July 28, 2021
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Photo of an Exhausted California Firefighter

Welcome to Chatting the Pictures. Every two weeks, we present a short, lively video discussion between Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer, professor, and historian, Cara Finnegan, examining a significant picture in the news. Chatting the Pictures is produced by Liliana Michelena.

By Staff
About the Video

The photo was taken by Lincoln Peters, a firefighter on the same hotshot crew as his captain, Justin Grunewald, here resting on a bridge in Big Sur, California. It accompanied a tweet on June 24th, 2021 from the Los Padres National Forest reporting on the containment status of the Willow Fire. In the video, we discuss the mood of the photo, Grunewald’s body language, and how much the photo mirrors the overwhelm from the climate crisis and yet another early and extreme beginning of the fire season.

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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

Cara Finnegan is a writer, photo historian, and professor of Communication at the University of Illinois. She has been affiliated with Reading The Pictures for nearly 15 years, most recently as co-host of Chatting The Pictures. Her most recent book is Photographic Presidents: Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital.


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