Written and submitted by listener and podcast supporter, Dario Perizzolo.
When I first started listening to the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen podcast in 2021, I was simply looking for something to listen to as background interest while I drove around the city, either to or from work, or during the day visiting multiple job sites. My favorite all-sports radio station had just been taken off the air and I needed something to fill the void. I have been into landscape photography since 2009, and after a three or four year hiatus between 2017 and roughly 2020, the passion had started to come back in early 2021. I decided to search for landscape photography podcasts, and when F-Stop Collaborate and Listen popped up I figured I’d check it out. I saw that it was created by Matt Payne, who I’d followed on Flickr for a long time, so I was more than happy to give it a listen. Little did I know I was embarking on a rather profound journey.
I started by listening to the episodes with guests I was familiar with from my journey through landscape photography, or that maybe covered a topic I was really interested in hearing about. As those episodes passed, I began branching out and listening to episodes with photographers I’d never heard about, from all over the world and who in some cases weren’t even landscape or nature specific photographers. The thing that kept coming across in the interviews was just how organic and laid back the conversation felt, even when an episode was tackling a topic of a more serious or heavy nature. The common theme that my mind kept going back to was just the down-to-earth tone.
A Profound Impact on My Photography
No more than a handful of episodes in, a curious thing had started happening: I found myself fully engrossed in the interviews, listening to every word, sometimes rewinding to re-listen to something if I didn’t fully catch what was said, or to make sure I had fully interpreted what the guest was conveying. It didn’t matter if I knew the guest or not, their stories, their experiences, their message drew me in, all while the interview was carefully and expertly guided in a laid-back and casual manner. The background noise I had been seeking had turned into something that I had to devote my full attention to. The more I listened the more I realized these interviews were having a larger, deeper, more profound impact on not just my photography, but me as a person.
From only listening while driving, I started to listen as I did chores around the house, in the yard, anything that didn’t require me to focus on something else so I could devote my attention to the interview and soak in the conversation. I can’t recall at what point I realized just how many episodes I’d listened to (and in some cases re-listened to multiple times), but it became a goal to listen to all of them. I don’t skip parts, don’t listen at a higher playback speed, and as I mentioned, I’m fully ok with going back whenever necessary to make sure I caught everything. As I would approach the end of an episode, I would give it a star and add it to my favorites if I felt it had really affected me in some way. After I had completed listening to all 302 (at the time) episodes, I went through and listened to my 57 starred episodes once more. I’ve since added 5 more favorites and broken down the list into 5 categories that I’ll give a little more information about.
A Podcast Featuring Your Favorite Local Photographers
This category is about the photographers who are from my local area, or within my province of British Columbia. Their episodes, and more importantly their photography has been instrumental in helping to reignite the flame for not just photography, but simply getting out into my local parks and enjoying the nature I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by. I’ve met a few of them, and hopefully am lucky enough to run into a few more.
Interesting Photographers Featured on the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen Podcast
These are photographers who I’d never heard of before listening to their episodes. While I’ll be
totally honest and say I haven’t checked out all of their sites and galleries, their episodes were
nonetheless incredibly interesting, and in many cases highly informative.
Episode 261: Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero
Episode 253: Mitch Dobrowner
Episode 242: Jeppe Michael Jensen
Episode 206: Rene Algesheimer
Episode 190: Gary Crabbe
Episode 186: Jerry Monkman
Episode 167: Todd Caudle
Episode 150: Brenda Tharp
Episode 127: Ian Plant
Episode 110: Brian Rueb
Episode 103: Chuck Haney
Episode 91: Aaron Feinberg
Episode 81: Cody Duncan
Episode 70: Sangeeta Dey
Episode 67: Ben Canales
Episode 61: Abe Blair
Episode 57: Colby Brown
Episode 38: Randall J Hodges
Episode 36: Alexander Otto
Episode 20: Erez Marom
Episode 17: Candace Dyar
Episode 5: Mike Taylor
Well-known Photographers on the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen Podcast
These episodes featured photographers whose body of work I was already familiar with, but
not with the person behind the lens. It was a tremendously enjoyable opportunity to hear them
speak and share a lot of what makes them tick.
Episode 313: TJ Thorne
Episode 302: Joe Cornish & Alex Nail
Episode 289: Guy Tal and Alex Noriega
Episode 287: David Thompson and Candee Watson
Episode 274: Hans Strand and Eric Bennett
Episode 265: Simon Baxter
Thought Provoking and Inspiring Episodes of the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen Podcast
These episodes featured photographers, or in many cases, a topic, where I was incredibly moved or
challenged to think more deeply about not just photography, but in some ways life itself. Some of
these I listened to three or four, and in one case, 5 times. I will absolutely listen to them all
Episode 178: Cole Thompson
Episode 171: William Neill
Episode 169: Margaret Soraya
Episode 164: John Barclay
Episode 159: Brooks Jensen
Episode 137: Paul Reiffer
Episode 107: Public Lands Hates You
Episode 46: Barry Sweet
Favorite Episodes of the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen Podcast
- Episode 159: Brooks Jensen- Eloquent, well-spoken, and a little bit controversial, Brooks challenged so much of what I thought landscape photography to be about. I cannot recommend it enough.
- Episode 46: Barry Sweet- Deeply passionate about natural spaces, and conserving what we have before it’s lost forever, I was profoundly moved by what Barry had to say and the conviction with which he spoke. I wish this episode could have gone on another 2 hours.
- Episode 313: TJ Thorne- The openness and honesty that TJ speaks with about his struggles with mental health and how photography continues to help him with his demons spoke to my own journey recently with similar issues. As emotionally vulnerable as this conversation likely made him, the power and conviction that he speaks with when describing his work, and how his photography changed to become an expression all his own made this an instant favorite.
- Episode 289: Guy Tal and Alex Noriega- Two living legends in the landscape photography community, it was an absolute pleasure to hear them speak. There’s a lot to take in and digest from this episode, but it absolutely will encourage growth in your work.
- Episode 107: Public Lands Hates You- Is shame really the best tool to encourage people to follow the rules and respect nature? A great listen that tackles a topic most nature and landscape photographers have encountered at least once while out. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the unknown person behind the account, and how they’ve chosen to try and tackle the issue.
The Best Landscape Photography Podcast
I can’t help but feel like finding F-Stop Collaborate and Listen was less a matter of coincidence and more a matter of destiny, a moment where the universe provided me with something I didn’t yet know I needed. My journey through photography, and in many ways life, has been one wracked with self-doubt, and chasing the approval of others. While I still have a long way to go, hearing many of my own insecurities and short comings be talked about and shared by many of the guests was somehow comforting. To hear them talk about dealing with these issues, and then how they overcame them has been in so many ways a saving grace.
From a photography point of view, it has helped me speed up the process of finally shooting more for me, and not others. Another monumental change it’s helped me make is to finally be almost entirely free from the results-driven mindset most of us go out with, and instead be able to just go for a walk with my camera. If I make an image terrific, if I don’t that’s ok too. I have the podcast to thank for that. I simply cannot recommend the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen podcast enough. At 321 publicly released episodes and counting, it is providing so much more to the nature and landscape photography community than I think most people would realize. It is giving artists the opportunity to tell their stories and share their work on a platform that delivers it straight to us the listeners and viewers. It’s a great way to get to know the people behind the work we all enjoy and help grow the strength for this passion we all share. Thank you Matt for your hard work and dedication to this project. I don’t imagine it’s always easy, but the fact you continue to pour your heart and soul into it does not go unnoticed. Mostly though, thanks for letting me stop in, collaborate, and listen for 321 amazing episodes.