When I'm not devouring photography information in books or online I am often listening to podcasts I download through iTunes and put on my iPod for listening to in my car. I've tried several over the past couple of years, some which were keepers and others which frankly annoyed me. Video Podcasts aren't really my thing, I prefer the audio ones (which I suppose is because I consume them behind the wheel). Here are the ones I'm currently listening to that other photographers may enjoy, all can be downloaded for fee in iTunes:
This Week in Photography: This podcast is very fun and casual. It is always a panel of photographers that open a podcast discussing photography news and then it moves over to a guest interview which has been prerecorded. Once the interview is done the podcast returns to the panel to answer listener questions and go through each person on the panel's 'pick of the week' which is their pick for a new gadget, website or photography tool. The podcast has always entertained me and I look forward to listening to it but it does have its annoying quirks. First up it is sponsored rather heavily which is good for them, but they talk for long periods of time about their sponsors and that gets repetitive for the regular listeners like myself. One of their sponsors is a website/blog creator which is fine, but the blog they run through it for their own site is rarely participated in by the panel members themselves. We also have to sit through a couple of sponsors that have little to do with photography like an audiobook company and a car company. These things are necessary evils though and fast forward on my iPod works just fine. The worst thing about this podcast is their obvious love for all things video. They often spend long long long periods of time talking about video related topics and then apologize for talking about it and even mention the complaint emails they are going to get because they spend so much time talking about video. Honestly, their hearts appear to belong to video and I think they should consider changing the name of the podcast. As much as the fusion movement between photos and video is gaining steam, I doubt most listeners tune in to hear the latest on the video capabilities of their 5D mk II again. There is a lot of great photography related information to be gained here though for enthusiasts and pros alike so if you can muster the patience to listen through the monotony of the rest of it the podcast is highly worth it and they publish regularly about once a week.
Lightsource: I really enjoy this podcast. It is hosted by two photographers and focuses on lighting information with mainly studio lights but also small strobe lights. The content is well put together and is easily understood. Each podcast usually starts with camera news and general photography talk and then there is an interview with a working photographer where, if you are by a computer (which I rarely am) you can follow along on the photographers website as they discuss how images were made. This is one of my favourite podcasts of all time, but unfortunately it isn't published very often or regularly. When it does start downloading in iTunes I quickly find an excuse to hit the car and go for a drive to listen to it.
The Photographer and Model: This is a pretty new one for me. It consists of an interview that is co-hosted by a model and a photographer. Each week they interview a different photographer, model or make-up artist. This podcast is very hit and miss for me, largely because it is very dependant on what guest they get for an interview. Some of them are terribly boring, or uninteresting while others are fantastic and full of information. It doesn't help that the interviewers ask the exact same questions to each and every person they interview. I liked that at first, but after a few podcasts it is just draining and predictable. I'm curious if this podcast will last, but it has enough good episodes to keep me downloading, and I love that not every episode is a photographer interview, I've learned a lot from listening to the models and make-up artists.
PhotoNetCast: This is another favourite of mine. It is very international with photographers from around the globe chatting about photography news and issues. The conversations are really very interesting and well put together. They do have interviews as well which are often good, but for me not the highlight of the show. The interaction between the really good hosts is my favourite part. They also have listener questions and there is even talk about film photography which I enjoy. This is a gem of a podcast. It isn't published terribly regularly though so it is just one of the ones you have to look forward too.
Pro Photography Show: This one is hosted by a young wedding and portrait photographer from Washington State. He is kinda nerdy and quirky, but I really like him. Reminds me of me! He can be overbearing and overtalk his guests a lot that he has as a panel on the show. Often it is him talking with only occasional interludes by other guests. He does have one regular guest host, but he comes off as more of a sidekick to the main host. Some big name photographers do make appearances on the show though which is a treat. The main host, Gavin, is very into gear and photography technology which is something I enjoy. I love hearing him talk about the latest gear. Also there is a lot of photography business talk which I find enormously useful and relevant to my working life. I don't agree with all the viewpoints, but I definitely find them helpful and interesting. The podcast used to be fairly regular, but has become less so recently. Nevertheless it is one of my favourites.
And that is it. I've tried many others, including ones by big name photographers, but I've stopped listening to all of them as they tend to be geared toward amateurs only or are heavily laden with advertisements and the ego trumpets of the rockstar pro photographer. If you have a favourite you think I might like please add it to the comments.
Before I go I thought I'd mention two new favourite (and free) apps that I have put on my iPad. One is the Guardian Eyewitness app, which downloads some great images from the Guardian newspaper in the UK. The images aren't plentiful but they are fantastic and inspiring. Rueters Galleries has a similar free app that downloads the top images chosen by the editors each day. This one has more images to look at than the Guardian app, and has a great slideshow feature. Again, great photos, very inspiring. The iPad lends itself well to this type of use and I've been loving it for viewing images. If you have bought one, do yourself a favour and try these two free apps.