Photographs are words of poetry written by the photographers and every poetry has a different emotion to offer. Over the course of history, few photos have achieved the pinnacle of being the best remembered. Here, we have 5 iconic photos which are remembered not only for the images themselves but additionally, for what they represent, the compassion they evoke and the lessons they teach us about those moments in the history.
Migrant Mother, 1936
Dorothea Lange captured the most intimate portrait during the Great Depression. The camp of ‘pea pickers’ at Resettlement Administration in Limpopo, California, caught her attention. There, she saw a hungry and desperate mother who was selling tires of her car to buy food. For survival, the children were killing birds to have a meal out of it. Dorethea took 6 photos of them. The upshot of her photograph was so strong that the government sent 20,000 pounds of food for the camp. “Migrant Mother” has become the most iconic photo of the Great Depression.
Albino Boy, 1969
Don Mccullin clicked the picture of a nine-year-old Albino orphan boy who was starving to death during the Biafra Famine which happened in 1967 in Biafra, the tiny West African nation. The photograph taken by the British war photographer had the most powerful effect on the government as they were bound to send pounds of food, medicine and weapons for the suffering people. Mccullin’s work left a lasting legacy as people were inspired to launch doctors without borders who will deliver emergency medical support to those suffering from war, epidemics and disasters.
Boat of No Smiles, 1977
More than 200,000 refugees from Vietnam were welcomed by the U.S government from 1978 to 1981, because of the photograph clicked by Eddie Adams. On Thanksgiving Day, 1977, a fishing boat containing 49 Vietnamese people was towed to the shore after several days at sea. Eddie’s attention was immediately caught by the boat and he started clicking photos. The photos were further presented to the Congress and as a result, the refugees got a place in the U.S. Therefore this photograph is one of the iconic photos.
Paul Strand liked capturing people as they were, in their original state with no pretence. While documenting immigrants on New York City’s Lower East Side, he saw a women selling the newspaper. The women was not looking into the camera lens and the shot captured by Paul was entirely candid and became an iconic photo. His style of photography gave birth to a completely new form of documentary art: Street Photography
V – J Day in Times Square, 1945
A moment of spontaneous love was captured by the famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. Alfred made a mission to capture storytelling moments. He got a perfect moment of celebration at the Times Square, New York, as a sailor grabbed a nurse and kissed her. The kiss was a gesture of happiness as World War II was over and people were making merry. This beautiful capture by Alfred has become an iconic and reproduced photo of the 20th century.
Written By: Shivantee Bhattacharya
Sitting with a cup of hot coffee and a good book, Shivantee finds her solace in books and words. Trying to reach the world through literature and metaphors, she feels that the fictional world is the best place to live in and thus, connects every real-life situation to the fictional world.