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.



#253: Imagineers Are Never Gonna Do South Park

February 28, 2017 at 11:00AM • 1 hour 36 minutes

This week, we respond to a couple listener emails — one involves questions around valuing work and the other is a followup to last week’s discussion around barriers. Also, what do you expect when you post your work online? Are you looking for constructive criticism, likes or is it just a vehicle for sharing what you make? Magnum photographer Eli Reed is our Photographer of the Week.


#252: That’s Not What Cameras And Books Were Made For

February 21, 2017 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 37 minutes

This week, an email from a listener sparks a discussion about shipping - specifically around our own expectations over what comes next. This leads us into a broader discussion around self image, privilege and fears - both real and imagined. Also, is an MFA in photography a good idea? Plus, we got lots of terrific phone calls from you and want more. Keep them coming! Herbert Randall is our Photographer of the Week.


#251: I’m Just Gonna Shut Up And Sit Here

February 14, 2017 at 3:15PM • 1 hour 23 minutes

This week, we’re talking about film gear and answering some listener questions about our favorite film cameras. Also, a discussion around the challenges of becoming derivative of your own work, especially when you’ve done it for decades. We use Billy Joel and Mark Seliger as examples. Plus, despite low earnings, camera makers are still developing some pretty incredible tech. Lorna Simpson is our Photographer of the Week.


#250: Like the Whos in Whoville

February 7, 2017 at 11:00AM • 1 hour 17 minutes

This week, have the tools taken the mystery out of photography? When you no longer think about technical requirements to make photographs, have we gone too far or is that the point? Also, a couple terrific submissions from listeners — including one that has us marvelling at photos from an earlier time in America. Plus, is there value in keeping meticulous records of your life? We’re celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting African American Photographers of the Week, beginning with Addison Scurlock.


#249: Ancillary Collaboration

January 31, 2017 at 11:45AM • 1 hour 23 minutes

This week, we discuss the seemingly innate skills and abilities of our fathers and grandfathers and how somewhere along the way, that “folk wisdom” was either lost or perhaps no longer needed. Were the skills handed down to them, or simply a byproduct of the time and place in which they lived? Have we evolved? Also, we mention a few terrific documentaries about art and design that are currently available for streaming. Chuck Stewart is our Photographer of the Week.


#248: Albatross Is On The Move

January 24, 2017 at 11:30AM • 1 hour 27 minutes

This week, a discussion around the historic worldwide Women’s March on Washington has us wondering “are we so used to things ‘being Photoshopped’ that we ignore actual photographic evidence?” Also, Jeffery gets a faux secret service detail. Plus, getting “the shot” in three minutes — what do you do if you didn’t get it? Has Fuji gotten the feel right with the new X100F and XT-20? Rusty Fox is our Photographer of the Week.


#247: Keep the Nihilist in the Closet

January 17, 2017 at 11:00AM • 1 hour 27 minutes

This week, we discuss the connection between purpose and happiness. Are they connected? Does one precede the other? What happens to our work when we no longer feel any purpose in engaging in it? Does it merely become practice? If so, to what end? Also, a reflection on the life of Gene Cernan and men like him, who dared to leave their home behind “just to see if they could do it.” Luigi Ghirri is our Photographer of the week.


#246: If I Start This, Then I’ll Have To Finish It

January 10, 2017 at 10:30AM • 1 hour 14 minutes

Sometimes, you need to take stock of the path you’re on to make sure you get where you’re trying to go. Other times, you may need to change the destination entirely. This week, we’re talking about looking at where we are and what to do if it’s just a little off. We’re also talking about new projects and how sometimes just rolling up your sleeves and doing the work is all that matters. Jerry Schatzberg is our Photographer of the Week.


#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.