January 11, 2019
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Trump Hotel Games Shutdown; New Women of Congress; Jail Hell in Manila

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 Kevin Lamarque for Reuters. In the picture, we see a Park Service ranger looking down on the city from the Trump hotel’s historic DC clock tower. But the question is: by what maneuver are these furloughed federal employees still working during the government shutdown?

For “The Look,” we discuss a photo by Martin Schoeller for Vanity Fair. Captioned “The New Congressional Class Set a High Style Bar,” we discuss how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Deb Haaland, Veronica Escobar, and Sharice Davids stand for a lot more than fashion in this historical moment.

“The Pick” this week features a photo by Hannah Reyes Morales for The New York Times. Call it imprisonment as an act of torture. Leading the front page, we break down the beauty, horror, and substance of this photo of detainees crammed together in the Manila City Jail.

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: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Caption: A National Park Service ranger looks out onto the city from Trump International Hotel’s historic clock tower, which remains open and staffed by the National Park Service despite the partial government shutdown in Washington, January 7.

Photo: Martin Schoeller for Vanity Fair

Caption: (From left to right) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Deb Haaland, Veronica Escobar, and Sharice Davids.

Photo: Hannah Reyes Morales for The New York Times

Caption: Detainees in Manila City Jail, where most are still awaiting trial, and may stay for months or even years before that happens.

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


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.


Comments Powered by Disqus