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Posted 07/08/2020
Our conversation on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is with the fabulous and innovative Duane Michals. Of the many comments he made about his photography practice, a practice that has been commercially and artistically successful for almost sixty years, one that stood out was his aside that “photography has failed [him] as an art form.” The comment comes late in our conversation but refers to the idea that Michals' goal of pure expression is not accommodated by photography alone; he needs to turn to sequential narrative, to writing on photo prints, even to painting on photos to get to the expression that he wants to convey. For anyone looking for how-tos or technique tips, you’ve come to the wrong episode, but to light the path to a true artistic self-expression, Michals’ words hold much promise. We spoke with him about a range of subjects, from how a constant curiosity combined with good work habits fueled his work and success. We talk about his working-class upbringing, his youthful adventures to Texas and, later, to the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, where he first took photos in earnest. About specific images, we asked about his “Death Comes to the Old Lady,” and he also related a story about photographing Warren Beatty in a New York hotel room. We even spoke about Canon cameras and the references he draws upon for his work, from Walt Whitman and William Blake to Pierre Bonnard and Robert Frank, but mostly we discuss his creative instincts and process, which seem to start and end with the idea, “If you already know what you’re going to do, then you’re not being creative.” Join us for this insightful conversation with a true photographic innovator. Guest: Duane Michals Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York Death Comes to the Old Lady, 1969 © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York 2nd Prize Winner – B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge – “Work & Dance from Home” © Ajay Raina, 2020 1st Prize Winner – B&H Photography Podcast Leica Photo Challenge – “Applause” © Karles Rives 2020 Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/29/2020
I don’t know if we’ve ever had two photographers with such divergent styles on the same episode. It would make little sense to even have them on together, except that their individual work is exceptional, and they are married to each other. This week on the B&H Photography Podcast, we return to a format that has served us well in the past —speaking with a couple who both work in photography. We really hit the jackpot this time, with Sara Bennett and Joseph Holmes, not simply because they are interesting photographers and really nice folks but, between them, they embody a wide range of photo skills, from the technical and artistic, to the narrative and journalistic, from portraiture and art photography, to advocacy and social documentary. It’s quite an interesting situation and Holmes and Bennett, each in their own way, offer personal insight into their varied projects, and they also generously allow us a glimpse into how they work together as a couple, raising a family and supporting each other’s work. Sara Bennett’s photography, which has been published in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and the PBS/News Hour, grew from her years working as a lawyer, primarily on cases related to battered women and the wrongly convicted. Her portraiture of women in prison and transitioning from incarceration humanizes as it advocates and educates. Her books, Life After Life in Prison, The Bedroom Project, and Looking Inside: Portraits of Women Serving Life Sentences, are beautiful and simple documents that serve a higher purpose, and we talk with Bennett about her intentions and the long process to find the right women to photograph and the complications and joys of photographing in prison. With Joseph Holmes, we start the conversation with New York City—and I don’t think we ever leave. Holmes could make a great image in a dark closet, but his work has such an understanding of our city and the subjects he has chosen to photograph—“ Cooks on Breaks,” “Urban Wilderness,” “Streit’s Matzoh Factory,” and “ Tracing the Underground,” are so New York, without ever touching the boiler plate. Blending portraiture, documentary, and street photography, Holmes’s dedication to the photo series and his technical aplomb represent the best of fine-art reportage. His work is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery, and pieces are included in the permanent collection of several museums, including the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Check out his photo annuals and enjoy this wonderful