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.
Visual Narratives for the 21st Century with Mike Davis
"Selecting photos is a different skill than making them,” explains renowned picture editor Mike Davis in this week’s podcast. This essential understanding forms the core of Davis’s new book Creating Visual Narratives Through Photography: A Fresh Approach to Making a Living as a Photographer.
Davis approaches this topic with a mix of clarity and candor, to offer deeply engaged yet highly accessible insights about making photos—and making sense of those photos—while also discussing the elusive art of selecting and sequencing pictures and other ways to create visual narratives.
Some of the key points covered in our chat include the visual vocabulary Davis assigns to photographs, his ideas about elevating pictures beyond simply informational content, how making multiple passes through a photo edit can help a photographer remove themselves from the experience of making the work, and his three different approaches to image sequencing.
Listeners will also gain a fresh understanding of ways in which both the art of creating visual narratives and the photo industry itself have evolved over time, to raise the bar on creative expression. In presenting this book, Davis’s goal echoes the response he has received from hundreds of photographers he’s helped to tell stories with their pictures, “I never would have thought of things that way, had we not had this engagement.”
Guests: Mike Davis
Photos © Mike Davis
3:26: Photography as a visual vocabulary, and distinctions between, nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
6:25: What are informational photographs and how to make photos that rise above this basic level.
9:08: Davis’s definition of composition: the full realization of light, and color, and distance in conveying a 3-dimensional space.
18:33: How the photo industry and relationships between photographers and photo editors have changed over time.
30:42: Davis discusses his photos published in the book and shares thoughts about photographing with intention.
39:34: Episode break
44:18: Three approaches to image sequencing and how they work within the full spectrum ofrafting a narrative
46:17: Mike Davis’s most visually successful book project and a general timeframe for image sequencing.
48:06: Davis’s approach to working with photographers on sequencing a book.
51:46: Davis describes his picture editing process using multiple passes through a set of photographs.
56:40: The primary audience and Davis’s ultimate goal in writing Creating Visual Narratives Through Photography: A Fresh Approach to Making a Living as a Photographer.
Mike Davis is a visual consultant, editor, author, photographer, and professor emeritus.
He has worked independently with hundreds of photographers as well as in staff positions for organizations as diverse as National Geographic, The White House, and several of America’s visually powerful newspapers.
Mike was twice named newspaper picture editor of the year, and he received The Sprague Award from The National Press Photographers Association, its highest honor.
He has edited more than 40 books as an independent consultant, judged a wide range of photography competitions and grant programs, lectured widely, and served as a member of various workshop and review faculty.
Most recently, Mike spent eight years as an endowed faculty member at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, where he taught visual storytelling courses and directed The Alexia Grants.
Mike Davis website: https://www.michaelddavis.com/
Mike Davis Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mikedavis_mnpls/
Creating Visual Narratives Book: https://www.routledge.com/Creating-Visual-Narratives-Through-Photography-A-Fresh-Approach-to-Making/Davis/p/book/9781032262857
Filling the Access Gap with ASMP’s Photography Mentorship Program, The Bridge
Creating and sustaining a successful photo career is no easy feat. To help aspiring young imagemakers acquire the needed creative concepts and business skills, two New York-based organizations—ASMP NY and BKC—have teamed up to offer the innovative mentorship, education, and industry immersion program The Bridge. Open to individuals from 18- to 26-years-old, The Bridge embraces diversity and offers opportunity to underserved communities, regardless of formal photography experience. Best of all, this four-month, real world program is free to accepted students.
We first learned about The Bridge during a chat with program co-founder Liam Alexander for the show ASMP-NY and the Future of Photo Trade Organizations in February 2022. Since the program’s second year recently wrapped with a gallery exhibition in Brooklyn, and plans are in the works to expand The Bridge to other ASMP chapters in 2023, we wanted to learn more about this valuable initiative in advance of the next application window this spring.
For this week’s podcast, we’re joined by Alexander, who sheds light on The Bridge program’s inner workings and educational goals during the first half of the show. After a break, we speak with 2022 Bridge graduate Eli Edwards, who describes what he learned through the program, and the resulting shift in the pictures he makes, as well as in his creative point of view. To discover how to futureproof your career and learn how to apply for this free program, make sure to listen in!
