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Posted 11/19/2020
On November 22 and 23, B&H will host the 2020 OPTIC All Stars Conference, with a stellar list of outdoor, travel, and adventure photographers giving online presentations and, on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we are pleased to welcome one of those photographers: Rachel Jones Ross. Ross is a landscape and night sky photographer based near Banff, in the Canadian Rockies, and our conversation with her is rife with practical tips for shooting in the mountains and with suggestions to improve your night photography. For starters, we speak with Ross about her workflow as it pertains to planning her shoots, which often require long hikes into the mountains. We discuss the apps she uses to gather information on weather, trails, and the night sky. We also ask about staying warm in subzero temperatures and find out that her most important piece of gear is her pair of  Heat Company gloves. From there we discuss basic (and not so basic) techniques for star and night sky photography, including tips on composition, focus, and focus stacking, including a handy “sharp star” filter for accurate focus. Because Ross is also a well-respected educator, we discuss transitioning to online workshops during the COVID-19 pandemic and her “Night Photography in your Pyjamas” course, and she offers a preview of her OPTIC All Stars presentation. We also discuss her go-to gear and how she decides which cameras and lenses to use for particular locations. Ross is a member of the Sony Alpha Imaging Collective, and she relates her preferences for the various Alpha series cameras and when and why she’ll decide to use a Sony 16-35mm zoom lens or a Zeiss Batis 18mm or Zeiss Loxia 21mm lens. There is a lot of solid information as well as practical tips enmeshed in a very pleasant conversation with the wonderful Rachel Jones Ross. Join us for this episode and register for the free 2020 OPTIC All Stars Conference. Guest: Rachel Jones Ross Photograph © Rachel Jones Ross Moraine Lake, 2020 © Rachel Jones Ross Mt. Assiniboine, 2020 © Rachel Jones Ross Blue Dragon Ice Cave, 2020 © Rachel Jones Ross Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park © Rachel Jones Ross Bow Lake, Jasper National Park, 2020 © Rachel Jones Ross Abraham Lake, Alberta, Canada © Rachel Jones Ross Methane bubbles at Vermillion Lake, 2019 © Rachel Jones Ross Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/12/2020
Eight months ago, on the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcomed four photojournalists who were covering the beginning stages of the COVID-19 crisis in New York. We discussed their fears and the stories they hoped to cover; we also discussed safety precautions, limited access to subjects, and altered workflows. It was the beginning of a new reality. On today’s episode, we welcome back two of those photographers— Desiree Rios and Sarah Blesener —for a follow-up conversation on how their work has evolved since March. We first welcome Desiree Rios, who photographs for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. We speak with Rios about her daily assignments covering the effects of the pandemic in New York, primarily in the Bronx. We talk about using her work as a support for the community, about building solidarity with the people she photographs, and about trying to tell deeper aspects of a story with daily news images. We also marvel over how attitudes about masks and PPE were so different in March. After a break, we speak with Sarah Blesener. She also works for the Times and WSJ, but thanks to a commission from the International Center for Photography and a grant from National Geographic, she was able to focus on a long-term project over these months. Specifically, she photographed her eighty-year-old landlady and how she, along with the neighborhood community she is a part of, came together to withstand the effects of the pandemic and shutdown. Blesener relates how she came to appreciate working in a less intimate and less spontaneous manner than normal, how she avoided risky assignments so as not to risk infecting her landlady, and how the project grew to involve the neighborhood and became a very optimistic story, despite the situation. This series is currently on exhibition at ICP. Join us for this topical and interesting conversation on the evolving role of photojournalism during 2020. Guests: Desiree Rios and Sarah Blesener Photograph © Sarah Blesener From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 From the series, "Slow as Summer Is, Still" © Sarah Blesener, 2020 Our Lady of Mount Carmel was open for private prayer in the Belmont neighborhood of The Bronx, New York on Sunday, May 24, 2020. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times Mercedes poses for a portrait with her daughter down the street from her apartment building in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York on June 19, 2020. Mercedes, who has no income since her husband lost his construction job due to the pandemic, is unable to receive unemployment benefits because of their immigration status. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times Residents wear face masks while sitting on the stoop of their building in the Morrisania neighborhood of The Bronx, New York on April 14, 2020. © Desiree Rios for The New York Times Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/05/2020
