Join us each week for a conversation with insightful and entertaining guests. From gear and technique to history, science and art, we discuss the topics most important to the contemporary photographer.
Join us each week for a conversation with insightful and entertaining guests. From gear and technique to history, science and art, we discuss the topics most important to the contemporary photographer.
Join us each week for a conversation with insightful and entertaining guests. From gear and technique to history, science and art, we discuss the topics most important to the contemporary photographer.
Today, we welcome portrait photographer Mark Mann to the B&H Photography Podcast, and as Allan notes at the top of the show, if you name a celebrity or famous politician, Mann has probably photographed them. His body of work is incredible. As an example, in 2014, he was tapped by Esquire to photograph eighty boys and men, from age one to eighty, for its 80th anniversary issue. That “who’s-who” list alone would make a career, and it was just one year for Mann.
Over the course of this engaging conversation, we touch on many topics from interaction with subjects, to gear choices (Leica medium format S and full-frame SL systems), to retouching, to shooting with or without a tripod. We also dig into his early career, when he assisted legends like Nick Knight and Miles Aldridge and what he calls the “slow grind” of years of freelance work. While Mann is known for tight-cropped, high-resolution portraits, we also discuss his motion and After Effects work, how he “grounds” himself by occasionally shooting with a Graflex and antique lenses and, of course, the development of his signature lighting techniques.
Also joining us is Cory Rice, who photographed Mann as part of the What is Photography? portrait series and asks pertinent questions on portraiture. Our conversation is loaded with belly laughs as Mann recounts his portrait sessions with Bill Murray, Jennifer Aniston, Robin Williams, President Obama, and others. Join us for this enjoyable and informative episode and don’t forget to join the B&H Photography Facebook group.
Guest: Mark Mann and Cory Rice
Photograph © Mark Mann
Mar 14 2019
Dec 22 2016
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 and for links to the gear mentioned in this article follow this link.
Guests: David Speiser and Klemens Gasser
Photograph © David Speiser
Oct 26 2017
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast posits the notion that we are in a “Golden Age” of landscape photography, and a fundamental attribute of this "new" landscape photography is its embracing of digital and mobile technologies. From soaring ISO capabilities and improved dynamic range to stacking and correction software to weather, mapping, and pre-production apps, the willing photographer can plan and execute landscape images that would have been impossible to create only a few short years ago. We also suggest that the Pacific Northwest, with its proximity to the cradle of the tech industry and a spectrum of natural wonders, is the hub of this progressive landscape photography movement. Veteran photographers have adopted new technologies and created a movement, and a younger generation is following suit, certain to take landscape photography into a future that includes drones, VR, and imaging technologies yet to be imagined. We also discuss the influence of photo-sharing platforms and new career models that enable photographers to distribute their work and travel to destinations that editorial assignments would never cover.
We welcome to our conversation two preëminent landscape photographers, Erin Babnik and Sean Bagshaw, who discuss their work and the use of the high-tech gear and applications in the creation of their photography. In addition to the obligatory Q and A about camera and lens choices, we discuss location and weather apps, post-process plug-ins, and even the latest foul-weather gear, all of which enable them to create the stunning work for which they are known. Both photographers are members of Photo Cascadia, and have a wide following of supporters and students. Their workshops sell out months in advance. After hearing their insights and seeing their imagery, there will be no doubt as to why.
Guests: Erin Babnik and Sean Bagshaw
Photograph ©Erin Babnik
Feb 02 2018
It is that time of year, when we chat about the cameras that have been announced in 2018 and toss in some commentary by our in-house experts. We also make time for our favorite new lenses and a few accessories and miscellaneous pieces of gear. At the end of the show, we’ll go around the room and offer our thoughts on each of our favorite cameras from this year.
While we already touched upon the new Canon and Nikon mirrorless full-frame cameras in a previous episode, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge these big announcements at the top of the show. Other than these long-awaited announcements, 2018 was a comparatively quiet year for other manufacturers. Sony announced the Alpha a7 III Mirrorless full-frame camera at the beginning of the year, and both the RX100 VA and the RX100 VI; Zeiss has everyone curious about its full-frame ZX1 Digital Camera. Leica put out the Leica Q-P Digital Camera along with M10-D. Fujifilm bookended its year with two big announcements, the Fujifilm X-H1 in February, and the X-T3 later in the year—and added a few smaller X-series cameras, point-and-shoots, and the Instax SQ6 Taylor Swift Edition along the way. Panasonic announced the Lumix DC-GH5S as the update to the G5, and Olympus released the PEN E-PL9.
Several lenses were highlighted during the roundup episode, including the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di RXD Lens for Sony E and the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC CN lens. The Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 CF lens for Sony E also found favor, as did the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM lens and the Rokinon 24mm f/2.8 AF lens.
This really was an episode full of insightful gear talk, and we discussed a wide range of products; we hope you enjoy and that it will help with any gift-buying decisions you may be making.
Guests: Chelsea Jensen and Shawn Steiner
Dec 13 2018
If inspiration is what you are looking for, the story of how Eric Kruszewski became a photographer should supply you with plenty of it. Of course, it all starts with a personal desire but, planning, networking, hard work, and even a simple Google search like the eponymic one above, all go into the recipe for success.
Taking up photography as a hobby in your thirties seems a commonplace occurrence, but deciding to change careers and become a working photographer is another story altogether. Join us as we speak with travel, editorial, and documentary photographer Eric Kruszewski about his journey from newbie to National Geographic. We talk about the value of workshops, mentors, cold calls and persistence, and trace Eric’s career from its inauspicious beginnings through long-term personal projects, one-off jobs, artistic setbacks, new skillsets and, ultimately, a satisfying career—paying the bills doing what he loves.
Allan’s “Gearhead Pick of the Week” is the TetherBLOCK QR Plus Quick Release Plate.
