These two images appeared side by side in our photo feeds. A photographer friend refers to a picture's "nominal subject matter" as simply the starting point for layers of visual interpretation. In news photography we're dealing with the literal representation of subject matter, but pairings like this remind me that there's another way to look at pictures. It's also a reminder of the incredible diversity of events and people that are photographed every day.
Ricardo Moraes and Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters
Left, a firefighting plane dumps water over a forest fire at the Brasilia National Park, September 20, 2010. After 117 days without rain in the Federal District, fires caused by the drought have destroyed some 10,000 hectares of the national park. Right, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of Germany's bishop's conference gestures as he opens the bishop's annual meeting in Fulda, September 20, 2010.