Must listen: A Small Voice podcast – Ben Smith talks with photographers

A Small Voice - Conversations with Photographers - A podcast by Ben Smith
A Small Voice – Conversations with Photographers – A podcast by Ben Smith

You have got to listen to Ben Smith‘s new podcast, A Small Voice. There have been thirteen episodes so far. I’ve only listened to one–the first, with long-time favorite Ian Teh–but that was enough to know it will be essential listening. The website is a little confusing; the email subscription and donation section sits on top of links to episodes. First, make a donation, but then scroll down to the episodes where you can find conversations with the likes of Vanessa Winship, Kalpesh Lathigra (previously on dvafoto), Guy Martin, Peter Dench, Abbie Trayler Smith, and others.

I’ve long been a fan of Ian Teh, and the episode with him did not disappoint. He speaks about how he got into photography, why he photographers in color, how he approaches subjects, the thinking and process that goes into making his books, early formative experiences and influences, and so on. But somehow it’s not a conversation about photography. Photography is a big part of the discussion, certainly, but instead the episode is more like an examination of Teh’s relationship with the world. Just do yourself a favor and listen.

You can subscribe to the podcast on itunes.


On the podcast front, check out Abbas’ recent interview on NPR’s Fresh Air. Other photography podcasts I’ve found that are generally worth a listen are The LPV Show (free-ranging discussions with photographers) and The Photo Brigade podcast (mostly American photographers and editors).

I also recently wrote about some of my favorite non-photography podcasts.

“Welcome to the Winogrand Circus” – Gary Winogrand speaks to students at Rice University

In the video (embedded above), Gary Winogrand speaks to Rice University students for nearly two hours in Geoff Winningham‘s class. Winningham still teaches at Rice.

It’s Winningham who introduces Winogrand, saying “Welcome to the Winogrand circus,” and then Winogrand asks for questions from the students. He talks about how he works, his approach to different subjects, and the work of other photographers (Robert Frank, Walker Evans, Bruce Davidson–at 21:44: “[East 100th Street] is sickening…morally, it’s sickening, and photographically it’s just a goddamned bore,” and others). It’s a wide-ranging and very informal talk, but offers a fascinating perspective from Winogrand about his own work and others’.

If you don’t have two hours to spare right now, check out the 16-minute highlight reel (which doesn’t have any footage of Winogrand himself) at the National Gallery of Art.

And searching for this video today, I ran across this question and answer session at MIT with Winogrand in 1974. It starts with a short lecture by Tod Papageorge. There’s a transcript in an old post at 2point8 or on Google Docs. Winogrand’s often a bit enigmatic. Asked about whether he still likes some of his older pictures, he responds, “The one’s I’m interested in, I’m interested in. That’s all I can say.” Some of the audience members aren’t too happy with the vague responses and ask him why he’s answering questions the way he does. It’s a fun listen.

Of course, there’s also this short piece from the 1982 documentary Contemporary Photography in the USA showing Winogrand at work.

I’ve been meaning to share this video of Winogrand since I saw it first early last year. It made the rounds a bit, but it’s worth revisiting. A post on metafilter today reminded me of it.

Event: Protecting Creative Rights in the Age of Social Media – UNC

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This is a followup to our coverage of Justin Cook‘s trouble after a University of North Carolina department used one of his images without permission. After much public outcry and some behind-the-scenes pressure, Cook and the University reached a settlement. The University acknowledged the misdeed, paid for the usage, and agreed to hold a public forum on copyright in the digital age.

The forum, Protecting Creative Rights in the Age of Social Media will take place next week, March 17, 2015, at 7pm at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication Freedom Forum Conference Center at Carroll Hall. The event is free and open to the public and will include a panel discussion on the rights of creative professionals moderated by UNC School of Law assistant professor Deborah Gerhardt, photographer Justin Cook, and National Press Photographers Association general counsel Mickey Osterreicher.

If any of our readers are near UNC, you’d do well to attend this. It should be an informative event and it’s good to show support for these issues. Freelance photographers’ livelihoods depend on copyright protections.