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.
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.