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.



#215: Don’t Trust Experts

June 7, 2016 at 11:45AM • 1 hour 28 minutes

This week, a discussion around the work of painter Jeremy Mann, via the documentary A Solitary Mann by Loic Zimmermann. How much does happenstance figure into your creative output? Is your current style intentional or the result of a “happy accident” that you now continue to refine? The recent killing of an NPR photojournalist in Afghanistan sparks a conversation around photojournalism and the multiple areas where importance figures into making. Plus, remembering Muhammad Ali through the incredible photographs of his life and career. Nick Brandt is our Photographer of the Week.


#214: The Oxygen and the Spark

May 31, 2016 at 12:45PM • 1 hour 37 minutes

This week, baseball and theater inspire a discussion around making things that can’t be made and how the conversation between maker and audience is sometimes the exact context that is lacking. Also, a discussion around landscape photography prompted by a listener email. Plus, a wrap up (for now at least) of the current Steve McCurry snafu. Clayton James Cubitt is our Photographer of the Week.


#213: You’re Not About the Craft If You Use Laser Triggers

May 24, 2016 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 30 minutes

This week, we’re talking about memories, specifically the culling of photographic memories. If forced to choose, how do you decide which memories to keep? What single shot best captures your childhood, your wedding, your parents or children? In the deluge of photographic imagery, how you choose the right lifeboat? Also, Cindy Sherman has released her first new work in five years, but without any context, is it any good? Hiro is our Photographer of the Week.


#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.