Guests: Liam Alexander and Eli Edwards
ASMP Bridge Program photo © Saad El Amin
For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see:
3:50: Application and selection process for The Bridge Mentorship, a program designed to fill the gap in existing educational models.
9:27: Introduction to The Bridge program partner BKC, and program co-founder Justin Lin.
17:13: The Bridge Program coursework: Developing Your Creative Point of View.
20:52: Bridge Mentorship Program Core Supporters: The ASMP Foundation, Sony, and Freelancers Union, and a widening network of additional supporters.
25:17: A five-year vision for the program: Producing the future of the photo industry every summer.
26:50: Episode break
27:24: 2022 Bridge Program participant Eli Edwards and his easy application through Instagram.
32:42: Effects of the program on Eli’s pictures and his new confidence in making project-based work.
36:40: Is YouTube University an effective tool for learning the ropes of photography?
40:56: How Eli’s shift from social media to photography changed his creative point of view, and some social media tips.
46:38: Ways to support The Bridge program and application window for the 2023 Bridge program mentorship.
Liam Alexander is a fine artist and creative director who seeks to catalyze social change through artistic expression. As the current president of ASMP New York, he co-founded the ASMP NY Bridge program in 2020 with Justin Lin of BKC. He has also been instrumental in building other community focused creative projects designed to educate and inspire, such as IThou at NYU’s Kimmel Galleries, The Exchange at Rush Arts, and #StrokeofGenius. Liam’s own work has been featured in gallery exhibitions and art fairs throughout the US, and at the second annual Toolkit Festival in Venice, Italy. His work has been published in magazines including Nylon and Rolling Stone, and he creates projects with major brands like Wix.com, Samsung, SAP, Renaissance Hotels, and the city of New York.
Eli Edwards is a photographer, videographer, writer, producer, and director. Born in Los Angeles, Eli currently resides in New York City, where he works as a freelance videographer and photographer for brands, events, and musical artists. He was a 2022 participant in the ASMP Bridge program, where he produced th
Fire & Lights and Wild Nights: Jill Waterman’s New Year's Eve Project: The B&H Photography Podcast
In some locales, the period between Christmas and the New Year is known as the Wild Nights, where mischief reigns in the darkest days of the northern hemisphere. We’re digging into this theme for our last show of 2022, in a chat with photographer and producer of this very podcast, Jill Waterman, who has been documenting New Year’s Eve traditions and exploits around the globe for the past 38 years. We first spoke with Jill about this project in the two-part show Legacy and Commitment in January 2022. Since she’s now a full-fledged member of the podcast team, we thought we’d investigate some of her more memorable experiences a bit further.
Jill is still shooting this series primarily with film, so our conversation ranges from the whys and wherefores of making that choice, to how the growth of the Internet became an essential research tool in the lead up to the Millennium and beyond. We also shed light on the elusive Austrian Perchten and Bulgarian Kukeri, and discuss parading Philadelphia Mummers, Bahamian Junkanoo figures, and Cape Town, South Africa’s legendary Minstrel Parade. To learn about the most rewarding aspect of Jill’s project and find out where she’ll be ringing in New Year’s Eve 2023, pull up a seat, pop some bubbly and listen in!