Guest: Eric Kruszewski
Photographs © Eric Kruszewski
Sep 28 2017
In the previous episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we talked about the best-selling, the most important, and our favorite new cameras from 2017. In this week’s episode, we look ahead to 2018 with a discussion on “industry trends” and the new technology and photo gear we expect to see more of over the coming years. We welcome back Yaakov Adler and Levi Tenenbaum with their insight on the subject, and we discuss the improving technology of cellular phone cameras, new memory cards, wireless applications, electronic shutters, and even the “draw of analog,” amongst other topics. We also mention the current cameras that are on the forefront of incorporating these technologies.
On the second half of our show, we continue with our serial segment, “Dispatch” with Adriane Ohanesian. Based in Kenya and covering stories throughout Africa, Ohanesian is the 2016 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award winner and a World Press Photo award winner whose work appears regularly in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, VICE, and other publications.
After a deadly attack during a photo assignment in Congo and recovering from malaria, Ohanesian has returned to her “normal,” which means extended assignments throughout the region covering conflict, resource and migration issues, and in this case, the last male Northern White Rhino in existence. Join us as we get an understanding of the working life and photographic process of a freelance photojournalist.
Guests: Yaakov Adler and Levi Tenenbaum; Adriane Ohanesian
Nov 30 2017
We welcome back Chris Williams, of Lens Therapy Live, and photographer David Speiser, of lilibirds.com, to the B&H Photography Podcast for a discussion on the applications, techniques, and specific features of super-telephoto lenses. Super-telephotos lenses are most often used by sports and wildlife photographers—however, photojournalists, law-enforcement, and even landscape photographers are known to use them, as well. They offer the build quality to withstand tough conditions and the optical quality to capture distant subjects clearly.
For this conversation, we define super-telephoto as a lens with a six-degree angle of view, which, on a full frame sensor, corresponds to a 400mm lens. On APS-C format DSLRs you can get an even longer reach with your super telephotos and, while Fujifilm, Olympus, and Panasonic offer a few super teles for their mirrorless cameras, the ultra-long lenses are still the domain of the professional DSLR. There are high-quality super-telephoto zooms from Sigma and Tamron, but our conversation concentrates on the fast-aperture, prime lenses made by Nikon and Canon. We discuss their unique features, image stabilization systems, filters, methods of support, and the techniques used to handle them effectively.
Join us for this very informative episode and, while you are at it, subscribe to our show.
Guests: David Speiser and Chris Williams
Jan 25 2018
Our B&H Photography Podcast FUJIFILM X-H1 Sweepstakes is still going strong and, in a nod to FUJIFILM, we speak with a few X-Photographers during our show but, in general, we break a bit from the norm and “interview” each other about our own affinity for taking pictures. Allan, Jason, and I each take a turn at describing what it is we love about photography. I tried to fashion the question to avoid the idea of “what do we love photographing?” or “what kind of photos do we like?” to concentrate on what it is about the act of photographing that gives us that sensation of joy, of satisfaction, of love. Yes, it’s hard to find the right words, but we do our best, and to help us out, we have asked three FUJIFILM X photographers to add their thoughts to the subject.
We speak first with street photographer (and podcaster) Valérie Jardin who riffs on “being in the zone” and the need to make every shot count. Then, we speak with Bryan Minear, a Midwest-based freelance landscape and lifestyle photographer for whom image capture can be just the beginning of a good image, and, finally, we welcome Alaska-based adventure and travel photographer Dan Bailey who speaks on the satisfaction found in challenging yourself, whether in sports, music or photography. The work of each photographer is very distinctive and it’s interesting to hear their insights, not only on why they started and continue their love affair with photography, but also into their process and workflow. Join us for our version of a gabfest and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and enter to win a FUJIFILM X-series camera.
Guests: Valérie Jardin, Bryan Minear, and Dan Bailey
Photograph © Valérie Jardin
Aug 02 2018
Today’s conversations address the challenges photographers encounter when “real life”—children, family, economic changes, even personal tragedy—interrupt the work we would like to be doing, namely taking pictures, and how we find our way back to the form of creative expression we all desire.
We welcome four photographers who have overcome challenges or who have found ways to incorporate their own life and lifestyle into their professional work. First, we speak with photographer Erin Babnik, who previously joined us to talk about the tech she uses in her landscape photography, but now tells of her recent brush with tragedy when her new home and studio was engulfed by the deadly 2018 Camp Wildfire, in Paradise, California. Next, we are joined by Sofia Aldinio and Colin Boyd, of Affuera Vida Productions, who have decided to take their business on the road, quite literally. Not wanting the typical white picket fence and two-car garage lifestyle, they are retrofitting an old fire department van and taking their two young children on an epic journey from Maine to Argentina, all along, photographing for clients who love their real-life family adventure content.
After a break, we welcome National Geographic Explorer and Grantee Erika Skogg to discuss her project on Scandinavian-American culture. After years spent traveling the world with her camera, Skogg decided it was time to return to her Wisconsin hometown to live. It wasn’t long before she turned her documentarian’s eye to her own culture and heritage and created a beautiful series on the traditions she knows so well.
Finally, we’ll be joined by Carissa Pelleteri, who has published two books on the people of Montauk, NY. “Car” is a Brooklyn native who, after years of vacationing in Montauk, began to notice the changes happening to her beloved getaway. Her books are visual records of the town’s transition from bucolic fishing village to an oft-crowded tourist destination at the eastern end of Long Island. Join us for this intriguing set of conversations, recorded at the 2019 OPTIC Photography Conference.
Guests: Erin Babnik, Sofia Aldinio, Colin Boyd, Erika Skogg, and Car Pelleteri
Photograph © @AffueraVida
Jun 27 2019
On this week's B&H Photography Podcast we dig deep into the vault for one of our most successful early episodes.
In less than an hour, this podcast will teach you everything you need to know about night photography. Seriously. While our show is not a tutorial, the conversation is so broad and so deep; it touches upon every aspect of the craft. Guests Gabriel Biderman and Todd Vorenkamp blanket this subject with an engaging and humorous tone—from the psychological predisposition common to night shooters and the science of rods and cones to cameras, gear, apps and a recipe for creating images of star trails. This is truly an episode for all levels of shutterbugs seeking to explore or master image making at night. Well done guys!
