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Posted 03/28/2019
Is it necessary to be funny to create work with humor, what is the line between humor and discomfort, can art that is funny have a serious message? How does Instagram success translate to the real world? These are some of the questions we address in this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, and while “humor in art” is our starting point, the conversation takes its own life and we touch on a range of subjects, including the role of Instagram for artists, how to sustain a creative idea, the discrepancy between intent and reception, and how to scale work for both a small screen and a gallery. With these ideas on the table, I cannot think of two better guests with whom to have a conversation. Mitra Saboury and Ben Zank are both artists who explore very personal spheres with their photo and video work, and both incorporate humor and playfulness to express their worldview—and as a portal to explore thornier themes. Ben Zank’s deceptively simple, wonderfully composed images, often with himself as model, explore the body’s relationship with its found environment. Placing a model in a sewer, a pothole, a basketball hoop, or under the yellow lines of the highway, Zank creates an, at times awkward, at times harmonious exchange. The almost self-deprecating humor belies a confident control of purpose and a delicate view of the human form. The imaginative work of Mitra Saboury, whether alone or in collaboration with Meatwreck, explores the physical and psychological effects of our quotidian toils. Like Zank, there is much humor in her work, but a persistent challenging of norms and questioning of beliefs runs through her photography, video, performance, and installation art. Some pieces are discomforting, but strength through inquiry and vulnerability lay at their core. Her work has been exhibited throughout the world, most recently at the Spring Break Art Fair, in Los Angeles, but she also thrives on Instagram and encourages audience participation, whether in person or in the semi-anonymity of the Web. Join us for this interesting conversation, organized by Cory Rice, and check out his portrait of Ben Zank in our “What is Photography?” series. Guests: Mitra Saboury, Ben Zank, Cory Rice Snackbreak © Meatwreck Wavy © Meatwreck Cheescake © Meatwreck Nail Spa © Mitra Saboury Found Face © Mitra Saboury Soap Sink © Mitra Saboury 355 © Ben Zank Daily Commute © Ben Zank Bottleneck © Ben Zank Nuclear Witness © Ben Zank Ben Zank © John Harris Mitra Saboury © John Harris Mitra Saboury, Allan Weitz, Ben Zank, and Cory Rice © 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 01/03/2019
As a companion to last week’s end-of-year review episode, and as a way of kicking off the new year, we will discuss our own photographic new year’s resolutions and gear wish lists on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. As our most ardent listeners know, Allan, Jason, and I have wildly different photographic styles and our gear bags reflect those styles. We will start by talking about the photo-related goals that we each have for the coming year. Perhaps inspired by some of the guests we have had on the show this year, or our “What is Photography?” project, I have a couple of long-delayed projects to which I'd like to return, Jason is looking to continue his long-exposure work with urban cityscapes, and Allan is going to dig back into his film archive to digitize long-hidden gems. We will talk a bit about our current work and the techniques we want to improve this year and, after a short break, we will talk a bit about gear. Going around the table, we will discuss what we are currently shooting with and what new (or used) gear we may purchase to help us achieve our new year’s goals. Allan will start by describing the “Franken-slide copier” that he built with a Micro-NIKKOR 55mm lens, a Bolt Macro Light, and his trusty Sony a7R II. Jason is looking to experiment with long telephoto lenses, such as the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens and a new 3 Legged Thing tripod, and I want to get back to my street photography roots with a fixed-lens camera such as the Fujifilm X100F or one of the Ricoh GR series cameras. While we do talk gear, this episode is mostly about our shared passions for photography and keeping creativity an important part of our 2019. What photography goals do you have for the coming year? Allan Weitz's "Franken-slide Copier" Beal's Island, Maine- 35mm slide image digitized by the "Franken-slide Copier" © Allan Weitz Beal's Island, Maine- 35mm slide image digitized by the "Franken-slide Copier" © 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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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 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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Posted 05/25/2018
