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B&H Photography Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Join us each week for a conversation with insightful and entertaining guests. From gear and technique to history, science and art, we discuss the topics most important to the contemporary photographer.


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Join us each week for a conversation with insightful and entertaining guests. From gear and technique to history, science and art, we discuss the topics most important to the contemporary photographer.




Photography in the Age of AI, with Stephen Shankland

How much can you edit a photo before it stops becoming true? That’s the question CNET tech reporter Stephen Shankland recently asked in the opening lines of his story, How Close is that Photo to the Truth: What to Know in the Age of AI. The article, which examines digital photography and advanced smartphone image processing in the era of AI, reaches beyond the polarizing visual minefield of generative AI by delving into aspects of this technologythat’s been quietly pre-baked into most every camera on the market these days. The sophisticated processing under the hood of your digital camera is our jumping off point for a wide-ranging discussion with Shankland that touches on many aspects of the digital workflow, before scaling the slippery slopes of generative AI. A few of the many points we cover include: Comparing the three primary generative AI platforms and discussing their differences, an assessment of AI manipulations and deepfakes, the ways in which a proliferation of camera phones can serve as a buttress against fakery, and the factor of a social contract in weighing the veracity of an image. Today’s AI landscape seems to be morphing by the minute, a reality that’s reflected here with bonus content! Barely a week after our original discussion, Open AI’s new text to video application, Sora, was released to a tidal wave of interest, so we got Shankland back on mic. Stay to the end to hear our first impressions of this new technology and listen closely to discover how an AI bot got the last word in our chat. Guest: Stephen Shankland Top shot © Allan Weitz, https://www.allanweitzdesign.com Episode Timeline: 2:22: How much can a photo be edited before it stops “becoming” true? Plus, the digital processing that goes on under the hood of your digital camera. 7:06: The sophisticated processing in your camera phone and how the resulting images compare to pictures made with a 35mm digital camera. 13:02: How much digital editing is too much and what’s the least amount of image adjustments possible before a photograph stops “being true.” 18:22: The matter of generative AI manipulations and deepfakes, the democratization of altering images, and how the proliferation of camera phones can serve as a buttress against fakery. 23:24: Comparing the three big generative AI platforms Stephen has worked with—Open AI’s Dall-E, Google’s ImageFX, and Adobe’s Firefly—and discussing how they differ, plus Allan’s impressions about working with Adobe Firefly, and how much of an AI-generated image is truly one’s own. 31:58: Prompt engineering, the bias of training data, the role of having fun when assessing the creative aspects of generative AI, and the factor of a social contract into reading the veracity of an image. 40:22: Episode Break 41:30: The potential for career opportunities in prompt engineering, new educational programs to arise from these new technologies, plus reasons why illustration is the creative area most threatened by AI. 48:27: The democratization of creative tasks due to computer technology, and the value of having a unique style or vision to creative success, plus the advantages of AI for stylistic 52:08: Ethical considerations, intellectual property rights, and copyright concerns in relation to AI generation. 57:03: In-camera authentication, content credentialing, and following the provenance of an image to be assured of its trustworthiness, plus whether this technology will ever show up in camera phones. 1:04:24: Episode bonus: Stephen’s first impressions of Open AI’s new text to video application, Sora. Guest Bio: Stephen Shankland has covered technology, computing, and digital imaging as a principal writer and reporter for CNET since 1998. He’s also a professional photographer who’s particularly intrigued by new trends in AI. Stephen stumbled into journalism as a fledgling science reporter covering the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His first, and biggest, scoop...


B&H Podcast: Chat with Inventor of the CMOS Chip, Professor Eric Fossum

How did a space-age invention become ubiquitous in today’s digital imaging landscape? Learn all about it here in our latest podcast, featuring pioneers of photography and digital imaging. In 1993, noted physicist and engineer Eric Fossum led the invention of the CMOS active-pixel image sensor as part of his work for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Then, as part of JPL’s mandate to seek commercial and consumer applications for emerging technologies, he was active in the transfer of the CMOS sensor’s “camera-on-a-chip” technology to industry. In our informative conversation with Professor Fossum, he makes distinctions between solid state CCDs and his more efficient CMOS sensor that would come to dominate the marketplace. To transform high-level science into layman’s terms, he uses the analogy of a bucket brigade collecting rain on a football field. In a similar down-to-earth fashion, we touch on metaphysical issues like wave particle duality, and how this is demonstrated every time light enters a camera and you take a picture with your phone. Join us to marvel at the wonders of science amid fun food references—from the way deep space radiation degrades CCD chips so they start to act like Swiss cheese, to the synergies between high-level scientific measurements and delicatessen lunch meats, both marks of a creative scientist and visionary educator. Guest: Eric Fossum Above photograph © John Sherman Photography, https://jshermanphoto.com/ Episode Timeline: 2:31: Eric Fossum’s beginnings in hands-on science explorations, computer programming, and his love for launching model rockets, plus the role photography has played in his life. 9:26: Fossum’s early research in CCD sensor technologies, his interest in trying to marry cameras to artificial intelligence, and his invitation to join NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1990. 14:00: The differences between CCD and CMOS sensors, and a description of how they work using the analogy of a bucket brigade to collect rain on a football field. 23:35: A history of active pixel sensor devices, an explanation about two kinds of image noise, the metaphysics of photons, plus how the wave particle duality from quantum mechanics is demonstrated every time you take a picture with your phone. 33:10: Fossum’s role in the transfer of CMOS sensor technology to US industry, co-founding his company Photobit, and negotiations for licensing the technology with CalTech. 43:23: Episode Break 44:36: The sale of Photobit to Micron, Fossum’s move to New Hampshire, consulting work on 3-D imaging sensors for Samsung TVs, and the beginnings of his teaching career at Dartmouth. 50:00: A book chapter on the future of image sensors, and the evolution of this idea to a university project, which led to Fossum co-founding the start-up company, Gigajot, with his PhD students. 52:30: Explaining the difference between the operation of CMOS and Quanta image sensors. 54:03: The resulting applications of CMOS image sensor technology, and the positive use of CMOS image sensors for social justice purposes. 57:22: Fossum’s thoughts about STEM education, and connections between academia and applications in the wider world. 1:01:32: Parting thoughts about AI and the ability to authenticate images at the source, plus Fossum’s newest award: The Trinity College President’s Medal for Science & Innovation. Guest Bio: Eric Fossum, a Queen Elizabeth Prize Laureate and recipient of a 2021 Emmy Award, is one of the world's experts in solid-state image sensors. He developed the CMOS active pixel image sensor while working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Today, this “camera-on-a-chip” technology is used in almost all cell-phone cameras, webcams, many digital-still cameras and in medical imaging, among other applications. A serial entrepreneur, with a career that has spanned academic and government research, and entrepreneurial leadership, Fossum is currently the...


