Welcome to the latest edition of Chatting the Pictures, a weekly, micro-edition of the Reading the Pictures Salon. In each 20-minute webcast, co-hosts Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer and historian, Cara Finnegan, discuss three prominent photos in the news. The program is broken into three segments: “The News,” “The Look,” and “The Pick.” “The News” examine a hard news image for its content value. “The Look” focuses on a news photo for its artistry and style. And “The Pick” asks what made a high profile photo so unique to editors or the public.
“The News” photo this week was taken by Stephane Mahe for Reuters. This widely-published image depicts the Yellow Vest uprising in Paris. Highlighting a mass demonstration in the Place de la République, the square named after the French Revolution anchored by a statue of a figure that personifies France, it captures the protests in a larger, more symbolic way.
For “The Look,” we discuss a photo by Alkis Konstantinidis, also for Reuters. It shows migrants from Honduras walking towards U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to request asylum. The photo, with the aid of the caption, is distinctive for telling a story in an almost cinematic way. At the same time, it refutes the idea that migrants are trying to game the U.S. immigration system. In fact, it demonstrates how they are trying to honor it.
“The Pick” this week features a photo from Michael Reynolds for Bloomberg. It captures the wild televised encounter that took place this week in the Oval Office between President Donald Trump and the Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Except for this version, published in The New Yorker, is much different than most of the other photos taken by the White House press corps. Given the unique angle, the picture has a lot to say about gender, Trump, and the political shift in the country following the dramatic mid-term elections.
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.