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Posted 03/11/2021
This is the second episode of the B&H Photography Podcast produced with the collaboration of Leica Camera, and we are pleased to welcome photographer Stella Johnson to the show. It is the “in-between moments of life” that Johnson describes as the subject of her work, work that includes books and documentary series made in Cameroon, Greece, Nicaragua, and Mexico. In this easygoing conversation, we discuss the nature of her long-term projects, and the motivations that return her to the same places year after year. We also talk about composing with rangefinder cameras, being at the eye level of your subject, and the weeks that go by without making pictures and the verbal and nonverbal communication necessary when you are invited as a photographer into a community or home, as Johnson has been. For her personal documentary work, Johnson has relied on Leica M cameras and a 35mm focal length lens. We discuss this focal distance in terms of a personal comfort zone and one that even felt safer during pandemic time. Johnson keeps her settings simple and concentrates on composition and the moment; she tends to find light and locations that she likes and waits for the images. Because Johnson’s compositions are so strong in black-and-white and her color work is minimal and adroit, we ask for her thoughts on how to work with both formats and if a fluidity between them is easy. Finally, in searching for a definition of documentary photography, we mulled over the effect of time, of returning to locations and subjects, of its distinction from photojournalism, as seeing “what life is like” and the stories of “just daily life.” Guest: Stella Johnson Photograph © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “RE-CREATIONS” © Stella Johnson 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 12/31/2020
For our final episode of 2020, we look back at the year that was—and what a year it was. We learned new remote recording skills and virtual conversation styles, but the B&H Photography Podcast never missed a beat; we recorded an episode the very first week of quarantine and have continued recording throughout this unprecedented time. Many aspects of this production were made significantly more difficult by being “all remote,” but it did allow us to speak with photographers around the world and those who could never have made it into our humble but homey studio. On this week’s episode, we run down the list of episodes we recorded this year, which included conversations with legends of sports photography, of fine art photography, of photo education, and even with a supermodel and with a television celebrity. Of course, we also talked about the latest camera releases and the “best” cameras of 2020. Allan, Jason, and I each relate our favorite episodes from the year and mention some of the episodes that were best received by our listeners. And because this year we had many conversations about photography books, we also mention a few of our favorite books from 2020. Join us for this casual recounting of podcasts from a year no one will soon forget. Photograph © Karles Vives, winner of the 2020 B&H Photography Podcast Leica Challenge Allan Weitz, Adriane Ohanesian, and Nancy Borowick, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz and Sebastian Meyer, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz, Joseph Holmes, and Sara Bennett, 2020 © John Harris Allan Weitz and Shari Belafonte, 2020 © John Harris Clyde Butcher and John Harris, 2020 © Niki 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 10/22/2020
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 08/27/2020
One of the remarks that stuck with me from this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was Alison Rossiter’s casual mention, “I know how to rock a tray.” Rossiter is noted for her cameraless fine art photo prints, often made on expired photographic paper, some sheets dating back one hundred years or more. Her comment was a simple reference to how she guides developing solution over paper in the darkroom, but understanding the time and dedication she has put into her darkroom techniques, it seemed the ideal understatement for her refined yet simple processes, which include traditional photo printing, photograms, light drawings, and her current exploration, which enables vintage photo paper to speak for itself, processed and fixed, but free from the bullying dominance of projected light. With her ongoing exhibit, Substance of Density 1918-1948, at the Yossi Milo gallery, through September 26, 2020, Rossiter presents a “chronology of assemblages” made of expired photographic papers from her personal collection. Papers chosen from specific years create a minimalist narrative through three specific decades of the 20th Century, suggesting a relationship between these photographic “leftovers” and historical events of those years. The exposed photo papers are grouped and presented in such a way as to form dynamic abstract compositions, made more contemplative by the papers' own histories. The work is a creative comment on a range of themes fundamental to 20th-century film photography: archival preservation, industrial production, physical and chemical degradation, social justice, and even the medium’s creative response to painting and sculpture. With Rossiter, we speak about her darkroom techniques and supplies, about her evolution to cameraless photography, about sourcing expired paper, and the incredible gifts she has received in that regard. We also discuss the thrill of developing paper to find the clues of previous owners and the “fails” of the aged emulsion. Primarily, we revel in imagination and the stories that can be told when the past speaks to us through the still-verdant magic of the darkroom. Join us for this unique episode. Guest: Alison Rossiter Photograph © Alison Rossiter Eastman Kodak Azo, expired March 1918, processed 2010 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1919, processed 2010 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1936, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1921, 1922, 1923, processed 2019 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1938-1945, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1932-1938, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Density 1941, 1945, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Gevaert Gevaluxe Velours, exact expiration date unknown, ca. 1930s, processed 2020 © Alison Rossiter, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/10/2020
