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Posted 12/02/2021
The title for this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is taken from a comment made by guest Tonika Johnson, describing the moment she recognized the effect her work could have on citizens of her hometown of Chicago. I’m certain that our other guests have had a similar moment when they see that their artistic work has gone beyond just the oohs and ahhs of aesthetes and afficionados and truly helps to educate and change the world for the better. On today’s program, we speak about photo projects that are used to address social problems and to bridge gaps between diverse people. In addition to Johnson, we welcome photographer John Noltner, the founder of A Peace of My Mind, and Michael Skoler, Communications Director at Weave: The Social Fabric Project. From Skoler we learn of the founding of Weave by the Aspen Institute and its mission to enable “weavers” to create connections between varied people, to act as good neighbors, and to “heal” communities. A Peace of My Mind, which has collaborated with Weave, uses photography and portraiture to foster discussions on peace and its many interpretations. Through exhibitions, workshops, and even his new book, Noltner’s visual storytelling sparks conversation and, hopefully, brings new understandings on diversity and tolerance. In the second half of the program, we focus on the work of Tonika Johnson and her Folded Map Project, which provides a unique method to compare historically segregated neighborhoods in Chicago and, ultimately, to bring the residents of these neighborhoods together. We speak with Johnson of her work as a photo teacher and activist and learn how this project had been gestating since her high school days. Join us for this inspirational conversation. Guests: Michael Skoler, John Noltner, Tonika Johnson Photograph © John Noltner From “Folded Map Project” © Tonika L. Johnson From “Folded Map Project” © Tonika L. Johnson Southside, Englewood resident Nanette sitting with her “map twin” Wade, on his porch in Chicago’s northside neighborhood of Edgewater, from “Folded Map Project” © Tonika L. Johnson “A Peace of My Mind” exhibit in Memphis, Tennessee, 2018 © John Noltner Dan Gallagher, Veterans advocate, Missoula, MT. From “A Peace of My Mind,” 2015 © John Noltner Hashim Garrett, activist, Orange, New Jersey. From “A Peace of My Mind,” 2016 © John Noltner Tyrone Werts, Inside-Out Project, Philadephia, PA. From “A Peace of My Mind,” 2016 © John Noltner Bud Welch, Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum, Oklahoma City, OK. From “A Peace of My Mind,” 2013 © John Noltner Joanne Bland, Civil Rights Activist, Selma, Alabama. From “A Peace of My Mind,” 2014 © John Noltner Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 11/17/2021
Our guest on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is physician and astrophotographer  Robert Gendler. The distinguished assignments, numerous international accolades, and his five published books are an indication of the significance of the work of this self-described amateur. His mosaic of the Andromeda Galaxy has been used to create 3D IMAX films and is considered the largest image of a spiral galaxy ever taken. With Gendler, we discuss his craft and career. We talk of his early days creating deep-sky images from a suburban driveway and how his process and gear have evolved over the years. We talk a bit about telescopes and binoculars and clarify some of the terminology used in astrophotography. We learn of important figures in the field and just how difficult space photography was in the pre-digital days. Our conversation in the second half of the show focuses on Gendler’s recent work creating large mosaics of galaxies and nebulae, often from hundreds, if not thousands, of unique exposures. We get a sense of how the colors are determined and how he mines data from the Hubble Heritage Team and other amateur and professional archives to create these beautiful images. This episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is sponsored by Pelican. Guest: Dr. Robert Gendler Photograph © Robert Gendler The Horsehead Nebula Region © Robert Gendler The Great Nebula in Orion © Robert Gendler M57,The Ring Nebula © Robert Gendler NGC 6888, The Crescent Nebula in Cygnus © Robert Gendler Omega Centauri Globular Cluster in Centaurus © Robert Gendler Sun © Robert Gendler M31, The Andromeda Galaxy Mosaic © Robert Gendler Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 11/10/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Craig Strong, the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Lensbaby, the special-effects lens manufacturer. Lensbaby was started by Strong, in 2004, and quickly established a name for itself. Over the years, the company has added lenses, optics systems, and accessories to grow its brand while maintaining an emphasis on creative expression—and embracing imperfection. With Strong, who worked as a staff and freelance photographer before co-founding Lensbaby, we discuss tinkering to create a prototype, founding the company, growth decisions, and motivation. We also talk about dealing with successes and failures in the very competitive camera and lens business. On the gear side, we ask questions about the research and development of lenses, the various mounts available with Lensbaby lenses, and we get a sense of what is on the horizon for the company in 2022. Guest: Craig Strong Photograph © Allan Weitz Photograph © Allan Weitz Photograph © Allan Weitz Allan Weitz Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 11/09/2021