What makes a photographer follow their moral compass and photograph the stories they feel need to be told, no matter what the personal costs? Furthermore, how do they do so without the support of a news outlet or even an agency to distribute that work? And then, what if they decide to shoot primarily with black-and-white film?! On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Greg Constantine, who made and continues to make these decisions. In this affable conversation, we find out what prompted Constantine to pick up a camera and how he made the subject of “statelessness” a recurring theme in his work. We also learn why he continued to shoot film, even after digital became the more affordable and accepted format, and why the more established route of assignments for news outlets was not the best path for his storytelling. We also discuss the financing of his work through a combination of grants, commissions, and out-of-pocket spending, the obstacles to exhibiting documentary photography and, ultimately, the satisfaction of seeing the positive impact his work has had. As mentioned, much of Constantine’s work documents oppressed communities, and he has lived and traveled extensively in Asia and, more recently in Europe, to follow stories of migration and persecution. Specifically, he has worked in Burma with the Rohingya people, with the Nubians in Kenya, and with communities around the world that live without the basic right of citizenship. His current project, Seven Doors, has brought him back to his home country to document stories on immigration detention. Constantine’s work ultimately did make it into well-recognized newspapers. He has published books and won awards, and his work has been exhibited in the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building, but he continues to press forward—guided not by credit lines, but by the desire to grow as a photographer, to be inspired by the people he photographs, and to tell the stories that demand to be told. Join us for this inspiring conversation. Guest: Greg Constantine Kenya, 2008, from “Nowhere People” © Greg Constantine Kuwait, 2011, from “Nowhere People” © Greg Constantine Italy, 2014, from “Nowhere People” © Greg Constantine Iraq, 2014, from “Nowhere People” © Greg Constantine Bangladesh, 2017, from “Exiled to Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya” © Greg Constantine Bangladesh, 2017, from “Exiled to Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya” © Greg Constantine Bangladesh, 2017, from “Exiled to Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya” © Greg Constantine Bangladesh, 2017, from “Exiled to Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya” © Greg Constantine United States, 2018, from “Seven Doors” © Greg Constantine United States, 2018, from “Seven Doors” © Greg Constantine United States, 2018, from “Seven Doors” © Greg Constantine Malaysia, 2017, from “Seven Doors” © Greg Constantine Greg Constantine on the B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris Allan Weitz and Greg Constantine © 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 01/05/2018
What a start to the New Year for the B&H Photography Podcast. We are incredibly fortunate to kick off our year with photographer Cig Harvey and gallerist Caroline Wall, director of the Robert Mann Gallery. In conjunction with her new book, You an Orchestra, You a Bomb, Harvey is currently exhibiting at the Robert Mann Gallery, and we were able to speak with artist and gallerist to discuss the making of her latest portfolio and the collaborative process of exhibition. This is Cig Harvey’s third monograph and, in addition to her photographic creativity, she is also very articulate when describing her artistic process and techniques. This is a true benefit to us at the podcast. Her description of the “gasp” moments that she seeks when working, whether they be gasps of fear or in the presence of beauty, was a wonderful moment in our interview. The titular mantra that describes part of her process is something that we will keep with us as we advance in our own photographic journey. Join us as we talk with Harvey and Wall about how an idea becomes a series, how editing can be a physical act, and the two distinct ways she approached imaging for this most recent series. We also discuss the role that a gallery—in this case through the eyes of a trusted collaborator—plays in the editing of a body of work and, ultimately, its exhibition and sale. The exhibit, Cig Harvey—You an Orchestra, You a Bomb, is on display at the Robert Mann Gallery through January 27, 2018 and, on that date, Ms. Harvey will be present for an artist’s talk. Her book of the same name is available wherever you find fine books and, specifically, here. Guests: Cig Harvey and Caroline Wall Birds of New England, Rockport, Maine, 2016 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Wild