Stephen Takacs: how do I fit this camera into my Kia?


After being gifted 30 rolls of the now discontinued Kodachrome film, photographer Stephen Takacs set out to capture images of businesses impacted by the digital photo transition. His cross-country journey started in Portland and ended in Parsons, KS at the last space available to process the Kodachrome film. These photos are now on display in the Faculty Club at OSU. His other project, titled “Travelling Picture Show,” utilizes a homemade, life-size camera obscura that travels around the country. His work here reflects the tactile nature of the camera itself and focuses on laborers who still primarily work with their hands.  Information and pictures from this collection can be found at

Stephen Takacs has lectured at The Ohio State University and is a member of the interdisciplinary STEAM Factory. Listen to the interview to hear about the bittersweet process of working with a defunct medium and the change inherent in photography and visit his website.

During the interview, we discussed his picture of blacksmith Adlai Stine and herbalist Scott A. Hughston.



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Samantha Tucker: so funny, you’ll have a kidney stone

-Andy Ross
SamanthaTuckerHeadshotEver wonder about the etiquette of nudity in a Korean spa? Samantha Tucker, a humorist and essayist enrolled in Ohio State’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, has the answer. In her first collection of essays, The American Dream Starts Here, Tucker recalls visiting her first spa, being raised in America with a Korean sense of modesty, and teaching English in Korea. Throughout, she tackles difficult subjects like the death of her brother in Iraq, finding humor in even the darkest places. Tucker comes from a background of writing for performance, and that dynamic is omnipresent in her writing. She advocates diversity of voice in humor writing, labeling her writing as so funny it will give you a kidney stone, as happened to one of her professors.

Tucker’s work has appeared on Brevity, the Colorado Review, and The Toast. She has worked as a theatre and culture critic with other publications, including Show Business Weekly and Springs Magazine. Check out the interview to hear about Tucker’s humor writing, Tinder, and a short story from her upcoming collection. Tucker is submitting the final edits on The American Dream Starts Here for review in the coming months.

Good luck, Sam!

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Melanie Benjamin: ruffling the feathers on the Swans of Fifth Avenue



Many people think of Truman Capote as the campy talk show guest or the inspiration for the character of Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird. Melanie Benjamin wanted to know more about the author in his prime, before his high society tell-all book ruined his social standing in New York. Her research resulted in The Swans of Fifth Avenue, another of her trademark historical fictions in the vein of The Aviator’s Wife and Alice I Have Been. Listen in to learn about the scandal that essentially ended Capote’s literary career.

Melanie Benjamin will appear in Columbus with Thurber House on Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

Credit: Deborah Feingold

Credit: Deborah Feingold



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Saturday hour-long special

Today’s hour-long special on WCBE featured singer-songwriters Anna Nalick and John Gorka, Speakeasy’s Sumukh Torgalkar, and Ohio State’s History Talk. Thanks to all involved.

Pork packing in Cincinnati 1873.jpg
Pork packing in Cincinnati 1873” by Ehrgott & Krebs

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John Gorka and Anna Nalick: Together without knowing it

Anna Nalick

Taken by MBTrama –

Singer-songwriters Anna Nalick and John Gorka will appear in Columbus on January 17 and 22 at the Rumba Cafe and Six String Concerts, respectively. Listen in to learn more about Anna Nalick’s songs after “Breathe 2 AM” and which song took John Gorka the longest to write (Hint: I’ll tell you later).





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Catie Curtis and the best place to find inexpensive treasures

How to teach your kids not to be materialistic? Catie Curtis‘ parents set many interesting examples, including taking their children to the town dump and saying,”Pick something out, anything you want.” As she recalls, it was a great teaching moment because they’d “actually find incredibly beautiful things.”

Among the beautiful things Curtis has found has been material for songs like “My Dad’s Yard,” which describes her father’s habit of collecting things and giving them away to people who might need them. As she says in the song,

So if you need something when times get hard
You can probably find it in my dad’s yard
And if you need hope if you’re coming apart
You can surely find it in my dad’s heart

Listen in to our discussion of her songwriting inspirations.

Singer Songwriter Catie Curtis will be in Columbus on January 8 with Six String Concerts.


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Brad Feinknopf: What a hip, cool photographer really wants [Part 2]


Part 2 of my talk with Columbus architectural photographer Brad Feinknopf and his thoughts on what it takes to get great images of buildings.

Go here for Part 1 of our talk.





Here’s Doug’s image discussed on the podcast

Doug's image of building


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Brad Feinknopf: What a hip, cool photographer really wants [Part 1]


Ever look at photographs of buildings, maybe with perfectly captured shimmering lights or passers-by caught just so, and wonder how they do it?

Columbus architectural photographer Brad Feinknopf details some of the tricks of the trade and how he moved from his start in fashion and art photography with Richard Avedon and Robert Mapplethorpe to architectural photography.

And for those of you considering a career in photography, he’ll let you know what a hip, cool photographer really wants in an assistant. Hint: it’s not what a lot of hip, cool assistants might think it is.

Brad Feinknopf’s photography


BradFeinknopf_9882-10 The Ohio Theater Orchestral Band Shell | Rogers KrajnakBradFeinknopf_BCEC_7809 FFBradFeinknopf_10073-05

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Nicole Reber: Frank Lloyd Wright in his underwear and other literary writing topics

NicholeReberWhat kind of childhood frustration leads one to be a writer? Central Ohio nonfiction writer Nichole Reber’s path to a career in writing was sparked by her mother reading to her and Nichole’s curiosity about how her mother did this because she “couldn’t understand how she got [Nichole] so excited and how she elicited so many emotions when it was just pictures and black marks on a page.” Listen in for a discussion of nonfiction writing, changing careers, and Frank Lloyd Wright in his underwear.

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The 5th-Annual MAT Scriptwriting Competition has kicked off! Accepting submissions now!

The 5th-Annual MAT Scriptwriting Competition has kicked off! Accepting submissions now!

Posted by Midnight Audio Theatre on Saturday, December 12, 2015

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