Click here for more info on all the gear you need for night photography.
Guests: Gabriel Biderman and Todd Vorenkamp
**We are presenting this episode as a response to listener requests...and it also allows us the time to prepare our next few episodes, which look to be incredible. We will be speaking with Ryan Dyar and Miles Morgan about shooting landscapes with drones, with on-set still photographers in the film and movies business, with NBA basketball photographers, and are planning a very special episode with photographers Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes. Stay tuned.
Oct 18 2018
Jan 26 2017
We’re not even two months into 2019 and there have already been several announcements for new cameras, lenses, and even a new format for a major camera manufacturer. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we will list the many new announcements and, along with our guests, Shawn Steiner and Andrea Ortado, offer any insights we have in terms of specs, hands-on comparisons, and general opinions.
We start off with the new Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera and mention a few of the many lenses on the road map for this new full-frame mirrorless series. We also discuss the new Nikon lenses for their full-frame mirrorless Z-mount camera, including the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S lens and the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens. From Canon and Nikon we move on to Panasonic and the huge announcement of their full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Lumix DC-S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera and the Lumix DC-S1R Mirrorless Digital Camera as well as the company’s L-Mount Alliance with Sigma and Leica, and new lenses such as the Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro O.I.S. lens, the Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. lens and the Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 lens. We also highlight the impressive new Olympus flagship camera, the OM-D E-M1X Mirrorless Digital Camera.
After a break we discuss the new Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Digital Camera and the reasons it will appeal to vloggers and the new FUJIFILM X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera. FUJIFILM also announced a new XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens and the FUJIFILM GF 100-200mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR lens for their medium format GFX cameras. We continue with a brief chat on new point-and-shoot cameras including the Ricoh GR III Digital Camera, the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II Digital Camera and the FUJIFILM FinePix XP140 Digital Camera. Finally, we close with a brief comment on firmware, accessories such as the Wacom Cintiq 16HD Creative Pen Display, and thoughts on the new full-frame mirrorless cameras. Join us for this very informative episode.
Guests: Andrea Ortado and Shawn Steiner
Feb 21 2019
Feb 17 2016
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 many 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
Photograph © Steve Morello
May 16 2019
This is “Wildlife Week” at B&H Explora, and for our contribution we offer this most excellent episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. Truth is, serendipity is a goddess, and our B&H colleagues made it easy for us to bring you such great guests—the OPTIC Conference supplied a bevy of incredible wildlife photographers for our microphones and our friends at Explora created this beautiful and educational feature, please check it out, here.
First on today’s show is the one and only Ron Magill, photographer, Nikon Ambassador, and Communications Director of the Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens. Magill brings his passion for wildlife and refreshing views on photography (and photographers) to this lively discussion. He also had some good news from his recent foray photographing the Monarch butterfly migration.
Next, we are joined by polar expedition diver, photographer, podcaster, and founder of Meet the Ocean, the very talented Paul North. North is not only a doer of many good things, he is an incredibly nice man and talks of being under the polar ice in a way that might actually make someone consider going there! His intelligence and dedication is contagious as he discusses the simple quantity of life that exists in such remote, frigid places, and as he advocates for storytelling as the best way to “combat environmental apathy.”
After a break, we welcome a master. This year’s keynote speaker at OPTIC Frans Lanting joins us to offers thoughts on process, particularly the nuanced and well-researched approach he takes to an assignment before he ever picks up a camera. We talk a bit about specific projects but focus more on the importance of knowing the story you want to tell, eliminating preconceived images, and the need for a holistic method to making photographs of wildlife. Join us—it really was a treat to hear the thoughts of these three passionate professionals.
Guests: Ron Magill, Paul North, and Frans Lanting
Photograph © Ron Magill
Jul 11 2019
The simple theme for today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was to be “how to speak to people in the street when you’d like to take their photo.” For this conversation, we invited two of the best street portraitists in New York—Amy Touchette and FUJIFILM X-Photographer Ruddy Roye, both incredibly talented photographers (and writers!) whose work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Time, Esquire, and many other publications. They are both also very active on Instagram, with work that seems ideally suited for the best that medium has to offer.
However, as good conversations often do, ours takes a winding road. We discuss personal and family histories, gentrification, race, and a range of subjects, all along tying these ideas to the fundamental aspects of engaging with people, often strangers, to produce passionate and compassionate street photography.
We ask our guests how they approach people, how they describe their work when asking for a photograph, and about the importance of body language and eye contact to convey your intention and develop trust. We also examine the differences in approach when photographing people from cultural and economic backgrounds different than your own, when shooting groups of people and, finally, we discuss how to handle pushback, requests for money, outright rejections, and even upsetting encounters. For the gearheads, we touch on working with formats from medium format to cellphone, and how that effects your approach and the interaction with your subjects. Join us for this inspiring conversation.
Guests: Amy Touchette and Ruddy Roye
Photograph © Amy Touchette
Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables
Apr 26 2018
It’s that time of year again at the B&H Photography Podcast. Now firmly established as a tradition, with the end of the year in sight and gifting season in full swing, we take an episode to talk about the most interesting—dare I say, best—cameras of the year. Our guests include podcast regular Levi Tenebaum and B&H SuperStore camera expert Georgina Diaz.
This year, we start with an overview of mirrorless cameras announced in 2019, including the new full-frames from Panasonic, Sony, Leica and Sigma. We also mention the new APS-C and Micro Four Thirds format cameras such as the FUJIFILM X-Pro 3, the Sony Alpha a6600, the Nikon Z50, and the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Mirrorless Digital Camera. Perhaps most interesting are the mirrorless medium format high-resolution cameras that were introduced, including the FUJIFILM GFX 100 and Hasselblad X1D II 50C.
