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.
This viral photo was originally posted to social media by Shawn Triplett. It shows tornado debris inside the theatre of an American Legion building in Mayfield, Kentucky, December 11, 2021. At 165 miles long, the weather event was the deadliest long track tornado ever recorded killing 66 people and leaving the town in ruins.
In the video, we discuss how much news imagery and cinema interrelate and how Triplett’s photo both reflects on that and straddles the line. We talk more specifically about the perceptual effect of the photo and also compare it to a similar image by Brandon Bell taken for Getty Images.
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