I am launching a podcast! It’s called Available Light and it is about photography. Inspired by my writing on the topic, the podcast is exploration of photography in spoken form. I will be talking about photos, speak with photographers, and people writing or thinking about the medium. There will be interviews, there will be background stories, and — most of all — a lot of experimentation.
Photography may not seem like the most obvious topic for a podcast: After all, you can’t show pictures on the air. But it is precisely the challenge of covering a visual medium in an auditory one that intrigues me. Radio veteran Scott Carrier said it best: “I like podcasts because the screen is in your head.” As a photographer, I like to ponder where the medium is going. For years, it has been undergoing a transformation, with no end in sight: Every two minutes, humans take more photos than ever existed in total, just 150 years ago. Cameras have become tiny and ubiquitous.
Technological innovations keep stretching the concept of what a photo even is. All that means there is plenty to talk about — about the role images play, the power they have over us, and what it means to be taking them. In other words: Photography has a large enough spectrum to warrant a podcast whilst being narrow enough for me not to get carried away.
Speaking of spectrums: I chose the name Available Light as a reference to the technique of taking pictures using only the naturally occurring light; and because I wanted it to be about the essence of the medium. I believe that photography isn’t primarily about cameras, lenses, films and megapixels, but about the etymological meaning of the word: Drawing with light. You can listen to Available Light by visiting www.available.li, searching for it on Soundcloud, on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcast. Below, you can listen to the very first episode: A short piece about the history of color photography — and why looking at the past in color is such an uncanny experience. I hope you’ll like it.