July 15, 2022
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: A More Real Heat Wave Photo

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 Brandon Bell for Getty Images. It shows the Johnson family spending time together in the shade outside of their home in Houston on June 10, 2022. Texas has been under a heatwave alert as portions of the state are projected to see record high temperatures. The image offers a worthy contrast to more typical heatwave news photo such as people, often children, frolicking in pools, lakes and fountains.

In the video, we discuss the intelligence and practicality of the photo. In contrast to more superficial treatment of the climate crisis, this photo speaks to the day-to-day impact of longer and more intense heat drawing on fundamental elements of community, ingenuity, electricity and the access to shade.

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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