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Posted 02/07/2019
At the B&H Depth of Field Wedding and Portrait Conference, being held this week in New York, we were fortunate to sit down with a straight-up legend— Albert Watson. It would be hard to overstate his accomplishments as a photographer, and his ability to master a range of photographic genres—from fashion and advertising to still life, fine art, and reportage—is uncanny. He has shot more than 100 Vogue covers, 40 covers for Rolling Stone, and created iconic images of Steve Jobs, Mick Jagger, Alfred Hitchcock, David Bowie, a nude Kate Moss, and a properly clothed Queen Elizabeth, who later bestowed upon Watson an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for “services to photography.” On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we present our conversation with Watson, which also serves as an intro to future episodes, which will present a sampling of conversations we held with other wedding and portrait photographers at the Depth of Field Conference. Join us for this inspiring conversation and subscribe on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Overcast, and Stitcher for all upcoming episodes.  Guest: Albert Watson Albert Watson on the B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris Albert Watson on the B&H Photography Podcast at the 2019 Depth of Field Conference © John Harris Allan Weitz and Albert Watson © John Harris Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/30/2019
In terms of its sheer reach and influence on photographers, there is no magazine that compares to LIFE. From the 1930s into the 1970s, it was the weekly go-to for news, lifestyle, entertainment and, of course, world-class photography. With the likes of Margaret Bourke-White, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Capa, Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lange, and Alfred Eisenstadt under contract, and a commitment to the photo essay, LIFE was a groundbreaking publication that has yet to be equaled. At its most popular, it sold 13.5 million copies per week. With America’s attention switching to television by the early 1960s and, eventually, away from print media in general, LIFE slowly became a remnant of another era, but its influence on photography is still immense. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we discuss the magazine, and particularly its print and online reincarnations in the 2000s. Joining us for this conversation is the former editor-in-chief of LIFE, Bill Shapiro. Shapiro, a long-time editor at Time Inc., brought LIFE out of mothballs, in 2004, and launched LIFE.com in 2009. We examine these two iterations of the famed journal. Underscoring this conversation is the larger issue of the consumer switch from print journalism to digital journalism as the primary source of news and photography. Shapiro walks us through the decisions that were made to keep LIFE viable as the eventual changes in the industry took hold, and how he infused creativity into the print magazine and the website, while maintaining its long tradition of great photography. We also talk with Shapiro about his work as an author and, particularly, the book he co-authored, What We Keep, and how that book was influenced by the work he did at LIFE magazine. Join us for this look back at the final years of one the most important publications in American photography history. Guest: Bill Shapiro Bernie Mac, 2005 Bill Murray, 2004 Tina Fey and John McCain, 2004 Sarah Jessica Parker, 2004 Steve Carell, 2005 Jennifer Hudson, 2007 Special Issue, WWII Photography, 2010 Bill Shapiro Bill Shapiro with "What We Keep" book Previous Pause Next
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Posted 12/24/2018
It has been a fabulous year for the B&H Photography Podcast, with an incredibly diverse set of topics we discussed, and guests we welcomed. The podcast team is very thankful to those who gave their time to talk about our shared passion, and to the listeners who join us every week, and those who chime in with comments and suggestions. Although today’s episode is looking back at our favorite moments from 2018, we also look forward to 2019 and improving the podcast: experimenting with our audio stylings, expanding engagement with listeners, offering more sweepstakes and, of course, continuing to bring wonderful guests to explore the worlds of photography. For today’s “clip show,” Jason, Allan, and I offer our own lists of best moments from the year’s episodes and then try to come up with a personal favorite. It’s not easy, but Allan settled on our recent episode with Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes. We include clips from this episode and few others, including my surprise favorite, “The Story Demands More,” with Greg Constantine. Some of our choices overlap, but Jason couldn’t decide between “Embracing Technology in the ‘New’ Landscape Photography” or “Time Vector—Day to Night,” with Stephen and Bette Wilkes. Have a listen to moments from these episodes and a few others, and go back through our catalog of more than 150 episodes. Hopefully, there’s something in there for every type of photographer. Let us know your favorite of the year, and thank you again to everyone who has made this a successful and enjoyable year at the B&H Photography Podcast. Bangladesh, 2017 Greg Constantine
