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.



#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.


#230: Full-On Artistic Telephone

September 20, 2016 at 11:00AM • 1 hour 36 minutes

This week, we begin with a discussion around how we actually discuss art, including some of the collective meaning of the terms we use. Also, can concepts like “commentary” and “criticism” be as effective if they are non-verbal? For example, is a jazz improvisation an appropriate response to a particular work of art? Also, we spend some time talking about gear, from Hackintoshes, to the slew of new cameras announced (or “pre-announced”) at this year’s Photokina. Alexey Titarenko is our Photographer of the Week.


#229: Almost to the Shipping Point of Shipping

September 13, 2016 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 30 minutes

This week, we’re talking about getting work out the door, and some of the difficulties that can arise around trying to figure out how and why to make the changes necessary to do it. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a step back from the thinking and the strategizing and just make. Also, we discuss the Documerica project and how differently a similar project might look today. Jacob Riis is our Photographer of the Week.


#228: The Giant Pachinko Game in the Sky

September 5, 2016 at 7:00PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

This week, we’re doing another Q&A show and, as usual, you all sent in some terrific questions that we had a great time going through. Topics include: how often to update your website, whether or not to shoot DNG, how to get more engaging street shots, whether or not to print in-house and a bunch more. Marc Riboud is our Photographer of the Week.


#227: Psychologize That Up The Wazoo

August 30, 2016 at 10:45AM • 1 hour 24 minutes

This week, a discussion around photojournalism inspired by the Netflix series Conflict that raises a few questions for us to chew on. Would you ever put yourself in harm’s way for a photograph? If you already do, why? Is it for the photograph or the thrill of the shoot? Or some combination of both? Is a photograph more valuable than the life that is potentially lost capturing it? Also, does taking photos at important or milestone events enhance or take away from your ability to enjoy/remember said event? Plus, a teaser for next week in the show notes: what do you see when you look at art? Richard Tuschman is our Photographer of the Week.


#226: You Want The Pixie Dust

August 23, 2016 at 9:30AM • 1 hour 13 minutes

This week, we discuss the magic of things and the legacy of genius. Is Winogrand’s camera, Clapton’s Stratocaster, Picasso’s brush or Hemingway’s typewriter somehow imbued with greatness? In choosing the same tools as our heroes, do we secretly (or not so secretly) hope that a bit of their magic will rub off on us? Photojournalist Nicole Tung is our Photographer of the Week.


#225: The Megapixel List of Life

August 16, 2016 at 11:00AM • 1 hour 31 minutes

This week, a discussion around printing (spoiler: be sure to use the correct profiles) leads to the start of a larger discussion around the perceived value of signatures. Do you sign your prints? If so, why? If you don’t, why not? Also, looking for the one camera that does everything—even the things you don’t currently need it to do—is a fool’s errand. Better to look for the right tool for the job at hand and let the future sort itself out. Brad Goldpaint is our Photographer of the Week.


#224: Blink Decision

August 9, 2016 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

This week, a discussion around the work and process of iconic Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama — specifically around the value of revisiting a place in order to refine your vision of it and how details often emerge through repetition. Also, how much time should you devote to your website? What are some “must have” features? Plus, do six-year-olds need to know about Daguerre? Eve Arnold is our Photographer of the Week.


#223: Driving Backwards is a Bad Idea

August 2, 2016 at 1:15PM • 1 hour 29 minutes

This week, how do you know if you’re close to the target if the target hasn’t been clearly defined? We discuss the difficulty in embarking on a journey (creative or otherwise) without at least a direction. How to you calibrate your creative compass when there is no true North? Also, next week we’re talking about the work and process of Daido Moriyama, using a video in this week’s show notes as a reference. Plus, who was the nineteenth century’s most photographed individual? The answer may surprise you. Klaus Enrique is our Photographer of the Week.


#222: Form of Stupidity, Shape of an Idiot

July 26, 2016 at 10:00AM • 1 hour 30 minutes

This week, a couple books about Saul Leiter show that great photography is not always about per pixel sharpness and bright, saturate color. The problem is, when do you know when it is and when it isn’t? Can a photographic style be plotted like a course on a map, or does it only happen in the rear view mirror? Also, video seems to be the “it” factor for much of the photography industry, but is it worth it, when you consider the gear, the time and the ability required to really do it well? Arthur Tress is our Photographer of the Week.