Picture Stories

Take a tour of at least three of the following news slide shows. Then pick one picture story and discuss it in the comments section below.

Tell us: What is your reaction? What do you notice? What story is the photographer trying to tell? What makes the picture story work?

Haiti Struggles After Being Hit By Storm (NYTimes.com)

Ghosts of 1929 (Reuters)

Toxic Milk (MSNBC.com)

Fast-Track Governor (MSNBC.com)

Why We Travel (NYTimes.com)

Memorable Moments at Shea (NYTimes.com)

A Day for the Dogs (Reuters)

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40 Responses to Picture Stories

  1. heavytothebone2 says:

    I looked through the Haiti picture story and was blown away at the suffering and damage that the tropical storms had on the small country. Somebody in the picture story compared it to Katrina, but without the resources that New Orleans had, and that would be an appropriate assessment. The photos add a visual effect that augments the written article. Even though only six photos were shown, those six are enough to showcase the long-term destruction the four tropical storms left on Haiti.

  2. Anthony says:

    Shea was never the best stadium but the memories it gave us will last forever. The physical bridge to the past may be gone soon but those who witnessed the events and took pictures and stories away from them is what will keep it alive forever. All the pictures show great moments for everyone and its those images that people remember more then anything.

  3. Jean Jones says:

    The ” Haiti Struggles After Being Hit By Storm” picture story, is very interesting. The pictures are very surreal and help drive home the point of destitution, and devastation of the people after the storm.
    The pictures flow well with the purpose of the photographer to show the aftermath of the storm. Also the caption works well because again it adds to the effect and severity of the issue. However, there could have been a little bit more pictures.

  4. nigro785 says:

    Chris Nigro

    My reaction to the A day for the Dogs slide show is that there is a differnce between the breeds of dogs in the shows between Europe in America. The dogs in Europe are fancier breeds. In America the breed types are less fancy.
    Show dogs in America are treated well similar to the type in Europe, but I believe the European dogs look more pampered.
    I think the slide show left out some details. I think more pictures could have been taken to show a better variety of activities the dogs were involved in and showed a better variety of breeds.

  5. tresemily says:

    Fast-track Governor

    This slideshow was so interesting. I have never seen most of those photos of Sarah Palin. It really gave her life the context and background that has been lacking. The photographers who shot these different photographs are trying to show Sarah Palin as she is, without all the media influence, without any political agenda, just Sarah. The picture story works because it’s something new and there is an intense interest into the life of Sarah Palin. Had it been someone else’s life, I don’t know if it would have been as successful. We don’t know much, if anything, about Sarah Palin so any piece of information we get is refreshing.

  6. Danser67 says:

    With the Palin picture story, it gave a very interesting snapshot into her life. It gave a depiction of her rise to here current political office and where here life has lead her. This works cause it shows her not only at the beginning of her political life, but even when she was younger. The public should demand that she bring out that basketball uniform again. Lets see Tina Fey satire that!!!

  7. bslo18 says:

    The slideshow, Why We Travel, showed ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Each of the photos shows at least one person experiencing the beauty of the world. It doesn’t matter if it is a person going back to their heritage or encountering animals for the first time. Traveling is partly because of the places we see but more about the experience we have.

  8. tonybear108 says:

    As a lifelong Mets fan, the Memorable Moments at Shea piece by the NY-Times is particularly moving for me.

    Despite the fact that I was born in 1986, and could not have vividly remembered some of these moments at Shea Stadium, I can appreciate moments like the 1986 season as a whole, which I have a video tape of and have watched at least a thousand times growing up.

    I also wholeheartedly remember the first game in Shea after 9/11, when we played the Atlanta Braves. Being a New York native the pre-game ceremony was one that I will never forget, and in the game Mike Piazza hit a home run that eventually won the game for the Mets, making that night even more legendary in my eyes.