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Posted 12/06/2018
In 1958, Art Kane, already a successful art director looking to jump-start his photography career, pitched the idea of a “class photo” for Vogue magazine’s annual jazz edition. In addition to individual photographs of jazz legends, he proposed a group portrait of musicians gathered on a stoop, in Harlem. For music and photography aficionados, the photo, now commonly referred to as “A Great Day in Harlem,” is an iconic image and, on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Jonathan Kane —Art Kane’s son and an accomplished musician and photographer in his own right—about the creation and impact of this photograph. We also discuss the new book, Art Kane. Harlem 1958- 60 th Anniversary Edition, which provides context for the image creation and never-before published outtakes. In the second half of the show, we welcome contemporary jazz photographer Clara Pereira, who is one half of the team behind the blog Jazztrail.net. Pereira speaks on the nuts and bolts of jazz photography, including tips on gear, technique, settings, and lighting. We find out that her simple approach is very effective, as she explains how to keep a low profile while shooting, the differences between working a club and a concert hall, and between performance and portrait work. Join us for this enjoyable episode and take a listen to our earlier episode on the image, “A Great Day in Hip-Hop,” which was photographed years later at the same Harlem location as Art Kane’s masterpiece. Guests: Jonathan Kane and Clara Pereira “Harlem 1958” © Art Kane Louis Armstrong, 1958 © Art Kane Jim Morrison, 1968 © Art Kane Great Day in Queens, 2018 © Jonathan Kane © Jonathan Kane Joshua Redman © Clara Pereira Pharoah Sanders © Clara Pereira Ben Goldberg © Clara Pereira Donald Harrison © Clara Pereira Francisco Mela © Clara Pereira Kidd Jordan © Clara Pereira Christian Sands © Clara Pereira Jamie Branch © Clara Pereira Jazzmeia Horn © Clara Pereira Clara Pereira © John Harris Allan Weitz and Clara Pereira © John Harris Previous Pause Next
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Posted 11/29/2018
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome photographer Rick McGinnis and curator Julie Grahame, to discuss blogging and archiving. While this is certainly a broad subject, we will focus on the work of our two guests while considering how best to keep a collection of photos vibrant and valuable. Rick McGinnis is a veteran portrait, editorial, and travel photographer based in Toronto. Most of his assignments and self-assignments had been for local newspapers and magazines and, when this professional landscape changed and motivation was lacking, he almost got out of the business entirely. With a little encouragement, he began to explore the many images he had shot over the previous twenty years—some he had never even viewed—despite being gorgeous portraits of well-known musicians, actors, and artists. The result of this deep dig was a blog he simply called someoldpicturesitook. The blog proved to be an avenue not only into his past, but to his future, because images never seen were now appreciated, discussed, shared, and ultimately, licensed. McGinnis is now on to a new travel blog  and a new chapter in his career, and we will hear what he has learned along the way. Curator, consultant, and writer  Julie Grahame is the publisher of aCurator.com, a full-screen photography magazine, and the associated aCurator blog. She directed the Retna photo agency for 16 years and currently represents the estate of Yousuf Karsh for image licensing and maintains the extensive karsh.org website. We speak with Grahame about the benefits of a blog compared to a website, Instagram, or in her case, a webzine, and we discuss her relationship with the Karsh archive and insights she has drawn from licensing his iconic portraits. Throughout the humorous conversation, we consider Google search tools, tagging, preferred blogging sites, and repurposing older work, but we also touch on the personal, professional, and historical importance of valuing and maintaining your photo collection. Guests: Julie Grahame and Rick McGinnis Fela Kuti, 1989 © Rick McGinnis John Waters, 1987 © Rick McGinnis Patti Smith, 1995 © Rick McGinnis Jay McInerney, 1998 © Rick McGinnis Bjork, 1997 © Rick McGinnis Anne Hathaway, 2004 © Rick McGinnis Rebecca Hall, 2016 © Rick McGinnis Kinky Friedman, 2016 © Rick McGinnis Dwight Eisenhower, 1946 © Yousuf Karsh Ernest Hemingway, 1957 © Yousuf Karsh Winston Churchill, 1941© Yousuf Karsh Ansel Adams and Yousuf Karsh, Courtesy Yousuf Karsh Archive Rick McGinnis © John Harris Rick McGinnis and Julie Grahame © John Harris Rick McGinnis, Allan Weitz, and Julie Grahame © John Harris Previous Pause Next
