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 White House photographer, Andrea Hanks. The photo shows Melania Trump holding the two-month-old, Paul Anchondo, at the University Medical Center of El Paso in El Paso, Texas on August 9th. Paul’s parents, Jordan and Andre Anchondo were among the 22 people killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso. We explain how thoroughly impersonal and politically audacious the photo op was, albeit typical of this president.
For “The Look,” we discuss an image taken by Thomas Peter for Reuters. This photo shows Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators occupying the arrival hall of that city’s airport, August 9th. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the photo as a beautiful rendering and an informative one.
“The Pick” this week features a photo by Tom Brenner for the New York Times. The photo was made during Senator Elizabeth Warren’s visit to Western Iowa in advance of the state presidential caucus. We consider the ambiguity of the photograph, and it’s uniqueness as a campaign image. Does the picture stereotype the Midwest and show Warren as a fuzzy political fit there? Or does it speak to the opposite?
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.