My 8 Favorite Youtube Channels (Twelve Days of Favorites, day 5)

by Dec 25, 2019

Welcome to day 5 of my Favorites of 2019, and I want to share with you my 8 favorite Youtube Channels of 2019.

If podcasts are to me classic talk radio reinvented for the internet era, then Youtube is a wonderful reinvention of the good old days of local access cable channels. Anyone with a computer, a camera and a microphone can put together their own Youtube channel and publish shows on whatever topic they want, and, yes, many many of them do. Some of them are even good and interesting, and those that are my favorites are ones I want to give some visibility to and encourage you to try.

Where I find it hard to find podcasts about photography that consistently interest me, half of the channels I list below are photography channels. I think a lot of that is that photography is inherently a visual media, and it’s hard to be interesting about photography if you can’t see the pictures and visual aspects being discussed.

Also in this list is the inevitable Apple Ecosystem channel, a couple of cooking channels, and of all things, a woodworking channel, my one concession to those days when I had and used my own (now retired) woodshop in my (now missing in action) spare time.

As with podcasts, these are kind of sort of in a ranked order of my favorites, except when they aren’t (because I grouped them together by topic first).

  • Ben Horne: Ben Horne is, or all things, an old-school photographer who’s channel talks about going out in the field as a landscape photography who takes images with an 8×10 film camera. This may not sound interesting and relevant, but a huge aspect of his discussion is about composition and the challenges of creating a good composition in the field, which since he’s shooting film and can’t significantly fix or alter the image later, is kind of a big deal. His field trips — he returns to Zion and Death Valley every year — are fascinating looks into what it is like to explore landscape photography when what you do in camera is really what you end up with as the final product.
  • The Art of Photography: Ted Forbes has been running The Art of Photography for many years, and it is a wonderful instructional channel that covers a wide gamut of photographic topics. There’s some gear discussion, but a much of the content is more philosphical or conceptual. It has a very strong back catalog, and I recommend you go explore his ARtist Series videos and his composition playlist. He also has good series on Photographer Essentials and Basics worth some exploring. You never quite know what the next video will be about, but you can except it’ll be a fun and interesting use of your time
  • Thomas Heaton: Thomas Heaton is one of the many British landscape photographers who have Youtube channels and my favorite of the group. Much of his channel involves him going out on a shoot and explaining his way through the composition and taking the image, and often he’ll return to the studio to walk you through the processing. It’s a very interesting and ongoing class in composition and thinking about landscape photography, taught in an interesting and personable way.
  • Sean Tucker: Another British photographer, Tucker is more a street and urban photographer and his channel talks most about the why of being a photographer instead of the how of taking photographers. There is a strong philosophical slant to the discussions and Tucker is very aware of the need for self-care and introspection as part of a healthy photography lifestyle, and this is very much a channel you should try out for a few episodes and see if it connects with you.
  • Vector, by Rene Ritchie: Rene Ritchie, long-time editor of the iMore news site that covers the Apple ecosystem (and others, as well), has shifted into doing an almost-daily video look at what’s happening in the Apple Ecosystem. Rene is both very knowledgeable about all things Apple and rather opinionated about same, and that makes Vector both an essential resource for understanding the Apple world in a fun and fairly irreverent way.
  • Bon Appetit Test Kitchen: The Bon Appetit channel publishes a lot of videos hosted by different members of their test kitchen. My favorite is an ongoing series where Claire the pastry chef is tasked to re-create gourmet versions of various snack foods. There are, of course, recipe tutorials, and the group split up and took various parts of a Thanksgiving dinner and all developed what they felt would be the ultimate versions of dishes in a classic thanksgiving dinner. A very fun and informal set of videos, these people do not take themselves seriously at all but the recipes they create are interesting and delicious.
  • Binging with Babish: Binging with Babish is a Youtube phenomenom, but one where the hype is deserved and earned. Andrew Rea hosts the channel, and once a week he presents a video where he recreates a dish from a movie or TV show. Sometimes the results are amazing, and sometimes, well, not, but he’ll also show ways to take the ideas in the recipe and turn it into something edible when needed. A second sub-channel is Basics with Babish in which he does regular tutorials on various cooking topics. A lot of fun and some raelly good cooking that odesn’t take itself too seriously.
  • Frank Howarth: Finally, I’ve allowed myself one channel on woodworking since I decided to shut down my own shop (mostly due to lack of free time), and that channel is the one done by Frank Howarth. A retired architect, Howarth is both a master woodworker and a wood turner, and every few weeks he issues a video showing off his latest project, whether it’s his annual christmas ornament, a bowl that he’s turned, or his recent series where he remodeled his basement into a storage area and media room. Lots of fun and interesting activity here and it lets me watch this kind of stuff vicariously, even if I’m not doing any of it myself any more.