Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Favorite Photography Podcasts

Tennison (1 of 3)
This post is a shift from the normal format, but will still focus on photography (and just for fun I will throw in a few shots to hold your interest…some shots that did not make it into the last post “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark”).  This post is in part a confession of my addiction to podcasts.  I subscribe to a gaggle of podcasts that range from news and politics, to comedy, golf, literature, and philosophy.  Of course, my mountain of podcasts includes a healthy mound of photography related podcasts. 
Following are a few thoughts on the podcasts I listen to regularly.  Of course I recommend each of them to you…I listen to them so they must be good, right?  Although some of are available from multiple sources, I subscribe (free) through iTunes and sync them to my iPhone (also a handy photography portfolio that is always with me).
The podcasts are presented in alphabetical order – not in order of my preference.  You will need to read a bit further to find my favorite.
Small Craft Workshop Calvert MM (5 of 14)
The Art of Adventure Photography
Bruce Percy produces a high quality podcast that focus on his journeys around the world photographing unique places, unique people, and the unique cultures they represent.  The podcast is video and presents a slideshow with Bruce describing the experience in the audio track.
I find Bruce’s photography absolutely riveting as well as inspiring.  One way to improve your own photography is to look at exceptional shots made by others.  Critique the shots and ask questions – what was the photographer trying to achieve?  Where is the light coming from and what kind of light is it?  Where are the eyes drawn when looking at the photograph, and what path do they take to get there?  How could the photograph be improved?  What emotion does the photograph inspire?  Bruce’s photography is an excellent place to start for this type of exercise.
The Art of Photography
The art of photography is a video podcast that covers a lot of ground including equipment, composition, techniques, alternative processes, and a whole lot more.  The only part of this podcast that I have not enjoyed is a recent string of film/darkroom related episodes.  I shoot 100% digital and therefore scrubbed through these film centered episodes.  I highly endorse the more general topics covered in the podcast that can relate to either film or digital.
Caracas in the Fog from The Avila - 1
The Candid Frame:  A Photography Podcast
This podcast is created and hosted by photographer Ibarionex R. Perello and is a very engaging format of photographer interviews.  Ibarionex interviews photographers from every corner and genre of the photography world.  The conversations range from technique, philosophy of approach, and gear, to succeeding financially, and on, and on.  I enjoy this podcast a great deal because of the variety of guests; a landscape photographer one week may be followed by a sports photographer the following week.  This keeps the show fresh and interesting.  Ibarionex, an accomplished photographer, is an exceptional interviewer…and knows what to ask of his guests.
Caracas rainstorm - 1
Lenswork – Photography and the Creative Process

Published by Brooks Jensen, this podcast features random observations on art, photography, and the creative process. These short 2-4 minute talks focus on the creative process in fine art photography. LensWork editor Brooks Jensen side-steps techno-talk and artspeak to offer a stimulating mix of ideas, experience, and observations from his 35 years as a fine art photographer, writer, and publisher. Topics include a wide range of subjects from finding subject matter to presenting your work and building an audience.
Storm over Lincoln

Professional photographers Scott Bourne and Rick Sammon answer digital photography questions three times each month on the Photofocus show.  This show has a tendency to dwell on the technical side of photography and post-processing, but hey, it is based completely on listener questions.  Even so, the subject matter is broad ranging and the team of Scott and Rick apply their years of experience without hesitation even if an equipment of software producer might appreciate a softer approach.  I prefer the unvarnished truth that Scott and Rick dole out in grand portions.
Machu Pichu - 45 presents video tutorials showing the post processing of a photograph using Adobe Photoshop and other programs. Along the way you will learn about the tools and techniques used and gain insight into the creative decisions that directed the artist's hand.  John Arnold creates and hosts this podcast and does a remarkable job of describing Photoshop tools in sufficient detail that you are not only capable of replicating the results, but you truly understand how it was done.
Machu Pichu - 40
Shooting with Alas:  Photography Podcast
Ibarionex Perello’s second podcast is well worth the time to watch (his first podcast is the Candid Frame).  The podcast gives you the opportunity to look over the shoulder of a professional photographer during a shoot.  Ibarionex typically talks about what he is trying to achieve in the shoot, how to overcome the specific challenges the shoot presents, composition, technique, and equipment.
Moko Jumbies (34 of 37)
This Week in Photography
I am not ashamed to say this is my favorite podcast…period.  Let me explain how I came to this conclusion.  I am not young enough to be considered one of the digital aged minimal attention span types.  However, unless a podcast is really good, I start to get bored beyond 5 minutes of run time.  This Week in Photography (TWiP) generallly runs between an hour and 1:30.  I am never bored.

Alex Lindsay and Frederick Van Johnson are the show anchors with a number of friends who join the show more or less regularly.  Each week they discuss camera technique, technology, and news. With in-depth guest interviews, and discussion around everything from taking family photos, to understanding how state-of-the-art cameras work — you'll hear it all on This Week in Photography.
Angle Falls - 6
Thoughts on Photography
The host of Thoughts on Photography, Paul Giguere, bills this show as “exploring how to live the photographic life.”  What really sets this podcast apart is that in general, it is an anti-gear show.  In other words, Paul discusses or interviews people about nearly every conceivable aspect of photography but intentionally does not mention equipment.  This podcast has found an appreciated niche.
This is not the complete list of photography podcasts on my iPhone, but, it represents the list of shows I am confident in recommending.  I am also confident that this list is not exhaustive.  My horrible addiction to podcasts extends to a number of interests.  I occasionally have to do a purge to make sure I have at least some chance of matching the hours of podcasts with the hours in a day.  Having said this, I am always on the lookout for something new and interesting, or even old and unfortunately overlooked. 
What are your favorite photography podcasts?
Go make some photographs!

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