    Moments since I have started ardently supporting the Mets include: the team beating the Cardinals to get to the 2000 World Series, Todd Pratt’s walk off home run in game 5 against the Braves in 1999, Robin Ventura’s walk-off “Grand Slam Single” in which he hit a grand slam but was tackled by the whole Mets team before he ever reached second base. It is moments like these and many more that make me proud to be a Mets fan, even if the team is not reaching expectations right now, memories past will never change.

    I have been to Shea six times to watch a Mets game and while the Stadium is a little hard on the eyes, the fans in the stands and the memories of fantastic moments that have occurred on the field make Shea a Stadium will remarkable beauty to me.

    – Anthony Sciarrino

  9. Aileen says:

    I looked at the Ghosts of 1929 picture story and found the desperation, evident from the lack of smiles and energy in pictured people’s faces, to be very upsetting. Even in old, black & white photos, it’s obvious that communities felt empty and depressed. The story shows how different people – both in urban and rural environments – were impacted by the Great Depression.

  10. I loved the “Why We Travel” blog, for the simple reason that I would love to go to all of those places, and have my own moments captured on film.
    I noticed and liked the fact that not all of the photos were of the same thing. They weren’t all landscape, they weren’t all people standing in front of statues saying “cheese.” They were portraits of people, in interesting places that maybe we never will get the chance to see with our own eyes. They were at different angles, different perspectives and each of them had its own punch to it.
    The pictures were of different people in different places at different times, but they all worked cohesively together through the impact they all have on the viewer. The photographer was showing you places across the world, that weren’t just “tourist traps.” They were slices of life and the environment. They were real people, not well known movie stars. Unless I missed something obvious…
    It made me feel like I was watching a slideshow of pictures from an aunt or uncle’s vacation. (an artsy one of course) It felt comfortable and familiar, but still had the WOW factor.

  11. Memorable Moments at Shea-

    I never really thought about Shea having that many memorable moment (probably because I’m a Yankees fan). Looking at the slideshow, you really get a feeling about the historic events that affected Shea: The Beatles, the pope, the blackout. It gets to you a little bit that it’ll be torn down.

    Toxic Milk-

    A slideshow like this really gave me a clear image of the epidemic that is going on in China. From the lines of people, staggering around trying to get medicine to the babies with IV’s in their heads, the graphic scenes are brutal in how they portray the problem.

  12. Mike Williams says:

    In the “Ghosts of 1929” picture story, the images provided a more in-depth look at the struggles of people during the Depression. For example, in the first photo, you can see the concern and worry on the face of the mother as her children cling to her. The images make the desperation of the time more vivid and real than words alone could do.

  13. I feel that the “Tainted Milk” photo story depicts a very dire and urgent situation. The photos of children and families play to emotion, while images of scientists and protesters make the issue look extremely serious and dangerous. The captions and the photos themselves seem to vilify China and place all the blame on the Chinese government.

    The “Ghosts of 1929” legitimately scares me, given the current economic crisis in our country – perhaps this was the whole point of the story. The photos are heartbreaking and tell the story of people all struggling to survive because of an economic depression. The captions illustrate the most startling point – whether you were an educated scholar, a skilled rail worker, or a “family man,” the Depression did not discriminate.

  14. Gina Ciampa says:

    This is a great way to talk about travel. The individual stories are interesting first person testimonies, when they are matched with pictures, it brings the stories to life. I noticed that the stories felt more personal and held my attention. They say a picture can be worth a 1,000 words, and this proves it. Each photo is like its own story in itself. I believe the photographer is trying to show we all have our own reasons, experiences, and destinations while traveling and that is what makes it so wonderful. No one person has the same exact story but each traveler finds this overwhelming contentment while experiencing the inexperienced. The picture story works initially because of the subject (travel) but also works to give light to the stories. From the emotional faces at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to the amazement of seeing elephants for the first tie in Kenya, the pictures help the reader imagine experiencing these things on their won. Therefore, making a reader more enthralled and attentive to the story.

