Continuous Learning – Podcasts

Continuing with our theme of ongoing education, let’s touch on Podcasts.  A Podcast is basically an audio show (although more video based ones are becoming available) that can be downloaded and listened to on your cell phone, music player or computer.  My preferred method is in my car through my music player as I have plenty of “windshield” time.

These podcasts are not purely instructional, but rather more of a variety type show with discussions on technique, equipment, interviews and industry news.  If you haven’t tried photo podcasts before, here a few to get you started.

The Digital Photo Experience

Hosted by Canon Explorer of Light Rick Samon and talented wild life photographer Juan Pons, this is one of my favorites.  These guys are just plain down to earth, nice guys – not to mention great photographic artists.

This Week In Photography

Hosted by former U.S. Air Force photographer Frederick Van Johnson, TWIP is a very professionally executed podcast with diverse topics and excellent co-hosts

The Digital Story

Hosted by well-known photographer Derrick Story, this is an informative weekly podcast that spends a little more time on micro 4/3rds and other compact camera systems.  Derrick usually has a segment called the “nimble photographer” focusing on easy to carry/use gear and equipment.

Checkout the links and give them a try!  They can be setup to automatically download new episodes on your phone or music player so you’re already stocked with content when you want it.

Stay in focus,


Perspective Matters

A low perspective almost always adds interest. 

Whenever possible, shoot at eye level (or the equivalent in your subjects) to gain interest, perspective and drama.  It's comfortable to make pictures from your standing position but that rarely gives you the best angle.  Squat, get on your knees, sit or lay down.  Like my friend Rick Sammon says "use you camera like a spaceship!"

For the shot in this post, I scoped out a spot on the return ramp and laid down, waiting for the turn,

Stay in focus, 


Exit Your Comfort Zone

For the love of a dog

If it flies, I shoot it!

Portraits are not something I'm comfortable with, not that I don't enjoy it - I just haven't really done a lot of it.

  • I've got to give direction?  But birds don't take direction?
  • Reflectors and light modification?  I only use fill flash?? 
  • Post processing?  There are no feathers, what the heck do I do!? 


Get out and do it

For me, the best way was to get with a few guys and gals who know what they're doing.  We spent a couple days in South Dakota with a few "hired hands" as models.  It was a relaxed, low pressure environment, working on posing, atmosphere, composition and edits.  Now, I'm certainly no portrait wiz - but I have a feel for it now and the basic techniques to apply.  This gives me enough confidence to continue learning on my own.

There are other ways

I chose a mentored approach for this learning experience but books, videos, online training as well as trial and error can work just as well - what's comfortable for you?  With a little of all of the above, I taught myself macro photography in a low stress environment over time, it worked well!

So get out there and try something new, you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll learn to extend your techniques. 

Stay in focus,