January 27, 2022
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Tornado Photo from Wrecked Kentucky Theater is Like a Movie

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 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.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here

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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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