Guest: Jill Waterman
Photos © Jill Waterman
2:35: The beginnings of the New Year’s Eve Project
4:28: Evolution of the project and approach over time
5:34: Shooting black and white film instead of monochrome digital captures
8:12: Opportunities of the Millennium
9:04: The growth of the Internet as a research tool and discovering locations for New Year’s Eve rituals
10:00: Documenting “Perchtenlaufs” in Austria during the Wild Nights
10:59: Common themes in different cultures: Mummer’s Parade in Philadelphia; Junkanoo in Nassau, Bahamas; and the Minstrel Parade in Cape Town, South Africa
14:48: The spread of oral New Year’s traditions and rituals: Burning Effigies and New Year’s Widows in Quito, Ecuador
16:32: Bulgarian Kukeri and New Year’s parade to scare away evil spirits in Razlog
17:28: Advance planning before arrival and proceeding with boots on the ground
18:46: The value of spontaneity and capturing action in the moment
19:58: Working through anxiety, emotional spikes, and physical challenges
21:09: Assessing coverage and reviewing images after the fact
22:12: Underwhelming celebrations, and New Year’s Eve during COVID lockdown
25:50: Episode break
26:35: Jill’s analog camera kit: Nikon F3 HP, a 35-70 mm f/2.8 zoom and 24 mm f/2.8 prime lenses
27:45: Black and white films used—Ilford HP5, Delta 400, FP4, Delta 100—and diluted development to minimize contrast
29:23: The most rewarding aspect of the New Year’s Eve Project
30:41: Working through language differences and being open to communication
32:15: Experiencing the Pied Piper syndrome
32:45: Big crowds and safety issues on New Year’s Eve
35:36: This year’s destination, recent New York Foundation for the Arts award, and project links
Guest Bio: Born and raised in Massachusetts, Jill Waterman has been based in New York since 1985. Her personal work is centered in long-term photo projects, such as the ongoing New Year’s Eve Project and other aspects of her focus on night photography. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally and widely featured in press and media. Highlights include a 1997 arts documentary for Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin, Germany; a 2003 Today Show interview with Katie Couric; and a 2015 documentary for the web TV show Culture Connect. Waterman’s first book, the technical volume Night and Low Light Photography, was released by Amphoto books in August 2008. Her professional background includes a past career in image licensing, editorial positions in custom publishing, and her current role as creative producer for the B&H Photography Podcast.
New Year’s Eve Project Documentary: https://www.y
2022 Cameras of the Year: The B&H Photography Podcast
For anyone seeking a new camera to gift or to hold this holiday season, we present the eighth annual installment of our Cameras of the Year episode! Featured in our discussion are 16 new cameras from Canon, FUJIFILM, Hasselblad, Leica, Nikon, OM SYSTEM, Panasonic, and Sony—presented in alphabetical order.
In addition to a detailed review of each camera on our list, we also discuss trends such as the shift from separate cameras for photo and video to a single camera geared to content creation, recent advances in high resolution EVFs, the benefits to cameras with internal memory, an increasing prevalence of AI technologies, the continued relevance of Micro 4/3rds and APS-C models when full frame cameras are shrinking in size and weight, and much more. Along the way, we even come up with some new terminology—Exit Level Cameras! Tune in for yourself and find out what it means.
Guest: Kevin Rickert
3:30: Canon EOS R6 Mark II Mirrorless Camera
4:29: From separate cameras for photo and video to one camera for content creation
5:30: Canon EOS R7 Mirrorless Camera
6:42: A question about image stabilization
7:58: The increasing use of dual card slots
8:50: Newer Canon cameras have a different hotshoe
11:18: Canon EOS R10 Mirrorless Camera
12:25: The legacy of the Canon Rebel series name
14:25: Canon R5 C Mirrorless Cinema Camera
15:43: What constitutes a Netflix-approved cinema camera
17:08: FUJIFILM X-H2S Mirrorless Camera
18:12: FUJIFILM X-H2 Mirrorless Camera
18:20: FUJIFILM X-T5 Mirrorless Camera
19:43: Recent advances in high resolution EVFs
20:55: New FUJIFILM lenses mean faster full-time autofocus
22:15: Hasselblad X2D 100C Medium Format Mirrorless Camera
2400: The benefits to cameras with internal memory
24:38: Medium format 16-bit color gives you more crayons to play with in the box
26:02: Episode break
27:13: Leica M 11 Rangefinder Camera
30:24: US-B Type C connection allows downloading pictures to a phone
30:59: What is pixel binning and why is it useful?
32:12: Nikon Z 30 Mirrorless Camera
35:44: OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mirrorless Camera
37:08: The continued relevance of Micro 4/3rds and APS-C sensors when full frame cameras are shrinking in size and weight
39:54: OM SYSTEM OM-5 Mirrorless Camera
41:29: Panasonic Lumix GH6 Mirrorless Camera
43:15: The value of dual image stabilization
44:14: Sony ZV-1F Vlogging Camera
46:51: Sony FX30 Digital Cinema Camera
48:42: What is a BSI sensor?
