Episode #20 - The Blur-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named

The recent release of new iPhones that improve the Portrait mode feature spurred us to talk about bok... Kirk can’t say the word. But that’s okay, because neither can Apple VP Phil Schiller (correctly, anyway). Yes, we’re discussing background blur and shallow depth of field, how to get the effect with traditional cameras and lenses as well as the faux version in some smartphones, and why you’d want to in the first place.

Episode #19 - Michael Rubin and Classic Photos

Conversations about photography can lead to unexpected places. Although Jeff has known Michael Rubin since the days when they were both writing technology books for Peachpit Press, it wasn’t until recently that he learned about Michael’s extensive collection of fine-art photography. Of course, he had to introduce Michael to Kirk, which resulted in this episode where we enjoy an enthusiastic conversation with Michael about two prints in his collection: Arnold Newman’s “Igor Stravinsky, 1946” and Elliot Erwitt’s “New York City, 1950.”

Episode #18 - Katrin Eismann on Photographic Literacy

We're thrilled to welcome photographer and educator Katrin Eismann as our guest this week. Katrin has been at the forefront of digital photography from the beginning—literally shooting with earliest-production cameras that, in one case, was tethered to an external hard drive that weighed 12 pounds—which gives her an excellent perspective of where digital photography is today. "Photography is based on technology," she says. "The changes in technology influence the aesthetic and practice of photography."

Episode #17 - Prime vs Zoom Lenses

Photographers often focus on cameras, but it’s usually the lens that can have the most impact on the type of photos you’re creating. In this episode, Jeff and Kirk are talking glass: lenses. When would you want a prime lens, which has a fixed focal length, and when does a zoom work better? Why are prime lenses often better? And why not just use one zoom lens that hits both wide and telephoto ranges? We sort out an often confusing topic.

Episode #15 - Time-Lapse Photography

Time-lapse photography can create dramatic short videos - think about clouds zooming overhead throughout the course of a day or flowers blooming in seconds - but creating time-lapse videos turns out to be remarkably easy. In this episode, Jeff and Kirk walk through the process of using the Time-Lapse mode in the iOS Camera app as well as capturing time-lapse photos with traditional cameras.

Episode #14 - Chris Marquardt Goes Wide-Angle

Photographer, podcaster, and author Chris Marquardt just published Wide-Angle Photography (published by Rocky Nook), and he joins us to talk about the time he took only a 24mm lens on a photo tour and fell in love with wide-angle lens photography. We cover composition, thinking in wide-angle terms, and shooting with tilt-shift lenses.

Episode #11 - Selective Photo Editing

Most photos can benefit from universal edits to tone and color, but what do you do if just a sky needs to be made more dramatic or you want to add a soft splash of light to a person’s face? In this episode, Jeff and Kirk talk about adjusting specific areas within an image using selective editing tools in apps such as Lightroom, Luminar, and Affinity Photo.

Episode #10 - Quintin Lake's Long Photo Walk

Long walks are great opportunities to bring a camera and make photos—but what about 10,000 km of walking? In this episode, Kirk and Jeff welcome photographer Quintin Lake, who is walking the entire coastline of Britain and taking photos of what he discovers. Our interview talks about the motivation behind Quintin’s The Perimeter project, how it quickly made him realize what gear is essential and what can be left behind, and why ambitious projects like this are worth pursuing.

Episode #9 - Instagram for Photographers

In this episode, we turn our attention to something that often takes too much of our attention: Instagram. It's an annoying time trap filled with hucksters, motivational imagery, and so, so many selfies—while also being one of the world's richest resources for experiencing all kinds of photography.

Episode #6 - Raw vs. JPEG

It's one of the biggest debates in digital photography—should you shoot in raw or JPEG format? Kirk McElhearn and Jeff Carlson break it down: the difference between the two, when one is better than the other, and specific advantages of each.

Episode #5 - Wenmei Hill Interview

Jeff Carlson and Kirk McElhearn invite Wenmei Hill to talk about her work as Editorial Manager at DPReview, volunteering with the organization Soulumination, and inspiring and helping women become better photographers as part of Mamas with Cameras.

Episode #4 - Mastering iPhone Photography

Jeff Carlson and Kirk McElhearn chat about shooting with the iPhone’s Camera app, including shortcuts that even we didn’t know about: how to get to the Camera app quickly, easily focus and set exposure, capture long exposure images using the Live Photo feature, and more.

Episode #3 - Black and White

Jeff Carlson and Kirk McElhearn chat about black and white photos: the history of black and white photography, the various ways you can convert your photos to black and white, and how you can shoot and think in black and white.