C. S. Lewis has this great quote which goes “the next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a company of people who are.” Last post I wrote about libraries and the vast wealth that is found in books and magazines. While podcasts will not replace need of students of photography to pore through “printed’ works, they do perform an important role in education.
So, what is a podcast?
Generally they are audio only productions recorded in an electronic format distributed through the internet.
Why is that a big deal?
Well, since these are in electronic format you can listen to these on computers, either streaming or as downloadable files, and with mp3 players (not just Apple devices like IPhones, or IPods). This allows for easy storage and flexibility to listening.
Who put out these podcasts?
A number of professionals and high-level enthusiasts put out these shows in addition to their already hectic schedule.
What is their motivation?
While there is some self-interest with podcasting, they are all done in a spirit of giving and sharing. Some of the podcasters do put on seminars and even sell books, but their podcasts are not 50 minute infomercials. Generally their intent is to build their reputation and which may eventually, (for some it is happening now) pay off in $$ either directly or, more likely, indirectly.
What types of things do they talk about?
If you listen to one, is there any need to listen to another? To be a bit flippant, they are all like snowflakes, individuals putting out work that, even if the format is similar, it comes across quite different. Some podcasts are interviews with high-end professional photographers, some are philosophical insights while others take a question and answer format.
What is the easiest way to get them?
While going to each site on a weekly or monthly basis is one way to manage the files it is not a very efficient method. Personally I use the ITUNES store, which will require you to download their program, which is about 90 megabyte file. From here you simply search for your shows (under podcasts) and subscribe to the ones you like. Then every time you run the program, it will automatically download new files. There are other ways to subscribe to various podcasts, but I find this to work very well.
What are some of the photography podcasts that I listen to?
- Camera Dojo – Kerry Garrison – Great all around podcast and wonderful blog.
- F-Stop Beyond with Ron Dawson – While Ron seeks out famous photographers to interview he focuses the discussion in areas that most photography interviews do not go – people’s personal history, feelings and circumstances.
- Frederick Van – Various interviews.
- History of Photography – An honest to goodness lectures from an ongoing college photography class.
- Lenswork – Great short morsels of insight, philosophy and speculation from the editor of Lenswork Magazine.
- Lightsource Studio Photography – Interviews with high end commercial photographers.
- Photofocus – Scott Bourne and a guest answer questions submitted by readers.
- The Candid Frame – Ibarionix Perello – Great interviews with various people in the photography field. Not just “big names” but even promising students.
This Week in Photography – Discussion about news and events related to photography. This is in an Apple media file, which, to me, is very inconvenient as Windows Media player will not recognize the file and nor am I able to play t on my Sansa MP3 player.
There are other photography podcasts to be found on the internet. The intent was list every single podcast, but to give you a “starter pack” to some that I feel are worthwhile and will have a broad range of appeal. Feel free to share your thoughts and favorites with me.