Picturing World Cultures: Joshua Irwandi - Indonesia

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. 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 long-held traditions and the sweeping changes he’s observed there over the past 10 years. Listen in as Irwandi describes how tapping into the region’s rich history through museum collections holding Asmat art proved an important part of his background research. We also discuss the connections he forged with the local Catholic church, and how the many years an American missionary spent learning about and embracing local ways led to a blending of Catholic celebrations and iconography with traditional Asmat feasts. Contrary to western holidays, Asmat feasts are celebrated for months on end, and Joshua sheds light on their mystical origins through dreams, and the performative rituals that he was privileged to witness and photograph. In equal measure, he touches on the changing roles of a people who are essentially subsistence hunter gatherers within contemporary society, and the recent effects of transmigration and gentrification on the region’s native inhabitants, which also forms a part of his documentation. Self-described as a naturally shy person, Irwandi’s approach to making pictures for this project is to play the long game, while planning for longer visits that allow him to be a “constant observer,” as he describes it. “I don’t pretend I have all the knowledge,” he says. “But I guess it’s easier to come and connect with the locals when you walk in like a new blank piece of book, wanting to learn, rather than assume that you know about them already.” If you haven’t already heard them, prior episodes of our podcast series Picturing World Cultures can be accessed at the links below: Wayne Quilliam discussing Australia’s indigenous communities: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/picturing-world-cultures-wayne-quilliam-australiatasmania Kiana Hayeri reflecting on her work in Iran and Afghanistan: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/picturing-world-cultures-kiana-hayeri-iran-afghanistan Guest: Joshua Irwandi Above photograph © Joshua Irwandi For more information on our guest and the gear he uses, see: https://blogd7.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/picturing-world-cultures-joshua-irwandi-indonesia Stay Connected: Joshua Irwandi Website: https://www.joshuairwandi.com/ Joshua Irwandi Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joshirwandi/ Joshua Irwandi Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshua.irwandi/ Joshua Irwandi X: https://twitter.com/joshirwandi/ Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress: https://asmatmuseum.org/en/ Joshua Irwandi National Geographic Explorers Page: https://explorer-directory.nationalgeographic.org/joshua-irwandi Joshua Irwandi’s story for The Globe and Mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-how-to-move-a-capital-city-an-exclusive-look-at-indonesias-plan-to/ Pulitzer Prize page for Irwandi’s Photo The Human Cost of COVID-19: https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/joshua-irwandi-freelance-photographer-national-geographic


Holding to Truth: Radio Encryption & the Press, with Todd Maisel & Lloyd Mitchell

Press photographers have faced tough workplace challenges for quite some time. Yet, according to recent headlines, their job is about to get even tougher, due to current plans by many law enforcement agencies—particularly the NYPD—to encrypt radio calls, making live transmissions of breaking news inaccessible to common citizens and members of the press. Besides being a devastating blow to meddling old biddies and law enforcement buffs, this change has huge implications for photojournalists and news outlets, who depend on such communications as part of their workflow. Joining us to shed light on this matter, as well as to provide a general update on newspaper photojournalism today, are two generations of accredited newspaper photographers, Todd Maisel and Lloyd Mitchell. As a current board member and past vice president of the New York Press Photographers Association, Maisel has worked tirelessly to investigate and mediate the NYPD’s encryption plans. Among the many topics raised in our discussion are a shift in press accreditation from the NYPD to the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, competing interests within news organizations that prevent broadcasters from taking law enforcement to task, distinctions between police and fire departments when it comes to radio encryption, details about radio encryption rollouts in other US cities, and much more. Towards the end of our chat, Todd Maisel offers a compelling insight into his mission as a photojournalist, which speaks to the high stakes involving the matter at hand. “What I’m doing as a journalist is a sacred obligation. It’s a God-given right to do it, and to continue to do it, and to do a great job at it. And so, I made a promise to protect it, to protect freedom of the press.” Guests: Todd Maisel and Lloyd Mitchell Above photograph © Todd Maisel For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see: https://blogd7.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/holding-to-truth-radio-encryption-the-press-with-todd-maisel-lloyd-mitchell Stay Connected: Todd Maisel Website: https://www.toddmaiselvisualjournalism.com/ Todd Maisel on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toddmaisel/ Todd Maisel on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ Todd Maisel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToddMaisel Lloyd Mitchell Website: https://lloydmitchell43.photoshelter.com/ Lloyd Mitchell on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lloydmitchellphotography/ https://www.instagram.com/urbanfirefightingportfolio/ Lloyd Mitchell on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randymitchellwritesandphotographs/ Lloyd Mitchell on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lloydphoto NYPPA Website: https:// www.nyppa.org Todd Maisel on the Deadline for Newspaper Photojournalism Episode: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/podcast-a-deadline-for-newspaper-photojournalism


