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Posted 11/26/2020
What a treat to welcome photographer Ami Vitale to the B&H Photography Podcast. Vitale is mustering her high profile as a National Geographic photographer, as well as the talents of eighty-nine other incredible photographers, to raise funds for Conservation International. The Prints for Nature Sale runs until December 10, 2020 and offers gorgeous gallery-quality prints at a very affordable price. Please check this link for more information and to support this worthy initiative. We also speak with Vitale about her career trajectory and commitment to telling the stories of endangered species and the humans around them. We discuss her work photographing Sudan, the last male white rhinoceros in existence, and her incredible series about pandas in China. We also ask Vitale how she bridges the gap (or perceived gap) between journalism and advocacy photography and about her commitment to long-term engagement with the stories she covers. Vitale also addresses the changing dynamics of print journalism and the need to find funding for her projects, and we briefly mention her work as a Nikon ambassador. The dearth of tourism to many protected wildlife parks around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought conservation efforts to a crisis point and the Prints for Nature Sale, with images by Art Wolfe, Steve Winter, Pete McBride, Alison Wright (all past guests of the podcast) and many other great photographers, is a way that lovers of wildlife and of photography can help. Guest: Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Ami Vitale Photograph © Anand Varma, from the Prints for Nature Sale Photograph © David Doubilet, from the Prints for Nature Sale Photograph © Jody MacDonald, from the Prints for Nature Sale Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 05/15/2019
I think it’s fair to say that animals, even more than cars, sunsets, and children, are the most photographed subject by listeners of the B&H Photography Podcast and, on this week’s episode, we speak with two photographers who not only have dedicated their craft to photographing animals, but bring to their process a compassion and advocacy that goes far beyond just a pretty picture. Our first guest, Steve Morello, is recognized for his whale and polar bear photographs, but he is also a founding partner of Natural Habitat Adventures, a wildlife adventure organization dedicated to sustainable tourism and guide training programs in Peru, Tanzania, and the Canadian and American Arctic. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Alaska Whale Foundation, where he assists on research projects and is currently working together with tourism planners, scientists, and local fishermen to conserve a newly created marine sanctuary off the coast of Peru. Morello’s photos have appeared in National Geographic and The New York Times, and he is a major contributor to the photo collection of the World Wildlife Fund. After a short break, we welcome photographer Isa Leshko to discuss her series Allowed To Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Animals from Farm Sanctuaries, which has been made into a gorgeous new book by University of Chicago Press. Photos from this series have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The New York Times, and will be exhibited at the Richard Levy Gallery, in Albuquerque, and at ClampArt Gallery, in New York. Leshko provides insight into her process and workflow as it evolved over the eight years she worked on this project. Her dedication to process is clear as she explains how she hit upon this idea, why she chose certain animals to photograph, what cameras and gear she decided upon, and how the series developed into an advocacy project. She emphasizes her cognizance of the power dynamic in portrait photography and how respectful interaction for and even a form of collaboration with the animals was fundamental to create this type of portraiture. Join us. Guests: Isa Leshko and Steve Morello Above photograph © Steve Morello Book Cover of Allowed to Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Animals from Farm Sanctuaries © Isa Leshko © Isa Leshko © Isa Leshko © Isa Leshko © Isa Leshko © Isa Leshko © Isa Leshko Isa Leshko © Ron Cowie © Steve Morello © Steve Morello © Steve Morello © Steve Morello © Steve Morello © Steve Morello Allan Weitz and Steve Morello © 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 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 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 10/27/2017