Orchid, Lincolnville, Maine, 2017 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Magnolia Tree, Rockport, Maine, 2017 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Sky Lantern, 2017 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Sparks, Lake Meguntacook, Maine, 2016 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Blizzard on Main Street, 2017 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Prism, Rockport, Maine, 2017 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Lips, Faith, Rockport, Maine, 2017 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Scout in the Blizzard, Rockport, Maine, 2017 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Scout with Reflections, Rockport, Maine, 2016 © Cig Harvey, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery Caroline Wall and Allan Weitz 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 09/28/2017
If inspiration is what you are looking for, the story of how Eric Kruszewski became a photographer should supply you with plenty of it. Of course, it all starts with a personal desire but, planning, networking, hard work, and even a simple Google search like the eponymic one above, all go into the recipe for success. Photographs © Eric Kruszewski Taking up photography as a hobby in your thirties seems a commonplace occurrence, but deciding to change careers and become a working photographer is another story altogether. Join us as we speak with travel, editorial, and documentary photographer Eric Kruszewski about his journey from newbie to National Geographic. We talk about the value of workshops, mentors, cold calls, and persistence, and trace Eric’s career from its inauspicious beginnings through long-term personal projects, one-off jobs, artistic setbacks, learning new skills and, ultimately, a satisfying career—paying the bills by doing what he loves. Guest: Eric Kruszewski At India’s Jaisalmer Fort, a street performer walks a tightrope in a unique way—on her knees (with a metal plate) while pushing herself along only with her toes and balancing a vase of water on her head. Cowboys from across America gather at the Pendleton Roundup to prepare for its annual rodeo. From the series, “American Rodeo.” It is quite common that families travel together with the Davis Carnival. In camp, one woman observes her neighbors—a mother and daughter—through the window. From the series, “Behind the Ferris Wheel.” Richmond Shepard, a mime based in New York City, poses for a portrait in his studio. During the annual Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland, a motorcycle stunt driver takes off amongst fireworks. The performance is held for about three weeks, with the Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop. A woman walks through a mirror maze, part of the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions exhibits in Edinburgh's Old Town. Chris Turner poses for a portrait in his childhood neighborhood of Northeast Washington, D.C. Chris was one of several people accused of the murder of Catherine Fuller in 1984. He served 26 years in prison and maintains his innocence. At the Elephant Conservation Center in Laos, a mahout (elephant trainer) jumps between two elephants. He stuck the landing. Andreas Georgiou, a Greek economist, poses for a portrait in his United States home A young girl dons a costume inside the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia. She dresses in costume to pose for photos with visitors. 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 08/25/2017
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Allan Weitz as happy as he was during our recording of this episode and, if you are into vintage cameras, lenses, and all things film photography, just sit back and enjoy our conversation with Bellamy Hunt, aka the Japan Camera Hunter. The palpable enthusiasm between these two camera lovers cannot be feigned, and they talked like old friends about Nikon SP, Canon rangefinders, Hasselblads, and anything with a red dot. We also learn how an Englishman arrived in Japan, worked for a camera company, became a camera hunter, and eventually developed a business that not only sources vintage and rare cameras, but sells film, custom-paints cameras, and writes and shares his love for photography on his the “JCH” site. In addition to talking about cameras, we discuss the photography culture of Japan, camera shops of Tokyo, and the renaissance of film photography. Join us for this pleasurable conversation. Guest: Bellamy Hunt Custom-painted Canon 7 rangefinder camera with Canon 50mm f0.95 lens Hasselblad Gold-plated 50th Anniversary 503CX with Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 Planar T* lens Black Leica M2 with a Leicavit MP and a 35mm f/2 Summicron-M Black Leica MP 6 with 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M (Hunt’s personal camera) Black Contax G2 with 16mm f/8 Zeiss Hologon T* Black Rollei 35S with 40mm f/2.8 Rollei-HFT lens and rolls of JCH Street Pan 400 film Allan Weitz and Bellamy Hunt 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 04/28/2017
