It’s going to be a recurring theme for me this year: better pictures, not better gear. I’ll apologize in advance if I start to sound like a broken record about it, but it is the single greatest photographic insight I’ve gained in the past ten years. Now if you had asked me before, I would have told you that I sincerely believed that “the camera doesn’t matter.” That Carlos Santana is always going to sound like a master on the cheapest and crappiest guitar ever made and I’m going to sound like a hack on the Stradivarius of guitars. My head would have been all over that. But now my heart’s caught up too.
So, I’ve been trying to feed my inspiration, not my appetite for the latest and greatest. Since I have a long commute, I’ve become quite attached over the years to photography-themed podcasts, of which there are many. Unfortunately, most seem to fall into one of two categories: (1) endless diatribes on new cameras, lenses, software, etc. and (2) interviews with those who have made it and who are, ta da, trying to sell you on their latest e-book, workshop, product, whatever. The first type are blatant in their attempt to whip you up into a buy, buy, buy frenzy while the second type are only marginally veiled infomercials and not nearly subtle enough for their own good.
So, in this vanilla sea of marketing blah, blah, blah… I’ve found a tasty rum raisin alternative. Ibarionex Perello runs a site (see here) and podcast called The Candid Frame.
Mr. Perello’s decidedly non-gear infused discussions with accomplished photographers (who, of course, are promoting something) are different from all the rest in that we gain real insights into the work and interests of the artists being interviewed. He always asks insightful and even unexpected questions, no doubt the product of solid prep work, which reveal unique and interesting glimpses. Many other podcasters cover questions like: “how did you first get into photography?” and “tell us something about how you developed your style”. Mr. Perello probes deeper, giving his listeners something we can relate to and, hopefully, draw from ourselves. Every time I finish one of The Candid Frame shows, I don’t want to dial up Amazon and order something new. I want to become a better photographer.
Check it out.