392 episodes

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.

B&H Photography Podcast B&H Photo & Video

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 46 Ratings

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.

    Lynn Goldsmith’s Prince Portrait and its Legacy in Case Law

    Lynn Goldsmith’s Prince Portrait and its Legacy in Case Law

    For anyone familiar with the photo industry, the mammoth lawsuit between The Andy Warhol Foundation and renowned music photographer Lynn Goldsmith should be no secret. This complex battle over the rights to her 1981 portrait of the artist formerly known as Prince lasted seven years and went all the way to the Supreme Court.
     
    But do you know the circumstances behind her original portrait session with the famously reserved musician, and were you aware of all the misinformation about this case that was disseminated in both legal documents and the press?
     
    Lynn is a longtime friend of the show, and our 2017 episode about her extensive, long-term work with the band Kiss, among other crazy stories, was a fan favorite. We invited her back to discuss this case in 2022, when the Supreme Court first agreed to hear it, but heeding the advice of her legal counsel she wisely declined our offer at that time. 
     
    In May 2023, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in Lynn’s favor in a 7-2 decision, which has already been shown to benefit others seeking remedies for the misuse of their creative works.
     
    Yet, while this landmark decision happened last year, the case itself was not officially resolved until very recently—Friday, March 15, 2024, to be exact—a day some might recognize as the Ides of March.
     
    Now that the final resolution has been signed, sealed, and delivered, we felt it was a perfect opportunity for Lynn to give us a recap of this David vs Goliath battle, with all its complexities and underlying bias.
     
    From details about the Fair Use doctrine, to the matter of copyright registration, to her thoughts about the current photographer community, to the importance of standing up for one’s rights, Lynn provides a clear and insightful assessment of one of the most traumatic and threatening experiences that any independent artist can face, as only she can.
     
    To her very core, Lynn believes creativity can make anything possible, an ideology she sums up aptly at the end of our chat.
     
    “I felt like some higher power picked me for this,” she says. “And that I had to make myself feel like a 1940s film with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, where there was going to be a happy ending, that everything would work out just fine, and that I was going to prevail.”
     
    Guest: Lynn Goldsmith
    Top shot © Lynn Goldsmith
     
    Episode Timeline:
    2:50: The backstory to Lynn Goldsmith’s 1981 photo session with Prince.
    7:17: Shooting both color and black-and-white in the days of film, a separate camera for each option.
    11:15: Vanity Fair’s 1984 use of Lynn’s black and white portrait for artist reference.  
    13:47: Lynn’s discovery of the original image use after Prince died in 2016. 
    19:50: The value of saving detailed records of licensing agreements for future reference.
    23:14: The preemptive lawsuit the Andy Warhol Foundation filed against Lynn, and the misinformation contained in the Federal court filing.
    32:15: Lynn discusses the Fair Use doctrine and the matter of copyright registration in relation to her case.
    36:43: Episode Break
    38:04: Meeting with the Andy Warhol Foundation and the deal on offer to resolve the lawsuit.
    44:40: Lynn’s thoughts about the current photographer community and the importance of standing up for your rights.
    48:09: The multiple rounds of the Prince portrait lawsuit, from the first Federal case to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court.
    56:29: Uneven reporting about the lawsuit in the press, with the photo press being fearful to write anything, and the art press releasing misinformation without fact checks.
    1:00:27: Behind the scenes at the Supreme Court hearing, the effects of the 7 – 2 decision, as well as Justice Kagan’s written opinion.
    1:08:48: Lynn’s thoughts about generative AI.
    Guest Bio: Lynn Goldsmith is a multi-awarded portrait photographer whose work has appeared on and in between th

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Picturing World Cultures: Rita Leistner - Canada

