The Most Powerful And Notorious Photos Of The World

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A photograph is one of the most powerful artistic movements of the world. How many incredible moments, scenes, places, world leaders and disasters were captured by the lens of a camera? Millions, right?! Some of these important moments will remain in the world forever, thanks to the incredible invention that is the camera. Here is a special selection of some of the most powerful and notorious photographs of the world. Enjoy.


#1 Afghan Girl By Steve McCurry

You’ve probably already seen and felt moved by this picture of an 12-year-old Afghan girl, taken in 1984. The picture appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine and captivated the world with her beauty.

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#2 The Vulture By Kevin Carter

This Pulitzer Prize awarded photograph shows a starving child trying to reach the area where the food in the UN camp was being distributed, located 1km ahead. The vulture is notoriously staring at the child, expecting the moment to slip into action and eat him. No one knows what happened to the child, including the photographer Kevin Carter, who left the spot immediately after the picture was taken. Three months later, the photographer entered a deep depression that lead him to his suicide, and in his diary, the following words were found, “Dear God, I promise I will never waste my food no matter how bad it can taste and how full I may be. I pray that He will protect this little boy, guide and deliver him away from his misery. I pray that we will be more sensitive towards the world around us and not be blinded by our own selfish nature and interests. I hope this picture will always serve as a reminder to us that how fortunate we are and that we must never ever take things for granted”.

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#3 Phan Thi Kim Phuc By Nick Ut

This famous picture portrays the Vietnamese girl Phan Thị Kim Phuc at nine years old, running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese attack. This picture won the Pulitzer Prize Award, and was taken during the Vietnam War on June 8, 1972.

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#4 Lunch Atop a Skyscraper By Charles C. Ebbets

This famous black-and-white photograph is formerly attributed to “unknown”, but it has been credited to Charles C. Ebbets since 2003. The picture was taken during construction of the RCA Building in Manhattan, New York City.

29 Sep 1932 --- Construction workers eat their lunches atop a steel beam 800 feet above ground, at the building site of the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS


#5 Elephant Trainer By Mary Ellen Mark

This beautiful, sentimental and iconic picture was taken in India, at a circus in Ahmedabad, and shows a trainer with his elephant friend posing in a good angle to show the mutual respect between both creatures.

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#6 The Beatles By Iain Stewart Macmillan

Here’s another iconic photograph that changed the world with its simplicity and symbolism. The photograph was taken by the Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan and was clicked in front of the amazing Abbey Road studios in London. It was the cover photo of the Beatles’ album, Abbey Road.

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#7 Walking On The Moon By Neil Armstrong

This infamous photograph of Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin standing on the lunar surface has become one of the world’s most iconic images and was taken by Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969.

A6X2DT Astronaut Neil Armstrong photographed on moon  as mission commander for the Apollo 11 moon landing on 20 July 1969


#8 Portrait Of Winston Churchill By Yousuf Karsh

This picture was taken by Yousuf Karsh, a Canadian photographer, when Winston Churchill came to Ottawa. The portrait of Churchill brought Karsh to international fame as it claims to be the most reproduced photographic portrait in history. The picture also appeared in the cover of Life magazine.

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#9 The Plight Of Kosovo Refugees By Carol Guzy

The photo shows a 2-year-old Kosovo refugee named Agim Shala being guided through a barbed wire fence into the hands of his grandparents. The camp was run by the United Arab Emirates and was situated in Kukes, Albania.

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#10 Segregated Water Fountains By Elliot Erwitt

This shocking photograph taken by Elliot Erwin depicts very clearly how extreme the racial segregation was in North Carolina.

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#11 Burning Monk – The Self Immolation By Malcolm Browne

A Buddhist monk from Vietnam burned himself to death in Saigon to bring attention to the repressive policies that controlled the government of Vietnam at that time. As he burned, he did not move. This image was also the cover of an album by Rage Against The Machine.

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#12 Bliss By Charles O’Rear

“Bliss” is the name of an infamous photograph of a landscape in Napa County, California. It shows a green hill and a blue sky with clouds. The image is used as the default computer wallpaper for “Luna”, the theme of Windows XP, and it was taken by the photographer Charles O’Rear.

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#13 Prisoner Execution By Eddie Adams

The picture shows the general Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon. It was taken by the photographer Eddie Adams, in February 1, 1968. The shocking event was also captured by the cameras of NBC News, but Adams’ photography remains the most famous.

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#14 V-J Day In Times Square By Alfred Eisenstaedt

This is a famous photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that portrays an American sailor kissing a young woman in a white dress on VJ Day in Times Square. Eisenstaedt was photographing a spontaneous event that occurred as the radio announcement played, declaring that the war against Japan was over.

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#15 Tianasquare By Jeff Widene

A man blocks the column of tanks heading east in Beijing’s Chang’an Boulevard near Tiananmen Square during the protests of Tiananmen in 1989. The photograph was taken from the sixth floor of the Beijing Hotel, with a distance of about 1.6km using a 400mm lens.

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#16 Omayra Sánchez By Frank Fournier

Omayra Sánchez was one of the 25,000 victims of the Volcado Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, which erupted in November 1985. Omayra was 13 years old at the time and got stuck in concrete debris and water for three days. The image was taken shortly before she died, and the photograph caused a lot of controversy in the world because of the apparent indifference of the Colombian government for the life of the girl.

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#17 Einstein With His Tongue Out By Arthur Sasse

Just After Einstein had been honored for his 72nd birthday, a lot of photographers and reporters asked him to pose for a picture, which is when he decided to pull his tongue out showing his dissatisfaction with the photographers’ harassment.

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#18 Che Guevara By Alberto Korda

Che Guevara was participating in a memorial to the victims of a boat explosion that killed 136 people when he was photographed by Alberto Korda. Although the credits of the photograph belong to Korda, the photo was immortalized by the Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, who created the famous T-shirt printing with the picture.

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