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we are pleased to welcome Peter Cohen and Bill Shapiro to discuss “vernacular” photography and the historical and cultural significance of snapshots and other images that fall outside the realms of fine-art and commercial photography. Peter J. Cohen is recognized as one of the country’s foremost collectors of vernacular photography and portions of his collections are now included in institutions such as Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, MFA Boston, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Morgan Library, and SFMoMA. Bill Shapiro is the former Editor-in-Chief of LIFE Magazine and the founding Editor-in-Chief of LIFE.com. He is the author of several books, including Gus & Me, a children’s book he co-wrote with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, and What We Keep, from 2018. Shapiro is also a curator and has written about photography for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Esquire, and others, including an article for Texas Monthly, which contains images referred to in this episode. With our guests we discuss the joy of collecting old photos, of discovering themes, creating romantic stories, and of the beauty of the photograph as object. We also consider the surge of interest in vernacular photography from museums and other institutions, the marketplace distinctions among these and fine-art photos, and most important, what these images can tell us about our country and cultures. Join us for this enjoyable and insightful conversation. Guests: Peter Cohen and Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro “A Trip to the Moon,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Bottoms Up,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Girls at the Farm,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Me at the Beach,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Roof Couple,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Sheep from the Car,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “A Dangerous Woman Amongst Men,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 10/28/2021
We were expecting this episode to be a great one, and it did not disappoint. The B&H Photography Podcast team welcomes photographer Lester Sloan and his daughter, author Aisha Sabatini Sloan, to discuss their new book, Captioning the Archives: A Conversation in Photographs and Text. The book is a conversation about photography and photojournalism, but more a conversation between father and daughter, one that had been taking place for years, for a lifetime, and finally put to print. Selecting images from his long career as a Newsweek staff photographer, as well as his personal projects dating back to 1960s Detroit, Sloan and Sabatini Sloan provide extensive “captions” to these images, offering not only details about past events but personal reflections from both of their perspectives. The book is also an intensive contextualization of the images with the benefits of hindsight and of insight. Backstories from a life in photojournalism, of photos of Nelson Mandela, Steven Spielberg, political turmoil, day-to-day assignments, and the right questions posed to fill in the deeper meaning around a photo taken. “I took pictures of everything that happened.” ―Lester Sloan Unfortunately, in the weeks before we recorded this episode, Sloan’s archive of original slides and negatives was damaged in a flood. The damage to some of his most important originals is extensive, and a Kickstarter campaign has been established in an attempt to repair, restore, and digitize the collection. Please consider donating. Lester Sloan began his photography career as a cameraman for the CBS affiliate in Detroit, then worked as a staff photographer at Newsweek magazine for twenty-five years, documenting the 1967 uprising in Detroit, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the OJ Simpson trial. Sloan was a contributing essayist with NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” a recipient of the prestigious Neiman Fellowship, and was the on-set photographer for Spike Lee’s 1996 film, Get on the Bus. Aisha Sabatini Sloan is a writer whose work has appeared in anthologies such as Dear America, Truth to Power, and The Paris Review. Her 2017 book, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, was chosen as the winner of the “1913 Open Prose Contest.” She is the recipient of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Award and this year she received the National Magazine Award for her essays in the Paris Review. Guests: Lester Sloan and Aisha Sabatini Sloan Photograph © Lester Sloan Cover of Newsweek magazine, featuring the cast of All in the Family, 1971 © Lester Sloan Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989 © Lester Sloan Ossie Davis, on the set of the film, Get on the Bus, 1995 © Lester Sloan Steven Spielberg © Lester Sloan Los Angeles uprising and riots, 1992 © Lester Sloan Urban Glyph, 2012 © Lester Sloan Father and Sons Barber Shop © Lester Sloan Nelson Mandela visits Detroit, 1990 © Lester Sloan Cover of Captioning the Archives: A Conversation in Photographs and Text, 2021 © Lester Sloan Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 10/14/2021