    Picturing World Cultures: Rita Leistner - Canada

     Professional tree planting is back breaking piecework—a combination of high intensity sport and industrial labor that requires both technical finesse and remarkable physical and mental endurance. Using techniques more often associated with high-performance athletes, experienced planters (commonly known as high-ballers) leap up and down through uneven and debris-strewn terrain, armed only with a shovel and 30-kg bags of seedlings on their backs.
    In recent years, tree planting has become a rite of passage among young Canadians not afraid of hard work and dirt under their fingernails.  As seasonal work, it attracts many students from Canada’s southern cities. Due to the brutal physical demands, most are under 30 years old. Out on the cut block inclement weather is common, and the swarms of biting insects are legendary.
    Working in—rather than on—the land for months on end, and sharing an isolated camp site creates a solid bond among planters. This has molded into a subculture of sorts, which is the subject of today’s show.
    My guest for this episode is Canadian photographer and filmmaker Rita Leistner. Rita documents communities living in extreme conditions, typically investing months or years in a project. After spending a decade as a tree planter during her youth, Rita returned to the forest in 2016 to document a new generation. In 2021, she released her results as an Art Trifecta, featuring large fine art photographs, a 256-page photo book, and the documentary feature film “Forest for the Trees.” 
    Equally in her element in forests and war zones, Rita’s photographs and her writings about photography, art, and war have been published, exhibited, and collected worldwide. She is represented by the Stephen Bulger Gallery for art, and by Green Planet Films for film.
    Guest: Rita Leistner
    Above photograph © Rita Leistner
    For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/picturing-world-cultures-rita-leistner-canada

    And if you haven’t already listened, check out all episodes from our Picturing World Cultures podcast series here.https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/promotion/picturing-world-cultures 
     
    Episode Timeline:
     
    2:02: The backstory to Canadian tree planting as a business
    5:21: Rita’s interest in photography and her early days as a tree planter.
    12:43: Comparisons and contrasts between Rita’s early tree planting experiences and what she found when returning to the forest to document this subject.
    18:21: A typical day in the life of a tree planter and the actual planting process
    26:31: How Rita landed on her distinctive photographic style of capturing fast moving planters with a PhaseOne camera and Profoto lighting.
    32:40: Rita talks about how the young planters responded to her sudden presence in the camp. 
    36:17: Rita’s lighting set up with Profoto B1 lights and coordinating with an assistant to carry all the gear. 
    41:56: Episode Break
    43:10: Rita talks about power consumption, batteries, generators, workflow, and more when working in remote locations.  
    45:03: Inclement weather, dirt, and bugs when shooting both stills and video footage out in the wilderness.
    48:41: The lighting details behind Rita’s enchanted forest nighttime images and timelapse footage.
    53:38: How the work of tree planters is perceived by both the logging industry and environmentalists, and the effects this has on the planters themselves.
    1:03:47: How Rita’s Tree Planter project has affected her sense of Canadian identity. 
    1:06:04: Rita Leistner answers our PWC Visual Questionnaire.
    Guest Bio: Rita Leistner is a Canadian photographer and filmmaker who creates portraits of communities living in extreme conditions, typically investing months or years in a project. After spending a decade of her formative years as a tree planter in the Canadian wilderness, she returned to this theme to document a new generati

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Still Photography & the WWE, with Brad Smith & Rich Freeda