Picturing World Cultures: Kiana Hayeri: Iran / Afghanistan

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 both the frontlines of conflict and everyday lives of the Afghan people. 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 rife with political violence. Listen in as Hayeri shares insights about her early work documenting youth culture in both Iran and Afghanistan, while revealing subtle differences in how each society approaches a division between public and private life. When it comes to making pictures, Hayeri’s first concern is for the latent potential of her photographs to endanger the lives of her subjects. She elaborates on making conscious calculations in her head related to every small detail to mitigate this risk. Working as a woman within a patriarchal society involves great challenges, and we broach this subject, as well as the advantages she has when photographing culturally sensitive subjects. While Hayeri has little problem maintaining focus on the frontlines while immersed in her work, we also discuss the tolls of making pictures in traumatic situations, and the importance of taking breaks to reestablish a sense of normalcy and maintain health and sanity. Hayeri has worked with an extensive network of local contacts to arrange access for the stories she tells. She avoids using the term “fixer” for these essential collaborators, pointing out, “The credit for a lot of the stories that we work on goes to our local colleagues, because they are the ones who put themselves on the front of everything. It’s their reputation, their lives that they risk. I have a lot of respect for that.” Check out the first episode of our new podcast series Picturing World Cultures, featuring my interview with Australian photographer Wayne Quilliam, here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/picturing-world-cultures-wayne-quilliam-australiatasmania Above photograph © Kiana Hayeri Guest: Kiana Hayeri For more information on our guest and the gear she uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/picturing-world-cultures-kiana-hayeri-iran-afghanistan Stay Connected: Kiana Hayeri Website: https://www.kianahayeri.com/ Kiana Hayeri Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kianahayeri/ Kiana Hayeri Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kianahj Kiana Hayeri Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/speakers/kiana_hayeri


2023 Photo Gear of the Year with Kevin Rickert

2023 has certainly come and gone in a flash, meaning it’s time once again for us to reflect on new photo offerings in our ninth annual Cameras of the Year episode, now renamed Photo Gear of the Year. We’ll be talking with B&H Camera and Lighting Senior Sales Trainer Kevin Rickert. Featured in our discussion are 25 new releases from Canon, FUJIFILM, Leica, Nikon, Panasonic, Ricoh Pentax, Polaroid, and Sony. In addition to insights about each camera on our list, we also examine broader topics, such as manufacturers’ attempts to regain market share lost to smart phones through a growing crop of cameras geared toward content creation. Instant cameras are a popular trend, leading us to diverge from alphabetical order when discussing this growing product category. And with two monochrome models among this year’s offerings, we zoom in on the visual differences between pictures shot with these specialty cameras and those made by converting from color files. For listeners who enjoy a good debate, whet your appetite for the main course as we consider this year’s most touted technological advance—the global shutter. Finally, as an antidote to overindulgence that’s so common during this time of year, Rickert offers some practical advice about avoiding GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) with the tip “You date your cameras, marry your lenses.” Guest: Kevin Rickert For more information on our guest and the gear he uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/2023-photo-gear-of-the-year-with-kevin-rickert Stay Connected: B&H Photo Video Website: https://www.bhphotovideo.com B&H Photo Video Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bhphoto B& Photo Video Twitter: https://twitter.com/bhphoto B&H Photo Video YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@BandH B&H Event Space YouTube: https://bhpho.to/BHEventSpaceYT B&H Photo Video Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bhphoto B&H Photography Podcast Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1001107823418353


