January 3, 2019
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: New Years Embrace, Migrant at Phoenix Bus Station, a Shutdown Portrait

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.

By Michael Shaw
About the Video

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 Craig Ruttle for AP.  After a very difficult 2018, it seems New Years this year really was news — specifically, an occasion for hope and optimism for better. Certainly, we embrace the love.

For “The Look,” we discuss a photo by  Nick Oza for The Arizona Republic. The picture captures a child under a pair of benches after ICE dropped off more than 100 Guatemalan migrants at a Phoenix bus station. Tracking the ongoing border crisis, Michael and Cara discuss how much this beautifully architectural photo is grim or optimistic.

“The Pick” this week features a photo by Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post. We haven’t seen a lot of interesting photos of the government shutdown but this is certainly the exception. Here, we see a security guard inside the entrance of the EPA just hours before the shutdown took effect. We saw many layers in the textured and concerned photo, including elements that speak to access, race, and even the environment.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

The Full Edit

Take a closer look at some of the images from our larger photo edit.

Photo: Craig Ruttle /Associated Press

Caption: Embracing a (very rainy) New Year in New York, with lots of affection. December 31, 2018.

Photo: Nick Oza/The Republic

Caption: Immigration Customs and Enforcement dropped off more than 100 migrants mostly from Guatemala at the Phoenix Greyhound bus station at 2115 E. Buckeye Road. Roberto Ramirez, 6, was in ICE custody with his father, Gaspa Ramirez. He claims that treatment by officers was bad and children were getting sick because of cold weather.

Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Caption: A security guard peers out of the visitors entrance door at the Environmental Protection Agency building, December 21, 2018, hours ahead of a possible partial government shutdown.

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Michael Shaw
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Michael Shaw

An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures.

Cara Finnegan

Communication Professor, University of Illinois. Author of Making Photography Matter: A Viewer’s History from the Civil War to the Great Depression and Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs. Moderator, Reading the Pictures Salon.


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