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A Photographic Life

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A Photographic Life

The United Nations of Photography

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"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." Henri Cartier-Bresson. Whatever your level of engagement with photography The Photographic Life Podcast explains the realities of working with and learning about the medium. Each week photographer, writer, lecturer, filmmaker and BBC Radio contributor Dr. Grant Scott reflects on news, discussions, themes and issues surrounding the photographic community. He also asks a photographer to supply him with an a ...
 
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In episode 177 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on the end of summer and new beginnings, not getting confused by social media, connections and community.Plus this week photographer J.M. Golding on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which she answer’s the question ‘W…
 
While growing up, Hannah Reyes Morales wasn’t allowed to venture out into the rough streets of Manila, but later her work as a photographer would take her there. In the city’s dark corners, she shed light on the Philippine government’s violent war on drugs and the plight of some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. For more information on this e…
 
In episode 176 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on exploring the breadth of photography, taken over shops on the high street, construction versus deconstruction, avoiding negative introspection and the importance of audience.Plus this week photographer Paul Wakefield on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio fil…
 
Joel Sartore has been called a modern Noah for his work on the Photo Ark, a photography project with a simple mission: Get people to care that we could lose half of all species by the turn of the next century. He photographs animals on simple backgrounds, highlighting their power, their beauty, and often their cuteness. But while quarantining durin…
 
In episode 175 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on the negative aspect of work looking the same and coming from the same intellectual space, accepting new opportunities, the importance or not of the digital print and the risks and etiquette of social media.Plus this week photographer Kristina Varaksina on the challenge …
 
Twenty years since the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban have once again seized power of the country. In the months leading up to the fall of the nation’s capital, National Geographic photographer Kiana Hayeri and writer Jason Motlagh heard the stories of young Afghans struggling for a better future. In the time since t…
 
In episode 174 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on how big business impacts on the photographic commission, who photography festival's are aimed at and the courage of conflict photographers.Plus this week photographer Claire Thomas on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length…
 
How did the planets form? How did life happen? Where did Earth’s water come from? To answer questions like these, scientists used to go big—looking at planets, dwarf planets, and moons—but now small is the new big. Technology is zooming in on the pint-size stuff—asteroids, comets, meteors, and other chunks of space rock—that couldn’t be studied bef…
 
In episode 173 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on the importance of respect and authenticity in documenting tragedy, explaining best practice to clients and finding connections when finding and creating new work.Plus this week photographer Steve Reeves on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer th…
 
Cheetahs are in trouble. With just 7,000 left in the wild in Africa, populations have been in a continuous decline due to trophy hunting, habitat loss, retaliatory killings, and dealers looking to sell them to the wealthy. National Geographic editor Rachael Bale shares what she saw at the trial of a notorious cheetah smuggler and explores how Somal…
 
In episode 172 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on emotions and memory within photography, the importance of the family album and how life informs who we are and what we photograph.Plus this week photographer Yukari Chikura on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in whic…
 
August 1521: Spain’s victory over the Aztec launches colonization of Mexico, but Aztec culture will survive for centuries through preservation and practice. Aztec codices—16th-century Rosetta Stones that preserved Aztec language and deeds—laid a foundation that scholars are building on today as Aztec culture is woven into AI. For more information o…
 
In episode 171 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on mentorship, teaching and the passing on of information. He also provides his final found rules for life.Plus this week photographer Peter Fraser on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘…
 
Trees provide much-needed shade for urban Americans on a hot day, but not everyone gets to enjoy it. New research illuminates how decades of U.S. housing policy created cities where prosperous, white neighborhoods are more likely to be lush, and low-income communities of color have little respite from the sun. National Geographic writer Alejandra B…
 
In episode 170 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on the value of the photographic print, sharing some rules for life, considering the structured narrative and stressing the importance of never getting creatively old.Plus this week photographer Michelle Watt on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer…
 