Our guest on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is Sam Hurd. While he is primarily a wedding photographer, I have no doubt that he could photograph anything and make it look interesting. Hurd is also a portrait photographer, he dabbles in landscape work, and is a passionate photo educator. A few minutes listening to this episode and it becomes clear that he can articulate his process as well as he can execute it. He offers “deconstructions” of his images for his Patreon followers and teaches his style, technique, and gear, but today we focus on his “side hustles,” on the methods and platforms he uses to engage with clients and make extra money from the wedding photography he is already doing. We start by discussing his Patreon platform and how he uses his wedding photography images and insights to build a following of “patrons,” who pay monthly subscriptions to follow his tutorials. We then jump to Stocksy, and how his well-curated set of stock images, mostly taken at weddings, creates an additional revenue flow. He also speaks of DVLOP, which is a site that markets presets that he has created while processing his wedding work. Of course, each of these ancillary platforms flows into and out of each other not only to gain him clients but to improve his photography. He mentions several times how the challenge of producing interesting tutorials has forced him to be more inventive. Despite a very simple kit when shooting weddings, Hurd is also a self-described gearhead, and he and Allan bond over their love for vintage glass and discuss recent purchases, including the Hasselblad 907X 50C  and the Canon R6. Finally, we touch on Hurd’s first professional gig, as the staff photographer for the National Press Club, some of the famous faces he photographed, and the odd but practical practice techniques he developed to practice his portraiture. Join us for this very informative episode. Guest: Sam Hurd Photograph © Sam Hurd © Sam Hurd Photography © Sam Hurd Photography © Sam Hurd Photography © Sam Hurd Photography © Sam Hurd Photography © Sam Hurd Photography © Sam Hurd Photography © Sam Hurd Photography George Clooney at the National Press Club © Sam Hurd Photography Mariska Hargitay at the National Press Club © Sam Hurd Photography Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 10/22/2020
In the 1970s, under the aegis of the Great Society’s Model Cities Program, photographer Earlie Hudnall, Jr. began to document the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Houston’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th wards, and for more than forty years he has continued to create an indelible portrait of life in these neighborhoods. To be sure, Hudnall has photographed all around the world, and worked for years as the photographer for Texas Southern University, but it is his images of the people of Houston that we discuss today, and that are included in his current exhibition at the Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery in Dallas, running through October 31, 2020. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we talk with Hudnall about the relationship between the stories he tells with his images and those he grew up with in his native Mississippi; how the tradition, culture, and community of his youth reveal themselves in the faces and facades of modern Houston. We also talk about his organic approach to photography and how respect for his subjects informs his process, and how eye contact and body language are tools to connect with people on the street. Hudnall is old school—he works with digital cameras when needed—but his Hasselblad and Nikon film cameras are his primary tools and he discusses why he chooses one over the other to make a particular image. Hudnall also prints his photographs, so we talk about sourcing supplies, Ilford paper, and darkroom techniques. And while we do get into camera talk and a “sweet, sweet, sweet, soft Rolleiflex,” much of our conversation with Hudnall focuses on how memory and inspiration react in a moment to create a powerful image and how staying sensitive to your surroundings will serve your imaging. It is a joy to listen to Hudnall; please join us for this conversation. Guest: Earlie Hudnall, Jr. Photograph © Earlie Hudnall, Jr. Mr. Shine, 3rd Ward, Houston, 1988 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Girl with Flag, 3rd Ward, Houston, 1991 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Hip Hop, Galveston, TX, 1993 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Looking Out, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1991 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Feeling the Spirit, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1987 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Boy Eastern Star, 3rd Ward, Houston, TX, 1984, © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, T Roots, 1997 © Earlie Hudnall, Jr., courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 10/14/2020
