February 7, 2019
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Pelosi’s Trump Clap; Double Border Fences; Male Super Bowl Cheerleaders

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 Doug Mills of The New York Times. In the picture, we deconstruction the internet-winning photo from Trump’s State of the Union speech. Hardly hiding her distain for Trump for most of his speech, Pelosi’s gesture could be interpreted as: “I’m not clapping for you, I’m clapping at you.”

For “The Look,” we discuss an image by John Moore for Getty Images. It shows Central American immigrants waiting at a “double mesh” border fence after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico to El Paso. What it captures in a chilling way is the deepening and darkening situation migrants are facing as a result of shifting US rules, and the push to construct even more fencing and more walls.

“The Pick” this week features a photo by Brian Finke for Redux Pictures. This shot from the Super Bowl, recognizes the addition of male cheerleaders in the NFL. Our discussion focuses on how much the photo still amplifies a double-standard.

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: Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS

Caption: President Donald Trump delivered the State of the Union address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, at the Capitol in Washington, DC on February 5, 2019.

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images via Instagram

Caption: Central American immigrants wait at a “double mesh” border fence after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico to El Paso, Texas. They said they had crossed the river the evening before and waited by the fence overnight, with temperatures at about 40F degrees. After arriving to American soil, the families are taken into custody by US Border Patrol agents to then request political asylum. Because the river there is shallow, many wade across it instead of entering Texas via an official port of entry, where they may have to wait weeks, or months to receive an asylum interview. US border officials limit the number of migrants that can pass through ports of entry on a daily basis, a process called “metering.”

Photo: Brian Finke/Redux

Caption: The Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders at a preseason game.

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.


Comments Powered by Disqus