Documentary Photography

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While Joshua Irwandi was born and raised in Indonesia, the early pictures he made during his first visit to the region of Asmat, in the province of West Papua, were less than satisfying to him. Yet his fascination with the people and the place stuck, inspiring him to embark on the long-term project Not a Blank Canvas. Above photograph © Joshua Irwandi In this third installment of our monthly series, Picturing World Cultures, we speak with Irwandi about his experiences documenting the people and landscape of Asmat, which offers a window into
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Kiana Hayeri was born in Iran, and this was where she launched her career as a photojournalist and visual storyteller. Yet after traveling to Afghanistan for a 2014 assignment, she decided to relocate, spending the next eight years covering the frontlines of conflict and everyday lives of the Afghan people. Above photograph © Kiana Hayeri In this second installment of our monthly series, Picturing World Cultures, we speak with Hayeri about her experiences living and working in a region mired in cultural upheaval, failing infrastructure, and
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Lee Miller may have been best known in life as a beautiful muse of the legendary Surrealist Man Ray yet, shortly after her passing, a lucky accident led her family to an attic treasure trove, which made her a photography legend in her own right. During this week’s podcast, we unpack the details of this extraordinary tale and hear many other anecdotes from Miller’s adventurous life in a chat with her son and biographer, Antony Penrose. From her swift ascent as a ’20s-era Vogue fashion model—and the ad campaign that sidelined her appeal—to her
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Rodney Smith was a photographic visionary, with an allegiance to the image above all else. Long acclaimed for his iconic black-and-white pictures—not to forget his later jewel-like color scenes—Smith captured enchanted worlds full of subtle magic and lighthearted humor. Using only analog film and the aesthetics of natural light, his dream-like photographs are matched in quality by the craft and physical beauty of his prints. Above photograph © The Estate of Rodney Smith Smith died in 2016, yet the enduring precision, elegance, and whimsy of
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Mike Tyson has long been a boxing legend and, for this week’s podcast, we speak with the photographer who was there from the very start. Lori Grinker was just a student with a semester-long assignment when she first met Tyson as a 13-year-old kid under the tutelage of famed boxing trainer Cus D’Amato. Grinker’s inside access over the next decade offers an intimate portrait of Tyson that few others have seen, and is now published in the book
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On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we are pleased to welcome photographer and director Brandon Tauszik and journalist Pendarvis Harshaw to talk about their recently completed project, “Facing Life,” an effective blend of form and content, whose principal image format is
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In 1966, a twenty-one-year-old French woman bought a one-way ticket to Vietnam, where the American military involvement was becoming a full-scale war. The young Catherine Leroy was an admirer of photographer Robert Capa and the “reportage” she grew up seeing in Paris MATCH magazine, but she had little photojournalism experience. Despite that, and despite her particularly small physical frame, Leroy began as a freelance “stringer,” photographing the growing
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In September 2017, we dedicated an episode to a conversation about one photograph—an image made by photographer Richard Drew, on September 11, 2001, in New York, which has come to be called “The Falling Man.”  It was an insightful recollection and analysis of an incredibly painful image, and on today’s episode of the
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Our conversation on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is about the challenges that the practice of photojournalism faced during, and in the wake of, the monumental year 2020. With the coronavirus pandemic, the protests following the murder of George Floyd, and the presidential election cycle, news photographers and editors were faced with situations none had ever experienced. To its credit, the institution as a whole worked
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It has been a hope of ours for some time to speak with photographer Stanley Greenberg and, considering he’s made three books in the past three years, there is a lot to talk about. Greenberg is known for his large-scale series on subjects like the New York City reservoir and water systems, on giant particle accelerators, telescopes, and dams. His recent projects, however, are an interesting blend of urban exploration and 19th-Century history. We speak briefly
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What do the films Goodfellas, The Devil Wears Prada, Creed, Ocean’s 8, and Die Hard with a Vengeance have in common? The poster art, publicity, and behind-the-scenes photography for these and about one hundred other feature films were made by photographer Barry Wetcher, and we welcome Wetcher to this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. On-set still photography or, simply, “still photography” is one of the more unique
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It’s important to be respectful when approaching and photographing strangers. Documentary photographer and Sony Artisan Ira Block shares his portrait photography tips for capturing people in different cultures with courtesy and respect. What are your experiences when taking travel portraits? Tell us about them in the Comments section, below.
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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
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The OPTIC 2016 Imaging Conference provided numerous opportunities to talk with some of the most respected nature and landscape photographers working today, but the highlights of our two days at OPTIC had to be our chat with Michael Kenna, the event’s keynote presenter, and our conversation with Paul and John Paul Caponigro. It is unnecessary to summarize the work of these three photographers in any quick description but, suffice it to say, each is a master of his craft. While their work is distinctive and unique, it was wonderful to hear of
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Every year, B&H hosts the OPTIC Imaging Conference, a four-day event showcasing the best nature, landscape, and travel photography. The 2016 edition was a stellar outing, with presentations from some of the most interesting photographers working in those fields. It also serves as a chance for participants to put their hands on the latest cameras, lenses, and gear from all the major manufacturers.    To hear the segment of a particular manufacturer, go to any of these marks in the timeline: • Sigma: 2:10 • Fujifilm: 10:18 • Canon: 16:40