August 21, 2021
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Climate Crisis Photo Delivers a Lot More than an Instagram Moment

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

This photo was taken by Justin Sullivan for Getty Images at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. Behind the young visitor with the selfie stick, we can see the Colorado River which supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. The river feeds two major reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Lake Powell is at a historic low having dropped 44 feet in the past year.

In the video, we discuss the surprising complexity of the image. Beyond the Instagram moment and the obvious markers of the climate crisis, it has a lot to say about how we value the environment and how we’ve manipulated it.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

Post By

See other posts by Staff here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


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.


Comments Powered by Disqus