Recognized as a premier headshot and portrait photographer, Peter Hurley has quite the tale to tell. His work is known for the genuine expressions he captures, and he has expanded his business into an international organization. He is also an in-demand speaker and photo educator, but Hurley has an interesting “origin story” when it comes to photography, and we will discuss how he went from being a competitive sailor to a model to a photographer and how sailing remains an integral part of his creative life. This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a casual but insightful conversation about life’s twists and turns taking you to a place you never expected and how being open to challenges and to advice can motivate creativity. Sometimes “failing” is the best way to find your success, and Hurley tells us about competing for the U.S. Sailing Team and how accepting opportunities that seemed far from his initial goal led him to photography. We also talk about how he turned his headshot business into the “ Headshot Crew ” and now coaches and disperses work to a network of photographers around the world. Throughout the conversation, we touch on tips to improve your own portrait and headshot game, and Hurley mentions the lighting kit he has created with Westcott. We also discuss the “10,000 Headshot” project, for which he helped to organize his network of photographers to aid folks left unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of Canon and others, members of the Headshot Crew have photographed thousands of people, creating free headshots for anyone out of work. And as we discuss, a quality headshot is increasingly important in the “work from home” era. Join us for this enjoyable conversation. Guest: Peter Hurley Photograph © Peter Hurley Alfredo Plessman III © Peter Hurley Ben Yannette © Peter Hurley Carina Goldbach © Peter Hurley Deborah Robinson © Peter Hurley Fernando Romero © Peter Hurley Jan McCay © Peter Hurley Nancy Randall © Peter Hurley March Palou © Peter Hurley Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 10/12/2020
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome collector, curator, author, and educator W.M. Hunt. Part of the incredible photography collection Hunt has acquired over the years is being auctioned by the famed Christies auction house, and Hunt joins us to chat about the genesis of his collection, that hard-to-define attraction to an image that inspires a purchase, and his hopes for the current sale. The collection that Hunt is selling is called “The Unseen Eye: Photos from the W.M. Hunt Collection,” and it includes photographs by Richard Avedon, Sally Mann, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Henri Cartier-Bresson—a veritable Who’s Who of photography of the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection was given its name because each of the photos has subjects whose eyes are obscured in some way, and we discuss why Hunt decided to collect such an eclectic group of images. Hunt is also an author and educator, and we discuss the numerous monographs he has written, how to “let a picture find you,” and the visceral difference between a good and a great photograph. Join us for this insightful and fun episode. Guest: W.M. Hunt Photograph © Duane Michals, from “The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection,” Courtesy of W.M. Hunt and Christies America © Duane Michals, from the “The Unseen Eye: Photos from the W.M. Hunt Collection,” Courtesy Christies America Diane Arbus, from the “The Unseen Eye: Photos from the W.M. Hunt Collection,” Courtesy Christies America Richard Avedon, from the “The Unseen Eye: Photos from the W.M. Hunt Collection,” Courtesy Christies America Henri Cartier-Bresson, from the “The Unseen Eye: Photos from the W.M. Hunt Collection,” Courtesy Christies America Sally Mann, from the “The Unseen Eye: Photos from the W.M. Hunt Collection,” Courtesy Christies America Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/30/2020
