One of the things I like to do to relax is to listen to podcasts, and, being a photographer, photography podcasts are on the top of the list. Here is a quick list of the ones currently in my rotation, and why.
On Taking Pictures: I know I’m pandering, but this has to be my favorite podcast in the list. It’s done by fancy New York Photographer Bill Wadman (known in part for his 365 Portraits project from a few years ago) and Faded and Blurred‘s Jeffery Saddoris. This is a podcast focussed almost completely on the art and intention of Photography, with only a whafer thin smattering of gear (though mostly in the context of “this is how gear doesn’t matter”). Bill and Jeffery are an amusing duo, with lots of good conversation, but they’re not afraid to go deep into sometimes highly emotional topics. A staple of the show is The Photographer of the Week in which they will talk about a perhaps unknown-to-you photographer and why they are important or interesting. If there is one podcast on this list that you add to your podcatcher or iTunes subscription, this is it. As a bonus they’ve discussed a couple of the emails I’ve sent in at length, and even called me “friend of the show”. Swoon.
The Two Hosers: My most recently discovered podcast, the product of Allan (a Canadian in Germany) and Adam (a Canadian in Vancouver). The guys cover topics more towards the beginner and techniques. One of their staple bits (at least as far as I’ve heard in the three or four episodes I’ve listen to so far) is “Exifoku“, in which you are given two parts of the exposure triangle, and need to guess the third.
This Week in Photo (TWiP): One of the oldest photography podcasts I listen to. It’s gone through a couple of different (excellent) hosts and is now steered by Frederick Van Johnson, who is not only a very “familiar” photographer (ie: he reads my mind in terms of interesting topics), but also is using the show exactly as I would, to get interesting people on and then ask them questions akin to “how do I get there from here”. This podcast is more news and gear focussed, though there’s a lot of time spent explaining why you don’t need the new gear (before talking about how we all want the new gear). Lots of interesting topics along the lines of the various moral and ethical questions are addressed as well, and a variety of great guests from the “well known” photo community are interviewed.
The Candid Frame: Interview podcast done by the buttery smooth-voiced Ibarionex Perello. He interviews artists of all types, not juts photographers, and often goes deep into their stories, not only what they do and how they do it, but where they came from and why they do it. Mostly (but not always) more unknown artists, or rather, not famous (or even “internet famous“), which makes it all the more interesting than hearing the same talking points by someone pimping their new book or class and making the rounds of the photo podcasts. His concentration on the people and not the gear, and did I mention he has an amazing radio voice, make this one for me. A staple of the show is getting the interviewee to name a photographer to investigate for the audience.
Photofocus: Another of the “old guard” of photography podcasts, run by (now less so) Scott Bourne and Richard Harrington, Photofocus is a question and answer style (mostly) podcast, taking in questions from the listeners and answering them with a combination of about 800 years of experience. Scott, if you haven’t heard him before, is opinionated and not afraid to share why he’s right, and frankly he’s been around long enough that he is (mostly) right most of the time. Lots of good information, and a variety of different topics, and the fact that there’s a fair amount of interaction with the audience makes this a podcast with ever changing topics. There’s a lot of gear talk, if you’re into that, and a lot of good advice doled out. Pick of the week (hardware, software, etc) is the end-of-show staple.
The Photography Show: This is a podcast with one of my favorite guys from a previous podcast, Ted Forbes and his buddy Wade Griffith. After a bit of a hiatus the guys are back in a weekly format with lots of good discussion around the news and often the business side of photography. The guys are in a bit of a different area than many of the other podcast hosts, which is a refreshing change. They recently did an episode completely on mailing lists, how to manage them, how to use the, should you use them, and so on. Pretty awesome stuff. Ted is an old school film guy as well, and recently did his last episode of his excellent The Art of Photography (iTunes Link), where a lot of amazingly cool stuff with developing film and his Holga Project were done.
Camera Dojo: Kerry Garrison, a wedding photographer, hosts this podcast, and gives great information on not only the business side of photography, but interviews and photo news. Hearing about wedding photography from a non-wedding photographer, sometimes you’d think that it’s akin to being hit over the head repeatedly with a baseball bat, but hearing Kerry talk about it makes you want to get into it. There’s also a lot of great interviews with some pretty epic photographers, and is well worth the subscription.
The Digital Convergence Podcast: Something out of my comfort zone in the photographic world is video, but these guys (Chris Fenwick, planetMitch of Planet 5D, and Carl Olson) are all video shooters and editors working in a variety of different jobs within the video world, and do a great job talking about subjects of interest to anyone who has wondered if they could do more interesting things with the Movie Mode on their SLR. There are also some great interviews with real world film-makers and some of the most awesome people producing content on (for example) Vimeo. Great conversation and a set of fun hosts make this worth a listen, even if you’re not knee deep in video, but are just a tiny bit interested.
Here’s a bonus link, not really photography related, but still good enough to fall into that section of my podcasts.
The Gainfully Unemployed Podcast: An interview podcast hosted by Carl Olsen (who, if you were paying attention, is one of the hosts of the previous podcast in the list, The Digital Convergence Podcast) talking about how, why, when and how to go from working for The Man for a living to working for a much harder boss, yourself. There are only two episodes out so far, but it’s already on my subscription list. Talking to people who have gone from gainfully employed to gainfully unemployed is pretty fascinating, especially hearing how it is seldom (never?) a straight line from “hey, I should quit my job and become my own boss” to “hey, I’m successful and my own boss”. If you’re like me and would love to ditch that silly day job and do something like photography for a living, this is a great one, both cautionary and inspiring.
I know that sometimes “top ten” lists are a bit gauche, but sometimes they just fit right. Hopefully the above list will help you find podcasts to listen to and help you figure out which ones you should subscribe to, based on your interests.