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.



#240: The Reins Are Fear

November 29, 2016 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 42 minutes

This week, making decisions. Sometimes moving through fear means letting go of the reigns — emotionally, creatively, maybe even geographically. But once you do, how much control do you actually have to change course? Are you at the whim of inertia, or do small moves open up new territories, whether you want them to or not? Plus, is monetization after the fact different or better than having it as a goal from the beginning? Frederick Sommer is our Photographer of the Week.


#239: True to the Show

November 22, 2016 at 9:30AM • 1 hour 24 minutes

This week, what would you do as an artist without the right to express yourself freely? Do you censor your work or do you use your voice and push harder to make your point of view known? Also, what would you give up creatively in order to immerse yourself in something new? Plus, a couple entries from the Crit Wall. Ruth Gruber is our Photographer of the Week.


#238: There Will Always Be A Minority Report

November 15, 2016 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 35 minutes

This week, we discuss the recent election not from a political perspective, but rather from the standpoint of making art and how to translate the reactionary energy into something good. Also, what are some differences between good and great street photography? Are there objective markers or is it merely great by degrees? Vicki Dasilva is our Photographer of the Week.


#237: The Flow of the Slinky

November 8, 2016 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 20 minutes

This week, with the proliferation of low cost gear and the barrier of entry so low, have the mechanics of making become too easy? Also, is there such a thing as “objectively good” and if so, how do you know it when you see it? Plus, has photo software reached the tipping point in terms of features? Jerome Liebling is our Photographer of the Week.


#236: The Next Switchback on the Plateau

November 1, 2016 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 36 minutes

This week, we’re talking about the ups and downs we go to when we just can’t seem to connect with what we make. How do you keep moving forward when it feels like your wheels are just spinning in the mud. It’s not the feeling of being stuck because energy is still being expended — there’s just the feeling of not moving. Plus, does innovation happen by committee or does there need to be a single vision that the committee then supports? Shin Nogouchi is our Photographer of the Week.


#235: Layering It Up Like a Cake

October 26, 2016 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

This week, how do you know — or can you know — when a piece of work will be more than what you thought it would be going into it? Can you predict greatness or is it only available in hindsight? At what point do you call the game if you’re not going to win? Also, a discussion around how appreciating art can often be affected by the room or the way it’s displayed, using the newly reopened East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in DC as an example. Plus, Erin Margaret Allison Rambo is our Photographer of the Week.


#234: Measure Twice, Cut Once

October 17, 2016 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 23 minutes

This week, Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for literature and it inspires a discussion around boundaries as they pertain to art and creative pursuits. Does Dylan winning this re-define what qualifies as literature? How does this discussion pertain to photography? Is portraiture more valid than street photography? Is shooting wildlife somehow “better” than shooting weddings? Also, how much does creative efficiency figure into your own creative process? Are you looking for the shortest line between to points or do you prefer the more scenic route? Jonathan Mannion is our Photographer of the Week.


#233: Live Up To An Impossibility

October 11, 2016 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 27 minutes

This week, we’re discussing changing directions creatively inspired by both new gear and a new environment, which raises a couple questions for us that we’d like to also ask you. To what degree does what you use affect what you make? Aside from tools, how does the environment you create in contribute to the work you produce? Also, once you make a dramatic shift and have the necessities locked in, how do you decide what comes next? Fred Lyon is our Photographer of the Week.


#232: Solid Steel Walls of Reality

October 4, 2016 at 12:45PM • 1 hour 23 minutes

This week a few thoughts around the new National Museum of African American History & Culture and how photography was sourced and is used throughout the museum. Also, rock and roll photography — has increasingly limited access to the band and performances limited the resulting quality of the work? Sails Chong is our Photographer of the Week.


#231: I Look Forward to Looking Back

September 27, 2016 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 28 minutes

This week, we’re in a few different directions and we begin with a discussion around the Smithsonian’s newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture. Specifically, do you feel an obligation to visit places like these - places that are as much a historical record as they are a cultural cautionary tale? Also, a followup to the gear discussion that we started last week. Plus, a terrific email from a listener inspires this week’s G+ group assignment. Claude Cahun is our Photographer of the Week.