  15. Dan Shaffery says:

    Why We Travel: I liked the overall feel of this one. Different people from different parts of the world all traveling to different places. I think the photographer is trying to show that people from all across the world all have the same urge to see new places and experience new things. I think seeing the diverse group of people in all the different locales made it work.

  16. Anonymous says:

    As a lifelong Mets fan, the Memorable Moments at Shea piece by the NY-Times is particularly moving for me.

    Despite the fact that I was born in 1986, and could not have vividly remembered some of these moments at Shea Stadium, I can appreciate moments like the 1986 season as a whole, which I have a video tape of and have watched at least a thousand times growing up.

    I also wholeheartedly remember the first game in Shea after 9/11, when we played the Atlanta Braves. Being a New York native the pre-game ceremony was one that I will never forget, and in the game Mike Piazza hit a home run that eventually won the game for the Mets, making that night even more legendary in my eyes.

    Moments since I have started ardently supporting the Mets include: the team beating the Cardinals to get to the 2000 World Series, Endy Chavez’s amazing catch in game 7 of the 2006 NLCS , Robin Ventura’s walk-off “Grand Slam Single” in 1999 in which he hit a grand slam but was tackled by the whole Mets team before he ever reached second base. It is moments like these and many more that make me proud to be a Mets fan, even if the team is not reaching expectations right now, memories past will never change.

    I have been to Shea six times to watch a Mets game and while the Stadium is a little hard on the eyes, the fans in the stands and the memories of fantastic moments that have occurred on the field make Shea a Stadium will remarkable beauty to me.

    – Anthony Sciarrino

  17. Ellen Jones says:

    I viewed “Fast-Track Governor.” It contained several pictures of Sarah Palin, both as a child and as a politician. I was surprised by the pictures because I feel like they help to make her more likable. They add a human face to the politician. I thought the pictures of her as a politician before the Vice Presidential nomination were interesting because she looks a bit different. The photo of her in a grocery store gives a new look at her job as governor. Also, one of these photos showed her with her hair down. Although this is a small, rather meaningless change, it took me off guard because I haven’t seen her like that before.

    The photographer was trying to show Palin’s life in a nutshell. I believe it worked because it incorporated her important life events or interesting facts. It showed a couple of Palin baby pictures to show the beginning of her life, but quickly moved on to photos that stand for life events. For example, there were multiple photos showing what she did during her time as governor.

  18. Caitlin Stolzenthaler says:

    The “toxic milk” picture story, which explored the effects a tainted milk supply has had on China, offered powerful, lasting images of a country in health crisis. The images of crying babies going in for health checkups, those sick with toxin-related kidney stones stuck in hospitals, and bare supermarket shelves which once housed milk products stick with me. News articles focused mainly on poisoned infants; here, we see the country as a whole affected: a baby orangutan, sick after ingesting tainted powdered milk; activists dumping powdered milk on the sidewalks in protest; a uniformed police officer taking tainted hard candies off of shelves.
    I reacted with frustration at another story of tainted products from China; photos of sick infants really made me upset. The story works because it covers all facets of the issue. Photos tell the brutal truth; it’s one thing to read about a sick baby and quite another to actually see one with electrodes on it’s tiny body in a hospital.

  19. Edward Small says:

    In the Reuters.com picture story, “Ghosts of 1929,” I starting feeling really sorry for the people of the 30’s through the 40’s, as there were signs of depression and sadness, as the human form begins to detirorate. The photographer shows us despair and homelessness, as there were photos of men lying in parks with no place to live, families living in cars, barren farms, etc. The depression was an awful time, but it did a great job of showing you of full emotion from that era.

    In “Toxic Milk”, the photos tell of Chinese contaminated milk that contained melamine, a toxic industrial chemical. This story too, tells of human suffering as well. It makes me mad that something like that could happen to a country, and what the government is doing to stop people from dying. The photos also tell what steps are taken to stop people from dying and stop kidney failure that is occuring from this chemical.