Jumping ahead to DSLR cameras, we see that Nikon and Canon updated their flagship models, Canon offering the EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR and Nikon, the D6 DSLR Camera. Canon also announced its compact mirrorless full frame, the Canon EOS RP. High-end point-and-shoots from Sony and Canon were released, as were three new waterproof tough cameras from Ricoh, FUJIFILM, and Olympus.
After a break, we take on the subject of lenses and accessories and highlight a few lenses that caught our attention, such as the FUJIFILM XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR, the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens, and several others. We wrap up the episode with a discussion of lights, tripods, drones, and other accessories.
Our guests bring their expertise to this conversation as we compare new cameras to their predecessors, discuss specs, and get insight from the SuperStore floor regarding what have been the hot items from 2019. Join us for this timely and educational episode.
Guests: Levi Tenenbaum and Georgina Diaz
Dec 12 2019
It has been “Macro Week” at B&H Explora, and this week’s episode will put a nice bow on all the articles and photos we have published on the subject, with an overview of what type of macro photography lenses and systems are available. We begin this podcast talking with photographer Marc Silber about his new book Advancing Your Photography: A Handbook for Creating Photos You’ll Love, in which he provides a complete guide to get you from concept to completion. He stresses visualizing your image, gathering the correct gear to accomplish that, and walks the reader through all the steps of production, post-production, and exhibition. The tools he provides are apt for beginners. Enthusiasts—and even pros—will pick up a few tricks.
After a short break, we continue the macro photography theme with a listing of the latest macro lenses available at B&H, and a practical conversation on what defines macro, techniques for improving your macro photography, and alternative methods for creating close-up and macro images.
Guest: Marc Silber
Photo: Allan Weitz
May 18 2017
B&H Photo recently hosted the two-day Depth of Field Portrait, Wedding, and Event Photography Conference, in New York City, and invited many talented, experienced photographers to speak and show work. The conference also included representatives from most of the major camera, lens, and lighting companies. We set up our mics close to the main stage, grabbed vendors as they passed by and spoke with them about their latest and greatest offerings for photographers and videographers.
For this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we have edited together a sampling of our conversations with the following manufacturers: Nikon, Pentax/Ricoh, Westcott, Sony, Sigma, Luxli, Canon, LG, TogTees, Godox, Leica, and Adobe. It’s a long one, but we have blended a bit of elucidation with some humor and, hopefully, created an informative and enjoyable show. Join us, por favor.
Guests: Lindsay Silverman, Nikon (01:16) Ken Curry, Ricoh/Pentax (03:15) David Piazza, Westcott (08:16) Lavonne Hall, Adobe (16:35) Jason Mantell, Sony (22:20) Marc Farb, Sigma (36:24) Casey Krugman, Luxli (45:06) Rudy Winston, Canon (53:04) Gregg Lee, LG (01:00:54) Pano Kalogeropoulos, TogTees (01:10:14) Stephen Gomez, Godox (01:18:32) John Kreidler, Leica (01:25:49)
May 03 2018
Today we welcome a special guest to the B&H Photography Podcast: actor and comedian Jeff Garlin. We also are launching the B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge, so please click the link to find out how to enter to win a Leica Q2 Digital Camera.
Jeff Garlin is well-known as a stand-up comedian and, of course, as a star of the hit television shows, The Goldbergs and Curb Your Enthusiam. About fifteen years ago, he turned a love for photography, for the work of the masters—Alfred Eisenstadt, Jim Marshall, Mary Ellen Mark, to name a few—into his own photographic practice, and we are all the beneficiaries of his engaged eye.
In March, Garlin debuted his series, “A Big Bowl of Wonderful,” at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles, and we talk to him about how this series of portraits of his co-stars and friends in the television community—many taken on set or backstage—developed over a long curve, one founded in respect for the medium and applied with a simple stratagem: see something interesting and frame it in the most creative way possible. With that in mind, we talk about trusting your gut, not overthinking a shot, being comfortable with your subjects, but also about gaining the confidence to take photos, especially of those you know and respect.
Garlin also talks about his affinity for Leica, especially the M system, about the difference between actors and comedians, and talking photography with Jeff Bridges. We also ask him about his role as executive producer on the film, Finding Vivian Maier. This really is a photography lover’s conversation, summed up best by one of Garlin’s comments: “I’m taking a picture because it brings me joy.”
About bringing joy. If you are interested in winning a Leica Q2 Digital Camera, be sure to enter the B&H Photography Podcast Leica Challenge, which launches May 28, 2020 and runs until June 21, 2020. Click the link, follow the instructions, submit a photo you have taken recently that reflects “life during shutdown,” and you could be the winner of this spectacular 47MP full-frame Leica camera. Join us for a great episode.
Guest: Jeff Garlin
Photograph © Jeff Garlin
May 28 2020
As an industry and as a hobby, the numbers indicate that drone flying and drone photography are still primarily the domain of men, but sustaining this disparity is ridiculous and it should and will change. Our two guests today are part of bringing about that change, and they do so by being good at their craft, by spreading the joy of flying, and teaching drone operation and photography to women and girls.
Our first guest today is an Emmy Award-winning camerawoman for CBS News and F.A.A. licensed drone pilot Carmaine Means, who incorporates quadcopter footage into her news coverage and, of course, flies for fun. After a break, we are joined by Yasmin Tajik, a documentary photographer and F.A.A. licensed drone operator who is also the Brand Ambassador Director for the educational and advocacy group Women Who Drone.
We get to know the work of each guest, asking Means how and when she decides to use aerial footage in a news segment, what her personal guidelines are for putting up a drone, and what the planning stage is like with her producers. We also talk about the value of certain aerial shots in telling a story, about the equipment she uses, and handling the drones in various conditions. Currently, she flies with a DJI Phantom and an Inspire.
With Yasmin Tajik, we mention the Federal Aviation Administration licensing process and she recommends the FAA Drone Zone as a good place to start. We also ask her about using drones in documentary work and some of the restrictions placed on flying in the U.S. and other countries. As a resident of Arizona, she discusses some of the advantages of flying in that state, as well as unique guidelines they have established. We also speak about how she learned to fly after initially being hesitant, the work done by Women Who Drone, and taking her Tello Quadcopter into schools and the interest it generates from the next generation of flyers. Tajik also points to the many industries and services that are incorporating drones and the growing opportunities available for licensed pilots, but we don’t forget to talk about the joy she gets by using her DJI Mavic 2 to provide a perspective on the world that our land-based cameras can never match.