We start this week’s episode on a congenial note with Frank Meo, aka “ The PhotoCloser,” talking about what can be a very difficult aspect of photography for some—negotiating with clients and establishing a rate for your services. Meo, who has been a “rep” for many photographers, now concentrates on being a “collaborator.” His services include estimating and negotiating fees. Meo also speaks on the subject at many conferences and workshops, and he offers brainstorming sessions designed to empower, motivate, and inspire. On our show, he discusses business practices that will garner “clients for life,” and offers a few ideas on what you should consider when charging for your services. After a break, we take a dramatic turn and present the first segment of our serial, “Dispatch.” We begin this series with photojournalist Adriane Ohanesian, who introduces us to her work, discusses her life as a freelancer based in Nairobi, Kenya, and prepares us for her upcoming assignment in Somalia. Once a month, Ohanesian will offer us insight into the working life of a photographer in conflict zones. Since 2010, Adriane Ohanesian has covered crises in South Sudan, Darfur, and Somalia, and has been recognized as one of Magnum Photo’s top “30 under 30.” She has also received LensCulture’s Emerging Talent award. In 2016, she won a World Press Photo award for her work in Darfur, and the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. This year Ohanesian was selected as one of PDN’s 30 new and emerging photographers. Guests: Frank Meo and Adriane Ohanesian Kaltumo Rukow Gulie, age 29, holds the phone as Mohamed Abdi Bare, age 4, speaks to his mother Amina from Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya, January, 2017. Mohamed Abdi Bare, age 4, stares at the line of people inside the waiting area at the Department of Refugee Affairs office in Shauri Moyo, Nairobi, Kenya, January, 2017. Women and children shelter themselves from the rain at the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda, May, 2015. The shelters of nearly 400 pastoralists families who have lost a majority of their livestock due to drought, have set up camp along the road in search of food and water in Uusgure, Puntland, northern Somalia, February, 2017. Members of the rebel group the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-AW), ride on top of a pickup truck inside of their territory in North Darfur, Sudan, March, 2015. Chichia, age 10, recovers in a make-shift clinic where her right arm was amputated after the Sudanese government bombed her family’s home in Tabanya, South Kordofan, Sudan, May, 2016. The Meth Project Campaign, photograph by Ron Haviv. Image courtesy Frank Meo/The PhotoCloser Frank Meo and Allan Weitz © John R Harris Previous Pause Next Adriane Ohanesian unless otherwise noted 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 03/31/2017
This is one of our most informative and, dare I say, best episodes yet. We talk about emulsion-based and inkjet photographic paper, with an emphasis on inkjet papers. We are fortunate to be joined by two talented and articulate guests, photographer Robert Rodriguez Jr. and August Pross, Print Manager and co-owner of LTI-Lightside photographic lab, in New York City. In addition to his outstanding landscape photography, Rodriguez is an author with three books on photography to his credit. He leads a very popular workshop series and is an ambassador for Canson-Infinity paper products. LTI-Lightside is well-known for its professional photo services and as the custom printer for many acclaimed fine-art photographers. In this episode, we talk about the various types of paper available for printing at home and at a lab, and discuss the differences between paper from Fujifilm, Epson, Kodak, Hahnemuhle, Ilford, and others. Topics we touch upon are optical brighteners, outgassing, printing profiles, and Wilhelm Imaging Research, but the focus of our conversation often returns to the tactile nature of the print and the need to understand a photographic print as an entirely different concept than an image on a screen. In addition to the wonderful dialogue, stay tuned throughout the episode for a B&H Photography Podcast exclusive promo code for a discount on all Canson paper products. Also, be sure to visit our podcast homepage for all of our episodes and, while you are there, leave us a voice message on the SpeakPipe widget. Click on this link to subscribe to our show on iTunes. Guests: Robert Rodriguez Jr. and August Pross Robert Rodriguez, Allan Weitz, August Pross Previous Pause Next Robert Rodriguez Jr 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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