Photography Podcasts I Listen To

Filed Under Photography on April 14, 2008 at 11:05 pm

I’ve settled on listening to just two photography related podcasts and they’re both very very different yet both very rewarding on their own ways. My absolute favourite has to be Jeff Curto’s Camera Position podcast. This is not your standard podcast about technical minutia or expensive cutting edge gear but instead focuses on the creative side of photography. Once you’ve gotten to the point where you can make your camera go, it’s time to start listening to this podcast. What you won’t get from camera position is a set of rules or check-boxes which will guarantee a good photo, instead you get discussions on ideas and concepts you should keep in mind, illustrated with lots of examples. From time to time Jeff also covers basic photographic theory but the real focus of this podcast is on investigating the artistic and creative aspects of photography.

The second podcast I’ll recommend is a much more mixed bag. There are times I find myself hating it, and yet it has helped me improve and expand my range every bit as much as Camera Position has, just differently.

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The podcast I’m talking about is TWiP (This Week in Photography). I’ll start by getting the bad stuff out of my system. I hate the way Scott Bourne can’t resist an opportunity to brag about how rich he is and how much he spends on his gear. It adds nothing to the show but leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths. I know of a few people who have un-subscribed solely because they couldn’t stand Scott’s arrogance and snobbery. Ultimately there is no earthly reason to brag about the fact that all your lenses have a red ring around them because they are the best Cannon offer while making a video to explain tripods!

So, having gotten that out of the way, lets look at what’s great about TWiP. For a start, it has a lot of hosts, and most are very nice, so no matter how much you hate Scott Bourne, he’s only one of a much bigger team! Their “regular” shows generally consist of some discussion about the news of the week, both software and hardware related, an interview with someone big in the photography world, and the answers to some listener questions. The interviews are usually fantastic, the news is good to get, and the answers to the listener questions are usually informative and helpful.

There is also a lot more to the show than just the audio episodes. There are also tips and articles posted to the TWiP blog as well as regular video tutorials added to the feed. Some of these are great, some are not-so-great. On balance though, I’ve found them useful and helpful. It was a video tutorial in the TWiP feed that got me started with HDR!

The other big aspect of TWiP is their flickr groups. It’s often said that you have to do two things to improve your photography, first and most obviously, take lots of photos, and second, and less obviously, look at lots of photos. That’s where the TWiP Flickr group really shines. I’ve gotten so much inspiration simply by keeping the RSS feed for that group in my RSS reader! Finally, every few weeks they run a competition where people have to submit photos on a particular subject. I’ve had great fun with these.

Ultimately I’ve learned a lot from both of these podcasts and I’d recommend both to anyone interested in photography. Bear in mind though, you may get annoyed with TWiP from time to time.


14 Responses to “Photography Podcasts I Listen To”

  1. Connor P Jackson on April 15th, 2008 3:46 am

    I do enjoy TWiP, and the other two i like are and Tips from the Top Floor.

    Connor P

  2. Landya McCaffery on April 15th, 2008 4:31 am

    I enjoy TWIP, and I like Scott Bourne. He is who he is. He does not apologize for that. He does not engage in empty chatter to fill space. He knows what he is talking about. I think his comments about his expensive gear are tongue in cheek, and he is the butt of many a joke on MacBreak Weekly for the same. I also like that he does not put up with bullies or nasty posts on his blog. Bottom line: I learn a lot about photography from him.

    And, let me add, I do not like Camera Position. Too fuzzy and touchy-feely. I will take Scott Bourne any day!

    So even though we may have different tastes in photo podcasts, I will suggest one to add to your list: The Digital Photography Show. I love that one. 2 great guys and tons of photo tips and info. Give it a try. They are both getting into HDR right now. You might enjoy the banter.

  3. - Gérard on April 15th, 2008 2:33 pm

    I do enjpy TWIP also. Scott is a pain in the you know what but I don’t bother. I hope the will increase the screencasts. That’s pure learning for me. The episode of Alex explaining the histogram in iPhoto got my eyes opened. I did not know that and i’m benefitting since.

    To Bart: Spreek you ook Nederlands of Vlaams?

  4. Bart B on April 15th, 2008 2:47 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions guys!

    Gérard: Jaa, ik spreek Vlaams.

  5. - Gérard on April 16th, 2008 5:48 am

    Hallo Bart, leuk om te horen dat je Vlaams spreekt. Ikzelf ben NL en kom uit Limburg. Dicht tegen België aan. Je bent goed bezig kerel. Ik hoor je vaak voorbijkomen bij div. podcast die ik luister (Victor en Allison). Je doet het daar heel goed. De complimenten. Ik zal in ieder geval vaker je blog checken. We hebben zeker dezelfde interesses. De Mac en fotografie in ieder geval. Succes met je Blog.


  6. Richard Ford on May 24th, 2008 7:46 am

    Ditto on the vote for Scott re: his personality.

    But maybe it is all a clever ploy? What are we doing now? Talking about him! That is exposure and advertising. He ain’t stupid by any means – so maybe we are all playing right into his shrewd little games….;-)

    At the end of the day on the topics he does know about “Photography” it is wise to just soak it up. He has the credentials.

    And if you met him in person, he is probably quite an affable and fun bloke to have a beer with. Don’t forget that the internet and the new forms of communication that we have make it hard to judge a person fairly. Hello Emoticons.

    So yes. He annoys the shit out of me too at times – then at other times I find him to be very wry and funny.

    But I give him the benefit of the doubt because I am sure that I annoy the shit out of people as well, so who am I to tar and feather anyone else? ;-) :-) =:-) :-0 :-s :-\ >;-|

    Plus I still harbour dreams of organising a China photo tour one day and would be over the moon for someone like him to come along. And I am sure he will come across very differently in person than online. A phenomena I have experiences since 1991.

