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.



#212: Audience Inflation

May 16, 2016 at 7:15PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

We’re a day early and all over the map this week, with topics including rating photographs in a changing aesthetic, online vs offline creative communities, making vs. sharing and a continuation of last week’s discussion about post-processing — specifically, how much is too much? Michael Kenna is our Photographer of the Week.


#211: I Do Wanna Be A Person Eating Pancakes!

May 10, 2016 at 12:30PM • 1 hour 32 minutes

This week, we talk about the continuing evolution of photography from the perspective of seeing how genres are blending into one another and how so much of contemporary photography can fall under “lifestyle.” Also, two sides of a Photoshop discussion around retouching — one from the point of view of a model and the other from an icon of photojournalism. Plus, how do you feel about narrative in photography? Do you want to be told what a photo or body of work means, or do you prefer assigning your own narrative and/or backstory to the work? Bruce Davidson is our Photographer of the Week.


#210: I’m Over Here in Sharpshooter’s Corner

May 3, 2016 at 11:45AM • 1 hour 54 minutes

This week, after a quick teaser of next week’s show, we’re taking your questions and attempting to answer them. Topics range from gear to legacy to what makes a great photographer. We love doing these shows and if you didn’t get a question in this time, keep an eye out for the next one. Maurice Tabard is our Photographer of the Week.


#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.