Some of the Most Influential and Powerful Photos Ever Taken

By | January 18, 2017

Given the subtlety of its subjects and its galvanizing nature, documentary photography remains to be a subject of debate. Furthermore, a single photo of a sick child or the brunt of a devastating storm can elicit public reaction on a scale that several activists invest their lives hoping to realize.

The motivations and discretion of photographers taking the shots may twist the “reality” of the captured scenes and mask their truth. In any case, these famous photos substantiate the notion that photography generates far more than just the fundamentals of lightness and darkness on paper:

The nail scratches of Auschwitz Concentration camp inmates.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.41.29 PM

Crowds convene at the Berlin Wall, November 1989.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.41.42 PM

The Bolivian government struts with the corpse of revolutionary Che Guevara, 1967.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.42.48 PM

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.43.01 PM

Astronaut William Anders takes "Earthrise" during the Apollo 8 mission, 1968.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.43.13 PM

Timothy O'Sullivan's "Harvest of Death" features dead Union soldiers scattered at the Gettysburg battlefield, 1863.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.43.25 PM

Influential Photographs: Helen Keller meets president Eisenhower, 1955.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.43.49 PM

Annette Kellerman advocates women’s right to wear fitted bathing suits in 1907. She was then arrested for indecency.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.44.10 PM

"How Life Begins" -- one of the first photos taken with the endoscope, 1965.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.44.46 PM

Robert Capa immortalizes the treatment of French women who were considered to be Nazi collaborators during liberation "ugly carnivals" in France, 1944.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.45.10 PM

A missionary holds hands with a starving boy in Karamoja district, Uganda, 1980.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.45.21 PM

Robert Capa apprehended a soldier emerging from the waters on D-Day.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.45.41 PM

Nightclub owner Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated JFK, November 1963.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.46.04 PM

Teenager Juan Romero sits by Robert F. Kennedy’s side hours after Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan, June 1968.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.46.37 PM

Robert Capa’s picture of a Republican militiaman meeting his death during the Spanish Civil War, 1936.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.47.03 PM

Terezka, a girl who grew up in a concentration camp, sketches a picture of her Poland "home", December 1948.
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 4.47.17 PM

H/T AllthatisInteresting