It is important to be reminded of the power of photography to educate and explore, and to be a vehicle of self-expression, even self-realization. Equally crucial—through process and through memory—photography’s ability to bring people together, to share and to collaborate, is vital. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome a photographer who has built her life’s work around this idea of education through creative collaboration. For more than forty years, Wendy Ewald has led documentary “investigations” and collaborative projects that encourage the participants to use cameras to examine their own lives, families, and communities, and to make images of their fantasies and dreams. During these projects, she also photographs—normally with a 4 x 5 camera—and then asks her students and subjects to manipulate her images and negatives, further engaging with the process and adding to the authorship of the final work. With support of the most prestigious fellowships, from universities, NGOs, even from camera and film manufacturers, Ewald has directed photography programs in South America, India, Africa, Canada and, most notably, in Appalachia. In the 1970s, Ewald worked with schools and the Appalshop media center to teach photography to children living in rural Kentucky and, in 1985, published the groundbreaking book Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and Stories by Children of the Appalachians. This book has been an inspiration to countless educators and community photographers and, this year, Mack Books has published an expanded edition, which includes updates on the lives of several of the original students. Ewald also has co-directed a documentary film on the project and the reunion with her former students, which recently aired on the PBS program POV. Join us as we speak with Ewald about teaching in Kentucky and elsewhere, about the power of collaboration and creative expression, and about reuniting with her former students and the making of her powerful documentary. Guest: Wendy Ewald Photograph © Wendy Ewald Russel Akemon: “I am lying on the back on my old horse,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK Greg Cornett: Gary Crase and his mom and dad in front of their house on Campbells Branch,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK Denise Dixon: “Self-portrait reaching for the Red Star sky,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK Freddy Childers: “Self-portrait with the picture of my biggest brother, Everett, who killed himself when he came back from Vietnam,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK Mary Jo Cornett: “Mamaw and my sister with the picture of my cousin that died,” from “Portraits and Dreams” by Wendy Ewald. Courtesy the artist and MACK. Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/23/2020
For the headline of this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we lifted a line from our guest’s own Instagram bio. It would have been too easy to call a show with Walter Iooss Jr. “Sports Photography Legend” or some such, but that pigeonholes Iooss too easily, and does not recognize the scope of his engagement with photography and with the creative process. Yes, Walter Iooss Jr. is sports photography. He has more than 300 Sports Illustrated covers to his name, his first professional gig was at age 17, and for six decades he has photographed several Hall of Fames’s worth of athletes, including names like Arnold, Mary Lou, Muhammad, and Tiger, and his work with Michael Jordan is unparalleled. Also—every Super Bowl. But he has also photographed rock stars, models, fashion and commercial assignments, portraits, and documentary series. And he tells us of his love for music and that if not for a twist of fate, he might have been a musician. The man is a creator for life, a photographer for life. With Iooss, our conversation takes a leisurely approach, touching on a few of his more memorable photos and some of the interesting lesser knowns; the breadth of his work alone could keep us talking for hours. Along the way, we learn a little about his upbringing, the love for music, his mentors, and the time he shot for Atlantic Records. We discuss how he builds a composition, whether it be an action shot during a game or a complicated portrait setup. We also talk about using a giant Polaroid camera, the coming of autofocus, and Canon DSLRs. Join us for this pleasant conversation that is sure to interest not only fans of sports, but fans of photography. Guest: Walter Iooss Jr. Photograph © Walter Iooss Jr. Andy Samberg, 2011 © Walter Iooss Jr. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, 2003 © Walter Iooss Jr. Emmet Ashford, 1968 © Walter Iooss Jr. Tony Scott and Gary Templeton, 1979 © Walter Iooss Jr. Greg Louganis, 1984 © Walter Iooss Jr. Dave Parker and Grant Jackson, 1980 © Walter Iooss Jr. Jack Nicklaus, 1967 © Walter Iooss Jr. The Blue Dunk, Michael Jordan, 1987 © Walter Iooss Jr. The Corner, Havana, Cuba, 1999 © Walter Iooss Jr. Leipzig, East Germany, 1976 © Walter Iooss Jr. Lee Trevino, 1991 © Walter Iooss Jr. Willis Reed, 1973 © Walter Iooss Jr. Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/16/2020