Adobe's First Evangelist: Russell Preston Brown

It’s likely that everyone reading this has used, or at the very least heard of Adobe’s ubiquitous piece of software called Photoshop. But are you familiar with the very first—and perhaps the most eccentric—of the evangelists working behind that magic curtain? Well, you’re about to meet him today, in our latest podcast featuring pioneers of photography and imaging. As Adobe employee number 38, graphic designer Russell Preston Brown was in the room when brothers Thomas and John Knoll showed up to demonstrate a new piece of software, in 1988. Suitably impressed with what he saw, Russell made a beeline to Adobe co-founder John Warnock and uttered the imperative “Buy it! Now!” Thirty-five years later, Brown has not lost an ounce of passion for concocting magic with digital imaging tools, and for sharing his knowledge with other users during his outlandish workshops and events. Join us for a rollicking chat with this shapeshifting impresario in cowboy attire. From Brown’s earliest training in darkroom photography to his current digital workflow syncing a mobile phone with Profoto lighting gear, we cover a lot of ground. Throughout our discussion, we reflect on the revolutionary effects of technological advances, plus Brown’s uncanny luck to be there in the middle of the zeitgeist, which led him to a telling analogy: “Yes, I was in the right place at the right time. I made my fair share of contributions, but it all comes back to—what if the Knoll brothers had not decided to make Photoshop? I want to see that Jimmy Stewart episode of “A Wonderful Life,” where Photoshop didn’t appear. Would we be using Letrasets?...” Guest: Russell Preston Brown For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see: https://blogd7.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/adobes-first-evangelist-russell-preston-brown Above photograph © Russell Preston Brown Episode Timeline: 2:47: A peak behind the scenes of Brown’s early experiences at Adobe and what constituted working as a graphic designer back in 1985. 10:24: Brown’s early training in darkroom photography, the type of photos he made and the tech transitions to the mobile phones that he works with today. 15:55: Thomas Knoll calls the iPhone a hallucination of what you are seeing in terms of colors, dynamic range, and quality of light. It gives us what we want to remember from that moment. 19:45: Brown’s workflow for shooting with an iPhone synched to Profoto strobes and other lighting modifiers, and his ability to carry everything around in one bag. 24:12: Comparing image captures from different brands of mobile phones: iPhone, Google Pixel 7 and Samsung 23. Plus, make sure to use a solar filter over the lens when photographing the eclipse. 31:27: Brown’s experiences working directly with programmers in the development of Photoshop, plus working one-on-one with a programmer to develop actions, scripts, and panels for his own Photoshop tools. 36:06: Episode Break 36:39: Brown reflects on his rapport with photographic purists during early presentations about Photoshop—from a photojournalism conference in Perpignan, France, to an early discussion about digital with Greg Gorman. 42:39: Adobe’s earliest dreams and goals about prepress and processing images to create CMYK output for print publication, and the subsequent ability to access Raw data. 47:15: Differentiating between generations of Adobe users and how they employ the software, plus distinguishing between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Desktop. 51:46: Applications that have kept all the original tool sets, offering many routes to similar results, to serve the full range and successive generations of its user base. 54:00: The question of AI and differences between typing text and using AI prompts, or taking one’s original photographs and supplementing them with AI through Photoshop’s Generative Fill. 1:03:39: The dangers of using creative tools incorrectly, and Brown’s...


Picturing World Cultures: Wayne Quilliam - Australia/Tasmania

“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” – Robert Frank Australian photographer Wayne Quilliam used to consider his camera as a tool, but today it’s become his “companion.” This is just one of the inspiring takeaways from our chat for the new monthly podcast series, “Picturing World Cultures.” Listen in as Quilliam describes his journey—from growing up on the island state of Tasmania knowing little about his indigenous roots, to gaining a fascination with culture while traveling with the Royal Australian Navy, to his current roles as a leading indigenous imagemaker and cultural ambassador. When it comes to making pictures, Quilliam differentiates between an older approach of maintaining photographic objectivity and more contemporary methods for immersing yourself in a story to have a stronger sense of connection with subjects, and a better understanding of what that story will become. We also discuss aboriginal cultural protocols, and Quilliam offers surprising insights into the unique relationship between culture and skin color in Australia’s indigenous communities. Stay to the end for tips about photographing culturally sensitive subjects by listening for images rather than seeing them, and Quilliam’s following parting advice. • Know who you are as a person and what your role is within the journey. • Make sure you’re as informed as possible about your subject and the who, what, how, why, when, and where of the story and end goal. • And most important, offer total respect to both the land and people as part of your photographic process. Above photograph © Wayne Quilliam Guests: Wayne Quilliam For more information on our guest and the gear he uses, see: https://blogd7.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/picturing-world-cultures-wayne-quilliam-australiatasmania Stay Connected: Wayne Quilliam Website: https://aboriginal.photography/ Wayne Quilliam Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/waynequilliam/ Wayne Quilliam Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AustralianAboriginalPhotography/ Wayne Quilliam Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/waynequilliamphotography/# Wayne Quilliam book Culture is Life: https://www.hardiegrant.com/au/publishing/bookfinder/book/wayne-quilliam_-culture-is-life-2nd-edition-by-wayne-quilliam/9781741178760 Wayne Quilliam interactive exhibit “Connection”: https://www.thelumemelbourne.com/connection


Lee Miller: Combat Photographer, Fashion Model & Muse, with Antony Penrose

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 audacious exploits as an accredited war correspondent for the very same magazine, Penrose sheds light on a woman who lived many lives, as exemplified in the title of his first book. Miller’s remarkable bravery as a World War II combat photographer was recently immortalized in the feature film “Lee,” starring Kate Winslet, which is another facet of our chat. Penrose describes what it was like to work with the actress as she plumbed Miller’s archive for her character development, how she mastered the operation of a custom-made Rolleiflex, and how the camera became a personality in itself as part of the film. Penrose had a troubled relationship with his mother during much of her life, as she struggled with PTSD and the enduring effects wartime atrocities had on her psyche. His reflections on her struggles and her accomplishments reveal the very human core of a creative powerhouse who lived in the moment, in true Surrealist fashion. “This person who I had dismissed as being a useless drunk, now had other dimensions to her, which I was totally astonished by,” recounts Penrose about the treasures she left behind in the attic. “… it had never occurred to me that her career was so distinguished, and so varied, and so absolutely groundbreaking in terms of being a woman war correspondent. And so, that’s how it began.” So, pop in your earbuds and listen in… this is an episode you won’t want to miss! Above photograph © 2023 Lee Miller Archives, England. All rights reserved. www.leemiller.co.uk Guests: Antony Penrose For more information on our guest and the gear he uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/lee-miller-combat-photographer-fashion-model-muse-with-antony-penrose Stay Connected: Lee Miller Archives at Farleys House: https://www.leemiller.co.uk/ Lee Miller: Photographs book: https://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/books/lee-miller-photographs-hardcover The Lives of Lee Miller biography: https://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/books/the-lives-of-lee-miller-softcover The film “Lee” on IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5112584/ “Surrealist Lee Miller”” exhibit in Melbourne, Australia: https://www.heide.com.au/exhibitions/surrealist-lee-miller/ “Lee Miller in Print” exhibit in Rotterdam: https://www.boijmans.nl/en/exhibitions/lee-miller-in-print “Seeing is Believing: Lee Miller & Friends” exhibit at Gagosian Gallery: https://gagosian.com/exhibitions/2023/seeing-is-believing-lee-miller-and-friends/


