Photography While You Drive: The Power of Podcasts

One aspect of being a photographer in rural Ohio that often yanks my chain is the drive to and from locations. Hell, to go grocery shopping is usually a 20+ mile excursion. A boring drive, yes, very boring; this time of year its nothing but corn, wheat and soybeans as far as the eye can see. What do I do to breakup the monotony of my commute? Why I brush up on my photography…behind the wheel, of course.  As much as I love listening about Hollywood drama on morning blab radio, I feel podcasts are a  way to keep me entertained, energized, and excited while heading out to a shoot.

For those that haven't visited the iTunes stored since about 2004, a podcast is a mixed media, predominantly  audio, broadcast offered for listening over the internet for viewers to download and listen to on their mobile media player. The cream of the crop podcasts typically offer the latest news, technology, and general consumer info for their own specified field. If you were to logon to iTunes right now, you'd find a podcast for just about anything (or about 1000 for photography).

Photography podcasts, specifically, come in all shapes and sizes; from short and tech savvy to a few hours of off the cuff, unrelated entertainment. Just getting started with photography? There's a podcast for you. Want the latest news on digital and lighting equipment? Check. Never migrated from film to digital and want to stay that way? There's even a hand-full for you. Granted that there are tons to choose from and that they're FREE, I personally suggest downloading a bunch, listen in for an entire episode (if possible), and judge for yourself which ones are right for you. 

Below is the extended list of all the podcasts that may accompany me during a drive. Each serves its own unique purpose, so be sure to check out the description and decide which one is right for you:

Film Photography Podcast (FPP) -

A little newer to the scene, FPP is a monthly, most recently bi-monthly, podcast brought to you by some diehard film shooters from New Jersey. They're funny, off-topic, loaded with sound-effects, and often carry on the podcast well past the hour mark. If you find yourself talking to random strangers in a photo shop about photography, give FPP a try, you'll like it.  Oh yeah, and the podcast has a very tight-knit following on Flickr. So tight, that I even managed to get mentioned in their July broadcast. P.S. They send listeners FREE FILM!!!

Lightsource  -

A pretty tried and true podcast, Lightsource is the official podcast accompanying and its wealth of knowledge. Each month there's a little bit of news, a new guest, and a topic usually warranting the expertise of the month's guest. Clear-cut, straightforward, just about an hour long, and you can learn lots from it.

LIME's Happy Hour -

Bert Stephani and Pieter Van Impe are two crazy Belgian photographers whose lighting skills are only outdone by their ability to keep an audience entertained. Usually just the two of them, the 1-2 hour podcast usually covers an aspect of photography that's new to beginner and intermediate photographers seeking some more knowledge. They have great stories, great work, and really make the best of out the daily commute.

Pro Photo Show -

Gavin Seim, author of Lightroom's well renowned "Seim Effects", is a younger guy slowly immersing himself into the professional photography world. For someone also just getting their feet wet, this podcast is perfect; for everyone else, it feels kind of like a news podcast that trails off a bit into nowhere.

Photonetcast -

Another podcast of the long-time-running variety. Nearly an hour long, loaded with commentary, and usually chock full of gear, news, and debate. If you'd prefer your local radio show talk more about photography, this would probably be the closest to that experience.

This Week in Photography (TWIP) -

A very, very tech involved podcast that is for photographers that definitely take it to the next level with their web presence (or would like to). As the title implies, the podcast is weekly, with tech rich content, and new guests to comment on the week/month's hot topics in photography. For a quick, hour long update on the photography world, TWIP is a podcast to check out.