Bird photography is a big deal around B&H, and we’re not just talking about the lenses needed to get those wonderful close-ups of warblers, herons, gulls, and raptors. Bird photography is a passion that grabs pros and amateurs alike and seems to not let go; there are very few photographers as dedicated to their craft (and gear) as bird photographers. We are fortunate to have two photographers with us to discuss the gear, technique, and protocols necessary to capture pleasing images of our feathered friends. David Speiser is a member of the Board of Directors of New York City Audubon and has been an avid bird photographer for more than twenty years. He has an incredible body of work that includes birds of all varieties, and brings not only technical excellence to his photographs, but a birder’s meticulousness to his archive. Klemens Gasser is a visual artist who became enthralled with birding several years ago and turned his fixation into an exhibit of bird photographs enlarged to 72 inches across. He brings an artist’s spirit to his bird photography and humor to our discussion, and clearly loves the thrill of the chase. We speak with these two photographers about the gear and apps they use, their shooting styles, favorite locations, and how digital technology has transformed bird photography. Join us for some very practical advice and a fun conversation. Guests: David Speiser and Klemens Gasser Baltimore oriole, photograph © David Speiser Blackburnian warbler, photograph © David Speiser Canada warbler, photograph © David Speiser Great gray owl, photograph © David Speiser Prairie warbler, photograph © David Speiser Red-shouldered hawk, photograph © David Speiser Red-tailed hawk, photograph © David Speiser Snowy owl, photograph © David Speiser Spruce grouse, photograph © David Speiser Upland sandpiper, photograph © David Speiser Common grackle, photograph © Klemens Gasser American bittern, photograph © Klemens Gasser Snowy owl I, photograph © Klemens Gasser Glaucous gull, photograph © Klemens Gasser Saltmarsh sparrow, photograph © Klemens Gasser Franklin’s gull, photograph © Klemens Gasser Painted bunting, photograph © Klemens Gasser Snowy owl II, photograph © Klemens Gasser Snowy owl III, photograph © Klemens Gasser Klemens Gasser, Allan Weitz, David Speiser, photograph © John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/30/2017
Many photographers begin their careers wanting to “make a difference” with their photography, to bring some good to the world, or at least to the people they photograph. It’s one of the greatest aspects of the craft and its adherents, but can a photo really bring about long-term change? This is an increasingly relevant question, and one that dogs even the most experienced and socially conscious photographers. Despite this dilemma, many photographers forge ahead, shining a light on horrors and glories with the hope that their images have a positive influence and perhaps, because of this dilemma, some photographers have found ways to use their art, labor, contacts, experiences, and insight to raise money specifically for organizations that are “making a difference.” Salem Krieger is an experienced editorial and portrait photographer who had a seemingly simple realization in 2015: he could sell prints of his work and give a portion of the revenue to a non-profit organization of his choice. From this grew Art is Helping, his system for putting artists and art buyers together and letting the buyers determine how much they spend and which organization they support. In a short time, the roster of artists has grown, as has the varied list of non-profits that benefit from the transactions. Alison Wright is an accomplished documentary photographer and author whose work has taken her to every corner of the world. Her latest book,  Human Tribe,  is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In 2000, a tragic, near-death accident on a jungle road in Laos and a remarkable story of heroism and recovery brought a heightened perspective to the strength and spirit that pushes people to help one another—even to risk their lives to help complete strangers. With the resolve and empathy born from suffering, Wright rebuilt her life and career and founded Faces of Hope, a fund that provides medical care and education, especially to women and children in crisis around the world. The first act of Faces of Hope was to return to the village in Laos—and the people who saved her life—with five doctors and $10,000 worth of medical supplies. We speak with these two photographers about their work and about the mechanisms they have created to bring assistance to those who need it, while continuing to do the photography they love. Guests: Alison Wright and Salem Krieger “Tibet Girl” 2005. Photograph by Alison Wright Malagan Ceremonial Mask, Papua New Guinea, 2010. Photograph by Alison Wright Cover of Alison Wright’s latest book, “Human Tribe” “NYC News Stand” by Salem Krieger, from Art is Helping “42nd St. Alien” by Antonio Mari, from Art is Helping “Shadows” by Cynthia Karalla, from Art is Helping “VSH #4” by Julie Gross, from Art is Helping “Beetle” by Jose Maximiliano Sinani Paredes Shezchez, from Art is Helping “Auto America: New Mexico” by Salem Krieger, from Art is Helping Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 04/03/2019
