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Posted 06/08/2018
Hosted by B&H Photo, the 2018 OPTIC Conference for Outdoor and Travel Photography was a wonderful opportunity to speak with a diverse group of great photographers, and we did just that. We sat down with a diverse mix of shooters, including Joyce Tenneson, Xyza Cruz Bacani, Keith Carter, and Sisse Brimberg. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will present these conversations, but today we start with National Geographic staff photographer Mark Thiessen, who, in addition to running the photo studio at NatGeo and shooting many stories for the magazine, has continued a twenty-year personal project on wildfires. To know his subject better, to be safer, and to get closer to the action, Thiessen became a certified wildland firefighter and travels to active fires each year to photograph the fires, as well as the property destruction and human toll taken by these wildfires. We speak with Thiessen about his experiences, tools and techniques for photographing fires, and about his other work for National Geographic. We also take a few minutes to catch up with Rod Clark, of Wine Country Camera. At OPTIC 2017, we spoke with Clark about the beautiful filter-holder system he developed, and now we find out how his company has grown since last year, and what Wine Country Camera has brought to the market. Guests: Mark Thiessen and Rod Clark Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "The Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "The Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke" © National Geographic Mark Thiessen on the B&H Photography Podcast © 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 10/24/2019
Perhaps there is one thing on which all photographers can agree: we love to photograph our pets. From amateur to professional, a simple photo of our dog, cat, or guinea pig making “that face” is almost irresistible and, based on the current exhibit at The Museum of the Dog, this fascination with photographing our pets reaches into the past for as long as the medium has existed. On this week’s episode, we welcome author and vernacular photography collector Catherine Johnson, and Alan Fausel, Executive Director and CEO of the Museum of the Dog, to discuss the current exhibit on display at this museum. Johnson began collecting archival photos of dogs as a young girl, mostly from local flea markets, but over the years has amassed a unique collection of images—snapshots, posed portraits, cabinet cards, tintypes—dating back to the 1880s. This collection was made into the 2007 book, Dogs, and is now a wonderful exhibition at the Museum of the Dog, during the inaugural year in its new home, in Midtown Manhattan. With Johnson, we discuss the origin of her collection, the distinction between vernacular and amateur photography, and what makes for a good dog photo. We also touch upon her time working for photographer Norman Parkinson and her other photography work. Mr. Fausel, who has thirty years of art-world experience as a scholar, curator, appraiser, and regular guest on the Antiques Roadshow, now heads the Museum of the Dog, which is affiliated with the American Kennel Club. With Fausel, we speak about curating this exhibit, the challenges and joys of running a multi-faceted institution with such a specific theme, and how to balance the interests of dog lovers of varying stripes. We also discuss the growing interest in vernacular photography in the art world and its hard-to-be-determined appraisal value. Join us for this interesting episode and check out the “Photos: Please do not Bend, the Catherine Johnson Collection” on display through December 29, 2019, at the Museum of the Dog. Guests: Catherine Johnson and Alan Fausel © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC, Image Courtesy AKC Museum of the Dog © Catherine Johnson LLC, Image Courtesy AKC Museum of the Dog Jason Tables and Catherine Johnson, © John Harris Alan Fausel © John Harris Allan Weitz, Catherine Johnson, and Alan Fausel © John Harris Allan and his “look-a-like” © 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 08/07/2019
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome a true photography legend—curator, critic, and author, Vince Aletti. Anyone who lived in New York in the 1980s and ’90s, and is interested in photography, will know of Aletti as the photography critic at the Village Voice. He went on to review photo exhibitions at The New Yorker until 2016. He has also curated exhibitions at the International Center of Photography and White Columns gallery, and has authored many books, including his latest, Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines, which he joins us to discuss. In addition to his writing and curating, Aletti is a collector, and has created a collection of the most important issues of fashion magazines from the past 100 years. The book, Issues, employs that collection to offer a history of fashion photography as it was meant to be viewed—in magazines, and our conversation focuses on the context of the magazine as “the ideal delivery system” for the best photography of several generations. We discuss the beginning