Join us for this enjoyable and inspirational conversation and if you are a female drone flyer, we’d love to hear your experiences and see your images.
Guests: Carmaine Means and Yasmin Tajik
Photograph © Yasmin Tajik
May 21 2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we talk about food photography with photographer Chelsea Kyle and food stylist Drew Aichele. There are few photography disciplines that are as complicated as food photography. With the pressure of time, heat, cold, color, and light, a small team must work together to create an image that realistically illustrates the sumptuousness of a dish, but also is a visually striking composition. Collaboration is key and, in this case, it’s fortunate that Kyle and Aichele are also a couple, engaged to be married. We are grateful they were able to join us today.
We discuss aspects of the professional process from client and editor, to recipe experts, to the stylists and photographers, and ask who determines what the “look” will be and how that is played out on set. We also discuss camera and lenses, lighting gear, and all accessories that are used in this space, which is part kitchen, part workshop, and part photo studio. Kyle stumps host Allan Weitz, mentioning a piece of grip gear with which even he is not familiar.
Because our guests live together, and despite the huge hit the industry has taken, they have been able to work during the shutdown, and we discuss how they have adapted to handling all aspects of a shoot within their own kitchen. We talk about sourcing supplies when many stores and bakeries are closed, about using Zoom to direct a remote shoot, and speculate on the future of this very collaborative profession.
Join us for this insightful episode and let us know how these tough times have affected your photography… and your cooking.
Guests: Chelsea Kyle and Drew Aichele
Above photograph © Chelsea Kyle
May 14 2020
Ray Collins’s portraits of waves are hard to describe because you don’t want to describe them. Like the wave itself, the photographic abstraction refuses words; indescribable and amorphous become unique and powerful in his hands. One look at his work and it’s clear that he is in his element in the surf, transforming what he knows so well into a profound and universal statement.
We have been looking forward to speaking with Collins for a while, and are very pleased to present our conversation with him on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. We start our chat asking how he went from being a coal miner in New South Wales, Australia, to a photographer, and then melding that new love with his first love, surfing and the ocean. It’s a good story and it gets better as we learn how he transitioned from surf photography to fine-art photography and book publishing.
We ask about working in the ocean, the dangers, “knowing” certain waves, and the ability to maneuver his gear and body to anticipate the photos he wants to capture. We also discuss the gear he uses, from his Nikon D850 to Aquatech housing, to the surprising range of lenses he uses in the water. We also discuss the non-photo equipment he needs to stay afloat and navigate.
After a short break, we discuss his post-process decisions and how he looks for texture as much as color when deciding upon which images he prefers. Interestingly, for a photographer whose color work is so gorgeous, Collins is color blind and he talks about how he has turned that into an advantage for him. We also chat about printmaking and book publishing with this incredibly talented and friendly photographer. Join us for an inspiring conversation and check out the work of Ray Collins.
Guest: Ray Collins
Above photograph © Ray Collins
May 07 2020
With more than 250 photographs by fifty photographers, the book is a gorgeous collection of contemporary art photography from throughout Africa. Established artists such as Pieter Hugo and Zanele Muholi are profiled, along with many lesser-known photographers working in (and between) a range of genres. Supported by Eshun’s insightful commentary, the book delves into the unique voices depicting their Africa experience today.
Our conversation begins with the master portrait photographers of the mid 20th century, such as Malick Sidibé, but quickly jumps to the contemporary as we ask about his research for the book, the book’s four intriguing sections, and the common threads that tie together the varied photographers’ work.
"I was really interested in photographers who aren't interested in reality per se… who don't claim that their photos are what is!" Like our conversation, this book offers an introduction to the artists, from Morocco to South Africa, who are utilizing their subjective experiences and particular talents to reimagine what it means to be African. Join us for this informative and enjoyable discussion.
Guest: Ekow Eshun
Photograph © Ruth Ossai
Apr 30 2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome National Geographic photographer Steve Winter back to the program. Winter joined us, in 2016, to discuss his wildlife photography, specifically his work photographing cougars in the hills of Los Angeles, California, and today we will be discussing tigers.
Over the past several years, Winter has been working on stories about tigers, initially in Sumatra, Thailand, and India, but most recently in the United States, where there are more tigers in captivity than exist in their increasingly shrinking natural habitats in Asia. The majority of these tigers are pets, are in sanctuaries, or are used as part of small private zoos and tourist attractions. His most recent story for NatGeo, which was honored with a 2020 World Press Photo award, explores this phenomenon—the good, the bad, and very ugly of it.
We speak with Winter about the production and research for this series, about photographing the animals, as well as the owners, handlers, and tourists, and the dangers of each. We discuss how he utilized his news and documentary skills, in addition to his wildlife photography experience, and about the gear decisions he made to help bring this story to life. We also dig into the practice of breeding, crossbreeding, and maintaining predator cats for profit and the issues of illegal trafficking, tiger farms, and of legitimate sanctuaries. Finally, we focus on the positive changes that have come from Winter’s many stories on the world’s big cats.
Guest: Steve Winter
Photograph © Steve Winter for National Geographic
Apr 23 2020
This episode was originally published on March 14, 2019. It's pretty funny. Enjoy this encore presentation and we'll be back with a new episode next week. Thanks so much for listening!
Today, we welcome portrait photographer Mark Mann to the B&H Photography Podcast and, as Allan notes at the top of the show, if you name a celebrity or famous politician, Mann has probably photographed them. His body of work is incredible. As an example, in 2014, he was tapped by Esquire to photograph eighty boys and men, from age one to eighty, for its 80th anniversary issue. That “who’s-who” list alone would make a career, and it was just one year for Mann.