conversation as much as we did. Guests: Sara Bennett and Joseph Holmes Photograph © Joseph Holmes Karen, from “The Bedroom Project,” 2017 © Sara Bennett Traci, from “The Bedroom Project,” 2017 © Sara Bennett Jennifer, from “Looking Inside,” 2018 © Sara Bennett Sahiah, from “Looking Inside,” 2019 © Sara Bennett Patrice, from “Looking Inside,” 2018 © Sara Bennett Kat, from “Looking Inside,” 2019 © Sara Bennett from “Tracing the Underground,” 2017 © Joseph Holmes from “Tracing the Underground,” 2017 © Joseph Holmes from “Streit’s,” 2015 © Joseph Holmes from “Streit’s,” 2015 © Joseph Holmes Walter, from “Custom Machinery,” 2009 © Joseph Holmes Hugo, from “Custom Machinery,” 2009 © Joseph Holmes Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machine, 2009 © Joseph Holmes Van Norman Duplex Milling Machine, 2009 © Joseph Holmes Joseph O. Holmes and Sara Bennett © Allan Weitz Allan Weitz, Joseph O. Holmes, and Sara Bennett © 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 11/26/2019
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome California-based advertising, sports, dance, and fashion photographer (and director), Alexis Cuarezma, who packs a considerable amount of practical and creative insight into our hour-long conversation. Ostensibly, Cuarezma was joining us to talk about his lighting techniques and, while he does dive deep into lighting schemes, we discuss so much more. Cuarezma is generous with is thoughts on production, composition, models, gear, self-promotion, and marketing really anything that he understands to help him in his burgeoning photo business. Just a glance at his work, and one will realize why Cuarezma is here to discuss lighting techniques, he has shot for Sports Illustrated (including six covers), Fortune magazine, Ring magazine, the New York Times, and his clients include Nike. Cuarezma emphasizes his belief that getting it right “in-camera” is the key to his success, not just for the sake of the final image, but for his creative process. Researching, planning, arriving early, being hands-on in every phase of the work, and understanding that your vision, when properly executed, will win over a client, is the other key to his success. With Cuarezma we discuss his decision-making process when creating a portrait; each of the small problems that needs to be solved to create the desired look that works best for his particular subject. While comfortable renting the needed gear to fulfill each project, he also discusses the gear he owns and uses, including Profoto B1 lights, Rosco Gels, and his Canon 5DS. Join us for this insightful and very educational episode. Guest: Alexis Cuarezma Photograph © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma Christine Shevchenko, American Ballet Theater © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma © Alexis Cuarezma Hunter Strickland © Alexis Cuarezma Chris Paul © Alexis Cuarezma John Harris, Allan Weitz, Alexis Cuarezma, and Jason Tables © Jason Tawiah Previous Pause Next
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Posted 11/20/2019
Of course, there are several renowned photography book publishers, but if you know just one name in photo book publishing, it should be Aperture. Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, Stephen Shore, Sally Mann, Deana Lawson, and Martin Parr are just a few of the artists who have had at least one of their most significant books published by Aperture Publishing. Book publishing is just one of the ways that this non-profit organization, founded by Minor White and others, supports the art and craft of photography; they produce their quarterly magazine, host exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, sponsor book and portfolio awards, and publish The PhotoBook Review and the Aperture blog. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome Lesley Martin, Creative Director at Aperture and Publisher of The Photobook Review. Who better to speak about the process of photography-book publishing and, in general, the state of the photobook community today? With Martin, we discuss the important books from their 2019 catalog and how their editorial team decides which projects to publish each year, how large the runs will be and the costs associated with publishing in the US and abroad. We also examine what distinguishes Aperture—their non-profit status, the platform they create for artists, their collaborative philosophy, and the need to balance contemporary photo projects with compilation and themed photo books, classic editions and works about photography. We also ask about the impact of Amazon on their book trade and general questions on the current state of the photo-book business. In the second half of our show, we discuss the recently announced winners of