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.



#261: Healing Salve On The Open Wound Of Doubt

April 25, 2017 at 11:45AM • 1 hour 35 minutes

Welcome to OTP year six! This week, are better and better cameras taking the craft out of photography, or does not having to worry about the technical free us to concentrate on the artistic? Is there more long term value in keeping your kit simple? Also, a listener question has us discussing how to figure out what comes next after a large or long-term project. Plus, sometimes we lose sight of our own creative worth and need to recalibrate. Diane Tuft is our Photographer of the Week.


#260: A Friendship Built On Skype

April 18, 2017 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 33 minutes

This week, we’re doing our best to answer your photo questions, which range from the technical to the obscure, from dream camera setup to whether or not you need an agent (spoiler: it depends). This episode marks the end of five years of OTP and we couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you for continuing to take an hour and a half or so out of your week to join us. We love doing the show and are looking forward to year six. Claire Rosen is our Photographer of the Week.


#259: Chasing Expertise, and Amy

April 11, 2017 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 27 minutes

This week, tutorials, gear reviews, benchmarks and ratings. If everyone is an Expert, who do you trust? Ultimately, you need to use the tools and advice that works for you, regardless of what They say. Also, we geek out a little over video cards and the importance of being able to upgrade your rig. Plus, our Photographer of the Week, Joel-Peter Witkin, inspires a discussion that wonderfully illustrates the power of a photograph.


#258: The Hottest Bell Pepper I’ve Ever Seen

April 4, 2017 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 26 minutes

This week, what’s the most iconic nude photo you’ve ever seen? Now, think about what makes it iconic. The human form is a blank canvas, but depending on how it’s lit, posed or seen by the artist, the resulting representation can be either beautiful or disturbing, art or porn. What’s takes it one way or the other? Also, we talk about when “official” portraits are just bad portraits. Plus, would you pay to use social media if it meant keeping your private information private? Suzanne Moxhay is our Photographer of the Week.


#257: Turn the Hat Around

March 28, 2017 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 17 minutes

This week, a followup to our depression discussion from a couple episodes ago and a letter from a listener. Despite how it sometimes feels, you’re not alone. It’s dark sometimes - really dark - but it’s not empty. We, along with countless listeners, have been there. Call us, email us, post in the group or talk to a family member or a friend. Make things. Share work. Every day, every picture is a chance to change course, either a little or a lot. Also, an offline phone call inspired a discussion around conventional wisdom pertaining to gear and equipment. Nick Veasey is our photographer of the week.


#256: Mash Potatoes In the Shape of the Hollywood Bowl

March 21, 2017 at 7:15PM • 1 hour 8 minutes

This week, prompted by a listener email, we talk about taking “those” photos that have been taken a million times before and why you should or shouldn't take your version. Also, a discussion around being open to the process and giving yourself permission to play, regardless of whether or not all the pieces are in place. Paul Outerbridge is our Photographer of the Week.


#255: If It Says VIP, It’s Not VIP

March 14, 2017 at 10:30AM • 1 hour 24 minutes

This week, we discuss the paralyzing power of depression via a story of a Chinese photographer called Ren Hang, who recently took his own life. Also, a quick roundup of some of our current favorite photo apps. Plus, we tease a couple articles to discuss next week around the creative process of artists like Beck, Tom Waits and Kendrick Lamar as well as the value of immersion via Chrissie Hynde. Laurent Nivalle is our Photographer of the Week.


#254: Bob Ross on Mute

March 7, 2017 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 37 minutes

This week, we’re starting out with a discussion around craft, inspired in part by the terrific Netflix series, Abstract. Also, we talk about two extremes of making work - at one end, we cite John Free and his 10 year photo essay project talking to people in the train yards in Los Angeles. On the other end, is the recent pop-up display of images and contact sheets from Robert Frank’s The Americans which, at the request of the photographer, were taken down and destroyed. Is one of these things a more valid expression of art than the other, or are they each a potentially necessary part of the creative process? Plus, with our five year anniversary coming up, we’re asking if you have any ideas on how you’d like to see us mark the occasion. If so, email us at podcast@ontakingpictures.com. Aaron Siskind is our Photographer of the Week.


#253: Imagineers Are Never Gonna Do South Park

February 28, 2017 at 11:00AM • 1 hour 36 minutes

This week, we respond to a couple listener emails — one involves questions around valuing work and the other is a followup to last week’s discussion around barriers. Also, what do you expect when you post your work online? Are you looking for constructive criticism, likes or is it just a vehicle for sharing what you make? Magnum photographer Eli Reed is our Photographer of the Week.


#252: That’s Not What Cameras And Books Were Made For

February 21, 2017 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 37 minutes

This week, an email from a listener sparks a discussion about shipping - specifically around our own expectations over what comes next. This leads us into a broader discussion around self image, privilege and fears - both real and imagined. Also, is an MFA in photography a good idea? Plus, we got lots of terrific phone calls from you and want more. Keep them coming! Herbert Randall is our Photographer of the Week.