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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 07/01/2021
Beginning with an iPhone and an “a-ha moment” in the beautiful San Francisco City Hall, photographer Arthur Drooker began a project that would last five years and take him across the United States to photograph the most impressive and interesting city halls in the nation. The project culminated with his wonderful book, City Hall: Masterpieces of American Civic Architecture, from Schiffer Publishing, and it brings him to the B&H Photography Podcast to discuss photographing architecture, civic pride, research and interviews, book publishing, zoom and tilt-shift lenses, and a host of other subjects related to his photography. Join us for this practical and insightful episode. “To me, the best city halls are not just office buildings to administer services, they also use architecture and design to express something about civic pride, civic virtue, and democratic engagement.” —Arthur Drooker Guest: Arthur Drooker Photograph © Arthur Drooker San Francisco City Hall rotunda © Arthur Drooker Buffalo City Hall council chamber © Arthur Drooker Cincinnati City Hall © Arthur Drooker Philadelphia City Hall © Arthur Drooker Detail of William Penn statue atop Philadelphia City Hall © Arthur Drooker San Jose City Hall interior reflections © Arthur Drooker “City Hall” book cover © Arthur Drooker “American Ruins” book cover © Arthur Drooker “Conventional Wisdom” book cover © Arthur Drooker “Pie Town Revisited” book cover © Arthur Drooker 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 02/11/2021
When we started the B&H Photography Podcast more than six years ago, the concept was “watercooler conversations” with photographers, about gear. Well, honestly, it hasn’t always turned out that way, but this episode with famed photojournalist David Burnett comes as close to that idea as any we have done; there’s barely an edit in the whole episode. Burnett joins us, and we just talk. We begin with his coverage of the recent presidential inauguration and his decision to use a 1930 Graflex 4 x 5 camera in addition to his Sony mirrorless with an FE 100-400mm lens. Burnett reflects on the reasons he incorporates vintage cameras and lenses into his workflow and the need to challenge your own point of view as a photographer. We discuss the motivations that bring a particular camera to his eye and his sense of “obligation to all that has come before.” In the second half of the show, we talk about using legacy glass on mirrorless cameras and the relentless (and at times “goofy”) experimentation that both Burnett (and Allan) enjoy. From aerial reconnaissance lenses to old Kodak cine lenses, there is nothing that can’t be adapted, and we go into the weeds to discuss some of the many, many lenses Burnett has not just tried, but used successfully for his professional assignments. We also ask about the new Sony Alpha 1, the benefits of customizable functions, and his preference for the Sony a9 II and a6600 cameras. Join us for this easy-going conversation. Guest: David Burnett Photograph © David Burnett A soldier with a letter from home, Lang Vei, Vietnam, 1971 © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Bob Marley, 1976 © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Al Gore on the presidential campaign trail, 2001 © David Burnett/ Contact Press Images John Kerry in the last days of the presidential campaign, Manchester, New Hampshire, 2004 © David Burnett /Contact Press Images Daniel Céspedes arrested by the Chilean military, 1973 © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Ayatollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the Iran Revolution, 1979 © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Mary Decker looks on in pain after colliding with Zola Budd and falling during the 3000-meter race at the 1984 Olympics, in Los Angeles © 2020 David Burnett/Contact Press Images Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/02/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome editor, educator, and photographer Joan Liftin, and Michelle Dunn Marsh, founder and publisher of Minor Matters Books. In the first half of the show, we speak with Liftin about her latest book, Water for Tears, and then we focus on Minor Matters and the unique business model this publishing house utilizes. We also discuss the person who brought them together, the late photographer Charles Harbutt. Liftin was married to Harbutt and was his collaborator, and Marsh has recently published a book of Harbutt’s work and words, titled The Unconcerned Photographer. With Liftin we discuss the genesis of Water for Tears, which is a sort of photo memoir—images from travel and family and fleeting impressions that tie together a lifetime. We discuss editing, sequencing, collaboration, and the subtle difference between narrative and story. We also talk about editing Harbutt’s work and, along with Marsh, about the creation of The Unconcerned Photographer. After a break, Marsh elaborates on the publishing model they employ at Minor Matters—a hybrid of crowdfunding, support membership, and a direct, organic connection between artist, publisher, and consumer. Have a look at their catalog, which presents work from established photographers and new voices in the medium. Join us for this compelling discussion. Guests: Joan Liftin and Michelle Dunn Marsh Photograph © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin From "Water for Tears" © Joan Liftin Cover of "The Unconcerned Photographer," published by Minor Matters 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 06/30/2020
