10 Most Iconic Images from History

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10 Most Iconic Images from History. In this photo story, we present you with the most memorable photos from annuls of history.

Almost 200 years have gone by since photography was invented. Since then, photography has been a key instrument for recording time and preserving it for the future. In this photo story, we present you with the most memorable photos from annuls of history.


View from the Window at Gras

View from the Window at Gras Joseph Nicephore Niepce 1827
View from the Window at Gras Joseph Nicephore Niepce 1827

The very first photograph ever taken. Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833), a chemist, was fascinated by the rising interest in lithography and made the decision to place polished pewter plates coated with bitumen of Judea, a light-sensitive chemical, inside a camera obscura. Niépce captured this well-known image from his home in Saône-et-Loire. The photo took eight hours of exposure. He used a mixture of lavender oil and white petroleum to develop the picture after removing the plate from the camera.

Man Jumping the Puddle

Man Jumping the Puddle Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1932
Man Jumping the Puddle Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1932

This iconic image was captured by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson in front of Paris’ Saint-Lazare train station. The phrase “the decisive moment,” which Cartier-Bresson popularised, describes a photographer’s ability to catch a subject at just the right moment and so interrupting daily life in order to record a transcendent scene. It’s possible to contrast the man jumping over the water to a dancer whose elegant outline is captured in a puddle.

Lunch atop a Skyscraper

Lunch atop a Skyscraper Unknown 1932
Lunch atop a Skyscraper Unknown 1932

Both the subjects’ names and the photographer’s identity are unknown in this well-known shot. While this photograph of workers enjoying a lunch break at the top of a skyscraper may make the viewer queasy, it also draws attention to the extremely dangerous existence that those who work on the Rockefeller Center lead. Numerous tower construction projects resulted in fatal falls that killed scores of workers in the first half of the 20th century.

V-J Day in Times Square

VJ Day in Times Square Alfred Eisenstaedt 1945
VJ Day in Times Square Alfred Eisenstaedt 1945

Alfred Eisenstaedt documented the festivities of the conclusion of World War II by taking to the streets of Time Square in New York. One of the most well-known images of the 20th century, yet although some observers think it shows a love reunion between a nurse and a sailor, others think it depicts sexual assault. The latter perspective is consistent with the #MeToo movement of today.

Gandhi and the Spinning Wheel

Gandhi was immortalised in this photo by Margaret Bourke-White multiple times during the 20th century, and is well recognised for this iconic image that was captured two years before his passing. The American magazine Life initially published this image. The price of Bourke-images White’s of Gandhi surged after Gandhi was killed on January 30, 1948, and they gained significance in art history.

The Burning Monk

The monk Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire in a Saigon, Vietnam, street on June 11, 1963, in retaliation for the South Vietnamese government’s treatment of Buddhists as second-class citizens. He begged to be set on fire during a demonstration and asked to be splashed with gasoline. Malcolm Browne, an Associated Press photographer who was on the scene at the time, snapped a breathtaking image that became famous worldwide and earned a Pulitzer Prize.

Napalm Girl

On June 8, 1972, Vietnamese photojournalist Nick Ut caught this terrifying image. The American army frequently used napalm during operations during the Vietnam War, but this particular incident occurred when one of the planes accidentally struck the town of Trang Bang, injuring numerous civilians. The 9-year-old child in this picture was saved after Nick Ut transported her to an American hospital. The young lady underwent 17 skin transplants, yet she lived a full life and even had two children.

The Afghan Girl

During a trip to Afghanistan in 1984, Steve McCurry captured this well-known image to record the emigration of Afghan refugees. Sharbat Gula, a 17-year-old, was photographed in the Nasir Bagh refugee camp. In June 1985, the National Geographic publication placed it on the main page, making it a symbol of the Afghan uprising.

Tank Man

Tank Man Jeff Widener 1989
Tank Man Jeff Widener 1989

Jeff Widener probably the most well-known photojournalist of the late 20th century thanks to this iconic image of a young Chinese man posing in front of tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen Square rebellion. Widener had been hurt by a stone the day before this shot was taken and was instructed to stay at his hotel, while all the other American and European journalists sought safety at the airport. Widener took advantage of the opportunity to capture the rebellion on camera from his hotel room. When his film ran out, he asked an Australian visitor staying at the hotel if he might borrow a roll. Widener used this film to capture this iconic image, which is today regarded as one of the most recognisable photographs ever and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1990.

Death at the Gates of Paradis

Javier Bauluz won the Pulitzer Prize for this well-known image that highlights the stark differences in social divisions throughout the world. In this photograph, two tourists are shown sitting idly in front of the dead body of a migrant who was travelling to Europe.

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