Over the course of this engaging conversation, we touch on many topics, from interaction with subjects, to gear choices (Leica medium format S and full-frame SL systems), to retouching, to shooting with or without a tripod. We also dig into his early career, when he assisted legends like Nick Knight and Miles Aldridge and what he calls the “slow grind” of years of freelance work. While Mann is known for tight-cropped, high-resolution portraits, we also discuss his motion and After Effects work, how he “grounds” himself by occasionally shooting with a Graflex and antique lenses and, of course, the development of his signature lighting techniques.
Also joining us is Cory Rice, who photographed Mann as part of the What is Photography? portrait series and asks pertinent questions on portraiture. Our conversation is loaded with belly laughs as Mann recounts his portrait sessions with Bill Murray, Robin Williams, President Obama, and others. Join us for this enjoyable and informative episode and don’t forget to join the B&H Photography Facebook group.
Guest: Mark Mann and Cory Rice
Apr 17 2020
Ike & Tash are a husband-and-wife photography team. You know what? They tell it better than I can.
“We are a FAMILY business, a LEGACY business, a husband-wife team that found our dream and our FUTURE behind the lens. With our 3-year-old daughter, Wisdom, we travel around the country teaching photographers, taking pictures and making memories... all the while helping others to keep theirs, forever.”
Ike & Tash joined us for a conversation at the Depth of Field Conference to talk about their wedding and engagement photography, senior portraiture, and work as educators and mentors. We touched on photo, business and family topics and how they individually and collectively approach storytelling. We also find out why Ike loves the Nikon Z system so much. It was just a really nice chat that made clear how a business is “built on integrity.” That’s the first part of this week’s B&H Photography Podcast.
Understanding how the wedding photography business has been particularly affected by the coronavirus outbreak, we asked Ike & Tash to send us a quick follow-up on how they’ve been doing the past few weeks, and they were kind enough to agree.
We thank Ike & Tash for joining us and our listeners for sticking with the show these past few weeks. We look forward to a holiday break next week and to coming back with great new episodes. We also appreciate your comments on Apple Podcasts and the B&H Photography Podcast Facebook Group. Enjoy the episode and stay safe.
Guests: Ike and Tash
Photograph © Ike & Tash Photography
Apr 08 2020
Flying in directly from a post-Oscar party in Hollywood, Greg Gorman joined us for a conversation at the 2020 Depth of Field Photo Conference this past February, where he was the key-note speaker. Given all that has happened since, it seems like a long time ago, but this is the type of chat we wish would have just kept going, so enjoyable was Gorman and his tales of Hollywood then and now.
Still in-demand by A-listers, Gorman’s work reaches back to touch the Golden Age of Hollywood, with portraits of Brando, Hitchcock, and Orson Welles from his early career and just about everyone else since. It’s not even worth listing the “who’s who;” we do ask about a few famous names and how he got started, but mostly we talk technique and lighting.
We start with his thoughts on film versus digital photography and then delve into his work with continuous lighting compared to strobe and his current penchant for Rotolight LED with Canon and Sony camera systems. We also discuss the importance of gaining the trust of your subjects and having a consistent production team to maintain your desired look, as well as an efficient workflow.
We wrap with a segment on the importance (and difficulty) of self-editing and then touch on the selection and sequencing process for the eleven books he has published and the career retrospective that is in the works and scheduled for publication later this year.
Check out Gorman’s incredible body of work and join us for this fun conversation.
Guest: Greg Gorman
Photograph © Greg Gorman
Apr 02 2020
Today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast hosts a compelling conversation with four photojournalists who are covering stories related to the COVID-19 outbreak in New York. We discuss the stories they have been photographing, the precautions they are taking, how they’ve adjusted their shooting styles, and about the assignments they are willing to accept and those they would like to pitch.
Joining us are Sarah Blesener, a documentarian covering stories for The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She is a recipient of an Alexia Foundation grant and is a Catchlight and Eugene Smith fellow. Her 2019 project, Beckon Us From Home, received a first-place prize in the Long-Term Project category of World Press Photo.
We also welcome veteran photojournalist John Taggart, who has worked for The New York Times, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters, and many other outlets. Based in Brooklyn he is no stranger to the streets and subways of New York.
After a break, we speak with Desiree Rios, a Mexican-American photojournalist and documentary photographer from Fort Worth, Texas. She is currently based in New York, working for The New York Times, but has covered stories from California to Cuba.
Finally, we welcome Andrew Seng, who is based in Brooklyn and also works in Portland. His work focuses on creating a visual archive of the Cambodian diaspora, while questioning the formation of visual ideas of race and identity. He has worked for The New York Times, WNYC, Teach for America, The Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, among others. Seng has also been a past guest on our show.
Join us for this timely and informative episode.
Guests: Sarah Blesener, John Taggart, Desiree Rios, and Andrew Seng
Photograph © Andrew Seng for The New York Times
Mar 26 2020
Today, we discuss some of the most recognized images of rock-n-roll history and those that made them.
Our first guest is photographer Amelia Davis, who is the owner of Jim Marshall LLC, the living archive of the prolific photographer Jim Marshall, most known for his images of jazz and rock musicians of the 1950s through the 1970s. If you are familiar with photos of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, or the Allman Brothers Band, then you are certain to know his work. Marshall not only covered the Monterrey and Altamont festivals, but was the only photographer invited by the Beatles to cover their final concert. Marshall also documented the Civil Rights movement and the Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco.
With Davis, we discuss how she came to be the proprietor of the archive and how she protects and manages the collection. We also talk about Marshall, the man, and why he was seemingly able to photograph “everyone” in that era. Davis is also part of the production team behind the new film "Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall,” which is well worth seeing to get a better understanding of Marshall’s motley personality and his incredible body of work.
After our chat with Davis, we welcome photographer Elliott Landy, who is currently producing a book of his images on the seminal rock group, The Band. Landy was the official photographer of the famed Woodstock music festival and responsible for unforgettable images of Van Morrison and Bob Dylan, among others. Elliot is running a Kickstarter campaign to create Contacting the Band, which will take a deep dive into the thousands of photos he took of the group in concert and around their homes, in Woodstock, NY. We encourage you to check the Kickstarter link above and enjoy this episode.