  20. RyAnn Reynolds says:

    In the New York Times photo story under Why We Travel, the 31st photo of two young american women in Tokyo is priceless. The picture says that the women are tourist and don’t realize what they are doing is a faux pas. The picture works because of the visual contrast between two executive looking Japanese guys against causally dressed Americans women chowing down.

    I love this picture because I can relate to it all too well. Spending the summer in Spain without being fluent in Spanish, I found myself often tuning things out because I was not able to understand what people were trying to say to me. On several occasions I found myself in a situation where a native yelled at me in Spanish or Catalan, and I just shrugged and smiled because I was clueless to what was going on.

  21. eaglesgirl20 says:

    Corianne Egan

    I looked through the story on tainted milk in China. It was interesting to see the story in pictures, because hearing it from this far away didn’t give as much impact. The pictures were especially compelling because they had pictures of children in them.

    The pictures showed how many people were affected, and quantified it so that the impact was evident. Also, it was interesting because they had a picture of an orangutan who was affected by the milk, giving yet another angle to the story. I think overall, telling this story in pictures was important because, especially from so far away, it is hard to imagine how many lives this affected.

  22. Dave Zangaro says:

    In A Day for the Dogs, I really enjoyed seeing the way the photographs where in chronological order. The first photos were of the dogs getting ready for the show, while the photos in the middle where of the actual events of the show. Finally the last photos where my favorite they were filled with anticipation as the dogs patiently waited for the results of the show.

    What was lacking were pictures of the results of the show. I wanted to see the dogs that won in their various categories. What I did like about the slide show, however, was that the pictures were about the dogs, not the owners. I thought it was an interesting perspective to show almost only the dogs and not the owners.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I thought the picture in “Ghosts of 1929” titled “A jobline in 1949 L.A., California” was interesting. I noticed the long lines for unemployment which is something that we might be seeing in the near future with the economy going down. At first the title ghosts of 1929 misleads you until you see the pictures for yourself and realize it is about the great depression.

    I think the photographer is trying to capture the essence of that time and how the United States was at a loss of everything meaning it just was not a very prosperous time.

  24. Steve D says:

    Ghosts of 1929 really caught my attention and made me think. That reporter did a really good job. The images did a better job than a story would have done. The 10th picture of a man selling his belongings because presumably he doesn’t have a job and is desperate for money probably stood out to me more so than the rest of the pictures did.

    Although the depression used to seem like forever ago it appears we may be headed in that direction again. With the current economic situation it makes this picture story more relevant than the rest.

    Another picture that stood out in my mind was the 15th picture of residents awaiting rations at a food distribution center. In addition to that it looks like the police or people to that effect are there to keep the people in line. Again I just hope we can get this economic situation straightened out and not end up down a similar path.

  25. fold05 says:

    The Ghosts of 1929 really captured my attention. The black and white photos create more emotion for me about a time that my generation needs to appreciate. These ghosts are a parallel to what our country is going through currently with the economic crisis and unemployment. I think this slideshow tells a story about what goes around comes around, although we are fortunate enough to not see such extreme conditions.

  26. Jess Humphrey says:

    Being a Mets fan, I picked to look at the slideshow featuring images of memorable times at Shea. Being that I am from North Jersey and very close to the city, I have been to Shea loads of time. Shea was never one of the nicest stadiums in baseball; however, it holds a dear place in many fans hearts.

    The slideshow accurately depicts some of the memorable moments of Shea history. One of the images that brings back memories is the one featuring the first responders throwing out the first pitch after 9/11. Not only was that opening exciting but the game as a whole was among the memorable ones.

  27. ZC says:

    I found the Haiti story to be the most powerful. I think that actually seeing the damage and getting a look at their struggle and the conditions in which they are living as opposed to just reading about it has a much greater impact. Pictures 1, 5, and 6 were especially powerful. There are times when a simple photo can really sum up or encapsulate a feeling, a situation, or the effects of an event, and for me, this particular photo-story was the one that did that, and left me with a lasting impression.

