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 Hamad Mohammed for Reuters. The image shows a September 19th news conference in Riyadh with Saudi defense ministry spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malik as he displays remains of the missiles which the Saudi government says were used by Iran to attack their Aramco oil facility. We discuss how media relations and the display of evidence has become so refined. As refined, that is, as the weapons that rendered the Saudi military and its oil infrastructure so helpless.
For “The Look,” we discuss an image taken by John Moore for Getty Images. This photo shows a U.S. Border Patrol agent apprehending a mother and daughter from Ecuador in a Texas cotton field on September 10, 2019. Cara discusses the photos many ironies, including its angle, and the parallel role of migrants toiling in America’s farm fields. Michael focuses on the symbolism of the cotton field and the connection to American slavery.
“The Pick” this week is a photo posted by Barack Obama documenting his meeting with climate activist Greta Thunberg. We talk about similar meetings Obama has held in the past, the relevance of the fist bump, and how much equivalence, respect, and star power there is between the two.
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.
Take a closer look at some of the images from our larger photo edit.