    Still Photography & the WWE, with Brad Smith & Rich Freeda

    Cozy up to a ringside seat for a behind-the-scenes tour of the wildest shows in sports entertainment, during our insightful chat about the still photos produced for World Wrestling Entertainment, (otherwise known as WWE).
    In 2023 alone, the WWE photo team traveled the globe, covering close to 170 live events, and producing 2.6 million stills to serve the organization’s various platforms.
    You might—incorrectly—assume that WWE’s still images are generated from video screengrabs. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
     In this week’s podcast, we get the full scoop about stills from WWE’s Vice President of photography, Brad Smith, and Senior Director of photography, Rich Freeda.
    Among the many details we unpack: The learning curve required for shooting a WWE event, the importance of showing all aspects of the spectacle in pictures, and the delicate dance between still photographers and TV camerapeople, who are tethered together and both wearing headphones while capturing a show.
     In addition to live event coverage, the photo team creates high-level studio portraits of WWE Superstars, which necessitates complex studio set ups at each venue. Given the relentless schedule of three live shows weekly, two of which are traveling, studio gear is circling the country all year long. As Rich Freeda puts it, “We could be a Consumer Reports testing lab.”
    And when it comes to the type of photographers best suited to covering WWE shows, Brad Smith sums things up nicely. “[At first,] I instinctively thought, if we’re going to hire new people, they have to be sports photographers. And now I don’t think that at all. I’ll tell you who I’d rather have. I’d rather have a photographer who’s a tour photographer for Bon Jovi than somebody who’s the Yankee’s photographer, because they understand that event is the important thing.”
    Psych yourself up for WrestleMania 40 with our WWE episode from the B&H Photography Podcast!
    Guests: Brad Smith and Rich Freeda
    Above photograph © Rich Freeda/WWE
    For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/still-photography-the-wwe-with-brad-smith-rich-freeda
    Stay Connected:
    WWE Still Photography Page: https://www.wwe.com/photos
    Brad Smith Website: https://www.bradsmithcreative.com/
    Brad Smith on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradpix/
    Brad Smith on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-Smith-Creative/
    Brad Smith on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nybradsmith
    Rich Freeda Website: https://www.richardfreeda.com/collections
    Rich Freeda on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/richfreedaphoto/
    Rich Freeda on Twitter: https://twitter.com/richfreedaphoto
    Rich Freeda WWE Profile: https://www.wwe.com/videos/the-photography-of-wrestlemania-with-rich-freeda-making-wwe

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Ecliptic Visions—with Rebecca Boyle, Gabriel Biderman, Atlas Obscura & B&H

    Ecliptic Visions—with Rebecca Boyle, Gabriel Biderman, Atlas Obscura & B&H

    Where will you be on April 8, 2024? If you don’t already know, you’d better figure it out fast, particularly if you’ve got an interest in observing—and ideally photographing—the awe-inspiring phenomenon of a total solar eclipse.
     
    To get you up to speed on essential eclipse details, tune in to our chat with science writer Rebecca Boyle and Gabriel Biderman from B&H’s Road Marketing team. Boyle shares tidbits about Earth’s silvery sister gleaned from research for her book Our Moon, while Gabe discusses preparations (and practice!) for your eclipse photo session, plus strategies for juggling multiple set-ups.
     
    To celebrate the total eclipse back in 2017, B&H teamed up with Atlas Obscura for a two-day festival in Eastern Oregon’s Snake River Valley. This year, the party’s expanding from two to four days! We end the episode with details about the 2024 Ecliptic Festival, held alongside the Valley of Vapors music festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas, smack in the Eclipse’s umbra.
     
    Immerse yourself in this rare astronomical occurrence while rubbing shoulders with celebrated scientists, legendary musicians, artists and photographers galore, plus benefit from dedicated space—and tools—for star gazing and tracking the path to totality and back. The sky’s the limit!
     
    Guests: Rebecca Boyle & Gabriel Biderman
    Top shot © Gabriel Biderman
     
    For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/ecliptic-visions-with-rebecca-boyle-gabriel-biderman-atlas-obscura-bh
     
    Stay Connected:
    Atlas Obscura Ecliptic Festival: https://ecliptic.atlasobscura.com/
    Atlas Obscura Website: https://www.atlasobscura.com/
    Rebecca Boyle Website: https://rebeccaboyle.com/
    Rebecca Boyle Our Moon book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/611468/our-moon-by-rebecca-boyle/
    Rebecca Boyle’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/by.rebecca.boyle/
    Rebecca Boyle’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/rboyle31
    Rebecca Boyle’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rboyle31/
    Gabriel Biderman’s Website: https://www.ruinism.com/
    National Parks at Night Website: https://www.nationalparksatnight.com/
    National Parks at Night’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nationalparksatnight/
    National Parks at Night’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/natlpksatnight
    National Parks at Night’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalparksatnight
    National Parks at Night’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/NationalParksatNight

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Picturing World Cultures: Daniel Rosca - Romania

