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Reading the Pictures: <em>BP/Gulf Coast: Now It's Getting Ugly</em>

With the gulf disaster finally making itself seen, expect the visual media to now assume a much larger role.
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Black whitecaps and birds that scream Exxon Valdez.

Up to now, the oil spill in the Gulf -- with the exception of photos of discolored water -- has been mostly abstract. With the disaster finally making itself seen, however, expect the visual media to assume a much larger role now, with a corresponding gut punch to the American public and the political powers that be.

Also, if the crisis offered more visual parallels to Katrina last week, expect to see a lot more pictures dredged up of Alaska and the Exxon Valdez.

For a breakdown of the latest visual spin plus the best in photojournalism, visit the completely redesigned and relaunched BAGnews.

(caption 1: An oil soaked bird struggles against the oil slicked side of the HOS Iron Horse supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana Sunday, May 9, 2010. caption 2: Black waves and brown whitecaps are seen off the side of the supply vessel Joe Griffin at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, Sunday, May 9, 2010. caption 3: Tony Phan, left, and his father, Lanh, wait outside of a BP claims center for Tony's mother, Lai Nguyen, not pictured, the captain of their commercial fishing fleet, in Boothville, La., Sunday, May 9, 2010. Nguyen was making a claim with BP representatives for work lost due to the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.)