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.



#245: A Higher Form of Noise

January 3, 2017 at 10:30AM • 1 hour 7 minutes

We’re starting out the new year discussing transformation — specifically, the transformation that seems to be an essential component to making art with a capital ‘A.’ To help with the discussion, we’re using a terrific Netflix documentary series that traces the foundations and evolution of Hip Hop that brilliantly exemplifies transformation at work. Through interviews and archival footage, we see the origin story that took hip hop from back alleys and front rooms in the Bronx to stadiums all over the world. Kurt William Kamka is our Photographer of the Week.


#244: That’s the Arrow That Got Through

December 26, 2016 at 4:30PM • 1 hour 18 minutes

This week, trying to reconcile the highs and lows of the past year and how for some of us, when an artist dies, a little piece of our history or even the personal identity that we have associated with the person (or their body of work) dies as well. It’s as if our potential, whether realized or not is inexorably tied to their energy. Also, a little about what’s next for each of us in 2017. Rodney Smith is our Photographer of the Week. Happy New Year everyone.


#243: Can You Make the Logo Bigger?

December 20, 2016 at 12:45PM • 1 hour 32 minutes

This week, we’re starting off with a little about gear, specifically the new Microsoft Surface Studio and the uncertain future of desktop Macs. From there it’s on to David Hockney and a somewhat relativistic view of the “good” of art and whether or not one piece of art is really any better than another. Also, are bigger prints always better? Plus, we take a trip to the Crit Wall. Lori Vrba is our Photographer of the Week.


#242: Lack of Stasis

December 13, 2016 at 12:15PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

This week, we discuss TIME’s Person of the Year cover and portfolio, made by Nadav Kandar. Specifically, we unpack questions raised by the potentially subversive nature of the work and whether or not an artist has a responsibility to art before personal belief. As part of the discussion, we also reference a collection of Dorothea Lange’s previously censored photographs of FDR’s Japanese concentration camps. Jack Davison is our Photographer of the Week.


#241: The Final Ten Percent Takes Ninety Percent of the Time

December 6, 2016 at 11:15AM • 1 hour 39 minutes

This week, details about the OTP Gift Exchange and some of our book suggestions. Also, how would what you make and release into the world — your art — be different if there were negative consequences to showing it? Plus, is it worth it to print all of your photos? Danny Clinch is our Photographer of the Week.


#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.