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Posted 09/21/2018
This year marks the anniversary of the shooting date of two iconic photographs, taken at the same location, forty years apart. In 1958, Art Kane created the image that has come to be known as “A Great Day in Harlem.” The photo presented fifty-seven of the world’s greatest jazz musicians gathered on a stoop on East 126th Street, in Harlem, New York City. Over time, this photo has become legendary: a movie was made about it, and many recreations have been staged around the world, but none as interesting as the photo that was made by the great Gordon Parks, on September 29, 1998, on the same stoop. On that day, organized by the editors of XXL Magazine, almost two-hundred hip-hop artists gathered to be part of a photograph that was called “A Great Day in Hip Hop.” With the 20th anniversary of the 1998 photo approaching, on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we will discuss the making of that image. We speak with two of the people responsible for producing the photo: the editor-in-chief of XXL at the time, Sheena Lester, and writer Michael Gonzales. We also welcome back journalist and author Vikki Tobak to the show, whose upcoming book, Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, discusses the making of this image and, finally, we are joined by artist Fab 5 Freddy, who was a participant in the photo and shares his recollection of that incredible day in Harlem. Also, in the weeks to come, we hope to publish a bonus episode with Jonathan Kane, son of photographer Art Kane, who will bring his insight to the making of and the legacy of his father’s original photo. Guests: Vikki Tobak, Sheena Lester, Michael Gonzales, Fab 5 Freddy Photograph © Gordon Parks; Courtesy of The Gordon Parks Foundation     Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 08/17/2018
It’s no news that the print newspaper business is going through tough times and that newsroom staffs, particularly photographers, often bear the brunt of cost-saving moves. Day rates have stagnated, staff jobs are scarce and, in some cases, entire photography departments have been laid off as video, citizen-provided material, even security footage, is often preferred over news photographs on many digital news platforms. Many factors are involved, but the trend has been clear for some time and, hitting close to home, in July 2018, The New York Daily News eliminated all its staff photography positions. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Todd Maisel, a renowned New York City photographer and one of the veteran staff photographers at the Daily News to have lost his job in the most recent round of layoffs. Maisel brings a lot of flavor to our discussion, and his years of experience as a freelancer, a staff photographer, a videographer, and a publisher make him the perfect guest to opine on the current and future state of newspaper photojournalism. Among other questions, we ask him if the days of the “chaser,” the local photographer covering spot news, are over. We also discuss the differences between the type of photos that a newspaper wants now, compared to years earlier, and where they are sourced. Andrew Seng has a different perspective. Still in his twenties, he left a staff photographer job at the Sacramento Bee and moved to New York to work as an independent photographer in the journalism, editorial, and commercial photography fields. Seng discusses the reasons he gave up his “plum gig” to make a new path for himself, how he has found work, and how being independent enables him to work on personal projects. We consider the many new opportunities available on the digital platforms that news organizations now offer, the range of potential clients that want quality visuals for their editorial content, and the need to think like an entrepreneur, not just an employee. Join us for this very topical discussion. Guests: Todd Maisel and Andrew Seng Firefighters rescued a small boy from a raging fire in Red Hook, Brooklyn, June 1993. © Todd Maisel Flooding in Brooklyn caused numerous problems. Police yell at a four-wheeler who created a huge wake where ESU officers were assisting a stranded motorist during the flood. © Todd Maisel A 24-year-old woman dangled 100 feet above the ground from a concrete silo on 106th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. She was grabbed by ESU officers as she was ready to jump. © Todd Maisel Fifth Avenue after a water main broke, flooding and destroying the street and causing a gas fire. January 1998. © Todd Maisel A 3-alarm fire engulfed three floors of the four-story residential building in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Several injuries were reported during the battle that brought 165 firefighters. © Todd Maisel Sacramento amateur boxer Angel Rios, 2016 © Andrew Seng Butte wildfire, 2015 © Andrew Seng © Andrew Seng © Andrew Seng Arturo Sanchez, who recently moved to Sacramento from Long Beach, works for the City Manager's Office focusing on transparency in police and fire departments, pictured at City Hall, 2017 © Andrew Seng Todd Maisel © John Harris Andrew Seng © John Harris Todd Maisel, Allan Weitz, and Andrew Seng © John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/15/2018