On today's episode of the  B&H Photography Podcast, we are joined by Craig Semetko, a documentary and street photographer who is much more than those two descriptors. He came to photography from a career in performance and comedy and that makes a lot of sense, noting the observational skill and humor found in his compositions. His first book, UNPOSED, published in 2010, with a forward by Elliott Erwitt, was followed by India Unposed, in 2014. Sly, ironic, absurd, all come to mind when you see the moments he captures and we talk about how it’s hard to photograph “funny,” about attitudes and techniques, and the difference between laughing with someone and at them. We also ask about the work he has done during the pandemic shutdown. After a break, we welcome photographer Ashly Stohl. A Leica Ambassador, Stohl’s best known work concentrates on her family, particularly her three children. She is also the publisher and co-founder of Peanut Press, begun in 2015 with her first book, Charth Vader, which takes a look at her youngest son, clearly a big fan of Star Wars. Her second book, Days and Years, follows up with an intimate portrait of her three children. A quote from Stohl sums it up: “There is a saying that all portraits are really self-portraits. So, what are portraits of your kids? They are portraits of a parent. I take pictures of my kids, and if you’ll look closely you’ll also see me in there—my worries and fears, my attempts to correct the problems of my own childhood, my heart and my struggles.” Join us for this inspiring and enjoyable episode with two wonderful guests. Guests: Ashly Stohl and Craig Semetko Photograph © Craig Semetko From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Charth Vader” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl From “Days and Years” © Ashly Stohl Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko Life During Lockdown I © Craig Semetko From “UNPOSED” © Craig Semetko From “India Unposed” © Craig Semetko From “India Unposed” © Craig Semetko Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/02/2020
We encourage all of our listeners to register for the free digital online edition of the Outdoor Photo/Video Travel Imaging Conference (OPTIC) 2020, hosted by B&H and sponsored by Panasonic, Sony, Nikon, Canon, FUJIFILM, Godox, and many others. As most of you know, the B&H Photography Podcast has regularly attended this annual conference, in New York, and recorded wonderful interviews with the likes of Michael Kenna, Joyce Tenneson, and Ron Magill. This year, the conference will be held online, but still with an incredible lineup of photographers and speakers, including keynote speakers Ami Vitale and Clyde Butcher. On today’s episode of the podcast, we offer a taste of the photographic insight found at OPTIC. First, we welcome wildlife and bird photographer Lisa Langell, who is also at Tamron and FotoPro Ambassador. With her photo gracing the cover of the current issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine, Langell discusses creating wildlife photography for the home and hotel décor market, about her favorite places in Alaska to photograph bear, and about the personal and interactive way she hosts seminars and webinars. She provides food for thought to those looking for new ways to photograph wildlife. After a break, we welcome National Geographic photographer and Sony Artisan of Light Pete McBride. McBride speaks of his amazing 750-mile walk across the Grand Canyon, which became a NatGeo story, and also a book and a feature-length documentary. At OPTIC you will get the full story—from “River to Rim”—along with images, but we also spoke with McBride about his long-term work shooting the world’s river systems; we gained some insight into aerial photography; and learned how his Sony a7RII weathered a year in the Grand Canyon—and with which he created not only a magazine story, but a book and a movie with that one camera. Guests: Lisa Langell and Pete McBride Photograph © Lisa Langell Aerial of the last time the Colorado River kissed the sea—during a pulse flow for restoration work. The connection lasted two days in 2014. The delta has been dry since. © Pete McBride Iceland River Delta © Pete McBride Black obsidian sand, silvery glacial rivers, and moss green volcanoes make up this vast Icelandic landscape. © Pete McBride Devprayag, India. Confluence of the Bagirathi and Alakanda rivers—the physical start of the Gagnes River © Pete McBride “Grand Canyon: From River to Rim” by Pete McBride Aerial view of the Colorado River winding through the Grand Canyon, Arizona © Pete McBride A day of traffic, 362 individual helicopter flights, merged into one frame to show what the collective soundscape and average traffic looks like along the western Grand Canyon border © Pete McBride © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell © Lisa Langell Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 05/26/2020