This week on the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome two old friends of the podcast to talk about the latest gear from their respective companies. First up is Rudy Winston, Technical Advisor at Canon USA, and then we welcome Marc Farb, Technical Rep from Sigma. Both Winston and Farb are breaking records with this, their fifth visit to our show. With Rudy Winston, we discuss a few cameras that were released last year or earlier in 2020, such as the Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR and the EOS 1D X Mark III DSLR, to get a sense of how they are being received, and then we briefly discuss what may be the most-anticipated camera of 2020, the upcoming EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera. In addition, we talk about the latest Rebel T8i DSLR, CF Express memory cards, and the incredible RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens. After a short break, we start our conversation with Marc Farb, discussing the impressive Sigma fp Mirrorless Camera, which was announced almost a year ago but has become the latest big deal for those wanting a compact full frame camera that can be the basis of both a complete photo or cine system. From there, we talk lenses. Sigma continues to produce incredible lenses in all categories and for most major camera systems, including the 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Lens for the Sony E system and the just-announced 16mm f/1.4 DC DN and 30mm f/1.4 DC DN for L-mount systems. After a quick mention of Sigma’s adapters and its new UD-11 USB Dock for Leica L-mount lenses, Farb relates an all-time favorite lens of his that is ideal for sports, wedding, and concert photographers, among others: the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens. Join us for this informative and practical discussion of the most interesting new gear from Canon and Sigma. Guests: Rudy Winston and Marc Farb Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera Body with Accessory Kit Canon EOS 1D X Mark III DSLR Camera Canon EOS Rebel T8i DSLR Camera Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens Sigma fp Mirrorless Digital Camera Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Contemporary Lens for Sony E-mount Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens 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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Posted 11/20/2019
Of course, there are several renowned photography book publishers, but if you know just one name in photo book publishing, it should be Aperture. Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, Stephen Shore, Sally Mann, Deana Lawson, and Martin Parr are just a few of the artists who have had at least one of their most significant books published by Aperture Publishing. Book publishing is just one of the ways that this non-profit organization, founded by Minor White and others, supports the art and craft of photography; they produce their quarterly magazine, host exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, sponsor book and portfolio awards, and publish The PhotoBook Review and the Aperture blog. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Lesley Martin, Creative Director at Aperture and Publisher of The Photobook Review. Who better to speak about the process of photography-book publishing and, in general, the state of the photobook community today? With Martin, we discuss the important books from their 2019 catalog and how their editorial team decides which projects to publish each year, how large the runs will be and the costs associated with publishing in the US and abroad. We also examine what distinguishes Aperture—their non-profit status, the platform they create for artists, their collaborative philosophy, and the need to balance contemporary photo projects with compilation and themed photo books, classic editions and works about photography. We also ask about the impact of Amazon on their book trade and general questions on the current state of the photo-book business. In the second half of our show, we discuss the recently announced winners of the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. This important award has three categories: Photography Catalogue of the Year, First PhotoBook of the Year, and Photobook of the Year. We ask about the criteria for judging in each category, about the subtle distinctions between a good photo series and a good photo book and clarify who can submit to the contest. Finally, we ask Martin about some of her personal dos and do nots when it comes creating your own photography book. This is a very enlightening conversation for those interested in creating a photobook and for anyone curious about what goes into running a successful editorial house. Guest: Lesley Martin “Brooklyn: The City Within” by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb “Deana Lawson: An Aperture Monograph” by Deana Lawson, Essay by Zadie Smith “Immediate Family” by Sally Mann “Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph” Fortieth-anniversary edition by Diane Arbus “The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion” by Antwaun Sargent “Walter Chandoha: The Cat Photographer,” Interviews by David La Spina and Brittany Hudak “Border Cantos” by Richard Misrach Allan Weitz and Lesley Martin © 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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