  28. carmen59 says:

    The slide show entitled, “Why We Travel,” was the most visually striking to me. They were well taken photographs that were shot in some of the most beautiful places.

    It also did a good job of explaining the common thread between all of the photographs. It’s message was more complex than just photographs taken in foreign countries. Instead, it embodied the nature of travel, and the moments (that these pictures attempt to convey) that make travel so enjoyable. Like the picture in which the two young young girls share a laugh with the two business men from Tokyo. Neither of them understand one another but are able to laugh with each other. Or the photograph of a woman looking up in awe at the waterfalls which surround her. These moments of bliss, awe, or sometimes a simple connection despite differences are what travel is all about and is what the photographer aims to convey.

    -Christopher Carmena

  29. Kevin Kolodziej says:

    Although I am not a Met’s or Jet’s fan, it really is a shame that Shea Stadium is going to be knocked down. It has so much history behind it, it just doesn’t seem right. The fact that the Beatles played one of their most famous concerts ever, at Shea Stadium, is simply amazing. I actually have the CD of that concert, and it is one of my favorite live albums that I own. Second, Pope John Paul II could have gone anywhere that he would have liked in the United States, and he chose Shea Stadium to be the place that he would make his first public appearance in the US. Also, it truly is awesome that they allowed the first responders from September 11th, 2001, to throw out the first pitch before the first game played back at Shea. Shea stadium is a historic landmark, and it really will be a shame to see it go.

  30. Cody Chrusciel says:

    Although Shea Stadium was often overshadowed by Yankee Stadium, “Memorable Moments at Shea” offers a quick glance at the unforgettable history of the Queens ballpark which sports some illustrious memories of its own. There’s something to be said about a venue that has hosted The Beatles and Pope John Paul II in addition to the Mets and Jets.

    A slideshow for “Haiti Struggles After Being Hit by Storms” gives The New York Times a chance to present more photos than they would otherwise be able to in print. They gathered photos from several photographers to paint a picture of the devastation in Haiti.

    It’s amazing how many photos MSNBC uses to tell the story of “Toxic Milk”. Reading the story in print wouldn’t have had the same effect.

  31. A. Gehm says:

    The reaction that I get from Toxic Milk is one of disbelief. How could this happen and how could it have gone unnoticed for so long? It seems as if an epidemic has occurred, which to some extent it could be construed as such.

    It seems as if the photographer is trying to get across the message that this truly is a huge situation and that people really are suffering from it. The photos are genuine and bring about a sense of morality, as we see children and animals suffering.

    One photo that sticks out to me is that of the bare shelves in the dairy section at the grocery store. There are no choices of dairy products to choose from except for maybe a handful. It shows the reach and magnitude induced by the carelessness of the manufacturers and government.

  32. Ian says:

    I looked at the “Why We Travel” photo story and really got sucked in to it. If it wasn’t for being told I had 5 minutes left to finish I probably would have just kept reading and looking the whole class. It’s really interesting to actually see why other people travel as opposed to the basic “I want to see the sights”. I think I really enjoyed it because a lot of the reasons these people mentioned were reasons that I want to travel, and frankly it made me pretty jealous. It was interesting to notice the places that people actually visited besides the stereotypical places that people want to visit. Laos, Timbuktu, White Sands, Kenya, all places that most people would not think of visiting given the opportunity. It was fun to read about the places these people visited through their own words, which may or may not have been the most eloquent recollections yet still managed to get across the point of their travel.

    The whole project really made me jealous though that all these people were visiting these amazing places and here I am sitting in class. Overall I’d say it was an excellent project and I’ll probably read the rest of it whenever I get a chance.