Exploring the superpowers of sharks. Building shade for warming cities. Remapping the solar system. Investigating illegal cheetah trafficking. Join us for curiously delightful conversations, overheard at National Geographic headquarters. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, pleas…
 
In episode 169 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on rules on being an artist, making friends through photography, the importance of writing to photography and applying for positions with photographic education.Plus this week photographer Frances Scott takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer…
 
As billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson lead the charge for a new commercial space race, we revisit an episode from our archives: What if women had been among the first to head to the moon? A NASA physician thought that wasn't such a far-fetched idea back in the 1960s. He developed the physical and psychological tests used to select NASA's f…
 
In episode 168 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on ego within photography, keeping it simple and inaccessible inspirational photo books.Plus this week photographer Tadas Kazakevičius takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Do…
 
Sharks have never been able to outswim their reputation as mindless killers, which is so entrenched that the U.S. Navy once even tried to weaponize them. But are sharks really just “remorseless eating machines” on the hunt for blood? Hop in the water with marine scientists for a look at sharks’ extraordinary senses and unique adaptability. For more…
 
In episode 167 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on nostalgia, the photographic happening and a celebrity photo shoot in New York.Plus this week photographer Simon Roberts takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Does Photograp…
 
In episode 166 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on rules in photography, how you don't learn, if you don't hear what you need to hear and travel instigating work.Plus this week photographer Fabio Ponzio takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s t…
 
In episode 165 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on learning and teaching photography, formally, informally and unintentionally!Plus this week photographer Harry Borden takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Does Photography …
 
It’s a dream year in the making. High jumper Priscilla Frederick-Loomis will do anything to support her training for the 2020 Olympics—even clean strangers’ houses. But as the postponed Tokyo Games approach, she’s still suffering mysterious health problems months after contracting COVID-19. In collaboration with ESPN, we follow Frederick-Loomis’s p…
 
In episode 164 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering transferable skills, film making, finding answers with photography and challenging the status quo.Plus this week photographer Jason Langer takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘Wh…
 
How do you calculate the number of chimpanzees living in the forests of Nigeria? If you’re National Geographic Explorer Rachel Ashegbofe, you listen carefully. After discovering that Nigerian chimpanzees are a genetically distinct population, Rachel began searching for their nests to study them more closely. Now she’s teaching her community how to …
 
In episode 163 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on multi-faceted image making, still images in film narrative, avoiding meaningless catchphrases, and suggesting a photographer from the past to check out that you may not of heard of.Plus this week photographer David Corio takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an…
 
In the basement of National Geographic’s headquarters, there’s a lab holding a secret tech weapon: Tom O’Brien. As Nat Geo’s photo engineer, O’Brien adapts new technologies to capture sights and sounds previously never seen or heard before. O’Brien leads us on a tour of his lab as he designs and builds an underwater camera and shows us some of his …
 
In episode 162 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on the importance of receiving and giving feedback, the long term project and using all forms of art as inspiration, information and aspiration within photographic practice.Plus this week photographer Mik Critchlow takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio fi…
 
It sounds like the start of a bad joke: How do you move eight giraffes—including a newborn calf—off an island in Africa’s Western Rift Valley? Answer: It isn’t easy, and it involves a boat, blindfolds, and earmuffs. We follow conservationist David O’Connor on an epic (and awkward) journey to save these endangered animals. For more information about…
 
In episode 161 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on the business of photography, the death of editorial photography, positive thinking and the importance of learning from experience.Plus this week photographer Jeremy Nicholl takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length i…
 
After 17 years underground, so-called Brood X cicadas get a fleeting moment in the sun and commence their deafening buzz. But periodical cicadas can’t escape a silent killer: a fungus that eats them from the inside and forces them into a rabid mania. Follow National Geographic Explorer Matt Kasson as he tracks these “flying saltshakers of death,” a…
 
In episode 160 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed announcing that the doctor will see you now, considering the importance of Tik Tok and not getting left behind, being working class and photographers moving into teaching.Plus this week photographer Mark Steinmetz takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer…
 
