Rank #1: The Mirrorless Divide—Fuji is for Artists, Sony is for Pros?
Rank #2: Night Photography- Exploring the Creative Possibilities
Rank #3: "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
Rank #4: 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
Rank #5: Macro Lenses and Advancing Your Photography with Marc Silber
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
Rank #6: Landscape Masters: Michael Kenna and Paul & John Paul Caponigro
Rank #7: If You Could Only Use One Camera, Which Would It Be?
Rank #8: 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
Rank #9: 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
Rank #10: 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
Rank #11: Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras from Nikon and Canon and Fujifilm Winners
We had planned a different podcast for this week, but when news broke that Nikon and Canon had announced new full-frame mirrorless camera systems, we reserved studio time and recorded an episode to provide just the basics on what we know about these new sets of cameras and lenses. Rumors on when (or if) these two companies were going to bring full-frame mirrorless cameras to market have been on-going for years, and the day has finally arrived. While we don’t have much more information on these cameras than the general public has, we were able to have some hands-on experience with pre-production models for just a few minutes and that, combined with a thorough look at the specs, will enable us to offer a conversation that we hope our listeners will appreciate.
The Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera was announced with four RF lenses and three unique adapters for EF lenses—and there is a lot to unwrap when talking about this new system. We ramble through a loose conversation on the camera system, but I encourage you to check out the specs on the B&H Photo website and also read our team’s announcement article which discusses the camera, lenses and adapters.
The Nikon Z System Mirrorless cameras were announced a few days before the Canon system, and came out of the gate with two distinct full-frame mirrorless bodies, the Z6 and the Z7. Nikon has also announced three dedicated lenses for the system, and the FTZ electronic adapter for F-mount lenses. While our guest, Levi Tenenbaum, has had a chance to play with the Z7 and joins us to offer his thoughts, again, I encourage you to check the B&H website for full specs and features and read our announcement, which not only discusses the camera, lenses, and adapter, but also the many kits available for this new system.
Finally—and after weeks of anticipation—at the end our episode, we will announce the winners of our B&H Photography Podcast Fujifilm X-H1 Sweepstakes. Stick with us until the end to find out if you are one of the two lucky winners, and thank you to all our listeners who entered the sweepstakes, left reviews, and commented on our show. We are very grateful.
Guest: Levi Tenenbaum
Rank #12: The Japan Camera Hunter
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Allan as happy as he was during our recording of this episode and, if you are into vintage cameras, lenses, and all things film photography, just sit back and enjoy our conversation with Bellamy Hunt, aka the Japan Camera Hunter. The palpable enthusiasm between these two camera lovers cannot be feigned, and they talked like old friends about Nikon SP, Canon rangefinders, Hasselblads, and anything with a red dot.
We also learn how an Englishman arrived in Japan, worked for a camera company, became a camera hunter, and eventually developed a business that not only sources vintage and rare cameras, but sells film, custom-paints cameras, and writes and shares his love for photography on the “JCH” site. In addition to talking about cameras, we discuss the photography culture of Japan, camera shops of Tokyo, and the renaissance of film photography. Join us for this pleasurable conversation on the B&H Photography Podcast.
Some of the gear mentioned in this article:
Guest: Bellamy Hunt
Image courtesy of Bellamy Hunt
Rank #13: 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
Rank #14: 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
Rank #15: 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
Rank #16: Fast, Wide-angle Lenses
On this week's episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we take a look at wide-aperture, wide-angle lenses. With our guest, Neil Gershman, a lens expert from the B&H Superstore, we touch upon the history of wide-angle lenses, their design and general applications, and then we discuss some pros and cons of wide-angle lenses with maximum apertures wider than f/2. Given the market demand and the technical capability, lens manufacturers have been introducing wide-angle prime and even zoom lenses with maximum apertures designed for better performance in low light and greater control of depth of field. We will discuss many of these newest lenses from Sigma, Nikon, and Canon and provide a run-down of all the fast aperture wide-angle lenses available from B&H. Join us for this educational episode.
Some of the gear discussed in this episode:
Guest: Neil Gershman
Rank #17: Deep in Gear at Depth of Field
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)
Rank #18: The Analog Renaissance and Brooklyn Film Camera
There is no doubt that a film photography renaissance is in full swing… just ask anyone under the age of 25. And to be fair, there are many wonderful artists—of all ages—who have never stopped using film as their primary photographic format. To anyone who grew up shooting film and then made the transition to digital, it’s a bit curious to see such a resurgence in a medium that has long been listed as “critical,” if not simply dead. At the B&H Photography Podcast, we still shoot with film cameras and enjoy the processes involved, but the guests on today’s episode are putting money (and time and energy) where their mouths are and have opened up a physical store (in addition to their online business) selling film and film cameras.
Brooklyn Film Camera, located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, sells film and film cameras --from 35mm to medium-format, disposables to underwater, pinholes to Polaroid. They are one of a few shops in the world to offer expert restoration services for Polaroid SX-70 and SLR 680 camera systems. They have a brisk online business but are also a local hub, offering repairs, photo tours, and a home base for a burgeoning community of film shooters. We speak with Kyle Depew and Julien Piscioneri about their company’s origin as an outgrowth of the Impossible Project, and about the services they provide, but we also discuss the who, why, and where of the analog renaissance and whether this is a trend or if film and digital will co-exist peacefully.
We are also joined by Michael Armato, of the B&H Used Department, and former proprietor of Armato Cameras, in Queens, NY. Armato brings his insight from running a camera store for more than forty years and sheds light on which film cameras and formats are most in demand at the used counter. Join us for this enjoyable chat and don’t forget to enter the B&H Photography Podcast FUJIFILM X-H1 Sweepstakes by August 15, 2018.
Guests: Kyle Depew, Julien Piscioneri, and Michael Armato
Photograph courtesy Brooklyn Film Camera
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