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.



#280: Tacking Left And Right Into The Wind

September 5, 2017 at 12:15PM • 1 hour 27 minutes

This week, can creatives have concrete long term goals or is the nature of making such that clarity beyond a certain point is elusive by design? Then again, if you can’t define a specific goal or end point, how do you know whether you are getting closer or moving further away from where you want (or need) to be? Ruth Orkin is our Photographer of the Week.


#279: Letting It Go For A Better Offer

August 29, 2017 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 44 minutes

This week, does progress take the place of craft, or can things simultaneously move on while still staying the same? Or is the romance and nostalgia of “the way things used to be” just a manufactured memory? Also, how intentional are you about the colors in your photography? The colors you choose (and choose to leave out) can have a dramatic emotional effect on how your work is received. Plus, Sarah Oliphant has been at the forefront of backdrops for decades. Peter Hurley visits her studio to see what all the fuss is about. William Wegman is our Photographer of the Week.


#278: One and A Quarter Step Forward

August 21, 2017 at 10:15AM • 1 hour 26 minutes

This week, how do you know when you’re making good work? There are so many factors that contribute to the success of a project that worrying about a subjective definition of good ends up getting lost. Is just doing the work — any work — more important than whether or not you call it good? Marvin Newman is our Photographer of the Week.


#277: We Both Work Great In Planned Chaos

August 15, 2017 at 11:45AM • 1 hour 40 minutes

This week, we’re discussing order vs chaos and how each of us feels most productive. We also talk about how some forms of chaos can actually act as a motivator to help you focus and get more done. Plus, a follow up on last week’s discussion around purpose. John Vachon is our Photographer of the Week.


#276: Gas Money and a New Alternator

August 8, 2017 at 9:00PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

This week, what is the purpose of your work? What does it mean to live with purpose? Is purpose a necessary component to making good work? Also, the web is filled with reviews of everything you can imagine, but how do you know the unbiased ones from the affiliates and who do you trust? Gus Peterson is our Photographer of the Week.


#275: The Good, Fast, and Cheap of Photography

August 1, 2017 at 12:15PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

This week, we discuss the work of photographer Chris Killip, whose photographs of Northern England from the 1970s and 1980s manage to embody the spirit of the people as well as the landscape. Who are some of your favorite photographers who perfectly capture the feel or the energy of a particular time and place? We also talk about David Hockney, from the perspective of his ability to constantly explore and embrace new processes and techniques. Plus, the pros and cons of cropping. Olive Cotton is our Photographer of the Week.


#274: The Unatographer

July 25, 2017 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 29 minutes

We begin this week with a little tech talk around monitors. Is 4K the way to go, or is an ultrawide 1080 the better play? In the end it’s just pixels, but most photographers want as many as they can get. We also talk about elevating photography into an art form, exemplified by the career of John Szarkowski, an iconic photo curator who recently passed away. Plus, what makes a portrait? Robert Freeman is our Photographer of the Week.


#273: Kenneth Is Funded With Advice

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

This week, a listener asks for advice on how to fund a print project, which leads us on a discussion around potential solutions as well as options for compromise on what the end product looks like — something anyone who has made anything will likely be able to relate to. Also, a few stories that re-open the discussion around copyright and what a slippery slope it can be to navigate on both sides of the equation. Plus, “fake” is the new “it” word — fake news, fake photos, fake fame — but what happens when we really do lose our ability to tell fact from fiction? Martin Munkácsi is our Photographer of the Week.


#272: If I Stand Still, That’s When the Cobwebs Grow

July 11, 2017 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 41 minutes

This week, we discuss the possibilities of stepping outside our comfort zones. Sometimes, the beginning of a project seems too far out of reach — maybe even more than we can handle — but we find that the sweet spot in the Venn diagram between challenge and uncertainty is exactly what we need to take the work somewhere it couldn’t have gotten to any other way. Also, where have all the Renaissance men gone? William Christenberry is our Photographer of the Week.


#271: Hanging Out With The Other Kids Drinking Cristal

July 5, 2017 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 28 minutes

This week, for all of the “improvements” in the creative tools we use — specifically around software — have they really gotten noticeably better? Faster, yes. But are we more productive and is the work we produce better because of the tools or is it something else? Also, nepotism might get you in the door, but it doesn’t keep you in the game. Plus, should an artist be allowed to destroy his or her work from beyond the grave? Jason Lee is our Photographer of the Week.