the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. This important award has three categories: Photography Catalogue of the Year, First PhotoBook of the Year, and Photobook of the Year. We ask about the criteria for judging in each category, about the subtle distinctions between a good photo series and a good photo book and clarify who can submit to the contest. Finally, we ask Martin about some of her personal dos and do nots when it comes creating your own photography book. This is a very enlightening conversation for those interested in creating a photobook and for anyone curious about what goes into running a successful editorial house. Guest: Lesley Martin “Brooklyn: The City Within” by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb “Deana Lawson: An Aperture Monograph” by Deana Lawson, Essay by Zadie Smith “Immediate Family” by Sally Mann “Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph” Fortieth-anniversary edition by Diane Arbus “The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion” by Antwaun Sargent “Walter Chandoha: The Cat Photographer,” Interviews by David La Spina and Brittany Hudak “Border Cantos” by Richard Misrach Allan Weitz and Lesley Martin © 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 10/24/2019
Perhaps there is one thing on which all photographers can agree: we love to photograph our pets. From amateur to professional, a simple photo of our dog, cat, or guinea pig making “that face” is almost irresistible and, based on the current exhibit at The Museum of the Dog, this fascination with photographing our pets reaches into the past for as long as the medium has existed. On this week’s episode, we welcome author and vernacular photography collector Catherine Johnson, and Alan Fausel, Executive Director and CEO of the Museum of the Dog, to discuss the current exhibit on display at this museum. Johnson began collecting archival photos of dogs as a young girl, mostly from local flea markets, but over the years has amassed a unique collection of images—snapshots, posed portraits, cabinet cards, tintypes—dating back to the 1880s. This collection was made into the 2007 book, Dogs, and is now a wonderful exhibition at the Museum of the Dog, during the inaugural year in its new home, in Midtown Manhattan. With Johnson, we discuss the origin of her collection, the distinction between vernacular and amateur photography, and what makes for a good dog photo. We also touch upon her time working for photographer Norman Parkinson and her other photography work. Mr. Fausel, who has thirty years of art-world experience as a scholar, curator, appraiser, and regular guest on the Antiques Roadshow, now heads the Museum of the Dog, which is affiliated with the American Kennel Club. With Fausel, we speak about curating this exhibit, the challenges and joys of running a multi-faceted institution with such a specific theme, and how to balance the interests of dog lovers of varying stripes. We also discuss the growing interest in vernacular photography in the art world and its hard-to-be-determined appraisal value. Join us for this interesting episode and check out the “Photos: Please do not Bend, the Catherine Johnson Collection” on display through December 29, 2019, at the Museum of the Dog. Guests: Catherine Johnson and Alan Fausel © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC © Catherine Johnson LLC, Image Courtesy AKC Museum of the Dog © Catherine Johnson LLC, Image Courtesy AKC Museum of the Dog Jason Tables and Catherine Johnson, © John Harris Alan Fausel © John Harris Allan Weitz, Catherine Johnson, and Alan Fausel © John Harris Allan and his “look-a-like” © 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 10/07/2019
“A wiser feller than myself once said, ‘Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear, well, he eats you.’” A few of our listeners may recognize this quote from a certain 1998 movie but, for others, well, it may just be a confusing adage. For today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, however, we did indeed “eat the bear” and are very fortunate to welcome actor, musician, and photographer Jeff Bridges to our show. In addition to being an Academy Award-winning actor, Bridges photographs the “behind-the-scenes” making of his movies with a Widelux swing-lens panoramic film camera, and over the years has collected those images in private editions, made for the cast and crew. In 2003, he published a book called, Jeff Bridges: Pictures, and in October 2019, is releasing the incredible Jeff Bridges: Pictures Volume 2, which “expands on Bridges' intimate vision of Hollywood behind-the-scenes. Included within are rare looks at the famed actors, top directors, talented costumers, and makeup artists, skilled and creative set and art