A Reckoning in Tulsa A century ago, Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood was a vibrant Black community. One spring night in 1921 changed all that: a white mob rioted, murdering as many as 300 Black residents and destroying their family homes and thriving businesses. Archaeologists are working to uncover one of the worst—and virtually unknown—incidents of…
 
In episode 159 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering age and the subject matter we seek, accessing the personal and the importance of simplicity when writing about photography.Plus this week photographer Jill Beth Hanes takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which …
 
Every spring Inupiaq hunters camp on the sea ice north of the Arctic Circle, in hopes of capturing a bowhead whale to share with their village. But as global warming accelerates ice melt, it threatens the tribe’s 4,000-year-old tradition. National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yuyan recounts the five years he spent documenting these whale hunters,…
 
In episode 158 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering the importance of research, reading a listener's email, and reflecting how the camera we have informs the work that we make.Plus this week photographer Nolan Ryan Trowe takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in whic…
 
With every breakthrough, computer scientists are pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence (AI). We see it in everything from predictive text to facial recognition to mapping disease incidence. But increasingly machines show many of the same biases as humans, particularly with communities of color and vulnerable populations. In this episode…
 
In episode 157 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering the fact that the podcast has reached the 'troublesome two's' with its second birthday, whilst reflecting on some of the key themes, dreams and schemes that have developed over the last 157 episodes.Plus this week photographer David Eustace takes on the challenge of suppl…
 
Dive with killer whales to observe their surprising cultures. Venture into the world of artificial intelligence to see how scientists are teaching machines to recognize human diversity. Visit Nat Geo’s legendary tech lab where engineers have dreamed up super cameras to hunt for the Loch Ness monster, float above Machu Picchu and swim with Jacques C…
 
In episode 156 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering the importance of rigorous debate, focusing once again on post-production manipulation controversy and reflecting on the importance of honesty in photography.Plus this week photographer Benedict Redgrove takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no long…
 
In episode 155 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering the curse of the pedant within photography, embracing the new, and photography on television.Plus this week photographers Tatsiana Chypsanava and Esther Ruth Mbabazi take on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which th…
 
Scientists are discovering that killer whales, among the most social and intelligent of marine animals, have unique family structures and behaviors, passed from one generation to the next. National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry traveled the globe to document killer whale pods—where he found that diving with these special creatures can lead t…
 
In episode 154 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering his manifesto for photographers, the manipulation of images, when things go 'wrong' they often go 'right' and the death of stock.Plus this week photographer Rachael Wright takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in w…
 
In episode 153 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering nostalgia through a remembrance of things past, emotional connection with an image and whether we will want to see Covid related work in the future.Plus this week Connie Hanson, one half of Guzman, takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer tha…
 
In episode 152 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering NFT's, photography, the digital art market and the importance of having fun. He also has some thoughts on recent events staged on Clubhouse to share.Plus this week photographer Mona Kuhn takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes…
 
Mozart wowed audiences as a child. The Beatles blew away Ed Sullivan. Beyonce hypnotized Super Bowl crowds. The world has been enthralled by those we call musical geniuses. But what defines a musical genius? And how does society recognize it? We probe these questions as we examine the life and career of Aretha Franklin, a transformational figure in…
 
In episode 151 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering photographer's making photo books, looking at photo books without paying for them, 'pay to play' online workshops and the reality of virtual online photography exhibitions.Plus this week photographer Melissa O'Shaughnessy takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an …
 
Photographer Charlie Hamilton James chronicles his days ditching high school to hide out by the river near his home in Bristol, England, to snap photos of brilliantly plumed kingfishers dive-bombing for fish—“delinquent behavior” that somehow led to a job making films for the BBC and eventually to National Geographic. For more information on this e…
 
In episode 150 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering the demands of studio based portraiture and what constitutes a studio, buying into an aesthetic, and online access to contemporary art practice.Plus this week photographer Gary Calton takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in…
 
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