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Posted 08/21/2020
We present a fun and insightful conversation on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, perhaps due to the Midwestern charm of photographer Julie Blackmon and the enjoyable discussion of her wonderful tableaux vivants of family life in middle America. We also welcome back to the show gallery owner Robert Mann, who is currently hosting an exhibit of Blackmon’s photographs titled Talent Show. Mann was a guest on our show, in 2018, when we spoke about the work of Australian photographer Murray Fredericks. The medium format compositions of Julie Blackmon infuse innocent playtime with a creeping sense of danger to create works with a wonderful dark humor. There is also a welcome DIY spirit to her work, and we talk about the creation of her photos and the involvement of her own family and friends in the images; even photos that have up to twenty-five subjects are produced and organized with her sisters and fellow parents.  She is hands-on in all aspects of the work, including making the large prints herself. We also talk about her use of the Hasselblad H system and how she combines wide angle and normal perspectives in her detailed final prints. After a break, Robert Mann takes the lion’s share of the questions as we discuss the many challenges faced by photography galleries. In addition to the expense of a brick and mortar gallery and the proliferation of online viewing and sales, the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the idea of a public art gallery.  Mann relates the decision to close his Chelsea gallery and receive collectors on a by-appointment basis, as well as his thoughts on creating editions and limiting prints and the general state of the fine art photo market. Join us for this enlightening four-way conversation as we gain insight from the perspective of the artist and the gallerist. Guests: Julie Blackmon and Robert Mann Photograph © Julie Blackmon River, 2020 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Baby Toss, 2009 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Stock Tank, 2012 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Talent Show, 2019 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Outing, 2019 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Spray Paint, 2020 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery 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 05/26/2017
Today we welcome two photographers from two distant parts of the globe, but both share a sense of a serene underwater world that they envision mostly in black-and-white. Perhaps, surprisingly, Hengki Koentjoro and Christian Vizl claim Ansel Adams as a prime influence on their work, and we talk with them about not only about their artistic influences but about their choice of gear, shooting styles, post-process techniques and safety concerns. We start our episode with Hengki Koentjoro, who is based in Indonesia, and whose work on land and sea is simply stunning. His black-and-white compositions of sea creatures and the interplay between sun and water are more still life than wildlife, as they explore the textures, lines, and shapes found in the waters of his native archipelago. Koentjoro speaks with us about the simple set of tools with which he captures his images and his uncomplicated approach to exploring the waters he knows so well. Hengki Koentjoro Christian Vizl brings a similar perspective to his relationship with the sea, although the creatures he normally photographs tend to be much bigger and faster-moving, and the waters he explores extend across the planet. A life-long diver, Vizl has recently received well-deserved attention for his black-and-white images of rays, sharks, and whales, including a 2017 Sony World Photography Award. His approach places experience before image and his respect for the sea and its animals is evident in all he does and says. Christian Vizl Stay tuned to the end of this show, when we announce a promo code for a 10% discount on all Ikelite camera housings, and, specifically for this episode, we encourage you to visit our podcast landing page to see examples of the images created by these two supremely talented photographers. Guests: Hengki Koentjoro and Christian Vizl Photograph by Hengki Koentjoro Photograph by Hengki Koentjoro Photograph by Christian Vizl Photograph by Christian Vizl Photograph by Christian Vizl 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 06/24/2021
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is produced in collaboration with Leica Camera, and we are pleased to welcome photographer and journalist Cheriss May to the program. One of the qualities needed to tell good stories is an ability to listen and, in conversation with May, it becomes clear that her skill for framing and capturing an image with her camera begins with her skill for listening and for engaging with people and their stories. As a freelance editorial and portrait photographer, these talents are continuously in use, whether the story she is telling has been assigned to her by an editor or is one she is pursuing and photographing of her own accord. We discuss some of May’s recent assignments with her, as well as self-assignments for The New York Times and other outlets, and how she develops stories, pitches them, and, at times, even attaches herself as the writer. We also discuss the cameras, lenses, and techniques she uses to create these series. May is also a regular photographer on the political beat in Washington, D.C. She is a White House pool photographer and was on assignment at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and she shares stories of covering that event and other major news stories of the past few years. She is also a long-time professor at Howard University and relates some of her thoughts on teaching (and learning) photography. In addition, as a former graphic designer and photographer who works in multiple genres, it should come as no surprise that she also exhibits her work, and currently has a photo series on display at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles and will be a part of the wonderful “Eyes on Main Street” exhibit in Wilson, North Carolina. We encourage you to check out her images from these series, as well as the rest of her wide range of purposeful work. Guest: Cheriss May Photograph © Cheriss May Kenneth Meeks holding his two-year-old son Mosiya's hand, watching the oldest known living survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, Hughes Van Ellis, 100, Lessie Benningfield Randle, 106, and Viola "Mother" Fletcher, 107, go by in a horse-drawn carriage followed by descendants of the Massacre, during a march on Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa, Ok., on Friday, May 28, 2021. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Ian T’senre stands on Greenwood Avenue in a moment of silence during a candlelight vigil, to remember the victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, at 10:30 p.m. on May 31, 2021, the exact day and time the first shot was fired 100 years ago. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Washington D.C. Councilman Robert White, Jr., with his daughter. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Parents actively show their children how to speak out and take a stand against inequality. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden wave from the North Portico of the White House, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Official White House Photo by Cheriss May) Natural Beauty. On exhibit — Leica Gallery Los Angeles. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Sisterhood. On exhibit — Leica Gallery Los Angeles. Photograph © Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 03/03/2016
We run a little long on this episode, but when you have guests of this caliber, it’s well worth the extra time. Today we welcome the legendary Associated Press Photo Editor Hal Buell and Time LightBox Photo Editor Olivier Laurent. Bringing distinctive cultural and generational perspectives to the table, our two guests discuss the idea of an iconic photograph. We start with an attempt to define an iconic photo and, along the way, we talk about the editing process, war photography, mobile technology, photo manipulation, important photos from 2015 and many, many of the greatest photos ever taken. For working professionals, photo historians and anyone interested in how photography impacts our life, this is an episode for you.    Guests: Hal Buell and Olivier Laurent To listen to this week’s episode: Listen to or download on  SoundCloud, or subscribe to the B&H Photography Podcast on  iTunes;  Stitcher;   SoundCloud; or via  RSS. Hal Buell and AP staffer Jim Palmer work with Leafax transmitter at the Atlanta Democratic National Political Convention in 1988. It was the first time digital scanning was used on a major news story. Hal Buell edits film at the Los Angles 1984 Olympic games. Hal Buell, far left, poses with other judges at a World Press Photo session in Amsterdam in the early 1960s. Hal Buell, Allan Weitz, Olivier Laurent, and John Harris b Host: Allan Weitz Producer: John Harris Engineer: Jason Tables Executive Producers: Bryan Formhals, Mark Zuppe
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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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