July 12, 2020
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Trump Mt. Rushmore; Gun Waving St. Louis Couple; Racial Protest Self Portrait

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” examines 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.

By Staff
About the Video

“The News” photo this week is a photo by Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times. It was taken at a July 4th weekend political rally for the president at Mt. Rushmore before almost 4,000 guests. The crowd was largely unmasked and not socially distanced, and Trump gave a “divisive” speech about American heritage. We analyze it for effectiveness, political incitement, and even decibel level.

For “The Look,” we discuss an image taken by Lawrence Bryant for Reuters. In the photo, we see Mark McCloskey and his wife Patricia McCloskey draw their firearms on protesters as they enter their neighborhood during a racial just protest on June 28th.  We break down the photo in terms of the relationship between white fear, white privilege and violence against African-Americans.

“The Pick” this week is a photo by Marc Clennon published in The New Yorker. It’s a self-portrait taken June 4th at a racial justice rally in Cadman Plaza Park, in downtown Brooklyn. We look at how Clennon uses the scene to explore his professional role, his identity, and a mirror that demands accountability.

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: Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Caption: President Trump bemoaned the removal of monuments across the country as a left-wing attack on “national heritage” in a divisive Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore.

Photo: Lawrence Bryant/Reuters

Caption: Mark McCloskey and his wife Patricia McCloskey draw their firearms on protesters as they enter their neighborhood during a protest against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, in St. Louis, Missouri, June 28.

Photo: Mark Clennon

Caption: Self-portrait in a protester’s sign.

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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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