decoration, and the rest of the passionate crews involved in such memorable movies as True Grit, Crazy Heart, The Giver, TRON: Legacy, and Hell or High Water. ” With Bridges, we discuss his affinity for the Widelux, and how he handles this camera—known for its idiosyncrasies. We relate the nuts-and-bolts aspects of his workflow, from using the viewfinder (or not) to measuring exposure with a Minolta spot meter, to how he composes a frame with a 140-degree angle of view. We also discuss other wide-format cameras, how Bridges works on set with other actors and crew members, the creation of his new book, and the scope of his photographic work, which has become a unique documentation of movie-making from the 1980s until today. Join us for this lively conversation and look for Jeff Bridges: Pictures Volume 2, published by powerHouse Books and distributed by Penguin Random House. All of Bridge’s proceeds from the sale of his book go to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, a nonprofit organization that offers charitable care and support to film-industry workers. When you visit his website, check the link for No Kid Hungry, an organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger and for which Bridges is the national spokesperson. Finally, if you are in the Los Angeles area on October 15, take the opportunity to have Jeff sign your copy of his book at the Book Soup event, on Sunset Blvd. Guest: Jeff Bridges Above photograph © Jeff Bridges George Clooney, Tragedia/Comedia, "The Men Who Stare at Goats," 2009 © Jeff Bridges Iron Man Suit, "Iron Man," 2008 © Jeff Bridges Stan Winston’s Workshop, "Iron Man," 2008 © Jeff Bridges Stephen Bruton, Songwriter, "Crazy Heart," 2009 © Jeff Bridges Jack Nation, "Crazy Heart," 2009 © Jeff Bridges Gary Ross, Director, and Tobey Maguire, "Seabiscuit," 2003 © Jeff Bridges Claudio Miranda and Olivia Wilde, "Tron: Legacy," 2010 © Jeff Bridges Loyd Catlett, "Seventh Son," 2014 © Jeff Bridges "Scenes of the Crime," 2001 © Jeff Bridges Jodelle Ferland, Tragedia/Comedia, "Tideland," 2005 © Jeff Bridges Jeff Bridges, "True Grit," 2010 © Jeff Bridges Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 08/15/2019
We are in the midst of our B&H Photography Podcast Panasonic LUMIX S1 Sweepstakes and encourage you to check the link to enter to win a Panasonic LUMIX DC-S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 24-105mm Lens or a Panasonic LUMIX DC-G95 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 12-60mm Lens. For today’s episode, we present encore conversations with photographers Sisse Brimberg and Xyza Cruz Bacani. Sisse Brimberg is 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. Xyza Cruz Bacani, a Magnum Foundation fellow currently covering the civil unrest in Hong Kong, started taking photography seriously while employed as a domestic worker there. Her street photography blossomed into a career as a documentary photographer and photojournalist 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 techniques and cameras and lens choices. Bacani has recently published the incredible book, We Are Like Air, about her mother and other migrant workers in Hong Kong. Join us for this insightful episode and don’t forget to enter our sweepstakes and subscribe to the B&H Photography Podcast. Guests: Sisse Brimberg and Xyza Cruz Bacani © Sisse Brimberg © Xyza Cruz Bacani “We Are Like Air” by Xyza Cruz Bacani Panasonic LUMIX S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Panasonic LUMIX G95 Mirrorless Digital Camera Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 08/07/2019
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome a true photography legend—curator, critic, and author, Vince Aletti. Anyone who lived in New York in the 1980s and ’90s, and is interested in photography, will know of Aletti as the photography critic at the Village Voice. He went on to review photo exhibitions at The New Yorker until 2016. He has also curated exhibitions at the International Center of Photography and White Columns gallery, and has authored many books, including his latest, Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines, which he joins us to discuss. In addition to his writing and curating, Aletti is a collector, and has created a collection of the most important issues of fashion magazines from the past 100 years. The book, Issues, employs that collection to offer a history of fashion photography as it was meant to be viewed—in magazines, and our conversation focuses on the context of the magazine as “the ideal delivery system” for the best photography of several generations. We discuss the beginning of fashion magazines and introduction of photography to that format and we spend time discussing the work of Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Steven