TWiP #161 – The Power of Photography

Audio MP3

On this episode of TWiP, documenting the Pakistan floods, photographing motor sports, and wedding photography hits and misses.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Steve Simon, and Ron Brinkmann


Ron has posted photos from his Venezuela trip at
The group discusses taking your camera equipment on vacation and insurance coverage for your gear.

Severe Flooding in Pakistan – The Big Picture

It is only the start of the monsoon season, but already Pakistan is experiencing some of the worst flooding it has seen in over 80 years. Entire villages have been washed away, an early estimate of over 1,600 deaths so far and over 2 million displaced or otherwise affected.

Not only is the immediate water damage causing havoc, the floods have inundated crop-producing areas, dealing a crippling blow to the agricultural-based economy and threatening a food crisis. The Pakistani government now struggles to rescue and provide aid to millions – while still fighting with militant Islamist forces in many of the hardest-hit regions. With even more heavy rains predicted in the coming days, here are a handful of recent photographs of Pakistanis as they cope with this latest disaster.

T to People With Cameras: Shoot Pervs, Not Tunnels

MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) officials today hailed people using social media to post photos of alleged exposers and gropers, although they said they’re prefer if the photos were forwarded to them before being posted to social-media site.

At the same time, officials say there are limits to photography underground: Try taking photos of power panels or locks or tunnels and don’t be surprised if a T worker tells you to knock it off.

LIVE INTERVIEW — Photographer Mike Doran – Shooting Motor Sports

Mike started his sports photography business 22 years ago because he rode motorcycles and started going to races and thought he could do better. He discusses his experiences as a race photographer with the group.

You can find more information about Mike at: and

INTERVIEW — Roger Cicala –

Frederick talks to Roger about how the lens rental business has gone well beyond lenses. He also get’s Roger’s insight about the wedding photography business and moving to video.

This Week in Photo listeners get a 5% discount at LensRentals. Just use the code “TWIP5” when you check out!


Question 1: To tripod or not to tripod? EricP from Edgewater, NJ asks: Is it silly to get caught up “psychologically” with needing to shoot on a tripod for the sharpest image? I know using a tripod can be beneficial if not essential when shooting at night, HDR, etc., but is that the case during the day or in most situations?

Frederick and crew: You don’t need a tripod all the time. If you want something to stay in the same spot (from one photo to the next), the tripod is the way to lock down the shot. Having a tripod with you is a good idea. Steve adds with the new VR lenses, using a tripod is not always needed to get a stable image. The tripod may limit your freedom to move around to get a good shot.

Question 2: From Jens Marklund in Stockholm, Sweden: I am going traveling this autumn, mostly to South Asia. I will be there for 2-3 months and live in mostly cheap bungalows. Before then, I will upgrade my gear (body) and get a new photo bag. I’m thinking of getting a used D700, and some older lens to use as a normal range lens (as well as using my other lenses). I am looking for a bag that can hold some gear and a 15″ Macbook Pro. I came across the Think Tank Antidote, but it looked a bit too big to bring everywhere. My largest lens is 80-200 2.8, and i will have about 4 lenses with me.

Ron: I travel with a big backpack and a smaller camera bag. I travel with three lenses: 17-85 mm, 10-22 mm, and a fast 50 mm. For bags, the best thing to do is go to a camera store and check out the bag that will fit your needs.


o Frederick: Yogile — Simple photo service for group sharing.

o Steve: “The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings” by KayLynn Deveney

o Ron: Tamrac ZipShot Compact Tripod.


Last week’s photo mission was “Diffuse.”

This week’s winner: Lee Adcock

This week’s photo mission is “Disturb.”

Enter the photo mission contest by going to


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Join the Flickr critique group. You can also join our Facebook group.

Frederick Van Johnson – or

Steve Simon – or

Ron Brinkmann – or


TWiP is sponsored by, the leading provider in spoken word entertainment. Audible has over 75,000 titles to choose from to be downloaded and played back anywhere. Visit for a free audiobook of your choice. This week’s pick from Frederick is “Tribes,” by Seth Godin.

TWiP is brought to you by SquareSpace – the fast and easy way to publish a high-quality web site or blog. For a free trial and 10% off your new account, go to –, offer code TWiP.

Show notes by Tom Newman at or

Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn

Bandwidth provided by Cachefly. Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

  • I do really like the live interviews. That way all of the other hosts can be involved and throw their questions at the guest as well. Not that Frederick’s questions aren’t good enough it just adds more dynamics to the interview.

    Love it.

  • Another great episode! I loved the idea of having a unusual guest in the show, loved the few bits about motor racing, even tho I’m not in to that, but it is true that little tips from pros get you shooting better. In my case I had my good friend Peter Zabek teaching me about photographing air shows, have a look at and even tho I am a full time wedding shooter it was refreshing to leave the bouquets and bow ties for a day and go shooting something… that can shoot back!
    Keep the good shows coming Frederick!


    Ps when are you going to have some pros from the Uk in your show? and by the way… the website is gorgeous, long live WP!

  • This weeks Mike Doran interview was great – I liked that there was a focus on the act of taking photographs rather than the gear, computers, software, iPads, etc.

    For example, the motor sport photography tip on not using a shutter speed that stops the wheels was great.

    The live format works well too.

    More of these types of interviews please.

  • It was mentioned on the podcast that TWIP listeners can get a discount code for here on the site. Am I missing it? Is it TWIP as it is for most other codes?

    I’ve rented from a few times in the past & may be interested in renting another lens for an upcoming trip.

  • I just spent four days shooting on the T in Boston and I was hassled at a least once a day by transit authority personnel and was reported by a passenger for suspicious activity.

    Here are all the pics

    You can see the “see something, say something” campaign flashing on the led sign in this shot.

    On the whole I met so many wonderful people. Even those who were paranoid to start quickly loosened up.

    I also called the transit authority the first day to get their official policy straight so I could tell those who might challenge me. The official policy is that you need a permit for video but for stills you’re free to do what you wish. They also ask you to be ready to present a photo ID.

    Thanks for the link to the flood photos from Pakistan. About 150 homes flooded in my neighborhood here in Nashville back in May (see I can only imagine what it must be like at that scale.

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