Posts Tagged ‘Great photographs’

Wildly cool.

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These are some of the entries into the Sony World Photography Contest. Enjoy.

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As a kid I used to stare endlessly at my dad’s Life Magazine photos. I’d look at them and wonder where the people in them were from and what brought them to be where they were when the photo was taken. Later on, as a teacher, I’d show photos from throughout history to my students and we’d discuss the people in them, even people in the background, and imagine their personal histories.

With all this I mind I thought I’d put together a list of my all-time favorite photos. Some are funny, some sad, some beautiful in their own way. If I know the history behind the photo I’ll tell you about it, and then try and explain why I like it so much. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do.

So, in no particular order . . .

Well, you knew this was coming, right? It’s the famous Abbey Road photo that was used on the album. The cover had no title, no words at all, just this incredible photo. All four Beatles walking across the street, dressed as the unique individuals that they were. Just a great photo of the greatest band history has ever known.

I used to stare at this one for hours. It was take in 1932, 850 feet above the street in New York City. Look at this photo. One guy is lighting a cigarette for another, some men are just talking, and the guy on the far right appears to be holding a bottle of booze. If you’re afraid of heights like I am this is one captivating photo, lemme tell ya.

This photo, obviously from 9/11, is chilling. I look at it and try to imagine the horror of knowing that, on this terrible day, this was a lot of people’s best option. A little over an hour before this man was having a normal Tuesday morning at work. That is difficult to fathom.

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Ah, Muhammad Ali’s stunning knockout of the supposedly “invincible” Sonny Liston in 1964. I was just a little kid but I remember being shocked when I saw this photo. Liston down, Ali standing over him, the shocked look on the people around the ring. Amazing.

This is the famous photo of Elizabeth Eckford walking into Little Rock Central High School in 1957 after it was ruled that blacks could attend there. The angry white girl, only 15 at the time although she looks older, was Hazel Bryan. Because of this photo, Hazel Bryan became the face of racism in our country, and this photo became the symbol of American bigotry throughout the world. I’m not sure when I first viewed this photo, but it’s etched in my mind forever.

This is the photo of the legendary Tank Man taken in Tiananmen Square in China in 1989. He was among those protesting the Chinese Government’s oppressive regime when tanks were sent in to disperse the protesters. Nobody knows for sure who this man was, but his stand for what he believed in touched the world.

I know, this is in no way a famous photo but if a squirrel photobombing a couple’s vacation pic doesn’t make you laugh you have no soul.

This photo of John F. Kennedy just mesmerized me as a kid. Such a young and vibrant guy, and distinctly unpresidential for the time. I mean, before JFK presidents looked like old guys, not young men running on the beach, playing football in the yard or sailing boats. Even at such a young age I understood how his charisma and enthusiasm was affecting our country.

This is the famous photo of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, medal winners in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. To the surprise and shock of everyone, the two raised their black-gloved fists on the winner’s stand in a show of African-American solidarity. This act of protest got them kicked out of the Olympics but it left an indelible mark on a lot of people, including a certain 12-year old kid in Bourneville, Ohio.

One of the first photos that ever touched me deeply. It’s JFK Jr. saluting as the funeral procession, and casket, of his father goes by. Sad day.

This photo of Albert Einstein always cracked me up. As a kid I’d always thought of geniuses as a pretty serious lot, and this pic shot that theory all to hell. Hey, anything that can shatter stereotypes is fine by me.

I love this photograph. It was taken a couple of years ago in Vancouver after riots broke out following a hockey game. Scott Jones’s girlfriend, Alex Thomas, had been knocked down by a policeman’s riot shield and he was checking on her. When he realized she was O.K., he took the opportunity to give her a kiss. Love amidst the chaos. Awesome.

If this photo doesn’t make you smile you are truly are a bad person who should be beaten about the head and shoulders. It was taken after Mr. Bear had climbed a tree in a residential area and the authorities arrived and shot him with a tranquilizer, the bastards. Anywho, great photo and one of my all-time faves. Oh, and Mr. Bear was O.K.

This is the Americans arriving at Normandy on D-Day in 1944. Young people out there, please understand that the Germans were waiting on the cliffs straight ahead and the men you see in this photo were walking directly towards them to kick some Nazi ass. In other words, every man you see in this photo is a bona fide American Badass.

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Regular viewers of this site know what a dog guy I am, so it should come as no surprise that this one touches my heart. It’s the photo of a dog that refused to leave his master’s side, even in death. The dog, Hawkeye, belonged to a Navy Seal named Jon Tumilson who was shot down in battle. Hawkeye arrived at the funeral and never left his master’s side. Dogs. Loyal to the end.

So  there you have them, my 15 All-Time Favorite Photographs. It’s quite a variety I know. What are your favorites? I’d love to hear ’em.