November 2, 2019
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Wildfire Wedding, Impeachment’s Woman in Blue, Trump’s Raid Dog Retweet

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.

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.

For “The Look,” we discuss a viral photo by wedding photographer, Karna Roa. It shows Katie and Curtis Ferland on their wedding day in Sonoma, California, while the Kincade fire rages in the distance. We discuss the power of the photo in the context of California’s fire storms and the climate crisis. We also discuss the comparison to the famous “American Gothic” painting.

“The News” photo this week was taken by journalist Sam Brodey. Still another viral photo, it captures House Republicans after they marched into the secure conference room in the Capitol and disrupted a session of the House impeachment inquiry. We focus on the woman in blue looking to the sky in what could be described as a divine light. We discuss how her placement provides a context and perspective, and plenty of metaphors, for the polarized political environment and the impeachment process.

“The Pick” this week features a meme tweeted by Donald Trump that was originally posted by The Daily Wire. The photoshop image showcases the military dog involved in the military raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. We talk about Trump’s use of conservative imagery and memes, and how he uses this photoshopped medal of honor scene to promote the successful mission and also draw attention to his role.

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: Karna Roa

Caption: Katie and Curtis Ferland’s wedding photo in Sonoma county.

Photo: Daily Wire.

Caption: The photoshop image showcases the military dog involved in the military raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and was tweeted by Donald Trump on October 30, 2019.

Photo: Sam Brodey.

Caption: Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., left, and other members conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center outside the Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, deposition related to the House’s impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. The Republican members were calling for access to the deposition.

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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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