49:08: Sony a7R V Mirrorless Camera
49:52: The higher the resolution, the better your lenses need to be
50:52: The increasing prevalence of AI technologies in the photo world
54:40: Sony a7R V updated screen design and menu tweaks
Kevin Rickert is B&H Photo’s Senior Sales Trainer for Cameras and Lighting. It’s Kevin’s job to collaborate with camera and lens manufacturers to create curriculum for training B&H’s world-renowned sales staff. He knows his stuff! Born & raised in New York and self-described as a ball-park journeyman, Kevin has traveled to—and photographed—all* Major League Baseball Stadiums in the United States since 2008. He also recently travelled to South Korea for food, drink, and photography in October.
B&H Photo Video Website: https://www.bhphotovideo.com
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B&H Photography Podcast Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1001107823418353
Master Blaster - Charles Daniels Reveals his Unseen 60s Era Photo Archive: The B&H Photography Podcast
In an era brimming with instant gratification, some things are worth the wait. This is an apt takeaway from our chat with photographer Charles Daniels about his long-outdated film from the legendary Boston Tea Party and other 60s-era music venues, rarely processed until recently. Joining Daniels in conversation is his long-time partner Susan Berstler, and Gerald Freyer from Film Rescue International, the unique image processing and digitization specialists entrusted with his mother lode of 4,000 plus rolls.
Listen in as Daniels tells of his rise from club denizen to emcee to cultural ambassador, introducing 60s-era British invasion rockers to America, with a Leica, two Nikons and a mic in hand. Berstler describes how the unprocessed rolls stockpiled in their home became a COVID project, which then went viral after the launch of a Go-Fund-Me campaign.
After a break, Freyer explains how Film Rescue International’s unique processing and scanning technologies can breathe new life into lost and found film, saving untold stories from oblivion. Freyer also recounts his epic drive from Saskatchewan to Somerville (and back!) to safely collect the film for processing, without risking x-rays or other shipping hazards.
As Daniels notes during the show, “For years, I never really developed any film, but I was shooting all the time. It was just there, and then at some point I realized that I needed to bring some of this older stuff to light.”
With a nod to Daniels’s 80th birthday on November 30th, the pictures may have been a long time coming—but what a fabulous gift to photographers and music aficionados alike!
Guests: Charles Daniels, Susan Berstler, Gerald Freyer
Photographs © Charles Daniels
For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/master-blaster-charles-daniels-reveals-his-unseen-60s-era-photo-archive
Charles Daniels was born in segregated Alabama, where his parents ran a late-night speakeasy after farming cotton all day; maybe that’s how outlaw music got into his blood. After moving to Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood with his family in the 1950s and teaching himself photography with a camera he found in his parent’s closet, Charles began capturing whatever caught his eye on city streets and in the era’s legendary music venues. Soon he was serving as emcee for the bands, which provided unique access and strong friendships. This led to Lear Jets and tours with the likes of Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, and the Rolling Stones. Since his start in rock-and-roll, Charles has expanded his photography to embrace a wide range of subjects from music and fashion to dance, performance, and everything in between.
Susan Berstler has a long history as a visual artist, curator, and arts producer, deeply immersed in the vibrant arts scene of Somerville, Massachusetts. One of her primary interests is transformative events and media, especially within public art. Her passion for this medium is further enhanced by her work as an Emerging Technology Specialist for Creative Technologies at Harvard University’s Cabot Science Library. After a small grant from the Somerville Arts Council allowed her to begin developing Charles’s treasure trove of film, the Go-Fund-Me campaign set up by a friend quickly went viral, raising more than $70,000 to date. Susan was referred to the company Film Rescue International, which became an ideal solution for film processing and creating high-resolution archival files from the negatives. At present, she is also in discussions with publishers and university archives to identify a final home for this unique image collection.