Guests: Amelia Davis and Elliott Landy
Photograph © Jim Marshall Photography LLC
Mar 19 2020
It’s easy to admire Sebastian Meyer, not simply because he’s a talented photographer who also co-founded the first photojournalism agency in Iraq, but because he is confident enough to speak of his shortcomings, his naiveté, and of tragedy, and not forget the importance of humor.
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Meyer to discuss his “love at first sight” for photojournalism, how he jump-started his career, the Metrography photo agency he opened in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the colleague and friend he lost to the violence of the war against ISIS.
We also laugh a bunch during this episode and talk about being an “arrogant white guy,” how research can create preconceived ideas, the tropes of war photography, a bit about gear, and about the conditional nature of journalistic standards and freedom of the press.
After a short break, we learn of Meyer’s involvement in a prolonged hostage situation, his return to photojournalism, and how his new book, Under Every Yard of Sky, is not only a beautiful chronicle of modern Iraqi Kurdistan, in war and in peace, but is also a tribute to a friend taken too soon.
Join us for this powerful conversation that touches on so many important issues of the contemporary documentary and photojournalism.
Guest: Sebastian Meyer
Photograph © Sebastian Meyer
Mar 12 2020
Today’s guest, Shari Belafonte knows cameras from both sides and she brings an understanding to the medium that is as palpable as her sense of humor. It was a pleasure to welcome her to the B&H Photography Podcast. Of course, we knew of Shari as the face from so many magazine covers in the 1980s and ’90s—no kidding, every other face at the check-out line melted away when you saw that smile. Of course, she has the same last name as a 20th-century legend (who just turned 93 this week, by the way), but did not use it at the beginning of her professional life. However, as her modeling career grew, so came television and movie roles, and she is currently a regular on the hit show, The Morning Show. Multi-talented? Yes, and we didn’t even talk about her singing voice, but what we didn’t know was that she went to school to work behind the camera and never really put it down, including stills and motion work over the years.
First to admit her modelling career came as a bit of a surprise, Belafonte did have her first professional shoot with none other than Richard Avedon, and that Calvin Klein campaign included a memorable early video component. In that period, she graced the cover of more than 300 magazines, including VOGUE, Jet, and Glamour. We speak with her about learning the modeling craft as she continued to learn the crafts of camera and lighting, working with the likes of Avedon and Francesco Scavullo.
We also flash back a bit and talk about growing up the daughter of singer, actor, and civil-rights activist Harry Belafonte, discussing his Leica cameras, the role of photography in their household, dealing with the press and paparazzi, and a few of the famous shots of her father with his friend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shari had her first camera at age four and generally spent high school and college in the darkroom before modeling and acting took over. Later, a well-timed gift of the then-new Canon EOS camera reignited her passion for making images and she continued, exhibiting several series of work over the years, shooting stills and BTS on films, even learning Steadi-Cam and “dp’ing” on music videos and shorts. We talk technique, interaction with talent, post-production, and about the power and beauty of creating a “moment in time.” Join us.
Guest: Shari Belafonte
Photograph © Shari Belafonte
Mar 05 2020
What obstacles have gotten in the way of your photography? When life’s troubles arise, where do you point your camera? Or do you set it down? Photography can be a weekend hobby or it can be a life’s calling and, for our guests on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, there is no doubt that photography is part of their very being, and meshed into the most intimate aspects of their lives.
Adriane Ohanesian and Nancy Borowick have been friends since they studied together at the International Center of Photography, and have remained close despite careers that have put them on opposite sides of the globe. Both had specific aspirations while studying, both have received professional recognition as photographers, and both have faced tragedy and pain with a steady hand and unflinching eye. In addition to her many assignments for the likes of Time magazine and the New York Times, Borowick documented her parent’s parallel treatments for stage-four cancer. And as a photojournalist in East Africa, Ohanesian has covered war, refugee crisis, climate change, and illegal mining. Not only has she witnessed and documented extreme human brutality, she has been caught in the crossfire on more than one occasion.
As part of B&H’s content for International Women’s Day, which is on March 8, 2020, we asked Borowick and Ohanesian to join us for a conversation about the role photography has played in their lives and to discuss their careers thus far. For both women, 2019 will be a watershed year—Borowick welcomed her first baby and Ohanesian survived a plane crash that has left her broken but unbowed. After a decade of “the hustle,” they also take a moment to gaze into the future of their photo careers and we are proud to be privy to this conversation and present it to our listeners. Join us for this real-world conversation among two accomplished photographers.
Guests: Adriane Ohanesian and Nancy Borowick
Photograph © Adriane Ohanesian
Feb 27 2020
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a healthy set of conversations with gear representatives and camera experts from several of the major camera and lighting companies that we recorded at the 2020 Depth of Field Conference.
First we speak with Steve Heiner, of Nikon, discussing that company’s new DSLRs, including the flagship D6 and the D780. We also ask about the mirrorless Z system cameras and new lenses for that system. Next up is Joe Edelman, of Olympus, to discuss his company’s new flagship, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, and its incredible image stabilization system. Our next guest is Shar Taylor, from Profoto, and with her we discuss the A1 AirTTL Studio Light, the Air Remote TTL, as well as the popular Profoto B10 OCF Flash Head.
After a short break, we welcome Casey Krugman, product develop from Luxli, to discuss the incredible LED light panels, including the new Taiko 2x1 RGBAW LED light. Our next guest is food photographer Chelsea Kyle, who joins us on behalf of Canon to discuss the gear she works with, including the Canon EOS 5DS DSLR. Canon has also just announced the new EOS R5 full-frame mirrorless camera and other lenses in development. It has also released the RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM lens for its full-frame mirrorless system.