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, 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 “street.” We discuss the differences between the two disciplines, as well as her street photography techniques and cameras and lens choices. 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 © Sisse Brimberg © Sisse Brimberg © Sisse Brimberg © Sisse Brimberg © Sisse Brimberg © Xyza Cruz Bacani © Xyza Cruz Bacani © Xyza Cruz Bacani © Xyza Cruz Bacani © Xyza Cruz Bacani Sisse Brimbeg at OPTIC 2018 © John Harris Xyza Cruz Bacani at OPTIC 2018 © John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/08/2018
Hosted by B&H Photo, the 2018 OPTIC Conference for Outdoor and Travel Photography was a wonderful opportunity to speak with a diverse group of great photographers, and we did just that. We sat down with a diverse mix of shooters, including Joyce Tenneson, Xyza Cruz Bacani, Keith Carter, and Sisse Brimberg. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will present these conversations, but today we start with National Geographic staff photographer Mark Thiessen, who, in addition to running the photo studio at NatGeo and shooting many stories for the magazine, has continued a twenty-year personal project on wildfires. To know his subject better, to be safer, and to get closer to the action, Thiessen became a certified wildland firefighter and travels to active fires each year to photograph the fires, as well as the property destruction and human toll taken by these wildfires. We speak with Thiessen about his experiences, tools and techniques for photographing fires, and about his other work for National Geographic. We also take a few minutes to catch up with Rod Clark, of Wine Country Camera. At OPTIC 2017, we spoke with Clark about the beautiful filter-holder system he developed, and now we find out how his company has grown since last year, and what Wine Country Camera has brought to the market. Guests: Mark Thiessen and Rod Clark Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "Russian Smokejumpers" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "The Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke" © National Geographic Photograph by Mark Thiessen, from "The Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke" © National Geographic Mark Thiessen on the B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/01/2018
From massive ensemble photographs to celebrity portraiture, advertising high-rollers, and about every movie and television poster you’ve ever seen, Art Streiber anchors the spot where Hollywood and the magazine industry meet. His versatility and production acumen are well recognized, and our conversation ambles easily through a wide range of subjects, but what remains evident—in addition to his quick wit—is that Streiber is a problem solver. Big concept, small budget? No problem. Giant set piece with 150 A-list subjects? We’ll figure it out. Just you, me, a camera and a hotel room window? Done. Streiber learned early that being a jack-of-all-trades does not correlate to a master-of-none and that the answer is always, “Yes.” In addition to his obvious photographic chops, this attitude seems to be at the heart of his success. With Streiber, we speak about soaking up the magazine aesthetic through his family’s business in Los Angeles, about early rejections, understanding the story behind a photo concept, and how the image “bears the burden” of telling that story. We also dig deep into his archive to discuss specific images of Steven Spielberg, Paul Rudd, Oscar nights, and others. We touch on picture research, budgeting concepts, lighting choices, working with celebrities, seeing big photos on small screens, older CCD sensors, and “how to eat an elephant.” This is a funny and incredibly informative episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. Join us. Guest: Art Streiber Seth Rogen as Cary Grant, in "North by Northwest," 2008 © Art Streiber Paul Rudd as Gene Wilder, in "Young Frankenstein" © Art Streiber Paramount 100th Anniversary Photo, 2012 © Paramount Pictures, Courtesy Art Streiber Campus Climate Challenge Activists © Art Streiber Steven Spielberg, for Empire Magazine © Art Streiber Brie Larson, for WWD, 2016 © Art Streiber Cate Blanchett, for Entertainment Weekly, 2014 © Art Streiber Behind the scenes at the Oscars © Art Streiber Behind the scenes at the Oscars © Art Streiber Behind the scenes at the Oscars © Art Streiber The cast of "The Princess Bride," for Entertainment Weekly, 2011 © Art Streiber The cast of "Taking Woodstock," for Vanity Fair, 2009 © Art Streiber Blaine Lourd, for Conde Nast Portfolio © Art Streiber Art Streiber on B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris Allan Weitz and Art Streiber © John Harris Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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