To create a “collective portrait” of any set of people is difficult, but to do so with twenty-five world-renown women artists is a monumental challenge―one that our guests have undertaken and, based on their wonderful book, Portrait of an Artist: Conversations with Trailblazing Creative Women, have accomplished. Equally as impressive is that the book’s author, Hugo Huerta Marin, weaved a personal narrative into this series of interviews and photographs he made of artists he admired, such as Yoko Ono, Cate Blanchett, Inez Van Lamsweerde, and Orlan. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Marin about this seven-year project and we also welcome the book’s editor, Anna Godfrey, of Prestel Publishing. The two discuss the selection of subjects, interview techniques, and innovative book design. We also discuss the Polaroid portraits Marin made for the book and the role photography plays in the work of several of the artists profiled. Join us for this insightful conversation on the influence of groundbreaking women artists and on the persistence and collaboration needed to build this collective portrait. If you are in New York on October 28, 2021, Marina Abramović and Hugo Huerta Marin will host an intimate conversation about creativity, identity, success, and legacy at the global launch of Portrait of an Artist: Conversations with Trailblazing Creative Women, at Fotografiska New York. Tickets are available here. Guests: Hugo Huerta Marin and Anna Godfrey Photograph: FKA twigs © Hugo Huerta Marin Agnès Varda © Hugo Huerta Marin Catherine Deneuve © Hugo Huerta Marin Charlotte Gainsbourg © Hugo Huerta Marin Carrie Mae Weems © Hugo Huerta Marin Debbie Harry © Hugo Huerta Marin FKA twigs © Hugo Huerta Marin Inez Van Lamsweerde © Hugo Huerta Marin Jenny Holzer © Hugo Huerta Marin Yoko Ono © Hugo Huerta Marin Marina Abramović © Hugo Huerta Marin Cover of “Portrait of an Artist: Conversations with Trailblazing Creative Women” by Hugo Huerta Marin © Prestel Verlag, Munich · London · New York, 2021 Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 10/12/2021
A listicle is an article comprising a list. A listicle is any piece of digital content that’s formatted as a list. A listicle is an article comprising a list, usually with some kind of extra detail added to each item. What we have here, then, is a podsticle. Today on the B&H Photography Podcast, we catch up with the new photography gear that has been announced over the past few months. Attention goes to the  Canon EOS R3 and Nikon Z 9 as big deal mirrorless reveals, the Nikon still scant on details, but what’s clear from these releases is the continued shift away from the DSLR format for these manufacturers. FUJIFILM, Pentax, Olympus, and Sigma added mostly updates to existing cameras over recent months, while Panasonic and Sony offered new models aimed at vloggers and streamers. An odd couple of Sony a7R series updates also made our list of new cameras, a list that will surely have many additions by the time we host our “Cameras of the Year” episode, in December. The second half of the show is dedicated to lenses and accessories. Canon’s funky new RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye 3D VR lens is highlighted, and we mention several new Canon RF lenses, including the Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. FUJIFILM introduced two new fast aperture lenses to go with the X-T30 II camera announcement and a beautiful 18mm f/1.4 R LM WR lens. Nikon put out several lenses for the Z system, including the affordable NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 lens. Of the other manufacturers, all of whom released new lenses recently, Tamron was the busiest, with five entries. Also of note is Sigma’s new “Sports” designated 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS telephoto zoom lens, available in Leica L, Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony E mounts, and the Venus Optics Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 lens. We conclude the gear update with new light systems from Profoto, Godox, and Aputure, and we also mention webcams, drones, and new tabletop tripods from JOBY. Canon EOS R3 Mirrorless Digital Camera Nikon Z 9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Sony ZV-E10 Mirrorless Camera Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Mirrorless Camera Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye 3D VR Lens Venus Optics Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF Lens Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD Lens Aputure LS 600x Pro Lamp Head JOBY Podzilla Medium Tabletop Tripod Kit Logitech 4K Pro Webcam Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 10/07/2021
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast provides a lesson we all can use: how to be better businesspeople while we are being better photographers. Much of this advice comes from our intriguing guest, photographer and educator Todd Bigelow. A longtime pro, Bigelow has freelanced for the likes of Sports Illustrated and The Los Angeles Times, among many other editorial and commercial clients, and he is a contributing photographer to the prestigious agency Contact Press Images. He is also the founder of the Business of Photography Workshop, an adjunct professor of photography and photojournalism, and the author of The Freelance Photographer's Guide to Success: Business Essentials, which is the basis for our conversation today. With Bigelow, we discuss growing a client base, the ratio of time and labor between the business and the craft of photography, and how to let your archive work for you. We also talk about negotiating rates, contracts, and handling copyright infringements. Bigelow uses many examples from his own career to highlight his points, and Allan adds some examples of his own. Join us for this enjoyable, motivating, and helpful conversation about photography business essentials. Guest: Todd Bigelow Photograph © Todd Bigelow Oklahoma State Trooper Charlie Hanger © Todd Bigelow/ Contact Press Images Jordin Tootoo grew up in a small village along the Hudson Bay only a hundred miles from the Arctic Circle. The first Inuit to play in the National Hockey League, Tootoo spends his off-season at home, where he fishes and hunts for Caribou, seal, and Beluga whale. Living off the land is necessary for residents of the small village. © Todd Bigelow/ Contact Press Images Immigrants rights advocates protest anti-immigrant policies, which include ICE raids and proposed bans on Muslim immigrants entering the country. © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images Undocumented migrants climb the border fence along U.S.