Podcast Rant

I am not claiming to listening to everything out there but I have had the opportunity to hear a ton of them.By a ton I mean dozens, not dozens of episodes but dozens of podcasts. For the most part I listened to all of the episodes, no matter how inane, inaccurate, or downright intellectually insulting weekly sales pitches masquerading as instructional materials. There are a couple of good ones in my humble opinion, some of the good ones are even contrary to my taste in subject matter and photographic approach. The thing that I find amazing is how popular a lot of the ones that I consider truly bad are. It boggles my mind how some of these remain so popular. I won't mention any specific names for fear of generating controversy and to protect the innocent, the innocent being fans of the podcast, not the perpetrators. During endless hours in the airport, on a plane, in a rail station, etc. here is what I found in general followed by some specific examples of the shear lunacy that I heard last Thursday alone:

An amazing degree of podcast incest, if there is such a thing. A couple of podcasts that cover the same photographic ground, let's call them photo podcast cousins, get together and have deformed inbred retarded baby podcasts. What the hell, how can 27 different podcast cover the same material, the same way within a ridiculously short time frame. I am not talking about news here, I am talking about stuff as old as the hills. Here is a shutter speed, this is a photoshop layer, here is how to do a local saturation adjustment in Lightroom2. The amazing thing is other specifics like studying the photographs or composition of the same dead photographer. How does this work - is it like the on-line porn industry, the same people own 678 different websites and recycle the same images through all of them or what?

Repetition of the same subject, the exact same subject. Not among podcasts, I am talking about episodes that are 5 or 6 months apart covering the same exact thing over again. In some cases even taking pieces of an older episode and piecing them together as a new episode. The strange thing is the subject is something inane like “you need a high shutter speed to hand hold a long lens” type crap, and they prattle on about this for an hour. Are the listeners this moronic that they need to hear it again? WTF? Out and out inaccuracies that are proclaimed as fact. I mean stuff that is verifiable by just about anyone. Amazing, and it's all over the place. I wish I could mention specifics here but it would be a dead give away what podcasts I am talking about.

Lies both blatant and subtle. If some of them are not lies then they are at best points of view that are points of view so far from center it's craziness. Stuff like - "Here is a photo that I used one light so that…." You look at the image and you can SEE that at least five lights where used. This is a good one - "I never do any photoshop…." Let's go take a look see, hmmmm, these things look like freaking illustrations and here is a composite. What the hell is this guy talking about?

Okay, enough of that you get the idea. Here are a couple of things that I heard Friday. Not quotes more like paraphrases with a little tiny bit of hyperbole to disguise the source slightly but accurate and representative of the ridiculousness. The first specific example is typical, an interview. Near the beginning of the conversation there is a long segment casting dispersion on all of the photographic hacks out there taking way too many images and how real photographic artists only take one or two or something, you’ve heard it before. Later in the discussion we come to find that the guest has been photographing for two years and he has 25,000 of his final product on freaking flickr.com. What the hell? Do the math. By the way - the numbers are not an exaggeration.

The second example is a self-proclaimed expert in Lightroom2 and digital workflow sharing his instructions on how photographers should put each and every project that they shoot in a separate and distinct catalog. Now this guy's projects last exactly one day (take a wild guess what he does), a separate Lightroom catalog for each shoot, hmmm, great idea. He goes on to explain why not to use Lightroom collections at all and how to organize your folders so that you can work on images and all sorts of things outside of Lightroom for all the important stuff. Brilliant, why not just stick with Photoshop and bridge? Oh one more thing, this guy sells Lightroom presets and you get to hear about it in every single podcast a couple of times. You heard me correctly - Lightroom presets, I might have missed something here but if anyone uses the product for more than 10 minutes it's pretty trivial to reproduce your own presets to replicate the exact same thing.

RANT OFFICIALLY OVER.

Question. If I help a group of thoughtful photographers to produce a podcast that is not trying to sell anything and covers some material that is not as inane as "what a shutter speed is" and maybe slightly more high value, will anyone want to listen to it?

RB

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