Following our visit with Chelsea Kyle, we welcome Marc Farb, from Sigma, to update us on the latest news from the L-mount alliance and the Sigma fp Mirrorless Digital Camera. He also discusses new lenses, including the highly anticipated Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens for Sony E-mount cameras and the 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens from Leica L mount cameras. Our final guest is Jason Mantell, of Sony, who updates us on the latest from the Alpha mirrorless systems, including the Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital Camera and the Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital Camera. Join us for this informative conversation.
Guests: Steve Heiner, Joe Edelman, Shar Taylor, Casey Krugman, Chelsea Kyle, Marc Farb, and Jason Mantell
Feb 20 2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome back to the program intellectual property attorney David Deal to discuss issues regarding copyright infringement, particularly as they involve three high-profile cases in which he is involved.
Deal spoke with us last year about a case he had just litigated, Brammer vs Violent Hues Productions, in which he successfully argued to reverse a lower court’s decision, thus protecting his client’s photograph from copyright infringement. While it was a relatively small case, the decision carried positive ramifications for photographers and should stand as precedent going forward. Deal provides a summary of why that case is so important to photographers. He also brings us up to speed on a high-profile case in which he represents many possible heirs to the copyright of Vivian Maier’s photo catalogue.
On the second half of our show, we will speak with Deal about the current case in which he is involved, regarding the estate of noted rural portrait photographer Mike Disfarmer (1884–1959). This conversation will serve as an introduction to a serial segment we will record with David Deal over the coming months about the Disfarmer images. Disfarmer’s work is well known and sought after in the art world, but the question remains as to who are the rightful heirs of his work and whether they have been properly compensated. Because his images have been reproduced and sold for many years by various vendors, the case is complicated, and Deal walks us through the issues surrounding this fascinating photographer and case, which involves heroes and villains from small-town Arkansas to big-city New York. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for the future segments of this series as Deal and his team work through the many layers of research and legal briefs, hopefully to sort out the legal entanglements and set the record straight.
Guest: David Deal
Photograph © Mike Disfarmer
Feb 13 2020
On the suggestion of a listener, we contacted a few Australian photographers to get their take on the devastating bushfire season that has burned more than 18 million hectares and taken thirty-four lives, since June 2019. We were fortunate to connect with Nick Moir, self-described storm-chaser, wildfire photographer, and current chief photographer at the Sydney Morning Herald. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Moir about his experiences photographing this year’s fires, as well as the overall news coverage of this disaster.
Moir won a 2003 World Press Photographers Award for his coverage of that season’s bushfires, so he knows of what he speaks, and we talk with him about his approach to shooting such a dangerous subject, including planning, gear, safety measures, and the type of fire photos he prefers to make. We also discuss with Moir the fire season itself and why this year is so much worse than previous seasons. Finally, we talk about the news coverage of the fires and how his news organization covers the many stories that are part of this disaster, in comparison to how international journalists and news organizations cover the story.
Before we speak with Moir, we welcome David Brommer, organizer of the 2020 Depth of Field Professional Portrait, Wedding, and Event Photography Conference, which takes place here in New York and streams online, on February 11 and 12. Join us for this timely conversation.
Guests: Nick Moir and David Brommer
Photograph: © Nick Moir
Feb 06 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 Joseph O. Holmes and Sara Bennett, 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 O. Holmes
Photograph © Joseph O. Holmes
Jan 30 2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome editorial, fashion, art, and music photographer Olivia Bee. That’s a lot of tags and she’s earned them all in a relatively short time span. Her “origin story” is well-documented in photo circles, so we won’t go into that much, but in a career now a decade old, we discuss where those early successes have brought her, what she enjoys about photography, and what she is working on now.
With clients that include Hermes, Nike, L’Oreal, Sony, and editorial assignments from Vice, Elle, the New York Times, and Complex Magazine, Bee has created a comprehensive body of commercial work while continuing to evolve the personal aesthetic that got her noticed in the first place. She is also now directing music and other videos and beginning a narrative film effort.
We speak with Bee from her bucolic Oregon acreage and discuss a wide range of topics, from the evolution of her gear, including her current use of 8x10” view cameras, to her self-portraiture techniques, to publishing her first book, Kids in Love, with Aperture. We also spend some time discussing her work with musicians, the different approaches to an editorial assignment with a musician, and working on album art or a portrait. Finally, Bee lets us in on her dream assignment and Allan promises to make that dream come true. Join us for this pleasant and informative conversation.
Guest: Olivia Bee
Photograph © Olivia Bee
Jan 24 2020
Imagine the privilege of being present at the creation of one of the “wonders of the world,” and then imagine being asked to document the magnitude—and the details—of that creation. Our guest on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast has just that privilege and that responsibility and, as he puts it, this telescope may “change the way we understand our universe.”
Chris Gunn has been a NASA contract photographer for almost twenty years but, for the past ten, he has dedicated himself to the James Webb Space Telescope and documenting the construction and eventual launch of this spacecraft, which will replace the Hubble as NASA’s most powerful telescope. We speak with Gunn about all aspects of his job and, specifically, about the gorgeous medium format images he creates that are made available to the public. Gunn is responsible for documenting the construction process, which includes portraits of scientists, as well as macro shots of screws, and he relates how he has “taken the extra step” to evolve as a photographer, incorporating medium format photography and detailed set-ups. Gunn must be prepared to shoot any style of photo and he discusses his daily responsibilities, how his gear has evolved over time, the lighting he chooses, and his interaction with the hundreds and technicians and scientists he works with regularly.
We also discuss marketing yourself as a photographer and the specific challenges that make his job like no other, including working in giant “clean rooms,” accepting that your work is immediately in the public domain, and incorporating the aesthetics from science-fiction films. Sitting in on this recording is our own member of the B&H Space Force, writer Todd Vorenkamp. Join us for this fascinating episode in which we learn about this incredible spacecraft and the work that goes into documenting its creation and check out our 2016 episode in which we speak with the imaging scientists from the Hubble Telescope mission.
Guest: Chris Gunn
Photograph © Chris Gunn
Jan 16 2020