Gerald Freyer is a technically trained photographer who also studied folklore, monument preservation and cultural history at the University of Bamberg in Germany. After working as a research assistant in museums, he became a consultant for digital imaging pioneer Phase One. Since 2007, G
Festive Food Photography with Joanie Simon
Food, glorious food—there’s no better time than the holiday season for a bountiful exploration of food photography—a fan favorite. For this episode of the podcast, we’re delighted to connect with food blogger, educator, and content creator extraordinaire Joanie Simon. Listen in as she discusses the magic behind her aspirational, achievable shooting style. Besides examining the limits to reality when shooting fake food, Simon describes her collaborations with a dedicated crew, offers advice about a photographer’s responsibilities when working remotely, and describes her personal evolution through camera brands and models to arrive at the Nikon Z mirrorless system she shoots with today. Discover all these things and much, much more—including a secret recipe for fake ice cream!
Guests: Joanie Simon
Photograph © Joanie Simon
Guest Bio: Instead of an apron, Joanie Simon wears many hats. She’s a food photographer, published author, educator, and content queen, and her daily life is a bouillabaisse of camera gear and culinary delights. In just a baker’s dozen year—that’s 13 for the inexperienced cooks—Simon has built her brand into a powerhouse of creative content and learning.
In addition to shooting commercial and editorial assignments, Joanie teaches food photography through her online platform, The Bite Shot. Her food photo adventures on YouTube and Instagram can be found at @thebiteshot and on Tik Tok @joaniesimonsays, and you learn tons more from the many tutorials in her 2021 book, Picture Perfect Food.
For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/festive-food-photography-with-joanie-simon
Education Website: https://thebiteshot.com
3:56: Joanie Simon’s favorite holiday and seasonal foods to photograph
4:34: Cultivating aspirational, achievable food content
6:11: Images created with high quality gear requires exact timing
6:58: How far can you push reality and tricks to making food look good.
8:38: Editorial shooting - an opportunity to run wild, get creative, and shoot conceptually
9:48: A secret recipe for fake ice cream.
12:18: The hero of the shot vs the crash test dummy
13:12: The ratio between single shot pictures and food items that need a test run
15:18: How many team members are on set during a food shoot?
17:37: The evolution of Joanie Simon’s food photography career
19:16: Discovery of remote work and creating digital content from home
21:26: The need to take responsibility for communications when working remotely
23:10: What’s Joanie’s preference: mouth-watering stills or toe tapping videos and stop motion content?
27:18: Software for stills, video, and animation content: Capture One, Dragonframe, and Premiere Pro
29:44: The benefits to and workflow behind shooting tethered
31:09: Joanie Simon’s art background and her hesitation about studying art in school
33:10: Episode break
33:58: Thoughts on using gear in a controlled environment:
35:38: Joanie’s personal evolution through camera brands: from Nikon to Sony mirrorless to Canon and back to Nikon
40:04: The benefits to working in manual mode, and when to use auto focus
42:14: Joanie’s go-to lighting tool: the Godox AD 600 Pro strobe
43:52: Advantages to flash over working with continuous light LEDs
45:44: Drag your shutter when shooting with flash to control the ambient light
46:33: Joanie’s primary light modelling tool: Westcott 4’x4’ Scrim Jim Cineframe
48:36: Lens preferences: Primes or zooms and Joanie’s go-to lenses: 24 – 70 f/2.8 for flexibility and 105 macro lens for background compression
51:02: Food photography with a phone: wipe off the lenses and it all comes down to the lig
Two thumbs way up 10 stars
If your serious about photography this is the podcast you want to listen to. Well produced entertaining and relevant. Allen and John are professional and these are just great interviews. I always enjoy talking gear... but seek out “Conversations from Eddie Adams workshop “, “Lost rolls America”, “Black white and Blue underwater photography “, “Jay Maisel” I could go on and on that will get you started....Paul
I would like to hear and interview with Abelardo Morell
Update 7/17/2022 RE: John Harris sadly leaving B
The B&H podcast is the best photography and video podcast you will find on the internet. I look forward to every episode. Alan and John are smart, funny, and the topics they present are of great interest to photographers and videographers. They also provide helpful guidance for all creatives when making equipment purchases.
Sally Davies interview
Loved this interview and love her work. Thank you!