Meisel by looking at issues of magazines for which they were the primary, if not sole, photographer. The production of these magazines— Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue Italia, The Face, for example—are mentioned, as are the creative directors, editors, and stylists, but the point of this enlightening conversation (and Aletti’s book) is how great photographers have used the specific format of the fashion magazine for their ground-breaking and ever-evolving images. Today also marks the beginning of the B&H Photography Podcast Panasonic LUMIX S1 Sweepstakes. Follow the above link for the rules and entry guidelines and you’ll have two chances to win a new Panasonic LUMIX DC-S1 Full-Frame Mirrorless digital camera with 24-105mm lens or a Panasonic LUMIX DC-G95 Mirrorless digital camera with 12-60mm lens. Also, look for the upcoming special episode of our podcast with Panasonic LUMIX Global Ambassador Shiv Verma. Guest: Vince Aletti Above photograph courtesy Vince Aletti and Phaidon Press “Harper’s Bazaar,” October 1934, Harry Meerson. Collection Vince Aletti. Courtesy Phaidon “Vogue,” June 1, 1940, Toni Frissell. Collection Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “French Vogue,” May 1939, Erwin Blumenfeld; from “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “British Vogue,” June 1947, cover: Irving Penn; spreads: Clifford Coffin; from “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “Fashion & Travel,” 1954, No. 1, 1955, No. 2, Bert Stern; from “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “The Face,” July 1980, Corinne Day; from “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” Vince Aletti, Courtesy Phaidon “Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines,” by Vince Aletti, Publisher: Phaidon Vince Aletti on the B&H Photography Podcast © 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 07/31/2019
This week, we welcome two photographers who know the joys of spending a late afternoon waiting for super cells to form, or that perfect lightning strike to appear, as well as the perils of rising waters, golf-ball-sized hail, and projectile debris in flight. Our topic today is extreme-weather photography, and we welcome photographers from two different continents to tell us about their shooting styles, safety precautions, gear, and their general thoughts on weather, social media, and the photography business. We are joined first by photographer and filmmaker Jim Reed, who is a represented by National Geographic Image Collection. His work has been published in National Geographic magazine, the New York Times, Scientific American, and The Guardian, and has been featured on the Weather Channel, Discovery Network, and the Oprah show. He is the author of the critically acclaimed 2007 photo book, “Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey.” With Reed, we discuss his minimal gear setup, safety precautions, useful apps, and how his client base has shifted during his thirty-year career. After a short break, we welcome Jordan Cantelo, from the Western Australian town of Jurien Bay. Cantelo is a local wildfire officer who began photographing weather during long stints in the bush. With Cantelo, we speak about the specific weather and storm types in Western Australia, his use of lightning triggers, his preference for medium format cameras, landscape compositions, and how he follows weather systems to get the shots he is after. For many photographers, being a “storm chaser” seems like a thrilling way to earn a living, so tune in to the B&H Photography Podcast for our conversation with two seasoned weather and landscape photographers to get a better understanding of the dos, the don’ts, and the practical side of extreme-weather photography. Guests: Jim Reed and Jordan Cantelo Above photograph © Jim Reed Professional storm chasers monitor an approaching tornado in western Kansas on May 8, 2008 © Jim Reed Concurrent Tornadoes at Night, 2012 © Jim Reed A Bolt from the Gray, 2004 © Jim Reed A severe thunderstorm brings much needed rain to a drought-stricken farm near Roswell, New Mexico, 2013. © Jim Reed Cloud-to-ground lightning bolts strike a field in eastern Wyoming, 2011. © Jim Reed Waves explode over a seawall and into Galveston, Texas as Hurricane Ike approaches, on September 12, 2008. © Jim Reed Ominous Skies © Jordan Cantelo Dowerin Evening Lightning © Jordan Cantelo Microburst- Between Beacon and Wialki © Jordan Cantelo Electric Skies – Beacon © Jordan Cantelo Kimberley Wet Season Skies © Jordan Cantelo Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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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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