-Mexico border. © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images A group of bike riders make their way down Hollywood Boulevard. © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images New citizen of the United States of America © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images Young Muay Thai students at the Way of No Way martial arts academy. © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images Book Cover, The Freelance Photographer’s Guide to Success: Business Essentials. Courtesy Routledge Press Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 09/30/2021
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a wonderful way to usher in autumn, and we hope it inspires our listeners to get out into the forests, fields, and streams to photograph what they love. It is also an episode that hits all the marks, as we talk about the gear, technique, science, ethics, and passion of photography―in this case, centered on fly-fishing photography. Our guests, Jess McGlothlin and Toby Nolan, bring all of the above, and a ton of experience, as we flow like a river through this hour-long conversation. Jess McGlothlin is based in Missoula, Montana, but has photographed from the Arctic Circle to the Peruvian Amazon. Her storytelling approach, often coupled with her own writing, has found a home in a range of genres and formats, from commercial to documentary. Her credit list includes brands like Patagonia and YETI Coolers and publications such as Field & Stream, The New York Times, Men's Journal, and Southern Culture on the Fly. Toby Nolan was born in Dublin, Ireland, bases his fishing and outdoor sports photography in Bend, Oregon, and travels the globe for assignments. His editorial work can be found in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The FlyFish Journal, and The Drake Magazine. His commercial clients include Under Armour, Ironman Triathlons, and Travel Nevada. Did you know that Billingham camera bags developed from bags made for anglers? And today’s talk runs the gamut, discussing the unique aspects of fly-fishing photography, and a diverse set of tools from brands like Canon, AquaTech, and DJI. Guests: Toby Nolan and Jess McGlothlin Photograph © Toby Nolan © Toby Nolan © Toby Nolan © Toby Nolan © Toby Nolan © Toby Nolan © Jess McGlothlin © Jess McGlothlin © Jess McGlothlin © Jess McGlothlin © Jess McGlothlin Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 09/16/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome the founder and Executive Director of the Social Documentary Network, Glenn Ruga, and photographer Sofia Aldinio, who is the recipient of the 2021 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography, presented by the Social Documentary Network. As should be clear, our conversation today revolves around the Social Documentary Network, or “SDN,” and we learn about this community of documentary photographers and its website on which more than three thousand documentary series have been uploaded and are available for viewing. Ruga tells of the evolution of the site since its 2008 inception, and how adding classes, awards, portfolio reviews, and, most important, the online and print magazine ZEKE has led to the growth of this platform, which is open to all photographers. Our chat also draws from Ruga’s photography work and thoughts on documentary, in general. In the second half of the show we speak with Aldinio, a past guest, about “Awake in the Desert Land,” her photo series that received the ZEKE prize. Aldinio tells of the circumstances that brought her to Baja California, Mexico, during 2020 and this intimate series on village communities affected by climate change. We also speak with Aldinio about her working methods, about shelving her normal Canon system for a more stealth FUJIFILM, about making relationships with subjects, and the feedback and support she received from her SDN workshop leaders. We wrap by previewing the Social Documentary Network events and exhibits at Photoville 2021 and Aldinio’s presentation on her award-winning series. Guests: Sofia Aldinio and Glenn Ruga Photograph © Sofia Aldinio The cover and two interior spreads from the upcoming Fall, 2021 issue of ZEKE Magazine. Courtesy The Social Documentary Network “The newest cemetery in San Jose de Gracia, Baja California, Mexico, January 17, 2021. The small community has at least four different cemeteries generationally identified. The town lost most of its population after Hurricane Lester in 1992, the biggest storm the community has faced in its history. Since 2006, the community has lost 60 members and has a population of 12 today. “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Belonging” “Belonging” “Belonging” “Belonging” Previous Pause Next Sofia Aldinio Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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