Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
July 23, 2019

Chatting the Pictures: The Squad; NOLA Flood; Drone Guns

Welcome to the latest edition of Chatting the Pictures. In each 10-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 is by Getty photographer, Alex Wroblewski. The picture shows U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 15, 2019. President Donald Trump has directed repeated racial attacks at the four congresswomen. We look at the black-and-white picture for its dignified tone and as a historical document.

For “The Look,” we discuss an image taken by Ryan Pasternak, published in The New York Times. This photo depicts a flooded street in New Orleans, taken on Wednesday, July 10. We focus on the artistic and even cinematic quality of the of the picture. With the climate crisis at a tipping point, we also discuss how the last recourse to disaster is to treat it as spectacle.

“The Pick” this week is by Charles Platiau for Reuters. We look at French Army soldiers holding anti-drone guns during the traditional Bastille Day military parade Paris, and how the scale conjures toys and video games.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

Slideshow

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images
Caption: U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pause between answering questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on four progressive Democratic congresswomen, saying if they’re not happy in the United States “they can leave.”

Photo: Ryan Pasternak
Caption: A flooded street in New Orleans on Wednesday, July 10, 2019.

Photo: Charles Platiau/ Reuters
Caption: French Army soldiers hold anti-drone guns during the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, July 14, 2019.

  • Panelists
  • 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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