Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 15, 2006

Going Back Into Analysis

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the difficulty of working as independently as I do.

With that in mind, I received an email message yesterday from a long time reader that put the concern into even sharper focus.  This is an excerpt (and notice it’s in the past tense):

The one reason I loved your site, the detailed analysis of photographs, seems to have dissipated in recent months.

Your strongest suit was in analyzing and breaking down media (or other) photographs.  The first few times I saw your work, I was astonished at how much we can read into photographs, and was impressed with the depth of your analysis.  You were able to read so much into a picture through the lens of a responsible citizen who doesn’t trust the administration or the mainstream media.

As of late, I haven’t seen much photoanalysis, and bagnews has become just another progressive blog (which is great, but no longer unique).  It seems like some entries are just large photo amalgamations that aren’t really analyzed at all, and others begin with a picture for analysis, but turn into a discussion of the circumstances of the picture instead of the facets of the picture itself.

Obviously it’s your blog, and I certainly do not mean to tell you where to go with it, but just wanted to let you know why one of your readers wasn’t visiting as often.



Around eight months ago, I received a similar message.  At the time, I was compelled to comment on that too.  The response I got back surprised me, however.  To generalize, the feedback was that “It’s all good.”

That said, I’m largely in agreement with this reader.  Because what I’m doing is unique (and because I do work in too much of a vacuum), I can easily get caught up with other political blogs and what they do.  Still, my use of images is in no way meant to illustrate political commentary.  Instead, as much as possible, I’m interested in reading (as opposed to reading into) news images to derive what meaning they have to offer (be it political, historical, sociological, psychological, cultural, journalistic or rhetorical).

And yeah, I do it (sometimes more than) slightly from the left.

Given the importance, I would be grateful (as always) for your thoughts, interpretations and suggestions.

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