A History of Hip-Hop Photography: Encore Episode from November 2017

This episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was originally released on November 10, 2017. We revisit it today in honor of Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary, and the holiday of Thanksgiving. With great thanks to Vikki Tobak and the Contact High Project, we welcome three photographers to our studio who are responsible for some of the most iconic images from the history of hip-hop. Janette Beckman, Eric Johnson, and Danny Hastings join us to tell the stories behind their photos of RUN-DMC, Wu Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill, and many others. We also speak about issues important to photographers, from on-set technique, to artistic collaboration and influence, to gear, to networking and, of course, copyright and image licensing. For us, this was a highly anticipated recording, and it did not disappoint. Whether you are a hip-hop fan interested in behind-the-scenes stories or a photographer looking for insight, join podcast host Allan Weitz, founding creative producer John Harris, and sound engineer Jason Tables for this epic chat. Above photograph © Janette Beckman Guests: Janette Beckman, Danny Hastings, Eric Johnson, and Vikki Tobak For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/a-history-of-hip-hop-photography-encore-episode-from-november-2017 Stay Connected: Janette Beckman Website: https://janettebeckman.com/ Janette Beckman Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janettephoto/ Danny Hastings Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dannyhastings/ Upstairs at Eric’s: https://upstairsaterics.org/ Eric Johnson Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/upstairsaterics/ Vikki Tobak Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vikkitobak/ Vikki Tobak Contact High Project: https://www.contacthighproject.com/ Contact High Exhibition: https://www.mopop.org/exhibitions-plus-events/exhibitions/contact-high/


1950s America as Seen by Robert Frank & Todd Webb, with Lisa Volpe & Bill Shapiro

1950s America proved fertile ground for photographers Robert Frank and Todd Webb, who both received Guggenheim Foundation grants to traverse the country in 1955 and record their respective visions. While Frank’s resulting book, The Americans, eventually made him a legend, Webb’s photographs remained unpublished, and were all but lost to history due to a 1970s-era business deal gone bad. The saga of Webb’s unaccounted-for archive and its eventual recovery is one of the juicier tidbits from today’s show, which focuses on the long-awaited opportunity to compare, contrast, and rediscover Frank and Webb’s respective visions from their travels in the exhibition America and Other Myths. Joining us in this discussion are Lisa Volpe, photography curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Bill Shapiro, former Life magazine editor-in-chief. Journey back to the Nifty Fifties astride these two photographers as we examine how two distinct proposals to discover America at mid-century evolved along the open road and in the context of the era’s social tenure. In the words of Lisa Volpe, “They both saw the same social ills playing out in American culture, they just talked about them differently.” Above photograph © The June Leaf and Robert Frank Foundation Guests: Lisa Volpe & Bill Shapiro For more information on our guests and they gear they use, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/1950s-america-as-seen-by-robert-frank-todd-webb-with-lisa-volpe-bill-shapiro Stay Connected: America and Other Myths Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: https://www.mfah.org/exhibitions/robert-frank-todd-webb-across-america-1955 America and Other Myths exhibition catalog: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300270891/america-and-other-myths/ Robert Frank Archive at the MFAH: https://www.mfah.org/films/robert-frank-collection June Leaf & Robert Frank Foundation Website: https://leaffrankfoundation.org/ Todd Webb Archive: https://www.toddwebbarchive.com/news-events Blind Magazine articles by Bill Shapiro: https://www.blind-magazine.com/stories/on-the-road/ https://www.blind-magazine.com/stories/youre-wrong-about-robert-frank/ https://www.blind-magazine.com/stories/treasure-and-junk/ Robert Frank film footage from Blind Magazine: https://www.blind-magazine.com/stories/exclusive-never-before-seen-video-of-robert-frank/ Bill Shapiro Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/billshapiro/ Todd Webb in Africa episode on the B&H Photography Podcast: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/podcast-todd-webb-in-africa%E2%80%94rediscovered-color-photographs