As museums in New York and around the world begin to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a brand-new museum is facing the challenge of its grand reopening in the competitive New York City art and culture world. We welcome the inaugural Director of Exhibitions of Fotografiska, Amanda Hajjar, to the B&H Photography Podcast to discuss the unique model of this for-profit arts center and its plans to make a mark on the photography scene in New York. After opening, in December 2019, Fotografiska New York was forced to close after just ninety days and, of course, we will also ask Hajjar how they handled the quarantine disruption and are adjusting to the new protocols placed on museums. Fotografiska New York is the third of three like-named museums, with more scheduled to open around the world. The original began in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010, and adopted a different paradigm than the traditional museum—it displays a wide range of photography styles, it has no permanent collection, and it works with the artists themselves to design the exhibitions. It also relies on admission sales, as well as café, restaurant, and special event business to generate income. It created much buzz in the months before opening in New York, and its initial reviews were positive, for its events and photo exhibition programming. We speak with Hajjar about the museum’s exhibition philosophy and how its model facilitates an institution able to react to and comment on current social issues, as well as examine relevant images from the past. We discuss its attempt to create a hybrid between gallery and museum and shine a light on its current exhibitions, including works by Cooper & Gorfer and by Martin Schoeller. Finally, we get to the bottom of what the word Fotografiska really means. Join us for this enjoyable conversation. Guest: Amanda Hajjar Photograph courtesy Fotografiska Israa With Yellow Boxes, 2020 © Cooper & Gorfer Yellow Roseline, 2020 © Cooper & Gorfer Gary Drinkhard, 2019, video and sound installation © Martin Schoeller Kwame Ajamu, 2019, video and sound installation. © Martin Schoeller Ezra, 2019 © Julie Blackmon. Courtesy the artist and Robert Mann Gallery The Shan Hai Jing Hotel Room 002, 2019 © Zhongjia Sun Untitled, 2019 © Cristina Bartley Dominguez The Church Mission Building, 2019. Courtesy Fotografiska Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/09/2020
This is a wonderful conversation for fans of mirrorless cameras, of classic lens design, of the venerable M-mount, and, really, of photography. The joy that our host Allan Weitz exudes while discussing a few of his current favorite lenses is as contagious as it is educational. And I feel that this episode provides a bolt of creative curiosity that might infuse my own photography. For this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we asked Weitz to draw up a list of 10 favorite lenses from his personal collection. To be sure, these are not lenses sitting on a shelf or behind glass; these are accessible, affordable lenses that he incorporates regularly into his photography practice, but each has a certain signature or special feature that merits recognition. Most, like the Voigtländer VM 40mm f/2.8 Heliar Lens for Sony E-Mount or the 7Artisans Photoelectric 50mm f/1.1 Lens for Leica M can be purchased new, while some, such as the Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm f/8 lens, are still readily found in the used market. Others, like the Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 lens, are perennial favorites, while the Voigtländer Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical Lens seems classic but is relatively new to the market. While discussing these lenses, we stumble upon a mound of good photography chatter, including practical uses for these optics, tips for using extension tubes and mount adapters, notes on camera history, and plain simple fun facts. Toward the end of the episode we talk about the B&H Used Department, and Jason Tables and I share our current favorite lenses, as well. Join us for this breezy but informative episode and let us know your favorite lenses in the Comments section, below. Photograph © Allan Weitz Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens © Allan Weitz Zeiss 16mm f/8 Hologon Lens © Allan Weitz Voigtländer Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical Lens © Allan Weitz ZEISS Biogon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZM Lens © Allan Weitz Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5 Lens Voigtländer VM 40mm f/2.8 Heliar Lens for Sony E-Mount Three Lenses © Allan Weitz Taken with Zeiss Biogon 25mm f/2.8 ZM using Leica OUFRO Extension Tube © Allan Weitz Taken with Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm f/8 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Voigtlander Nokton 75mm f/1.5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with the Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 AI-S lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Nikon Reflex-NIKKOR 500mm f/5 lens © Allan Weitz Taken with Nikon Reflex-NIKKOR 500mm f/5 lens © Allan Weitz Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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