I have gotten into the habit of finding good audio material to listen to on my car CD player. Not just music but books on disk and also good podcasts. Podcasts are audio files created by what are essentially audio bloggers and there are thousands of them available. Among all of these podcasts are some very good ones on photography and a few which aren’t very good.
Jeff Curto is a professor of photography at the College of DuPage. He actual does two separate podcasts:
The History of Photography is my favorite podcast right now. Curto is broadcasting the class sessions of his History of Photography class which is underway right now. He also has links to class materials. This podcast is a look at the history of photography right back to the beginning and beyond that date. He has an excellent teaching style.
I was surprised to find out that the first manipulated photographs are seen in the 1850′s, twenty five years after the invention of photography. Point that out to the next person who makes a comment about photoshop. He has several interesting discussions about the flow of inspiration going between painters and photographers. It wasn’t all one way, Cubism for example is supposedly derived directly from Muybridge’s work on time lapse photography.
These are long podcasts 90 minutes to over two hours and packed with info so I have to listen to it when I can concentrate on the materiel. They are published as .m4p files and have the images he is talking about in the podcast attached to the files if you have the right viewer. Since I wanted to listen on my .mp3 and car CD player I converted them to .mp3 and lost the images. They are also very large files in the neighborhood of 100 MB.
Curto also does another podcast on his personal photographic experience called Camera Position. I haven’t listened to this podcast in quite awhile but recall it was also good. They are also in .m4p format. I think Curto runs photo trips to Italy and maybe other areas.
Derrick Story is doing a podcast called the Digital Story. These are about 30 minute long podcasts on a photographic subjects and I found them to be well thought out and presented. Typical subjects might be Raw Workflow, Getting Photographic Releases or Using Fill Flash. He has a LOT of these podcasts, over a 150 and heading towards 200. Highly recommended. I’d say the teaching level is at about intermediate level but I picked up something on most of these. Story teaches Aperture on Lynda.com and has an active website.
Brooks Jensen the publisher of Lenswork Magazine is doing podcasts. If you are familiar with the magazine you’ll have an idea of what these podcasts are like. Jensen is a highly opinionated (nothing wrong with that) fellow with a certain narrow vision of photography. The magazine is for Black and White shots only and only those which fall into a certain style. The podcasts are short diatribes on his thoughts, only about 5 minutes long. I found no material of any practical use in the ones I listened to. But I have to admit I only lasted thru 3 or so. A longer exploration of the podcasts may find material of more interest. There are roughly 400 of them so he has to be finding something to talk about.
Benjamin and Davidson
Dan Benjamin and James Davidson are doing a podcast called Tack Sharp. Frankly I quickly came to the understanding that these fellows didn’t know what they were talking about and shouldn’t be doing a podcast where they pretend otherwise. I listened to a couple of these with vague disquiet but when I got to the one they did on Bokeh where they insisted that it was pronounced as Boo-kay like a bunch of flowers and that it was an old Japanese term I finally understood how much they didn’t know. They also instructed the audience that Nikon should be pronounced Neee Koon which I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a Nikon user use.
Bokeh for those of you unfamiliar with the term was a word coined by Mike Johnson in 1997 and he is a Japanese speaker and based it on a Japanese word for blur. He says it is pronounced Bow-Kuh. He discusses the term here: Online Photographer.
Five minutes on Google would have revealed all of this to the Tack Sharp guys. They went on to make some other ridiculous claims and that was it for me and Tack Sharp. They only have about 8 of these up but you would be much better off devoting your time to Derrick Story.
Crawford and Hidden
To finish up on a less sour note, Bill Crawford and Ed Hidden do a podcast called Studio Photography podcast. They seem to have a different guest each week, mainly professional photographers. And they do an interview with the guest of the day. Generally good stuff. They do pack in a lot of adverts but they are paying the bills with that and they aren’t too intrusive. There are quite a few of these available, the webpage is something of a hassle to deal with since I could never find a way to easily download a number of these, but the podcasts are worth a bit of trouble to get.
I’m not sure how much info beginning photographers would get from the Studio Photography podcasts.
And that’s all folks for this post.