Rank #1: Street Portraiture -- Intention and Interaction with Ruddy Roye and Amy Touchette
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
Rank #2: Ethics of Landscape Photography, with Ryan Dyar and Adam Burton
Jan 19 2017
Rank #3: Night Photography - Exploring the Creative Possibilities
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
Rank #4: It is What It is—Mark Mann on Portrait Photography
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
Rank #5: Why Do You Love Photography?
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
Rank #6: "Learn Travel Photography, Best"
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
Rank #7: Bird Photography
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
Rank #8: Adventure Photography with Chris Burkard
When one of the world’s most “followed” photographers is available for a conversation, you make the time to talk with him, and when that photographer is acclaimed adventure, landscape, travel, and surf photographer Chris Burkard, expect that conversation to include some serious insights into the passion and ambition that it takes to create the beautiful images he makes.
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Burkard about a range of subjects—and this conversation does not disappoint. We get right into it by asking about his penchant for shooting in frigid locations and how stubbornness and even persistence can be the enemy of good photography when shooting in sub-zero temperatures. We discuss the composition of his photographs and how that is indicative of his views on nature, and we dig into his “origin story” and why clients began to come to him for the kind of photography he creates. In general, however, we stick to the nuts and bolts of his photography and learn why he prefers mirrorless cameras, specifically the Sony Alpha A7R IV, and how he organizes his commercial workflow to still make time for the adventures he craves and to be with his young family.
After a break, we ask Burkard to walk us through the creation of a few of his more well-known images. Not only does he offer insight into the photographic aspects, but he elaborates to give us a better understanding of the remote locations he finds and the teamwork needed. To quote Burkard, “to better understand how the Earth was made, we must look at it from new perspectives.” Join us for this informative conversation and if you are in New York City this weekend, you can see Burkard speak at Stocked 2019.
Guest: Chris Burkard
Photograph © Chris Burkard
Sep 26 2019
Rank #9: Night Photography- Exploring the Creative Possibilities
Feb 17 2016
Rank #10: Embracing Technology in the "New" Landscape Photography
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
Rank #11: The 2017 Cameras of the Year and Best Sellers
We’re offering our annual end-of-year listicle of a podcast a bit early, but it comes with a good deal more information than usual. We polled the writers and experts at B&H to put together a set of cameras that represent the best or most important cameras released in 2017 and we welcomed Levi Tenenbaum and Yaakov Adler, two of our most knowledgeable staffers, to talk about the pros and cons of these cameras.
To anyone paying attention to the photo industry, it should be none too surprising that new cameras from Nikon and Sony are competing for top honors, but you might be surprised at the rest of the cameras in our top ten list and at which point-and-shoot and medium format cameras come into play. Additionally, in the second half of the show, we offer statistics from the B&H website regarding the best-selling and the top-rated cameras of the year. These are not necessarily cameras announced in 2017, but we provide the top scores for cameras in all categories, as well as for lenses and accessories. Also, be sure to tune in next week for our companion episode on “Industry Trends for 2018!”
Any podcast with Levi and Yaakov as guests is bound to be informative and entertaining, and this is no exception. Enjoy.
Guests: Yaakov Adler and Levi Tenenbaum
Nov 16 2017
Rank #12: Cameras of the Year, 2016
Dec 22 2016
Rank #13: Dynamic Portrait Lighting, with Alexis Cuarezma
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome California-based advertising, sports, dance, and fashion photographer (and director), Alexis Cuarezma, who packs a considerable amount of practical and creative insight into our hour-long conversation. Ostensibly, Cuarezma was joining us to talk about his lighting techniques and, while he does dive deep into lighting schemes, we discuss so much more. Cuarezma is generous with is thoughts on production, composition, models, gear, self-promotion, and marketing really anything that he understands to help him in his burgeoning photo business.
Just a glance at his work, and one will realize why Cuarezma is here to discuss lighting techniques, he has shot for Sports Illustrated (including six covers), Fortune magazine, Ring magazine, the New York Times, and his clients include Nike. Cuarezma emphasizes his belief that getting in right “in-camera” is the key to his success, not just for the sake of the final image, but for his creative process. Researching, planning, arriving early, being hands-on in every phase of the work, and understanding that your vision, when properly executed, will win over a client, is the other key to his success.
With Cuarezma we discuss his decision-making process when creating a portrait; each of the small problems that needs to be solved to create the desired look that works best for his particular subject. While comfortable renting the needed gear to fulfill each project, he also discusses the gear he owns and uses, including Profoto B1 lights, Rosco Gels, and his Canon 5DS. Join us for this insightful and very educational episode.
Guest: Alexis Cuarezma
Photograph © Alexis Cuarezma
Nov 27 2019
Rank #14: Cameras and Lenses of the Year, 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
Rank #15: Frankencameras
We took our mics to a basement laboratory on East 30 Street, in Manhattan, where legend tells of a scientist and his cohort who perform ungodly experiments, attempting to bring life to subjects long considered dead. What we found rattled the nerves of even our steely host Allan Weitz, and brought us to a new consideration of what can be done when modern Prometheans fuse technologies from diverse eras to create extraordinary tools for their photographic purposes.
