innovator. Guest: Duane Michals Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York 2nd Prize Winner – B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge – “Work & Dance from Home” © Ajay Raina, 2020 1st Prize Winner – B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge – “Applause” © Karles Rives 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 05/19/2020
As an industry and as a hobby, the numbers indicate that drone flying and drone photography are still primarily the domain of men, but sustaining this disparity is ridiculous and it should and will change. Our two guests today are part of bringing about that change, and they do so by being good at their craft, by spreading the joy of flying, and teaching drone operation and photography to women and girls. Our first guest today is an Emmy Award-winning camerawoman for CBS News and F.A.A. licensed drone pilot Carmaine Means, who incorporates quadcopter footage into her news coverage and, of course, flies for fun. After a break, we are joined by Yasmin Tajik, a documentary photographer and F.A.A. licensed drone operator who is also the Brand Ambassador Director for the educational and advocacy group Women Who Drone. We get to know the work of each guest, asking Means how and when she decides to use aerial footage in a news segment, what her personal guidelines are for launching a drone, and what the planning stage is like with her producers. We also talk about the value of certain aerial shots in telling a story, about the equipment she uses, and handling the drones in various conditions. Currently, she flies with a DJI Phantom and an Inspire. With Yasmin Tajik, we mention the Federal Aviation Administration licensing process and she recommends the FAA Drone Zone as a good place to start. We also ask her about using drones in documentary work and some of the restrictions placed on flying in the U.S. and other countries. As a resident of Arizona, she discusses some of the advantages of flying in that state, as well as unique guidelines they have established. We also speak about how she learned to fly after initially being hesitant, the work done by Women Who Drone, and taking her Tello Quadcopter into schools and the interest it generates from the next generation of flyers. Tajik also points to the many industries and services that are incorporating drones and the growing opportunities available for licensed pilots, but we don’t forget to talk about the joy she gets by using her DJI Mavic 2 to provide a perspective on the world that our land-based cameras can never match. Join us for this enjoyable and inspirational conversation and if you are a female drone flyer, we’d love to hear your experiences and see your images. Guests: Carmaine Means and Yasmin Tajik Photograph © Yasmin Tajik​ © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik © Yasmin Tajik Courtesy Yasmin Tajik © Carmaine Means © Carmaine Means © Carmaine Means Courtesy Carmaine Means Carmaine Means © Phillip Dembinsky Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/29/2020
I don’t know if we’ve ever had two photographers with such divergent styles on the same episode. It would make little sense to even have them on together, except that their individual work is exceptional, and they are married to each other. This week on the B&H Photography Podcast, we return to a format that has served us well in the past —speaking with a couple who both work in photography. We really hit the jackpot this time, with Sara Bennett and Joseph Holmes, not simply because they are interesting photographers and really nice folks but, between them, they embody a wide range of photo skills, from the technical and artistic, to the narrative and journalistic, from portraiture and art photography, to advocacy and social documentary. It’s quite an interesting situation and Holmes and Bennett, each in their own way, offer personal insight into their varied projects, and they also generously allow us a glimpse into how they work together as a couple, raising a family and supporting each other’s work. Sara Bennett’s photography, which has been published in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and the PBS/News Hour, grew from her years working as a lawyer, primarily on cases related to battered women and the wrongly convicted. Her portraiture of women in prison and transitioning from incarceration humanizes as it advocates and educates. Her books, Life After Life in Prison, The Bedroom Project, and Looking Inside: Portraits of Women Serving Life Sentences, are beautiful and simple documents that serve a higher purpose, and we talk with Bennett about her intentions and the long process to find the right women to photograph and the complications and joys of photographing in prison. With Joseph Holmes, we start the conversation with New York City—and I don’t think we ever leave. Holmes could make a great image in a dark closet, but his work has such an understanding of our city and the subjects he has chosen to photograph—“ Cooks on Breaks,” “Urban Wilderness,” “Streit’s Matzoh Factory,” and “ Tracing the Underground,” are so New York, without ever touching the boiler plate. Blending portraiture, documentary, and street photography, Holmes’s dedication to the photo series and his technical aplomb represent the best of fine-art reportage. His work is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery, and pieces are included in the permanent collection of several museums, including the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Check out his photo annuals and enjoy this wonderful conversation as much as we did. Guests: Sara Bennett and Joseph Holmes Photograph © Joseph Holmes Karen, from “The Bedroom Project,” 2017 © Sara Bennett Traci, from “The Bedroom Project,” 2017 © Sara Bennett Jennifer, from “Looking Inside,” 2018 © Sara Bennett Sahiah, from “Looking Inside,” 2019 © Sara Bennett Patrice, from “Looking Inside,” 2018 © Sara Bennett Kat, from “Looking Inside,” 2019 © Sara Bennett from “Tracing the Underground,” 2017 © Joseph Holmes from “Tracing the Underground,” 2017 © Joseph Holmes from “Streit’s,” 2015 © Joseph Holmes from “Streit’s,” 2015 © Joseph Holmes Walter, from “Custom Machinery,” 2009 © Joseph Holmes Hugo, from “Custom Machinery,” 2009 © Joseph Holmes Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machine, 2009 © Joseph Holmes Van Norman Duplex Milling Machine, 2009 © Joseph Holmes Joseph O. Holmes and Sara Bennett © Allan Weitz Allan Weitz, Joseph O. Holmes, and Sara Bennett © 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 11/26/2019
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome California-based advertising, sports, dance, and fashion photographer (and director), Alexis Cuarezma, who packs a considerable amount of practical and creative insight into our hour-long conversation. Ostensibly, Cuarezma was joining us to talk about his lighting techniques and, while he does dive deep into lighting schemes, we discuss so much more. Cuarezma is generous with is thoughts on production, composition, models, gear, self-promotion, and marketing really anything that he understands to help him in his burgeoning photo business. Just a glance at his work, and one will realize why Cuarezma is here to discuss lighting techniques, he has shot for Sports Illustrated (including six covers), Fortune magazine, Ring magazine, the New York Times, and his clients include Nike. Cuarezma emphasizes his belief that getting it right “in-camera” is the key to his success, not just for the sake of the final image, but for his creative process. Researching, planning, arriving early, being hands-on in every phase of the work, and understanding that your vision, when properly executed, will win over a client, is the other key to his success. With Cuarezma we discuss his decision-making process when creating a portrait; each of the small problems that needs to be solved to create the desired look that works best for his particular subject. While comfortable renting the needed gear to fulfill each project, he also discusses the gear he owns and uses, including Profoto B1 lights, Rosco Gels, and his Canon 5DS. Join us for this insightful and very educational episode. Guest: Alexis Cuarezma Photograph © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma Christine Shevchenko, American Ballet Theater © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma Hunter Strickland © Alexis Cuarezma Chris Paul © Alexis Cuarezma John Harris, Allan Weitz, Alexis Cuarezma, and Jason Tables © Jason Tawiah Previous Pause Next
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