Connecting the Creator Community: B&H Bild Ambush Interviews

B&H recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary, hosting a spectacular two-day celebration for the creator community, Bild Expo 2023, at New York’s Jacob Javits Center. The podcast’s past three episodes have featured in-depth interviews with a few of the esteemed speakers gracing Bild’s four presenter stages. If you haven’t already done so, please give them a listen, and then—hold on to your hats—in this episode we’re trying something different! To prepare for some fun during the show, we assembled a mobile studio and cooked up a three-question Bild Creator Quiz to spring on imagemakers who crossed our path. Once at Javits, we went on the prowl for subjects willing to be ambushed. Our resulting interviews feature a select group of attendees, expo vendors, Bild speakers, and B&H staff members. Ever since the show wrapped, we’ve been hard at work, combining the short clips we captured live with a narrated story line to take listeners on a virtual stroll through most aspects of the show. We hope you enjoy this taste of the intense, intoxicating, creative camaraderie that permeated the Bild experience. Happy Anniversary B&H—here’s to another 50 years of creativity and growth! Above photograph courtesy of B&H Photo Guests: Menashe Horowitz, Cliff Hausner, Mason Resnick, Michael Yamashita, Matt Hill, Nicolas Roman, Elizabeth Krist, Scott Kelby, Christian Domecq, John Harris, Ron Magill, Michael Mansfield, Patricia Beary, Linda Hacker, Erica Price, Brandon Remler, Dana Glidden, Ami Vitale, David Brommer For more information on our guests and they gear they use, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/connecting-the-creator-community-bh-bild-ambush-interviews Stay Connected: B&H Photo Instagram Feed: https://www.instagram.com/bhphoto/ Cliff Hausner: https://www.instagram.com/cliffhausner/ Mason Resnick: https://www.instagram.com/mason_resnick/ Michael Yamashita: https://www.instagram.com/yamashitaphoto/ Matt Hill: https://www.instagram.com/matthillart/ Elizabeth Krist: https://www.visualthinkingcollective.com/elizabeth-cheng-krist Scott Kelby: https://www.instagram.com/scottkelby/ John Harris: https://www.instagram.com/jrockfoto/ Ron Magill: https://www.instagram.com/ronmagillwildlife/ Michael Mansfield/Maine Media Workshops: https://www.instagram.com/mainemedia/ Soho Photo Gallery: https://www.instagram.com/sohophotogallery/ Erica Price: https://www.instagram.com/eternalpixny/ Brandon Remler: https://www.instagram.com/brandonremler/ Dana Glidden: https://www.instagram.com/danadigital/ Ami Vitale: https://www.instagram.com/amivitale/ David Brommer: https://www.instagram.com/suspectphotography/


Communicating Visually: Expert Tips from Photo Editor Sarah Leen at Bild

Have you ever struggled with editing your images to present in a portfolio or as a story pitch? If so, our conversation in this podcast might be of some help. We recently had the great fortune to speak with one of the finest picture editors in the business, former National Geographic photographer, photo editor, and director of photography, Sarah Leen, who we interviewed as part of our coverage of B&H’s 50 Anniversary Bild Expo 2023. Sarah has worked all sides of the table, starting in the field with a camera in hand, then transitioning to a photo editor, and ultimately being tapped to lead National Geographic as Director of Photography in 2013—the first woman ever selected for this role. Among the topics covered in this chat are Sarah’s shift from picture maker to photo editor and how she gained the credentials to take on such a role. We make the important distinction between editing the work of others vs. a photographer editing his or her own images, emphasizing the added difficulty of disconnecting from personal experience to make objective decisions, and how the guidance of a skilled photo editor can help. Turning to her career trajectory, Sarah explains the differences between a photo editor and the director of photography, which is a managerial role. And, when it comes to the recent organizational changes at National Geographic—not to mention within the industry at large—Sarah clarifies that, despite ceasing newsstand sales, the magazine will still be widely available in print, yet by subscription only. We end our chat with details about Sarah’s current work as an independent photo editor and educator, her founding of the Visual Thinking Collective with three former colleagues, and the upcoming release of her latest book project Ukraine: A War Crime, featuring work by 93 photographers. Above photograph © Sarah Leen Guest: Sarah Leen For more information on our guest and the gear she uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/communicating-visually-expert-tips-from-photo-editor-sarah-leen-at-bild Stay Connected: Sarah Leen Website: https://www.sarahleen.com Sarah Leen Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roseleen Sarah Leen X: https://twitter.com/sleen3 Sarah Leen Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.leen.92 Visual Thinking Collective Website: https://www.visualthinkingcollective.com FotoEvidence Website and the book Ukraine: A War Crime: https://fotoevidence.com/books/ukraine-a-war-crime-by-ninety-three-photojournalists


Taking Chances on Stories to Tell: Photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice at Bild

As Deanne Fitzmaurice describes it, a photojournalist’s job is part sociology and part archeology, but most important, it’s being on the cutting edge of what’s happening, telling stories about people. It’s this combination of varied disciplines, connecting with subjects, and learning something new every day that has held her fascination from her very beginnings at the San Francisco Chronicle through to the rich tapestry she’s woven as a visual storyteller today. We recently sat down with Fitzmaurice to gain insights into the many facets of her career as part of our coverage of B&H’s 50th Anniversary Bild Expo 2023. During our chat, Fitzmaurice regales us with details from some of her most impactful projects, including the challenging mix of sensitivity and perseverance needed to tell the story of Saleh, a seriously injured Iraqi boy. After explaining how this assignment morphed from a one-day news story into a Pulitzer-prize-winning long-term project, we take a deep dive into how image selection and sequencing were key to this award-winning series. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Fitzmaurice also describes confronting baseball great Barry Bonds about his problem with photographers, which shattered his impenetrable armor and resulted in her gaining exclusive access to photograph him both on and off the field. When discussing essential rules of journalistic ethics and credibility in documenting an unfolding scene, Fitzmaurice points to the category of portraiture as a rare opportunity to shift out of fly on the wall mode to direct the subject and build rapport. We conclude our chat with insights about the role luck has played in her career, and how she puts herself in a position for synchronicity to unfold. Above photograph © Deanne Fitzmaurice Guest: Deanne Fitzmaurice For more information on our guest and the gear she uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/taking-chances-on-stories-to-tell-photojournalist-deanne-fitzmaurice-at-bild Stay Connected: Deanne Fitzmaurice Website: https://www.deannefitzmaurice.com/ Deanne Fitzmaurice Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deannefitzmaurice/ Deanne Fitzmaurice X: https://twitter.com/deanne_fitz Deanne Fitzmaurice Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeanneFitzmauricePhotography Think-tank: https://www.thinktankphoto.com/