    Picturing World Cultures: Daniel Rosca - Romania

    There are many different ways to look at culture, and today we take a geographic approach, to distinguish people who live in rural mountain and hilly settings from those of the wider plains and urban areas.
    Our focus is the country of Romania, where we’ll explore the rustic landscape of small farms, hand tilled fields, and local communities that still identify with the working methods and traditions of the past. Along the way, we’ll follow the cyclical work of farmers and shepherds, gain insight into the Orthodox faith, explore vibrant holiday celebrations, and reveal unique rituals with pagan roots.
    In this fourth installment of our monthly series, Picturing World Cultures, we speak with Daniel Rosca, a Romanian photographer and travel guide specialized in photographic, cultural, and genealogical tours.
    As a child, Daniel experienced the age-old traditions of rural Romania first-hand during time spent on his grandparent’s farm. Following university studies, he spent four years abroad, working in youth development, consulting, and corporate social responsibility. After living in Brussels, Warsaw, Istanbul, and Cairo, and travelling to another 40 countries on four continents, Daniel decided travel should become his full-time job.
    He chose to return to his homeland in 2011, where he founded Romania Photo Tours and True Romania Tours, to help curious travelers immerse themselves in—and capture images of—old-world Romanian culture.
    In summary, to quote the motto of his photo tour site: Veni, Vidi, Click!
    Guest: Daniel Rosca
    For more information on our guest and the gear he uses, see:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/picturing-world-cultures-daniel-rosca-romania
    And if you haven’t already listened, check out all episodes from our Picturing World Cultures podcast series here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/promotion/picturing-world-cultures
    Episode Timeline:
    2:07: The blend of various cultures and influences that make up Romanian culture, geographic distinctions between regions based on mountains, hills, and plains, Romania’s historic regions, plus the country’s widespread agricultural focus.
    9:41: Common misconceptions about Romania: dispelling inaccuracies about Dracula and Romania’s communist past, plus Romania’s current strengths in tech, IT, and engineering.
    12:34: Special considerations, both general and cultural, when photographing people in different regions, making pictures of the Roma, military, or police, plus Romania’s strict policies that prohibit driving after even a sip of alcohol.   
    17:44: Romanian agricultural traditions of scything, haymaking, horse carts, blacksmiths, shepherding, plus the art of traditional egg painting.
    23:24: Forging a human connection with local villagers and craftspeople, etiquette and logistics when making pictures, plus the issue of obtaining model releases for portraits.
    30:14: Daniel’s go-to photo gear: Nikon Z6 mirrorless and a 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens, the benefits to carrying a flash, plus recommendations for packing and benefits to traveling light
    34:08: Episode Break
    35:10: Romanian Orthodox churches, regional differences in appearance, rules of etiquette and respectful behavior when photographing, plus the many denominations of Orthodoxy, and details about holiday schedules.
    44:42: Meaning of the word Orthodox, distinctions between Orthodox and Catholic faiths, plus Romania’s Lutheran heritage, and fortified churches of Transylvania.
    47:11: Romanian bear dance festivals of Moldova over New Year’s, the festival’s pagan roots, tips for getting good pictures by interacting and considering the background first, plus other year end celebrations
    54:20: Romanian Easter traditions, a candle lit in Jerusalem on Easter morning and flown to all Romanian Orthodox churches, breaking the Lenten fast, plus Romania’s little-known focus on vegan foods.
    1:00:58: Romania’s Dracula lure, distinguishing true cultu

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Photography in the Age of AI, with Stephen Shankland

    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 scien

    • 1 hr 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

Myoman72 ,

Perfect balance

I’ve really enjoyed the B&H podcasts which are an excellent balance of technical discussion, understanding of the artistry involved, and a deeper look into the motivations and impact of the work.

Thanks to the B&H team for their ongoing production of this podcast series.

@grantcatcheslight ,

Extremely Interesting

I love these Podcast. They’re always so interesting. Some times I look at the description of the show and think that’s not going to be very interesting, I am always wrong. What other podcast do you know that can make an interesting show about SD cards?!
Been listening for a couple years now, sorry it to so long to write a review.

Mehanic ,

My fav new photography podcast

Found your podcast only a few weeks ago but I’ve been back through and listened to quite a few from past episodes. My fav so far has been Shooting Hoops - Basketball Photography.
Please have Stephen DuPont and William Patino on as guests!

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