On Taking Pictures

On Taking Pictures

Every week, Jeffery Saddoris and Bill Wadman take on the art, science, and philosophy of photography and explore how they play out behind the camera in the process of making images. Insider insights for the novice, shop talk for the professional, and opinionated discussion for the interested observer of the field's trends and legacy.

Hosted by Bill Wadman and Jeffery Saddoris.



#209: Oddly Fascinating

April 26, 2016 at 12:15PM • 1 hour 33 minutes

This week, the unexpected passing of Prince has us starting the show discussing art from the perspective of both ownership and influence. We talk about priorities (artistic and otherwise) and to what degree our presence in the world allows us to experience the world. Plus, we discuss some of the differences between opinion and critique and how who you ask can be just as important as what. Alex Prager is our Photographer of the Week.


#208: Echoes of Memories

April 19, 2016 at 11:45AM • 1 hour 38 minutes

This week, Happy Anniversary to us! We talk a bit about four years of On Taking Pictures, which leads to a discussion on the value of output. There’s the idea of getting better with practice, which we’ve talked about several times, but also the value of the body of work as an object, independent of anything else. We also talk about meanings we associate to objects and share a wonderful email from a listener called “The Mythology of Things” in which he works through some reasons that objects become more to us than their component parts. Also, is the Photo Renaissance over or are we in a New Golden Age of photography? Former Baltimore Sun photographer A. Aubrey Bodine is our Photographer of the Week.


#207: Emojis Don’t Count

April 12, 2016 at 5:45AM • 1 hour 46 minutes

This week, we start out talking about how as our creative goals change, our gear needs often change along with them and how the concept of “good enough” is nothing if not fluid. Also, The Next Rembrandt has us wondering how connected to your work do you have to be for it still to be yours? Can machines create art? Or is the human experience a necessary and fundamental component to make art? John Minihan is our Photographer of the Week.


#206: It’s Hard to Juggle Slowly

April 5, 2016 at 12:30PM • 1 hour 33 minutes

This week, are you a multitasker? Or is multitasking merely a buzzword to make us feel like we’re actually getting things done? A voicemail from a listener has us discussing our approaches to managing multiple projects. Also, it’s not always about the picture — story is still important, especially when you’re pitching ideas to magazines and editorial outlets. Plus, 30 years after Chernobyl, our fascination with abandoned places and a terrific Crit Wall entry from the G+ Group. Tim Walker is our Photographer of the Week.


#205: Somebody Has To Be A Dictator

March 29, 2016 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 33 minutes

This week, Instagram’s change from a time-based feed to an algorithmic one has us discussing the value of platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, etc. as viable means of sharing work, especially when it’s got a commercial component to it. We also talk about flow states – those periods of creativity when time seems to stop — both from the standpoints of controlling when they happen and what to do when they don’t. Plus, how many memories do you need? We talk about the often overwhelming size of photo collections and some of the ways to manage them. We tackle a couple Crit Wall entries from listeners and Peter Goin is our Photographer of the Week.


#204: Dog Paddle Motion in the Air

March 22, 2016 at 12:45PM • 1 hour 42 minutes

This week, we discuss what happens when you can no longer do what you love. What do you do if you can’t shake feeling that your best work is behind you? Malcolm McLaren’s son Joe Corré wants to burn his £5m collection of punk memorabilia. Here’s a question for next week: Do collectors of art or cultural ephemera have a responsibility to keep it or is personal meaning (or the lack thereof) more important? Chime in at podcast@ontakingpictures.com. Barbara Crane is our Photographer of the Week.


#203: Shrimp et tu, Brute?

March 15, 2016 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 16 minutes

This week, a follow up from a listener about our “what makes a professional?” discussion from last week, specifically the idea of professionalism in behavior vs gear/appearance, etc. We also talk a little about regional aesthetics in art and photography and wonder how much of the technical limitations or defects that seem important to people making the work matter to larger audiences. Plus, a few things to think about ahead of next week's show. Alen MacWeeney is our Photographer of the Week.


#202: Jeffery and Bill Meet the Swamp Monster

March 8, 2016 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

This week, what does it mean to be a professional? Is it merely making a living from one’s endeavor or is there something else? Is photography something you need to do to achieve some greater sense of fulfillment, or is it simply a vocation? And is one more valid than the other? Also, we talk a bit about a new Van Gogh film that uses an oil painting for every frame. Ryszard Horowitz is our Photographer of the Week.


#201: No Such Thing as Never or Always

March 1, 2016 at 12:30PM • 1 hour 29 minutes

This week, how digital technology helped Emmanuel Lubezki shape the natural light on The Revenant. Also, we discuss the often cryptic presentation of online tutorials and ask: “How do you learn something new?” Plus, letting what you know affect what do and how far you’re willing to push outside your comfort zone. Check the show notes for teases of next week’s show. Ernesto Bazan is our Photographer of the Week.


#200: Learn To Do It Without the Crutch

February 23, 2016 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 30 minutes

This week, we’re discussing the good and the bad of habits—making them, breaking them and learning how to recognize when you may need one over the other. Also, a follow up on last week’s audiophile/photography discussion, particularly around street photography. Plus, we geek out a little over an interview with Photoshop Master Bert Monroy in which he talks about his massive 750,000 layer Photoshop illustration of Times Square. Robyn Beeche is our Photographer of the Week.