TWiP: This Week in Photography

I’ve been a fan of the various This Week in [insert topic here] podcasts for years. The podfather namesake of this family, so to speak, is This Week in Tech. Recorded every Sunday, TWiT is Leo Laporte’s baby that evolved from a post-TechTV recorded get together a few years back. Fast forward a bit and it has become a podcast network with several of the shows being among the most popular, cornerstone shows of the entire podcasting scene. Hell, Leo has just set up a whole studio and is gunning for about 25 hours a week of content, much of it streamed live by video now, too.

A core player in the TWiT scene is Alex Lindsay, founder and chief architect of The Pixel Corps. I became a fast fan of Alex’s work through a number of his appearances in various podcasts and, most directly, when I got hooked on This Week in Media, a podcast that he hosts with a great team of regular contributors and guests. I also found The Pixel Corps fascinating and, thanks to Alex’s generosity when I met him at MacWorld in 2007, I was given an opportunity to become a member of that awesome community. Things I’m learning there feed straight into other projects I’ll blog about later.

I started listening to Scott Bourne, too, through his various guest appearances in Leo and Alex’s shows (MacBreak Weekly being a TWiT/PixelCorps podcast as well). Scott has also become a major source of podcasts including The Apple Phone Show which was born in the run-up to Apple’s iPhone release. It is –the– show about all things iPhone. Scott is a renowned wildlife photographer, former radio host and author of quite a number of books on photography and Apple’s Aperture.

A few months ago, Scott and Alex teamed up to create a new podcast, This Week in Photography. Needless to say, this is a rather ideal combination of hosts and topic for my particular interests. ๐Ÿ™‚

I responded to Scott’s call one day for a volunteer show note writer. In the podcasting scene, show notes are the written, web-based guides to each show that include a summary of the discussion and provide links for many of the topics (and sites) discussed in the course of a show.

After several episodes and many zillions of show note lines later (I have a bit of a reputation now for writing detailed notes), I started tossing out some guest ideas and took it upon myself to try to line one up: legendary photographer and author, Joe McNally. Joe graciously obliged, hooked up with us on Skype and did a fantastic interview. Somewhere around that time, I was very flattered (and startled) to be asked to become the producer for TWiP and help manage the guest wrangling, topics, and schedule for the show itself. I’m about eight shows into working with them now, enjoying the heck out of it and starting to get into more of a groove with the process.

The first thing I did was build an internal, private wiki that we use within TWiP. It’s evolving quickly now as our central organizing resource for each show and provides the schedule from which the hosts work as each episode is recorded. By design, a wiki provides a growing, searchable database of content and, more importantly, is by its very nature collaborative. The hosts and our regular contributors, Ron Brinkmann, Frederick Johnson and Steve Simon can all directly add notes, content, etc., throughout the week in the run-up to each show.

That’s some of the “technical” side of the process. The other side, though, is the fun of working with everyone. Getting a chance to chat with the various guests, such as Joe McNally, Rick Smolan, Richard Harrington, Christian Bloch, Bill Crow and others has been a real treat. Beyond that, it’s tremendous fun gaining insight into the production process via the show and The Pixel Corps, especially after listening to Alex detail much of the evolution of the process in other shows such as This Week in Media and Gear Media Tech.

I’m always connected via Skype during the show to chat a bit before and after with the gang and listen in on the live recording. They are also brave enough to let me pipe in once in a while during some of the episodes. It’s never been my goal to be “on air”, but I’m glad if I can bring something to the table once in a while that might be of use to listeners.

If you’ve not already, be sure to try TWiP. You can subscribe via iTunes, stream it from and follow the other half of the show’s content via the TWiP Blog. If you’re truly into photography, be sure to check out TWiP’s Flickr Group which has discussions and photo sharing along with a critique forum and bi-weekly contests that, yes, include prizes. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can also interact with everyone involved via Twitter: Scott Bourne, Alex Lindsay, Ron Brinkmann, Fred Johnson (we’re still pestering Steve to get into the Twitter scene), and me.