Why Oceans Matter: Underwater Photographer Brian Skerry at Bild

Water is essential to life on Earth. The health of our oceans—and its inhabitants—is equally crucial to maintaining Earth’s delicate balance. This is an apt takeaway from our exclusive chat with renowned underwater photographer and filmmaker Brian Skerry, as part of our coverage of B&H’s 50th Anniversary Bild Expo 2023. Above photograph © Brian Skerry We sat down with Skerry shortly before his presentation on the Bild Expo Main Stage to get the full scoop on his career arc, from a youthful fantasy of being an ocean explorer in the mold of Indiana Jones to his more recent work interpreting the culture of whales and other inhabitants of the deep. We also delve into sobering concerns about the extreme geologic change Skerry has witnessed in the oceans over time. With such facts in mind, he describes the responsibility he feels to combine scientific research and powerful storytelling, so that we may better understand our relationship to nature, and to change our behaviors for the better. Guest: Brian Skerry For more information on our guest and the gear he uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/why-oceans-matter-underwater-photographer-brian-skerry-at-bild Stay Connected: Brian Skerry Website: https://brianskerry.com/ Brian Skerry Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brianskerry/ Brian Skerry X: https://www.twitter.com/brian_skerry/ Brian Skerry Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brian.skerry/ Brian Skerry - Secrets of the Whales: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/shows/secrets-of-the-whales Brian Skerry - The Sentient Sea Exhibit, Siena, Italy: https://festival.sienawards.com/en/brian-skerry-2/ Brian Skerry - Ocean Odyssey Exhibit, Paris, France: https://www.atelier-lumieres.com/en/ocean-odyssey


Fake Memories, Promptography, and Generative AI, with Boris Eldagsen

Artificial intelligence is a polarizing topic, and its rapid evolution within content creation has set our once familiar world on edge. To help demystify this gargantuan subject and add clarity to important concerns, we’re turning to an artist positioned at the very center of the debate between photography and AI imagery. Above photograph © Boris Eldagsen German media artist Boris Eldagsen made global headlines after entering his AI-generated image, “The Electrician,” in the Sony World Photography Awards. He won a top prize, and then ultimately declined the award due to a lack of open discussion about the need to categorize photographs and AI-generated imagery differently. Join us for this frank and informative discussion about generative AI. Some of the diverse topics we cover include ways creativity is shared between man and machine, the effects of different languages (and even phrasing) when creating text prompts, inherent biases in AI training data and ways to counter this, the emergence of AI agencies, the newly created job title of Prompt Engineer, and much, much more. And for those listeners who fear AI as a threat to their photo careers, our discussion ends on an upbeat note, with the classification of generative AI as a knowledge accelerator, being most beneficial to practitioners with a solid background in traditional photography and the visual arts. To quote Eldagsen, “For the first time in history, the older generation has an advantage...” We’ll let you listen to hear the end. Guests: Boris Eldagsen For more information on our guest and the gear he uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/fake-memories-promptography-and-generative-ai-with-boris-eldagsen Stay Connected: Boris Eldagsen Website: https://www.eldagsen.com/ Boris Eldagsen Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/boriseldagsen/ Boris Eldagsen Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boriseldagsen Boris Eldagsen YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@EldagsenBoris/ Boris Eldagsen Workshops: https://www.eldagsen.com/lecturingworkshops/ Boris Eldagsen Panama Exhibition: https://www.eldagsen.com/pseudomnesia3/


Photographer-Driven Projects, with Ashok Sinha and Anabel DFlux

Above photograph © Ashok Sinha How central is your personal drive and unique creative vision to the pictures you make? If these characteristics strike a chord or are traits to which you aspire, then you won’t want to miss our inspiring chats with photographers Ashok Sinha and Anabel DFlux. We caught up with both of these accomplished creatives earlier this year at B&H’s 2023 Depth of Field Conference. We begin with architectural photographer Ashok Sinha, whose personal project to document iconic mid-century structures and classic cars in Southern California resulted in the crowd-pleasing monograph Gas & Glamour, now in its second printing. Sinha offers valuable insights about how channeling his passions and not overthinking the details allowed him to bring his photography career to new heights—resulting in his work being displayed as a massive billboard in downtown LA, released as limited-edition NFTs, and featured in gallery exhibitions in collaboration with an international fashion brand. After the break, professional animal photographer Anabel DFlux describes how she fashioned a personal penchant for pets into a sustainable career path while still a teen. Yet, despite her clear passion for and talent with pets, DFlux reaches beyond a single photographic specialty to cultivate work across multiple niches—including the heady realm of rock and roll. Check out these real-life career examples and walk away with an equal measure of inspiration and practical tips. Guests: Ashok Sinha and Anabel DFlux For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see: blogd7.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podca…-anabel-dflux Stay Connected: Ashok Sinha Website: https://ashoksinha.com Ashok Sinha Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashoksinhaphoto Ashok Sinha Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashok.sinha.3720 Ashok Sinha Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashoksinhaphoto Ashok Sinha YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ashoksinha2167 Ashok Sinha Gas and Glamour book: https://ashoksinha.com/BOOK/1 Anabel DFlux Website: https://www.deliquesceflux.com Anabel DFlux Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anabeldflux Anabel DFlux Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeliquesceFlux Anabel DFlux YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/anabeldflux Anabel DFlux at Sigma: https://blog.sigmaphoto.com/author/anabel-dflux Pelican Cases Link: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/browse/Pelican/ci/4457/N/4232860887


