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.
The Delirious Joy of Looking: Building a Photography Collection, with W.M. Hunt
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome collector, curator, author, and educator W.M. Hunt. Part of the incredible photography collection Hunt has acquired over the years is being auctioned by the famed Christies auction house, and Hunt joins us to chat about the genesis of his collection, that hard-to-define attraction to an image that inspires a purchase, and his hopes for the current sale.
The collection that Hunt is selling is called “The Unseen Eye: Photos from the W.M. Hunt Collection,” and it includes photographs by Richard Avedon, Sally Mann, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Henri Cartier-Bresson, a veritable Who’s-Who of photography of the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection was given its name because each of the photos has subjects whose eyes are obscured in some way, and we discuss why Hunt decided to collect such an eclectic group of images.
Hunt is also an author and educator, and we discuss the numerous monographs he has written, how to “let a picture find you,” and the visceral difference between a good and a great photograph. Join us for this insightful and fun episode.
Guest: W.M. Hunt
Photograph © Duane Michals, from “The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection”, Courtesy of W.M. Hunt and Christies America
Shooting Hoops—Basketball Photography with the NBA's Best (Encore Episode)
This is an encore episode, originally published in 2018, before the death of basketball player, Kobe Bryant.
Today we welcome two of professional basketball’s best photographers, and that’s not just me talking. Nat Butler is Senior Photographer for NBA Entertainment and has worked the last thirty-three NBA Finals. He is also the official photographer for the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Andrew Bernstein is the longest-tenured official NBA photographer, the photographer for the L.A. Lakers and L.A. Clippers, a recent inductee to the NBA Hall of Fame, and the photographer of the new book, The Mamba Mentality, by Kobe Bryant. So, enough of the bona fides, these two photographers are also great friends, and they bring their easy-going banter and the ultimate insider’s perspective to the B&H Photography Podcast.
Our conversation covers a wide range of topics, from the gear they use (and what they don’t), the lighting systems they’ve developed, the intimacy of basketball photography compared to other sports, and how fashion and social media has affected their day-to-day work. We also dig into the shooting strategies they employ for each game and how their images are used by NBA Photos. Butler noted that in the past, a cover photo on Sports Illustrated would have been seen by approximately 3 million subscribers and, now, with tethering and instant feeds, a game photo can be seen by up to 30 million subscribers to the NBA Instagram feed within five minutes of the photo having been taken. Whether you are into sports photography, event and production photography, or NBA history, this episode is for you.
Guests: Nat Butler and Andrew Bernstein
Photograph © Andrew Bernstein/ NBAE / Getty Images
Wendy Ewald: Photography Education and the Power of Collaboration
It is important to be reminded of the power of photography to educate and explore, and to be a vehicle of self-expression, even self-realization. Equally crucial—through process and through memory—photography’s ability to bring people together, to share and to collaborate, is vital. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome a photographer who has built her life’s work around this idea of education through creative collaboration. For more than forty years, Wendy Ewald has lead documentary “investigations” and collaborative projects that encourage the participants to use cameras to examine their own lives, families, and communities, and to make images of their fantasies and dreams. During these projects, she also photographs—normally with a 4 x 5 camera—and asks her students and subjects to then manipulate her images and negatives, further engaging with the process and adding to the authorship of the final work.
With support of the most prestigious fellowships, from universities, NGOs, even from camera and film manufacturers, Ewald has directed photography programs in South America, India, Africa, Canada, and most notably in Appalachia. In the 1970s, Ewald worked with schools and the Appalshop media center to teach photography to children living in rural Kentucky and in 1985 published the groundbreaking book Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and Stories by Children of the Appalachians. This book has been an inspiration to countless educators and community photographers and this year, Mack Books has published an expanded edition, which includes updates on the lives of several of the original students. Also, Ewald has co-directed a documentary film on the project and the reunion with her former students, which recently aired on the PBS program POV.
Join us as we speak with Ewald about teaching in Kentucky and elsewhere, about the power of collaboration and creative expression, and about reuniting with her former students and the making of her powerful documentary.