11 Responses to “TWiP: This Week in Photography”

  1. JayMonster says:

    Well, I can say from a user perspective that I think you have done quite the bang up job as show note taker/ producer on TWiP.
    You also have seemed to carry yourself quite well in the few episodes you have made “appearances” on (in particular the Q&A show with your research and knowledge on the GPS and Geotagging). So while it may not have been your intention to be an “on air” guy, you certainly do it well.
    Thanks for this peek “behind the curtain” and congrats and good fortunes going forward.

  2. Aaron says:

    Thanks, Jay! I really appreciate the kind comments. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m definitely enjoying what I’m doing with the TWiP gang!
    – Aaron

  3. Jim Gilliland says:

    Just a quick note to say you have to be doing a great job as the shows are both entertaining and educational. I look forward to each show and the great content they will bring.
    Congratulations on the appointment and keep up the good work.

  4. Ron says:

    Great job! I am sure all TWiP listeners appreciate your hard work. I know I do. Thanks!
    Thanks, Ron! We’ve got some cool stuff in the hopper… should be fun! -Aaron

  5. DanIvovich says:

    Interesting article. I’m a big fan of TWIP, TWIT, and podcasting/new media in general.
    I love the job that’s being done on TWIP, and I think you for your hard work in making it possible.
    Content like that supplied by TWIP and is a true blessing to the internet.

  6. Robert says:

    I think TWIP is a fantastic show, and I always look forward to your contributions. They are evident throughout and I appreciate the time you take to share what you have learned.
    Thanks, Robert! ๐Ÿ™‚ I try my best not to sound like a complete tool “on air”… my best role is behind the scenes, I think. – Aaron

  7. Ross says:

    I’ve been listening to all of Leo’s shows for a while. Can you keep a a secret? TWIP is the best produced show of the bunch. The content is rich, the show moves, the notes are excellent. Shhhhh! Don’t tell Leo.
    Heh. Thanks for the kudos. I’m not sure any of us will ever catch up to the the awesome power of The Leo, though. The dude’s a podcast God. ๐Ÿ™‚ – Aaron

  8. MaryG says:

    Great job, Aaron. As a longtime listener to TWIP, the Apple Phone Show and TWIT, I appreciate all the work you guys put into bringing us this great content. You are definitely a great asset to Scott and Alex and the TWIP community. Thanks for all you do.
    Many thanks, MaryG! I think we’re still getting our momentum… lots of ideas being discussed for neat additions in the coming weeks and months. – Aaron

  9. Mike Seymour says:

    Yes Aaron
    I think TWIP is really one of the best produced shows, and has a real radio feel about it. I know several people who have been inspired to do much more photography as a result. I also liked you blog post.
    Again well done and thank you on behalf of people with white ear phones everywhere.
    Hey, Mike! Thanks for the inspiring words which mean all the more to me coming from the dude behind the awesome VFX Show (one of the shows I -thoroughly- enjoy and never miss)! – Aaron

  10. Aaron,
    Thanks for posting this – interesting read and you do an EXCELLENT job with the show notes. And that TWIP show isn’t half bad ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Jeremy says:

    I agree with the other commenters that you are doing a great job on TWiP. I really appreciate the section breaks within the podcast itself since listening at work I sometimes get distracted and have to rewind to the beginning of a section, and that is ten times easier to do with the included section breaks. Also love the show notes… they’re clear, concise, but full-featured, and they save me from typing in website links that I want to explore at the speed at which the TWiPpers talk. Thanks for the great work!
    Really appreciate the kind words, Jeremy. The show notes are a pretty involved process, but a fun one in a lot of ways. It’s becoming a little faster process now, too, since I now write so many of the links and other verbiage during the week for the schedule the guys work from during recording. I’m still working on refining the process, though, so I can get the notes out faster… especially for folks like you that might use the notes prior to listening. Don’t want to hold people up!
    I keep trying to do notes -during- the recording in the background, but I find myself listening too much and not writing. ๐Ÿ™‚
    – Aaron