It's become a well-known anecdote that on the night of its broadcast, Orson Wells' 1938 reading of War of the Worlds triggered mass panic in listeners who, compelled by the realism of the performance, believed the planet was being invaded by aliens.
While it looks as though the scale of the panic was significantly exaggerated by the tabloids to instil misgivings about radio broadcast management, the reporting is a testament to the impact felt by both listeners and critics of sound-based media.
In 2004, former MTV video jockey Adam Curr and software developer Dave Winer coded iPodder, a program that enabled a user to download Internet radio broadcasts to iPods. In 2005, Apple supplied an update to iTunes to support podcasts. That same year, George W Bush started having his weekly address delivered in podcast form.
According to Podcast Insights, there are over 48 million podcast episodes currently available worldwide. Yep - podcasting is a thriving industry, and it's no surprise that many photographers have taken up the mic and countless more have tuned in to consume an audible feed of photographic content. That said, not all podcasts are equal. From equipment reviews to street-photo philosophy, some podcasts are just better than others. To narrow down the search, here are 16 of the best photography podcasts available for your ears in 2021.
The Candid Frame
Each week, host Ibarionex Perello creates a sonic space to delve deep into the process, creativity, inspiration and psychology of photographers. Perello asks poignant questions of the interviewee, cultivating an intimate and holistic insight into the world viewed through the eyes of fellow photographers.
Launching in November 2019, Off Camera's Ted Forbes and Jaron Schneider discuss the latest gear and industry events in an approachable but thorough delivery. While the most recent episode of Off Camera dropped back in January 2020, the informative and entertaining content that is available over the 27 episode run continues to hold its own.
The Beginner Photography Podcast
The Beginner Photography Podcast is centred around those new to the photography field. That said, the broad range of content covered over 270 episodes makes the podcast an engaging and comprehensive listen at any photography level.
Episode by episode, host Raymond Hatfield takes listeners through topics like visualization vs coincidence, building confidence and getting to know your camera. This information is often delivered in the form of an interview with an experienced photographer who shares invaluable tips, tricks and lessons they've learned along the way.
B&H Photography Podcast
B&H is the largest non-chain photographic equipment store in the US. The accompanying photography podcast is hosted by Allan Weitz, the senior copywriter for the company. Grounded in rigorous photographic expertise, the B&H Photography Podcast takes the form of upbeat interviews discussing the industry, art and creativity.
Classic Camera Revival
Based in Toronto, Classic Camera Revival is a podcast for fans of film photography. With in-depth discussions on analogue equipment, processing and techniques as well as reviews and interviews with experienced film-based photographers, the show is hosted by Alex Luyckx, and new episodes arrive twice a month.
This Week in Photo
Abbreviated to TWiP, This Week in Photo is a weekly discussion on significant events in the photographic industry. First launched in 2008, TWiP offers interviews with renowned photographic companies, establishments and photographers. With content spanning from reviews on gear and photo books to unflinching discussions on a broad range of contemporary topics, it's no wonder TWiP is one of the longest-running and best-known photography podcasts around.
Hit the Streets with Valerie Jardin
After featuring on This Week in Photo with the spinoff known as Street Focus, Valerie Jardin set out to claim her own podcast - Hit the Streets. True to its name, Jardin's podcast features plenty of content relating to street photography, but there is also an exchange of accessible photography knowledge in general. Recording for Hit the Streets finished up in early September this year. However, the podcast's 192 episodes are still available for listeners seeking insightful interviews and discussions about creativity and storytelling.
A Photographic Life
A Photographic Life is a weekly podcast by photographer, writer and lecturer Grant Scott. Scott professes to avoid kit reviews, Photoshop techniques and "marketing babble". Instead, the host delves into the latest news, issues and themes happening within the photographic community, hoping to explore the "realities of working with and learning about the medium". Guests contribute to the podcast in the form of a 5-minute audio clip that addresses the question what does photography mean to you?
Covering all styles and abilities, Photography Daily is a gem of a podcast by Neale James. Of particular interest is the Friday photo walk in which James picks up a camera and tours a location for photographic subjects while chatting away about all things photography.
On Taking Pictures
While many photography podcasts are based around techniques and tools, On Taking Pictures takes a look at photography through the prism of science, art and philosophy. The show stopped producing new content in 2018, but with 325 episodes still available, listeners can access a wealth of insight into the machinations of creative photographic processes.
Street Photography Magazine Podcast
Centred around all things street photography, the Street Photography Magazine Podcast is run by journalist and photographer Bob Patterson who also founded Street Photography Magazine. Interviewing photographers around the world, the podcast documents the personal stories, gear, processes and tips of street photography lovers ranging from hobbyists to pros.
The Business of Photography
The Business of Photography is a weekly podcast packed with interviews with industry experts and business specialists who apply their knowledge to the field of photography. Host Bryan Caporicci takes listeners through the highs and lows of running a photography business with strategic approaches to pricing, marketing, selling and productivity.
The Martin Bailey Photography Podcast
Tokyo-based Martin Baily started the Martin Bailey Photography Podcast back in 2005. While Bailey specializes in travel and nature photography, the podcast covers everything from photography tips to creative ideas and gear reviews across all photographic disciplines. Recent episodes feature an interview with conservation photographer Shawn Miller, a review on a new noise removal software and fighting lens mould with humidity-controlled cabinets.
Hosted by Booray Perry and Gary Hughes, Photobomb is a mix of radio-style banter and in-depth photographic knowledge. Drawing from professional experience, the two hosts deliver valuable information and practical tips at an upbeat pace peppered with casual humour.
Cameras or Whatever
The last episode of Cameras or Whatever was in January 2019. Nevertheless, the podcast, hosted by Tyler Stalman, covers a lot of ground that is still highly relevant. Stalman provides what he has called a "podcast for the working photographer". The podcast has content ranging from photography gear and stock photography to camera techniques supplemented by a healthy dose of whatever.
The Lonely Pallet
Hosted by art historian Tamar Avishai, The Lonely Pallet is a podcast that seeks to "return art history to the masses, one painting at a time". Avishai's thoughtful analysis is like touring a gallery with an unpretentious yet acutely knowledgeable companion who carefully unpicks artworks from Jackson Pollock's Number 10 (1949) to the disastrously well-meant Potato Jesus or Monkey Christ. Photographic episodes so far include Ansel Adams's The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942), Henryk Ross's Photos of the Lodz Ghetto and Hiroshi Sugimoto's Byrd Theatre, Richmond, 1993.