April 12, 2013

Commentary: Favorite Podcasts!

I am a big giant Podcast junkie.  There, I said it.  I mean, that is the first step to a cure right? 

I don’t know what it is, but I feel like Podcasts are one of the few mediums where a person can hear quality information or entertainment from just about anyone who is willing to spend the effort putting a show together.  Now granted, this can be a mixed bag.  Everything born from the Internet is a mixed bag when you think about it. For every Podcast that I love there are probably thousands I have zero interest in.  But hey, when you compare that to commercial talk radio these days which is pretty much just tirades of angst and hate (yes, I’m looking at you Rush!!) the fact that there are people out there at least attempting to be informative without an agenda is pretty damn impressive.

So I thought I would take a moment to share my three favorite Podcasts that have to do with my number one favorite hobby; Photography.  These aren’t listed in any particular order and I enjoy all three for very different reasons.  If you haven’t listened to any of these shows and you enjoy photography, even in a casual sense, I highly encourage you to check them out.

NOTE: All three Podcasts can be easily subscribed to via the Apple iTunes store.  I also included links to their individual websites.

Pdexposures is easily my newest Podcast discovery which is odd considering it is at least partially rooted here in my hometown of Portland Oregon.  The best way I can describe this show is it is like listening to a group of a photographers drinking beer and talking about the ins and outs of making photographs.  They bitch, they complain, they tell jokes, they criticize, and they ultimately end every conversation even more in love with photography than before they started. 

From what I can tell, all three hosts primarily shoot with film but I think there is enough here for even a digital photographer to find enjoyment in their discussions.  It is light hearted, it’s fun, and every once in a while I will even learn a thing or two.

On Taking Pictures
I’ve been listening to On Taking Pictures from their very first episode religiously.  It is hosted by two photographers, Jeffrey Saddoris and Bill Wadman who essentially bounce ideas off each other as they dig into the finer points of what it means to be a photographer.  Sometimes this show can be a challenge to listen to, and I mean that in a positive way.  The two hosts aren’t afraid to adventure into the mental challenges behind what it means to stay creative and to constantly push your own limits as an image maker.  

There are times when I’m listening to this show and I feel like I’m just talking to myself in a mirror as the doubts and fears behind being a photographer shared by the co-hosts will often so closely echo my own.

The Art of Photography
The host of this show, Ted Forbes, has a voice made for radio.  Seriously, how this guy never got a job with NPR I will never know.  It is Bob Ross level soothing, I kid you not. 

The Art of Photography covers a wide range of topics including techniques, social media, blogging, darkroom craft, and more.  My favorite episodes however are when he takes on the topic photographic history and the plethora of various disciplines and movements that have come and gone over the decades since photography’s inception.  

As an Art History major in college I can safely say that talking about art movements, theory, and philosophy in a fresh and entertaining way can be a difficult achievement.  Ted Forbes manages to do it quite well however and I really appreciate the fact that he is uncovering photographers of the past and resurrecting them for photographers of the present. 

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