In Praise of Podcasts and Patrons

If you have a hobby or interest there is good chance that you will find podcasts about them. Over the last 12 months I have slowly become something of an addict. I listen on Spotify but other platforms are available. I started out using Spotify as a source of music. I have created playlists including one for my granddaughter. We shall see how her taste in music evolves over time. At the moment she is torn between Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and the Hippy Hippy Shake. Anything from Frozen meets her approval but so do The Locomotion and Back in the USSR. The latter is coincidentally high on Vlad the Impaler Putin’s play list I believe.

Then I discovered the podcasts. My diet is a blend of photography and dare I say politics with a splash of investment thrown in. The meals last anything up to 2 hours. I tried one scheduled to run for 3.5 hours once but even when consumed over the number of courses that resembled a Chinese banquet I am afraid that after an hour or so I felt like Mr. Creosote before the wafer thin mint.

My favourite podcasts are Photography Daily and The Rest is Politics. PD is the brainchild of Neale James. The focus is on photography for the people, an aid to well-being. It is anything but elitist. Each week he does a photo walk and the listener joins him. Other cast members include ‘Car’ and ‘Sir Barkalot’. There are guests to be interviewed and listeners letters to enjoy. The quality is consistently high. It is supplemented by assignments you can elect to follow and if you wish you can participate in a community 365 (photo-a-day) on Instagram. You can become a Patron and support the podcast for a very modest sum. In return you get More. Here’s the link: You might even find my photo essay there but don’t let that put you off.

The Rest is Politics is Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell chewing over the political stories of the day at home and abroad. Both are entertaining and passionate about their different political positions. They endeavour to disagree agreeably. It is a refreshingly blunt and uncompromising assessment that finds far more areas of agreement than not. It makes you wonder where the centre has gone, where politicians worked for the good of the country not their own egos and pockets. Rory Stewart might one day make a decent PM if there were a party that would accommodate him.

It is through PD that I discovered Patreon, the platform for sponsoring creatives who need to fund their product. it costs relatively little. I sponsor 3 and the outlay is about £8- 10 each per month – a couple of coffees per channel. I support gmbAkash, a Bangladeshi photographer philanthropist, Neale James and Gabrielle Motola, another photographer who deserves higher recognition. Her street portraits are sympathetic and beautiful. She seems to have the gift of empathy that is reflected in how her subjects pose. It is another Patreon channel that has a strong emphasis on mental health and wellbeing.

Last time I mentioned I was having the Elmar cleaned and serviced. Somewhat cheaper than the service and 4 tyres for my Macan. A mere HK$450 to have my late father’s 1959 lens taking pictures again. It is only f2.8 but in reasonable light on a modern digital body the 50mm lens performs admirably. As they used to say on Blue Peter, here’s one I prepared earlier.

No. 1 BUN
The No.1 Bun Shop

Definitely softer than a 50mm Summicron or Voigtlander but there it is, over 60 years old, warts and all. Not unlike me.

Until next time.