    Pride and Prejudice people. Great novel. The BBC production is also excellent too – though 9 hours long!

  7. Richard Ford on May 24th, 2008 7:49 am

    PS: By far the best photographic podcast that wipes the floor with TWIP is “The Image Doctors” over at

    Class act those two.

  8. Bart B on May 24th, 2008 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the tip Richard, I’ll give that a listen. Have to say I find the URL very interesting … has the potential to alienate over half the audience! Still … I am a Nikonian so all good :)


  9. Richard Ford on May 26th, 2008 2:28 am

    Oh well… I am now banned from TWIP. Only god knows why…. I did not receive any explanation. :-s

    Was fun while it lasted. Guess I will have to go back and refocus my time on something else. It (TWIP) was the only forum I have used online in, oh, I don’t know, about 10 freaking years! So I am pretty sure that the refocus won’t be with online forums! ;-)

    Onwards and upwards. Enjoy the shooting and gossip sharing.

  10. Bart B on May 26th, 2008 9:56 am

    There must have been some sort of mistake Richard, you’re a fantastic contributor to the Critique forum :(


  11. Scott Bourne on June 17th, 2008 12:53 pm

    But Bart – I LOVE you – so disappointing to find out you hate me. Oh well.

    Actually – while I think Richard is the pain in the ass and so many people on our forum complained about him that I had to ban him – (He left that part out) his first comment here is spot on.

    Bart you might be surprised to find out you don’t know everything that goes on behind the scenes on a podcast. I rarely bother to explain this, and realize that it’s most likely a waste of time now, but here goes…

    1) Most people who don’t like my approach on podcasts still listen. In fact, the shows I appear on are regularly the highest-rated in iTunes in their categories. As a former broadcaster, I come from the place where a listener is a listener – love me or hate me just listen.
    2) I play a CHARACTER on the show. I hate to break this to you – but radio, television, the movies – they aren’t real. There is no Batman, Superman or Spiderman. Take a moment to get over that crushing news Bart. What you see and hear of me on the SHOW – yes it is a SHOW – is what I choose to share.
    3) My CHARACTER on the show is built on an archetype ( It’s an over-simplification of a CHARACTER. In my case, my friend Leo Laporte helped me pick Thurston Howell III from Giligan’s Island as the basis for my CHARACTER.
    4) The CHARACTER I play – yes I play a part in a CAST – that’s how we refer to the show’s hosts, is based on my true self. I did make some money in Internet One – and I am a bit on the gregarious, outgoing and loud…is extrapolated to the extreme on the show.
    5) I get paid the same if you like me or don’t like me, just so long as you listen.
    6) I am not a member of the TWIP cast because I need friends. I am part of the show because I genuinely like helping people learn photography. That’s it. No other real motive. I spend dozens of hours each week offering free tips, teaching and advice. I charge not one penny for this information. I have never begged you or anyone else to listen, nor has anyone forced you to listen. But more than half a million times a month the shows are downloaded. We must be doing SOMETHING right.

    And the last point is simple – you’re jealous. I have listened to countless podcasts where the hosts are asked over and over about their gear. They typically have a mid-range assortment of cameras and lenses and they talk about them – a great deal. In my case, I have all high-end equipment so that’s what I talk about. If I owned and used a Canon Rebel as opposed to my 1DS MKIII, you would feel better? It’s a really silly thing Bart and you should come clean with yourself at least.

    When I go back and forth with my pals on the show about gear – it’s all in fun. Get over yourself, enjoy the show – and by all means continue to hate me, attack me – whatever.

    I am at 2331 3rd Street in San Francisco, CA USA 10-4 Monday through Thursday. Feel free to walk right in and say anything you want right to my face. Then I’ll buy you a beer after I tell you what I think.

    Have a nice day.

  12. Bart B on June 17th, 2008 2:35 pm

    Wow … I got an answer from the real Scott Bourne … cool … that of a good fake … either way … I’m pretending it’s the real Scott.

    Do I envy your equipment. No. But not because I don’t want shiny gear, because I want a Nikon D3 instead ;)

    You might be interested in my follow-on post entitled “Perhaps I was a bit hard on Scott”. ( I don’t hate you … in fact, I really admire your posts on the TWIP blog … that and the cool photos of yours you stick up at the top of them.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to explain things on my small and insignificant little blog.


    P.S. Does the offer of a beer still count if I say nice things about you?

  13. Ben on July 4th, 2008 10:00 am

    Wasn’t that kind of grossly undignified of Scott Bourne to jump all over your comments section like that? The Batman etc. comments are just trite. (Before anyone jumps down my throat, I’m a professional screenwriter – film and TV – and broadcaster – national radio, in the UK – so, yes, I do have some experience of how the media works.) Scott’s opinions are only taken seriously because of his real-life professional experience. Were he just a fictional character, his opinions would be worthless. In any case, if he wants to project a personality that isn’t his own – and he chooses a braggadocio one – then surely he has to live with the fall-out, instead of squatting all over somebody’s blog, accusing them of jealousy because they don’t have as much money (really ugly, that) and bullying them into publishing a retraction.

  14. Bart B on July 4th, 2008 10:09 am

    Hi Ben,

    Just one wee correction. Scott didn’t bully me into anything. I had written my “retraction” (in your words) weeks before.

    The more I re-read Scott’s comments though … the more I want to retract my retraction. I’ve been thinking about the whole personna thing and it pisses me off. Like you say, we only give Scott’s opinions weight because of who he is. So if he’s not who he says he is then who is he?

    Also, I don’t like main-stream media. Most of ot is dumbed-down fake junk. What I like about new media is that most of it is real. In an old-media world it’s normal for people to be fake like Scott claims to be, but in new media it’s not, and I don’t want to see it become so.


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