In a surprising turn of events, some of our community’s most well known and respected podcasts have taken the decision to merge into a single entity and are calling themselves the “Classic Film Negatives Sunny Lensless Studio Podcast” (CFNSLSP).
The announcement was made via postings on a number of social media groups/pages, as well as the final episode of the Classic Lenses Podcast (which I was invited onto to read out the formal press release). According to the joint statement, members of this new alliance feel the “collective burden of generating fresh, creative content week-on-week in order to satiate the community lust for all things analog is not sustainable.”
Considering the recent explosion of analogue photography podcasts and number of niche-within-niche audiences they cater for, this seems like an inevitable move. There are only so many pairs of ears to go around, after all.
However, the press release’s statement that the intent is to create a “monopoly” within the analogue photography podcasting space does raise serious questions about the impartiality of future content. The new podcast currently boasts eleven founding members:
For diehard listeners, a notable institution missing from this list is the relatively new Hypersensitive Photographers Podcast (HPP), which first appeared in 2019 and was somehow named “the worst podcast of 2018” by Sunny 16’s Graeme Jago.
Created in conjunction between myself and 35mmc’s Hamish Gill, the HPP has been described as “the single best thing to happen to film photography podcasts” and “aural gold” by its passionate listenership, who – following a recent poll – seem to be growing weary of other “well-produced”, “professional” and “much more coherent” podcasts.
I reached out to Hamish Gill for impartial comment on the CFNSLSP and how he feels it will negatively change the landscape in the film photography community. After an initial reaction of “Well it’s bollocks, isn’t it?“, I pressed him for further insight. He stated:
“They’re obviously running scared right now and that’s why they didn’t ask us to join their club. The community doesn’t want to listen to the kind of programming you get on daytime TV anymore. It’s not like we’re a utopia of happy-clappy friends and sound bites, is it? Don’t be silly.”
“The HPP reflects where we are and deals with hard-hitting issues. We might not know what we’re doing all of the time or some of the time, y’know? But it’s real and people respect that. Even if they don’t know it yet.”
Wise words from my eloquent co-host, I’m sure you’ll agree. You can hear more of him, alongside myself and Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter in episode 3 of the HPP, “Signal vs Noise”.
How the CFNSLSP evolves in the long run is anyone’s guess. There are certainly efficiencies to be gained from uniting such a large portion of the “voice” of the film photography community. That said, it is my feeling that the net effect will be to crush creativity and expression. Perhaps I’m just bitter but mark my words: you should be worried about how this elitist monopoly is going to effectively remove the ability of a large number of photographers to have their voice heard.
Only time will tell.
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