World's Most Famous Photos

Sometimes words are useless and images become the best weapon in transmitting a message. Therefore, without any detailed introduction, take a look to some of the world's most famous photos.

Afghan girl
This is one famous photo that hides a very interesting, yet mysterious story. Taken by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, in the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan, the photo captures the portrait of an Afghan girl, Sharbat Gula, whose beauty immediately fascinated the public. When the image was taken, Sharbat was approximately 12 years old and a student in an informal school within the camp. One year later, her face appeared on the cover of National Geographic. The mystery regarding her identity was kept for a period of 17 years, when, in 1992, a team of the famous magazine identified the girl. Sharbat didn't know that her portrait became so popular, but she said that it was the first time when someone photographed her.

The burning monk
On June 10, 1963, Malcolm Browne, a young photographer from New York, who was sent in Vietnam by Associated Press, got a phone call saying that the next morning he should be in an intersection, downtown Saigon, as something important was about to happen there. The next day, Browne was there with David Halberstam, a New York Times reporter. They saw how a Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, sat down in the lotus position with a box of matches in his hands, while the other monks were pouring gasoline on him. Thich Quang Duc burned himself to death, not moving a muscle or saying a word due to the auto-discipline. This was a protest against the severe treatment applied to Budshist monks Catholic Diem regime. Moreover, Buddhist monks asked the regime to give them the right to practice and spread their religion.

Hindenburg represented the pride of Nazi Germany and it was the biggest flying machine of those times. Eventhough it was also considered as being the safest, nothing could stop the tragedy that was about to happen. Starting its journey in Frankfurt, Germany, with the destination Manchester, New Jersey, USA, this is considered as being the first transatlantic official flight. On May 6, 1937, in Manchester the Hindenburg's landing was the main topic. Therefore, all the press, reporters and photographers, were there to see the big event. One of them was Sam Shere. With just a few minutes before arriving to the landing place, Hindenburg exploded. Sam Shere caught the moment, taking the most important photo of his career. Of the 97 people aboard, 62 survived.

Dalí Atomicus
It took more than five hours and 28 attempts in order to make this picture. Philippe Halsman took the photo in 1948 having as subject the famous Salvador Dalí. Of course, everything you see in this image is real, without any tricks or retouches. No more than three assistants were throwing angry cats and buckets of water into the air, while the photographer's wife was holding the chair. Philippe Halsman was extremely famous for his portraits of people jumping. In his book called “Jump Book” he gathered a series of images on this theme. The present photo was his homage to the new atomic age and to Dalí’s surrealist masterpiece “Leda Atomica” that can be seen on the right, behind the cats.

Omayra Sanchez
Omayra Sanchez was 13 years old when the volcano Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia erupted on November 14, 1985. The young girl was trapped in the wreckage of her house, in concrete and water, for three days. Photographer Frank Fournier, took this picture shortly before the girl died and his photo caused a lot of controversy. Eventhough the Red Cross was called, authorities couldn't save the girl in time.

The Saigon Execution
On the second day of the Tet attack, Edward Thomas Adams and a NBC news crew heard some gun shots. They went to the place where the noise was coming from and saw how South-Vietnamese soldiers were taking a prisoner to General Nguyen Ngoc Loan. Assuming that the prisoner will be interrogated, Adams wanted to catch the moment. However, instead of this, he captured Lung shooting the man in the head. Later, Adams found out that the prisoner was in fact officer Viet Cong, responsible for the murder of an entire family. Adams won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for “The Saigon Execution” and other 500 awards including Robert Capa and George Polk Memorial.

Starving child
Kevin Carter managed to take this image that brought him the Pulitzer Prize, but also his death. The image was captured in Sudan and it depicts a starving child crawling towards an United Nations food camp, found one kilometer away, whose death is awaited by a vulture. This terrifying image shocked the entire world including the photographer who committed suicide shortly after winning the prize. No one knows what happened to the child.

New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam
This is probably one of the most famous photos in the world. It was made during the construction of GE Building din Rockefeller Center in 1932. The photo was taken by Charles C. Ebbets on September 29, 1932, on the 69th floor of the building.

Here are two other photos that are not only famous, but they probably changed the world. The first one depicts Albert Einstein and it was taken on March 14, 1951 by Arthur Sasse. The second one represents for many not only a migrant mother, but rather the face of the Great Depression. Florence Owens Thompson was photographed by Dorothea Lange while visiting a dusty California pea-pickers’ camp in February 1936.

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