  33. brian bertonazzi says:

    The most compelling slideshow was “Haiti struggles after being hit by storm.” The only way to describe it is heartbreaking. Almost a feeling of guilt that says I should do something about this. The pictures show people struggling to survive in a place that seems so distant from the rest of the world. Living and getting by took a lot of effort before the storm, how will these people cope? A compassionate human being can not ignore the look of desperation on the people’s face.

  34. Stacy J. says:

    The NYT ‘Why We Travel’ picture story seemed more like a collection of short stories. The excellent photography really gave each tale a great setting and made the stories all the more engaging.

    It seems as though the photos and the story were collected separately, but the images work with the text regardless. The quotes/captions read as though the subjects were asked to reflect on their trip after they had returned home. I like this style because the quotes include more reflection and deep thought than they probably would if they were taken at the same time as the photo. The subjects also have more of a chance to give a summary of their whole trip, rather than just a “so far…” report.

    The picture story works wonderfully because it not only takes the viewer to places they (probably) haven’t been, it also gives a first-hand report from the normal people that ventured there.

  35. Chris F. says:

    Sarah Palin’s life as a news anchoring, gun toting, beauty queen and soon-to-be grandmother confuses me. As a beauty queen and new anchor, clearly her appearance was very important. In every picture, Palin looks great. In the brief captions, they mention a Vogue appearance, show her as a beauty queen, and even mention a common Alaska bumper sticker; “Coldest state, hottest governor”. Now that she McCain’s running mate; I wonder why.
    The story that I picked out of this photo gallery is that Palin is photogenic, albeit unqualified to lead the free world. There are no photos of her engaged in talks with world leaders, unlike the Biden slide show. There are however pictures of her and her beautiful family. This slide show highlights her aesthetic appeal,but underlines what we don’t know about Palin.

  36. India D Chapman says:

    The pictures that stuck out the most to me were the tainted milk story. I heard about this new tainted product crisis earlier today but seeing these pictures made me remember how many things really contain milk products. The picture of the protester spilling out the powered milk demanding that the Chinese government do something about this problem is a great picture. The cop taking down all of the chocolate products as the government issued a recall was a good picture too. Seeing how many people this problem touches is going to make me think twice before I grab a pack of Reese cups or a bag of peanut M&M. Now I’m sad cause this is messing with my snack time.

  37. Ghosts of 1929 truly is haunting. The story very vividly captures the hopelessness and desperation that people across the board were faced with.

    The 5th picture of an unemployed man really paints a heavy picture of the despair that every man must have faced who was jobless. The 1st picture of the woman with her children surrounding her is also deeply disturbing. It is more than evident that they have not been able to bathe for quite some time. One can only help but think they had probably not eaten either.

    What really hits hard is that The Great Depression was something that really did effect everyone, and the reader can only help but put themselves in the shoes of those who have had to endure this horror.

  38. Megan Bahoosh says:

    In the “A Day for the Dogs” picture story my initial reaction was that there was a specific type of dog that they were showing and that many breeds of dogs, that I was familiar with, were left out in the photos. Noticing that all the photos were taken at a European dog show made me realize that this part of Europe may not have a lot of the breeds that I am used to seeing at the National Dog Show by Purina shown on Thanksgiving. The title the author used worked well for the slideshow because a viewer knows right away its going to see a slideshow of dogs. Dog lovers will immediately want to view the pictures. The slideshow is aiming to convey the process of a dog show by using snapshots of different talents they show off and being rated on grooming. The pictures worked well within the slideshow because of the different angles the photographer used. Also, the photographer captured unique photos of the dogs in various positions instead of straightforward portraits of each dog.

  39. shannon73 says:

    The picture of the first responders throwing out the first ceremonial pitch at Shea Stadium days after 9/11 moved me. 9/11 was a day that no one will ever forget, and at the time people were not sure when sports and life in general would return to a state of normalcy. This picture shows that although it’s hard, life goes on even after a tragedy like 9/11, and it was great to see how much respect the first responders and police received after all of their hard work and dedication to New York City.

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