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Geoffrey Berliner, Executive Director of the Penumbra Foundation, and Frank Rubio, the Camera Doctor, about the many “frankencameras” they have created together. In fact, they displayed six examples of their work for us. We talk about each one, most being antique view cameras modified with brass portrait lenses, modern flash systems, or for digital capture. We explain the provenance of the cameras and lenses, the process of “repurposing” them, and the practical applications for these modifications. Each of these cameras is put into regular use at Penumbra, primarily in their tintype studio, and we discuss Scovill, Graflex, and stereo carte de visite cameras; Cooke, Fox, and Hermagis lenses, and even Sony a7 cameras and Canon Selphy printers. For images of the cameras and lenses, go to our landing page.
We also speak with Berliner about his impressive lens collection, with Rubio about learning camera repair in the Army, and about their motivations and collaboration. Rubio, having worked in some of the best camera houses in New York, has established a reputation as a skilled and meticulous craftsman, trusted by artists, pros, and collectors alike, and Berliner is a walking encyclopedia of camera and photography history. Join us for this insightful conversation, which leaves only one question unanswered—which of the two is the true Dr. Frankencamera?
Guests: Frank Rubio and Geoffrey Berliner
Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables
Apr 19 2018
Rank #16: Post-Processing & Digital Asset Management with Katrin Eismann and Peter Krogh
Jan 05 2017
Rank #17: Street Photography—Two Eyes Are Better Than One
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, mirrorless vs. DSLR, 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 the “street.” We compare the two disciplines, discuss shooting in different cities, talk street photography techniques and the cameras she prefers. We also ask both photographers which of all their photos they would keep, if they could only keep one.
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
Photograph ©Sisse Brimberg
Jun 14 2018
Rank #18: The Many Lives of Color
Edvard Munch noted that “colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas” and, on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we dip our brushes into the palette of art and color theory and, then, we explore practical (and beautiful) applications of color through the eyes of a cultural documentarian and a fashion photographer. We start our conversation with photographer, artist, and Leica Ambassador Adam Marelli, who muses on color theory from a painter’s and a photographer’s point of view and endures our novice questions on the subject. We discuss a few basic terms, learn about Michel Chevreul and Josef Albers, and then get into questions about his use of color, about film color compared to digital, printing, and Marelli’s understanding that colors are never static, and should not be considered such when creating images—look for the subtlety between colors, he suggests.
In the second half of the show, we welcome Natasha Wilson, a Los Angeles-based fashion and lifestyle photographer who imbues her work with the colors that dreams are made of. Whether bold and bright or with a muted palette, when you see her work, there will be no doubt why we thought of Wilson for this conversation. We ask her about her process, both behind a Canon lens and in front of a computer monitor, and we discuss how she finds locations, casts models, and finds the balance between her artistic imagination and the client’s needs. Her laid-back approach belies the intensity of her vision.
Products mentioned in thie episode:
Guests: Adam Marelli and Natasha Wilson
Photograph © Natasha Wilson
Aug 27 2018
Rank #19: Norman Reedus--Art Is as Art Does
For some photographers, the phrase “run and gun” has a negative connotation, but when you’re Norman Reedus, that description takes on a much cooler meaning, one that is accurate to his style and a compliment to his ability to “sense a moment.” Reedus, most recognized for his acting work on the television series, “The Walking Dead” and “Ride with Norman Reedus,” is first and always an artist: a sculptor, a director, and author of the photography book, “The Sun’s Coming Up… Like a Big Bald Head” available at Big Bald Gallery.
With the travel demands of film and television, Reedus’s photography becomes a way to engage with his locations and document his adventures but, through the eyes of an artist, his work is more than just famous locales and behind the scenes fun. He brings a personal vision, humorous and dark, to images he captures and does so with an experimenter’s touch, using a variety of cameras and styles. We talk with Reedus about his start in photography, his stylistic approaches, gear choices, and what he has learned from his time in front of a camera that helps with his work behind one. However, with a guest like Reedus—generous with his time and tales—you let the conversation flow, and we also discuss his series “Ride,” the influence of Laurie Anderson, fan selfies, Roger Ballen, horror films, Oxfam, and even Pee Wee Herman.
While recording this episode, the Tom Waits line, “I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things,” kept popping into my head. I’m not sure this line best reflects Reedus’s work, but I am sure there is a Tom Waits line that does. This episode was a real treat for us at the B&H Photography Podcast, and we hope you feel the same in the listening.
Guest: Norman Reedus
Photograph: ©John Harris
Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables
Jan 19 2018
Rank #20: Get Serious with Chris Buck
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.” Join us for this spirited conversation.
Guest: Chris Buck
Photographs © Chris Buck
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables
Host: Allan Weitz
Feb 22 2018