Rodney Smith’s Leap of Faith: An Intimate Chat with Leslie Smolan & Terence Falk

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. Smith died in 2016, yet the enduring precision, elegance, and whimsy of his world view is nowhere more evident than in our conversation with Leslie Smolan, his widow and executive director of his estate; and his long-time assistant, master printer Terence Falk. Listen in as Smolan discusses key aspects of Smith’s career development and describes her recent collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Museum on the book, Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith. And Falk provides firsthand anecdotes about the unique experience of working on a Rodney Smith shoot—an experience that led one powerful New York executive to call his secretary from a midtown pay phone and exclaim, “I feel like I’m in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!” As New York Fashion Week ushers in the fall season, we’re looking back on the career of one of the most distinctive photographers to infuse business and fashion with a timeless sense of style and grace. Guests: Leslie Smolan and Terence Falk For more information on our guests and their gear they use, see: The Estate of Rodney Smith Website: rodneysmith.com/ The Estate of Rodney Smith Facebook: www.facebook.com/rodneysmithphotography/ The Estate of Rodney Smith Instagram: www.instagram.com/_rodneysmith/ The Estate of Rodney Smith Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/rodneysmithpics/ Rodney Smith Lecture at the B&H Event Space: www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photog…mith-1970-2016 Conversation about Rodney Smith at FIT Amphitheater: www.fitnyc.edu/museum/events/index.php Rodney Smith Exhibition at Staley Wise Gallery in New York: www.staleywise.com/exhibitions/rodney-smith2 Rodney Smith: A Remembrance with Dr Rebecca Senf: santafeworkshops.com/creativity-con…-rebecca-senf/ Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith book: shop.getty.edu/products/rodney-s…th-978-1606068465


Finger-Lickin' Food Photography, with Mica McCook, the Austin Food Guide

According to food photographer Mica McCook, the secret sauce is more than simply visual appeal, it’s connecting to how the images make you feel. As McCook likes to say, she creates cravings, one photo at a time. McCook’s photos are dramatic like telenovelas, embracing the magic of a chef's palate, and delighting in the vibrant flavors that bring dishes to life. Her approach is theatrical and bold, akin to setting the stage for a grand performance. Each element, from the decadent chocolate drizzle to the vibrant pop of a fresh herb, contributes to the culinary drama. For McCook, food is not just about sustenance, it's an experience. In a world where fast food and quick meals are often the norm, McCook is here to remind us of the richness and pleasure of a well-composed dish, and to celebrate the chefs who create, the farmers who cultivate, and the diners who savor. As an extension of her photography business, McCook launched her biweekly podcast, The Savory Shot, in June 2022, because she is perpetually curious about the food industry and those who dwell within it. Listen in to hear how a life-altering trip to the Reading Terminal Market, in Pennsylvania, laid the groundwork for McCook’s career transition from people to food, and even inspired her unique business name of Austin Food Guide. We also discuss how her background in theater influences her flavorful photographic approach, the dramatic lighting she favors, as well as her collaborative, community-oriented outlook. McCook was recently accepted into an innovative mentorship program for BIPOC photographers led by Apostrophe Reps. Don’t miss the juicy details about how to apply! Above photograph © Mica McCook Guest: Mica McCook of The Austin Food Guide For more information on our guest and the gear she uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/finger-lickin-food-photography-with-mica-mccook-the-austin-food-guide Stay Connected: Mica McCook Website: https://micamccook.com Mica McCook Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mica.mccook Mica McCook LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/micamccook Austin Food Guide Website: https://austinfoodguide.com Austin Food Guide Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/austinfoodguide Austin Food Guide Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/austinfoodguide Austin Food Guide Twitter: https://twitter.com/ austinfoodguide Austin Food Guide TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@austinfoodguide The Savory Shot Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/savory-shot/id1618801583


A Closer Look at Bruce Gilden: Depth of Field 2023

Bruce Gilden is a street-photography icon. With summer in full swing and International Street Photography Day (otherwise known as Henry Cartier-Bresson’s birthday) looming on the horizon, what better time to feature a lively chat with the master himself, recorded at B&H’s 2023 Depth of Field Conference, just before the Magnum photographer’s keynote lecture. Gilden’s emotionally fraught depictions of real people up close are an acquired taste, and we address this aspect of his work during our chat, with Allan admitting that Gilden’s work has terrified him in the past. We also touch on a somewhat surprising facet of Gilden’s career—fashion photography—as he discusses making pictures for high-end clients such as Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabana, and Diesel. From the influence of early 20th-century mugshots on Gilden’s aesthetic to the importance of making, and living with, visual choices to keep the photography fresh, our discussion covers a lot of ground. Stay to the end to learn about Gilden’s long held photographic wish—photographing murder in a beautiful way. And for anyone who’s ever fantasized about a taking workshop with Gilden, check out the link below to his upcoming street photography workshop in New York! Above photograph © Bruce Gilden Guest: Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden For more information on our guest and the gear he uses, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/closer-look-bruce-gilden Stay Connected: Bruce Gilden Website: https://www.brucegilden.com Bruce Gilden Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BruceGilden Bruce Gilden Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bruce_gilden Bruce Gilden Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/brucegilden Bruce Gilden’s Magnum page: https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographer/bruce-gilden/ Bruce Gilden’s Upcoming New York Workshop: miamistreetphotographyfestival.org/bruce-gilden