of fashion magazines and introduction of photography to that format and we spend time discussing the work of Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Steven Meisel by looking at issues of magazines for which they were the primary, if not sole, photographer. The production of these magazines— Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue Italia, The Face, for example—are mentioned, as are the creative directors, editors, and stylists, but the point of this enlightening conversation (and Aletti’s book) is how great photographers have used the specific format of the fashion magazine for their ground-breaking and ever-evolving images. Today also marks the beginning of the B&H Photography Podcast Panasonic LUMIX S1 Sweepstakes. Follow the above link for the rules and entry guidelines and you’ll have two chances to win a new Panasonic LUMIX DC-S1 Full-Frame Mirrorless digital camera with 24-105mm lens or a Panasonic LUMIX DC-G95 Mirrorless digital camera with 12-60mm lens. Also, look for the upcoming special episode of our podcast with Panasonic LUMIX Global Ambassador Shiv Verma. Guest: Vince Aletti Above photograph courtesy Vince Aletti and Phaidon Press “Harper’s Bazaar,” October 1934, Harry Meerson. Collection Vince Aletti. Courtesy Phaidon “Vogue,” June 1, 1940, Toni Frissell. Collection Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “French Vogue,” May 1939, Erwin Blumenfeld; from “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “British Vogue,” June 1947, cover: Irving Penn; spreads: Clifford Coffin; from “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “Fashion & Travel,” 1954, No. 1, 1955, No. 2, Bert Stern; from “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “The Face,” July 1980, Corinne Day; from “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” by Vince Aletti, Publisher: Phaidon Vince Aletti on the B&H Photography Podcast © 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 10/04/2017
Steve Simon is The Passionate Photographer, and in the short conversation we had with him at the 2017 OPTIC Conference, it became clear why. Not only does he exude a passion for photography (and for cameras) but his photographs are imbued with humanity, humor, a wonderful sense of composition, and his talent for capturing the decisive moment. Whether it is street photography, long-form documentary or his wonderful news coverage of presidential campaigns and conventions, his passion is on display. We talk with Simon about a range of subjects, including his first cameras, his popular workshops, and what motivates him to keep shooting. After a break, we return with the fifth installment of our series “Dispatch with Adriane Ohanesian.” In this segment, she recounts her harrowing story of coming under attack while photographing a story on illegal gold mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ohanesian is an award-winning photojournalist, based in Kenya, who covers humanitarian crisis and conflict in South Sudan and Somalia. On this assignment, she had hiked deep into the Okapi Wildlife Reserve with rangers returning to a gold mine that had been cleared of illegal mining, only to be attacked by militia members looking to reclaim their site. Her incredible story involves hiding overnight in a mine pit within earshot of her attackers, fleeing barefoot through the jungle, only to get lost and returned to the mine she had hoped to escape. Join us for this bracing episode, which demonstrates what passionate photographers will do to tell a story worth telling.  Click here  if you missed Episode 4 of “Dispatch.” Guests: Steve Simon and Adriane Ohanesian Photojournalist Adriane Ohanesian at work in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon Photograph © Steve Simon 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 01/30/2019
In terms of its sheer reach and influence on photographers, there is no magazine that compares to LIFE. From the 1930s into the 1970s, it was the weekly go-to for news, lifestyle, entertainment and, of course, world-class photography. With the likes of Margaret Bourke-White, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Capa, Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lange, and Alfred Eisenstadt under contract, and a commitment to the photo essay, LIFE was a groundbreaking publication that has yet to be equaled. At its most popular, it sold 13.5 million copies per week. With America’s attention switching to television by the early 1960s and, eventually, away from print media in general, LIFE slowly became a remnant of another era, but its influence on photography is still immense. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we discuss the magazine, and particularly its print and online reincarnations in the 2000s. Joining us for this conversation is the former editor-in-chief of LIFE, Bill Shapiro. Shapiro, a long-time editor at Time Inc., brought LIFE out of mothballs, in 2004, and launched LIFE.com in 2009. We examine these two iterations of the famed journal. Underscoring this conversation is the larger issue of the consumer switch from print journalism to digital journalism as the primary source of news and photography. Shapiro walks us through the decisions that were made to keep LIFE viable as the eventual changes in the industry took hold, and how he infused creativity into the print magazine and the website, while maintaining its long tradition of great photography. We also talk with Shapiro about his work as an author and, particularly, the book he co-authored, What We Keep, and how that book was influenced by the work he did at LIFE magazine. Join us for this look back at the final years of one the most important publications in American photography history. Guest: Bill Shapiro Bernie Mac, 2005 Bill Murray, 2004 Tina Fey and John McCain, 2004 Sarah Jessica Parker, 2004 Steve Carell, 2005 Jennifer Hudson, 2007 Special Issue, WWII Photography, 2010 Bill Shapiro Bill Shapiro with "What We Keep" book Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/15/2018
For this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we return to our conversations from the 2018 OPTIC Conference, hosted by B&H Photo. We spoke with so many wonderful photographers and will present these talks over the coming weeks but, today, we focus on the street photography of two very distinctive photographers. Our first guest is Sisse Brimberg, a veteran adventure and travel photographer who has more than thirty stories for National Geographic to her credit. Much of her work is devoted to historical and cultural stories, but our chat focuses on the informal portraiture she does in the streets, marketplaces, and country roads around the world. Brimberg relates how she is always “seeing” photographs, how she interacts with her subjects, and how to know when a photograph is worth taking. We also discuss her late husband and shooting partner, NatGeo photographer Cotton Coulson, and how her approach to work has changed since his death. After a short break, we speak with Xyza Cruz Bacani, a Magnum Foundation fellow and Fujifilm Ambassador. Born and raised in the Philippines, Bacani is based in Hong Kong, and started her street photography while employed as a domestic worker there. Her street photography blossomed into a career as a documentary photographer covering immigration, social justice, and human rights issues, but she still devotes time to “street.” We discuss the differences between the two disciplines, as well as her street photography techniques and cameras and lens choices. For street, travel, and documentary photographers, this is an episode not to be missed, and subscribe to our podcast for future conversations from OPTIC 2018, including those we had with photographers Keith Carter, Joyce Tenneson, and Seth Resnick. Guests: Sisse Brimberg and Xyza Cruz Bacani © Sisse Brimberg © Sisse Brimberg © Sisse Brimberg © Sisse Brimberg © Sisse Brimberg © Xyza Cruz Bacani © Xyza Cruz Bacani © Xyza Cruz Bacani © Xyza Cruz Bacani © Xyza Cruz Bacani Sisse Brimbeg at OPTIC 2018 © John Harris Xyza Cruz Bacani at OPTIC 2018 © 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 08/15/2019
We are in the midst of our B&H Photography Podcast Panasonic LUMIX S1 Sweepstakes and encourage you to check the link to enter to win a Panasonic LUMIX DC-S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 24-105mm Lens or a Panasonic LUMIX DC-G95 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 12-60mm Lens. For today’s episode, we present encore conversations with photographers Sisse Brimberg and Xyza Cruz Bacani. Sisse Brimberg is a veteran adventure and travel photographer who has more than thirty stories for National Geographic to her credit. Much of her work is devoted to historical and cultural stories, but our chat focuses on the informal portraiture she does in the streets, marketplaces, and country roads around the world. Brimberg relates how she is always “seeing” photographs, how she interacts with her subjects, and how to know when a photograph is worth taking. We also discuss her late husband and shooting partner, NatGeo photographer Cotton Coulson, and how her approach to work has changed since his death. Xyza Cruz Bacani, a Magnum Foundation fellow currently covering the civil unrest in Hong Kong, started taking photography seriously while employed as a domestic worker there. Her street photography blossomed into a career as a documentary photographer and photojournalist covering immigration, social justice, and human rights issues, but she still devotes time to “street.” We discuss the differences between the two disciplines, as well as her techniques and cameras and lens choices. Bacani has recently published the incredible book, We Are Like Air, about her mother and other migrant workers in Hong Kong. Join us for this insightful episode and don’t forget to enter our sweepstakes and subscribe to the B&H Photography Podcast. Guests: Sisse Brimberg and Xyza Cruz Bacani © Sisse Brimberg © Xyza Cruz Bacani “We Are Like Air” by Xyza Cruz Bacani Panasonic LUMIX S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Panasonic LUMIX G95 Mirrorless Digital Camera 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 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 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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