June 8, 2019
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Graphic VA Beach Photo; Javanka at Buckingham Palace; Tank Man 30 Years On

Welcome to the latest edition of Chatting the Pictures. In each 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 is by Alyssa Andrews. The bystander photo was taken near the mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach on May 31st. The unidentified man in the green shirt was injured in the attack. We discuss how this photo is unique from others taken at these tragic and all-too-common events, and whether the graphic nature of the picture can have a constructive effect.

For “The Look,” we discuss an image taken by Tim Rooke, royal photographer for Shutterstock Now. This widely seen (and memed) photo of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner was taken at Buckingham Palace during the Trump’s state visit to England. We explore how the photo differs from the typically stagey or ironic photos of Trump and his clan. We also consider whether the photo truly caught the couple unaware, and how much it illuminates “the Trump reign.”

“The Pick” this week is by Philippe Wojazer for Reuters. This photo depicts a human rights activist posing in front of a mock tank on the Place de la Republique in Paris on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Besides reflecting on the enduring power of the iconic “Tank Man” photographs, we examine how much the protest photo speaks to photography and visual culture, as well as Chinese politics and international relations today.

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: Alyssa Andrews

Caption: Alyssa Andrews was parked on the side of the road waiting or her daughter near the shooting when she saw an unidentified man in a green shirt and khakis covered blood near the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on May 31, 2019.

Photo: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Caption: JUNE 3, 2019 Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at the ceremonial welcome at Buckingham Palace for the state visit of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

Photo: Philippe Wojazer/REUTERS

Caption: A member of the Worldwide Human Rights Movement poses in front of a mock tank on the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, June 4, 2019.

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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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