Today we welcome a special guest to the B&H Photography Podcast: actor and comedian Jeff Garlin. Jeff Garlin is well known as a stand-up comedian and, of course, as a star of the hit television shows, The Goldbergs and Curb Your Enthusiam. About fifteen years ago, he turned a love for photography, for the work of the masters—Alfred Eisenstadt, Jim Marshall, Mary Ellen Mark, to name a few—into his own photographic practice, and we are all the beneficiaries of his engaged eye. In March, Garlin debuted his series, “A Big Bowl of Wonderful,” at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles, and we talk to him about how this series of portraits of his co-stars and friends in the television community—many taken on set or backstage—developed over a long curve, one founded in respect for the medium and applied with a simple stratagem: see something interesting and frame it in the most creative way possible. With that in mind, we talk about trusting your gut, not overthinking a shot, being comfortable with your subjects, but also about gaining the confidence to take photos, especially of those you know and respect. Garlin also talks about his affinity for Leica, especially the M system, about the difference between actors and comedians, and talking photography with Jeff Bridges. We also ask him about his role as executive producer on the film, Finding Vivian Maier. This really is a photography lover’s conversation, summed up best by one of Garlin’s comments: “I’m taking a picture because it brings me joy.” Guest: Jeff Garlin Photograph © Jeff Garlin John Mulaney © Jeff Garlin John Waters © Jeff Garlin Larry David © Jeff Garlin Sarah Silverman © Jeff Garlin Richard Lewis © Jeff Garlin JB Smoove © Jeff Garlin Richard Kind © Jeff Garlin Brian Cranston and Jonathan Banks © Jeff Garlin Trevor Noah © Jeff Garlin Wendy McClendon-Covey © Jeff Garlin "Jesus at the Comedy Store" © Jeff Garlin Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris 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 05/06/2020
Ray Collins’s portraits of waves are hard to describe because you don’t want to describe them. Like the wave itself, the photographic abstraction refuses words; indescribable and amorphous become unique and powerful in his hands. One look at his work and it’s clear that he is in his element in the surf, transforming what he knows so well into a profound and universal statement. We have been looking forward to speaking with Collins for a while, and are very pleased to present our conversation with him on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. We start our chat asking how he went from being a coal miner in New South Wales, Australia, to a photographer, and then melding that new love with his first love, surfing and the ocean. It’s a good story and it gets better as we learn how he transitioned from surf photography to fine-art photography and book publishing. We ask about working in the ocean, the dangers, “knowing” certain waves, and the ability to maneuver his gear and body to anticipate the photos he wants to capture. We also discuss the gear he uses, from his Nikon D850 to Aquatech housing, to the surprising range of lenses he uses in the water. We also discuss the non-photo equipment he needs to stay afloat and navigate. After a short break, we discuss his post-process decisions and how he looks for texture as much as color when deciding upon which images he prefers. Interestingly, for a photographer whose color work is so gorgeous, Collins is color blind and he talks about how he has turned that into an advantage for him. We also chat about printmaking and book publishing with this incredibly talented and friendly photographer. Join us for an inspiring conversation and check out the work of Ray Collins. Guest: Ray Collins Photograph © Ray Collins Blue Curve © Ray Collins Crystal © Ray Collins Eagle © Ray Collins Holocene © Ray Collins Light Shower © Ray Collins Oil © Ray Collins The Wall © Ray Collins I © Ray Collins II © Ray Collins VII © Ray Collins Courtesy Ray Collins Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 04/28/2020
This week on the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome journalist, curator, and author Ekow Eshun to discuss his incredible new book, Africa State of Mind. With more than 250 photographs by fifty photographers, the book is a gorgeous collection of contemporary art photography from throughout Africa. Established artists such as Pieter Hugo and Zanele Muholi are profiled, along with many lesser-known photographers working in (and between) a range of genres. Supported by Eshun’s insightful commentary, the book delves into the unique voices depicting their Africa experience today. Our conversation begins with the master portrait photographers of the mid 20th century, such as Malick Sidibé, but quickly jumps to the contemporary as we ask about his research for the book, the book’s four intriguing sections, and the common threads that tie together the varied photographers’ work. "I was really interested in photographers who aren't interested in reality per se… who don't claim that their photos are what is!" Like our conversation, this book offers an introduction to the artists, from Morocco to South Africa, who are utilizing their subjective experiences and particular talents to reimagine what it means to be African. Join us for this informative and enjoyable discussion. Guest: Ekow Eshun Ditaola VII, 2014 © Mohau Modisakeng Afrikan Boy Sittin’, 2013 © Hassan Hajjaj People washing their clothes in the swimming pool of The Grande, a once luxurious hotel in Beira, Mozambique, 2013 © Guillaume Bonn Swimming Pool III, Bamako, 2009 © François-Xavier Gbré Nana and Razak, 2016 © Eric Gyamfi Bhekezakhe, Parktown, 2016 © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York This is how you start a party! 2017 © Musa N. Nxumalo Kingsley Ossai, Nsukka, Enugu state, Nigeria, 2017 © Ruth Ossai Night of the Long Knives I, 2013 © Athi-Patra Ruga. Courtesy WHATIFTHEWORLD Untitled, 2012 © Nobukho Nqaba Eleventh, 2018 © Lina Iris Viktor, 2018. Courtesy the Artist and Marianne Ibrahim Gallery, Chicago Mevetwapi Joya, Kunene Region, Namibia, 2015 © Kyle Weeks Ekow Eshun © Antonio Olmos Previous Pause Next
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