Tips, TWIP, and Tack

I enjoy taking photos, but I am nowhere near being a good amateur photographer. My biggest problem is not spending enough time developing my skills. When I took a few photography classes at the local junior college, I managed to scratch-the-itch to take photos in order to fulfill class assignments. Now without that pressure of producing I find it difficult to, well, produce any photos.

This is where a good podcast on photography can help. How? Well, nothing like a bunch of people talking about photography to whet your appetite.v

The first photography podcast I ever listened to was Chris Marquardt’s award winning Tips from the Top Floor. I remember listening to Marquardt’s podcast on my new second generation iPod several years ago. He is a very knowledgeable photographer with hundreds of podcast episodes under his belt. I listened to the first twenty episodes, taking all the tips he had to offer and trying some of the assignments he provided, before I started decent into nothingness. I haven’t listened to this podcast lately, but I’m sure it’s still top notch.

The assignment aspect of Marquardt’s podcast and website is very important. An assignment helps in thinking creatively and in producing photos you wouldn’t otherwise think about taking. If you are gutsy enough, you can post your photos on flickr for comment. I guess I shouldn’t say gutsy enough. I have only run into a few people on flickr who can be crude with their comments. Most people are encouraging and provide constructive criticism.

This Week in Photography (TWIP) just started at the beginning of this year. The podcast includes two podcasters I like listening to - Alex Lindsey and Scott Bourne. The podcast is full of photography information and interviews with professional photographers. It’s fascinating to get insight from professionals on their craft. They often answer listeners' questions which is nice. I must admit I often find this podcast to run a bit long - closing in at sixty minutes. I have found myself losing interest on the discussion at hand from time-to-time.

TWIP does have a photo assignment / contest. They also have a blog linking contest that runs ever three months I believe. The prize giveaways are very big, so you might find it worth entering. Who knows, you can win a big prize and hone your skills at the same time.

Tack Sharp is the latest photography podcast I’ve placed on my iPod. I read about Tack Sharp through one of my favorite blogs, Daring Fireball. The podcast is hosted by James Duncan Davidson and Dan Benjamin. James and Dan play well off each other in discussing various subjects in photography. Dan - the amateur photographer - is a nice contrast to James - the professional. It’s an easy listen and the podcasts are short, lasting about twenty minutes on average so far. There are only three published episodes so far, so you can get in on the ground floor if you subscribe now!

If you enjoy taking photos or want to learn more about photography, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these podcasts. You can subscribe to their podcasts by clicking the iTunes links below. Also, you may want to visit their respective supporting websites, which contain an enormous amount of information and resources.

  • Tack Sharp - Dan Benjamin and James Duncan Davidson (no longer available)

AJ Giron @verbal