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome two photographers who are part of the diverse and thriving cultural and artistic life of The Bronx. Rhynna Santos and Michael G. Young are both members of the Bronx Documentary Center and, today, we discuss their individual bodies of work, the role the BDC plays in their lives and community, and we talk a bit about what makes The Bronx so boogie-down. Talk about committed—not only is Rhynna Santos  a documentary photographer creating long-form series on subjects close to her heart, she leads workshops at the BDC, coordinates the Bronx Photo League and curates the Everyday Bronx feed on Instagram. Her current project, #papielmaestro, profiles her father, legendary musician Ray Santos. This series, which is on exhibit at the Bronx Music Heritage Center documents her father’s musical legacy and examines her role as her aging father’s caregiver. Michael Young is primarily a street photographer, but his portrait, event, and street fashion work is so strong, he is hard to pigeon-hole. We talk about his commitment to photography, the ability to take on different styles, and his current project on the people of Claremont Village, a public housing project in The Bronx. With Santos and Young, we discuss the challenges faced by artists of color and those in underserved communities, the value of embracing long-term projects, and how shooting “what you know” with the gear you have is a key to engaged photography. We also take a minute to shout out to a shared mentor, Jamel Shabazz, and the role he has played in the artistic development of their photography, and we profile the Bronx Documentary Center, a non-profit gallery and community-oriented cultural center that offers workshops, lectures, exhibits, and a home base for children, adults, and seniors to get hands-on training in photojournalism, filmmaking, and documentary photography. Join us for this inspirational episode. Guests: Michael G. Young and Rhynna Santos Photograph © Michael G. Young From #papielmaestro © Rhynna Santos From #papielmaestro © Rhynna Santos From #papielmaestro © Rhynna Santos From #papielmaestro © Rhynna Santos From #papielmaestro © Rhynna Santos From #papielmaestro © Rhynna Santos From #papielmaestro © Rhynna Santos From #papielmaestro © Rhynna Santos NYC Stride © Michael Young Morning Run © Michael Young Being a Father is Everything © Michael Young Untitled © Michael Young Untitled © Michael Young Michael G. Young © John Harris Rhynna Santos © Allan Weitz Allan Weitz, Michael Young, and Rhynna Santos © 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 04/07/2017
Conservation photography can take many forms, and we will offer our definition, but more importantly, we will speak with noted outdoor photographer Art Wolfe about his definition of the term. After “Al’s Gearhead Pick of the Week,” we are joined by Mr. Wolfe for a segment in which we discuss how he produces beautiful images in the service of a greater cause. Wolfe is currently working on a project on African elephants and the critical need to safeguard their existence. From this topic, the conversation easily flows to the funding of expeditions through workshops and book deals to the work of other photographers promoting awareness on a global scale and photographers tackling local issues of concern to them. Above Photograph © Art Wolfe After a break, we are joined by David Brommer, director of OPTIC 2017-Outdoor, Photo/Video, Travel Imaging Conference, who will give us a preview of this year’s event, held June 4-7, in New York City. The theme of this year’s conference is conservation and the environment, so it is fitting that we pair him with Art Wolfe; however, the photographers who present at OPTIC represent a wide range of styles and concerns, and the topics discussed range from the aesthetic to the technical to the practical. Brommer provides us with a sense of the breadth of this photographic talent, as well as the manufacturers who will attend and festoon their booths with gear for everyone to try. Guests: Art Wolfe and David Brommer African Elephants, Savuti Marsh, Chobe National Park, Botswana: I was in a small boat as these elephants crossed the channel and hauled themselves out dark and slick with water. What I really like about this image is the implied African Elephants, Okavango Delta, Botswana: I set up by a shallow pond and was able to position the camera in a way to capture the width of the landscape Humpback Whale, Vava'u, Tonga: Tonga is one of the very few places you can actually snorkel within close proximity to whales. We had just five days on the water and four of them were just too windy and the whales were very shy. In a more outgoing moment, a whale swam by and eyeballed me. It was extraordinary. Puma, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. African Elephant, Okavango Delta, Botswana: An African elephant's tusks are used for defense, digging for roots, stripping bark, and fighting during mating season. Previous Pause Next Art Wolfe DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 02/23/2018