Guest: Wendy Ewald
Photograph © Russel Akemon, from the book, "Portraits and Dreams" by Wendy Ewald
Walter Iooss, Jr. -- Photographer for Life
For the headline of this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we lifted a line from our guest’s own Instagram bio. It would have been too easy to title a show with Walter Iooss, Jr. “Sports Photography Legend” or some such, but that pigeonholes Iooss too easily, and does not recognize the scope of his engagement with photography and with the creative process. Yes, Walter Iooss, Jr. is sports photography. He has over 300 Sports Illustrated covers to his name, his first professional gig was at age 17, and for six decades he has photographed several Hall of Fames’s worth of athletes, including names like Arnold, Mary Lou, Muhammad, and Tiger, and his work with Michael Jordan is unparalleled. Also—every Super Bowl. But he has also photographed rock stars, models, fashion and commercial assignments, portraits, and documentary series. And he tells us of his love for music and that if not for a twist of fate, he might have been a musician. The man is a creator for life, a photographer for life.
With Iooss, our conversation takes a leisurely approach, touching on a few of his more memorable photos and some of the interesting lesser knowns; the breadth of his work alone could keep us talking for hours. Along the way, we learn a little about his upbringing, the love for music, his mentors, and the time he shot for Atlantic Records. We discuss how he builds a composition, whether it be an action shot during a game or a complicated portrait setup. We also talk about using a giant Polaroid camera, the coming of auto-focus, and Canon DSLRs. Join us for this pleasant conversation that is sure to interest not only fans of sports, but fans of photography.
Guest: Walter Iooss, Jr.
Photograph © Walter Iooss, Jr.
Fotografiska and a New Model for Photography Museums
As museums in New York and around the world begin to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a brand-new museum is facing the challenge of its grand reopening in the competitive New York City art and culture world. We welcome to the B&H Photography Podcast the inaugural Director of Exhibitions of Fotografiska, Amanda Hajjar, to discuss the unique model of this for-profit arts center and their plans to make a mark on the photography scene in New York. After opening in December 2019, Fotografiska New York was forced to close after just ninety days, and of course, we will also ask Hajjar how they handled the quarantine disruption and are adjusting to the new protocols placed on museums.
Fotografiska New York is the third of three like-named museums, with more scheduled to open around the world. The original began in Stockholm, Sweden in 2010 and adopted a different paradigm than the traditional museum—it displays a wide range of photography styles, it has no permanent collection, and it works with the artists themselves to design the exhibitions. It also relies on admission sales as well as café, restaurant, and special event business to generate income. It created much buzz in the months before opening in New York, and its initial reviews were positive, for both its events and photo exhibition programming.
We speak with Hajjar about their exhibition philosophy and how their model facilitates an institution able to react to and comment on current social issues as well as examine relevant images from the past. We discuss their attempt to create a hybrid between gallery and museum and shine a light on their current exhibitions, including works by Cooper & Gorfer and by Martin Schoeller. Finally, we get to the bottom of what the word Fotografiska really means. Join us for this enjoyable conversation.
Guest: Amanda Hajjar
Photograph: Courtesy Fotografiska
Allan's Ten Favorite Lenses
This is a wonderful conversation for fans of mirrorless cameras, of classic lens design, of the venerable M-mount, and, really, of photography. The joy that our host Allan Weitz exudes while discussing a few of his current favorite lenses is as contagious as it is educational. And I feel that this episode provides a bolt of creative curiosity that might infuse my own photography.
For this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we asked Weitz to draw up a list of 10 favorite lenses from his personal collection. To be sure, these are not lenses sitting on a shelf or behind glass; these are accessible, affordable lenses that he incorporates regularly into his photography practice, but each has a certain signature or special feature that merits recognition. Most, like the Voigtländer VM 40mm f/2.8 Heliar Lens for Sony E-Mount or the 7Artisans Photoelectric 50mm f/1.1 Lens for Leica M can be purchased new, while some, such as the Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm f/8 lens, are still readily found in the used market. Others, like the Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 lens, are perennial favorites, while the Voigtländer Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical Lens seems classic but is relatively new to the market.
While discussing these lenses, we stumble upon a mound of good photography chatter, including practical uses for these optics, tips for using extension tubes and mount adapters, notes on camera history, and plain simple fun facts. Toward the end of the episode we talk about the B&H Used Department, and Jason Tables and I share our current favorite lenses as well.
Join us for this breezy but informative episode and let us know your favorite lenses in the Comment section below.
Photograph © Allan Weitz
Customer ReviewsSee All
Has to the be the Jay Mesiel Documentary episode. The interaction those two men shared with the audience was fantastic. I've listened to it at least twice if not three times now. I'm still waiting for the film to make it to my area to see it!
Great podcast for photographers
Love it, lots of information and insight for enthusiast and pro photographers.