We are delighted, at the B&H Photography Podcast, to present our chat with acclaimed portrait photographer Chris Buck. Buck is an in-demand celebrity and advertising photographer, but he also maintains ongoing personal projects, such as his current series, “Gentleman’s Club.” We speak with him on a range of topics, from concept development, shooting technique, and gear, to editing decisions and self-publishing. With a flexible yet unmistakable style that blends insight, a touch of dry, almost absurdist humor, and a pinch of the darkness within, Buck has photographed a host of luminaries from the worlds of film, music, and politics, including four of our last five Presidents. His most recent book, Uneasy, is a 30-year compendium of incredible portraits; we discuss the making of this book and, of course, some of his most recognized images. We also speak with Buck about process: his “three tiers of ideas,” thoughts on humor, his adjustment to digital photography, and DSLR versus medium format. In this wide-ranging conversation, Buck opines on his relationship with subjects, the nature of portraiture, his influences from pop culture and photography, and how “being relaxed and having fun are the enemies of a good Chris Buck photo.” Guest: Chris Buck Barack Obama, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Elvis Costello, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck George McGovern, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Leonard Cohen, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Steve Martin, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Steve Martin, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck William F. Buckley, from the book, "Uneasy" © Chris Buck Jonathan Millet, from the "Gentleman’s Club" series © Chris Buck Vincent Rodriguez, from the "Gentleman’s Club" series © Chris Buck Chris Buck on the B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris Allan Weitz and Chris Buck © John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence
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Posted 03/28/2019
Is it necessary to be funny to create work with humor, what is the line between humor and discomfort, can art that is funny have a serious message? How does Instagram success translate to the real world? These are some of the questions we address in this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, and while “humor in art” is our starting point, the conversation takes its own life and we touch on a range of subjects, including the role of Instagram for artists, how to sustain a creative idea, the discrepancy between intent and reception, and how to scale work for both a small screen and a gallery. With these ideas on the table, I cannot think of two better guests with whom to have a conversation. Mitra Saboury and Ben Zank are both artists who explore very personal spheres with their photo and video work, and both incorporate humor and playfulness to express their worldview—and as a portal to explore thornier themes. Ben Zank’s deceptively simple, wonderfully composed images, often with himself as model, explore the body’s relationship with its found environment. Placing a model in a sewer, a pothole, a basketball hoop, or under the yellow lines of the highway, Zank creates an, at times awkward, at times harmonious exchange. The almost self-deprecating humor belies a confident control of purpose and a delicate view of the human form. The imaginative work of Mitra Saboury, whether alone or in collaboration with Meatwreck, explores the physical and psychological effects of our quotidian toils. Like Zank, there is much humor in her work, but a persistent challenging of norms and questioning of beliefs runs through her photography, video, performance, and installation art. Some pieces are discomforting, but strength through inquiry and vulnerability lay at their core. Her work has been exhibited throughout the world, most recently at the Spring Break Art Fair, in Los Angeles, but she also thrives on Instagram and encourages audience participation, whether in person or in the semi-anonymity of the Web. Join us for this interesting conversation, organized by Cory Rice, and check out his portrait of Ben Zank in our “What is Photography?” series. Guests: Mitra Saboury, Ben Zank, Cory Rice Snackbreak © Meatwreck Wavy © Meatwreck Cheescake © Meatwreck Nail Spa © Mitra Saboury Found Face © Mitra Saboury Soap Sink © Mitra Saboury 355 © Ben Zank Daily Commute © Ben Zank Bottleneck © Ben Zank Nuclear Witness © Ben Zank Ben Zank © John Harris Mitra Saboury © John Harris Mitra Saboury, Allan Weitz, Ben Zank, and Cory Rice © 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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