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Today I saw a pic that will most likely become the defining photograph of the current racial upheaval in the US. Definitely a Pulitzer contestant. Here it is:

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And then it made me think how certain pictures capture significant moments in time. Before this pic, it was Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy who washed out on a beach:

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Further back, it was this pic taken by Kevin Carter, showing starvation in Africa:

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Kevin Carter eventually committed suicide, he was also a member of the "bang-bang club", photographing the last days of apartheid.

Other iconic photographs which come to mind are these:

Tiananmen Square

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Vietnam war

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Hector Pieterson

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Flower child

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The Great Depression

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Nelson Mandela

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Migrant crisis

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Which pics have made an impression on you?
1st thing that comes to mind:

The Burning Monk – 1963

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#2:

Man Falling from the World Trade Center on 9/11. ‘The Falling Man.’

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#3:

A firefighter gives water to a koala during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, Australia, in 2009

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Dec. 24, 1968 — “Earthrise”

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May 19, 2005 — Sunset on Mars

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Annette Kellermann promotes women’s right to wear a fitted one-piece bathing suit, 1907.

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The koala picture had a significant impact on me. The monk picture always leaves me wondering how he endured it without a budge or any signal of pain whenever I come across it. I admired it, even though it's traumatizing to think about.
Some more iconic ones:

New York kiss

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Afghan girl

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The Hindenburg disaster

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Workers enjoying lunch break - 1932 (this one makes my stomach turn!)

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Che Guevara

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South Korean man sheds a tear when parting ways with his North Korean relative

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A man from Alabama is reunited with his pet following a devastating series of March 2012 tornadoes

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Russian soldier confronts Heinrich Himmler in a German prisoner of war camp in the 1940s.

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An Afghan man offers a US soldier tea near Kabul, Afghanistan - 2009.

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Theres a darker aspect of photos that represents the world, dark deep web content.
Yeah I was quite careful in selecting my pics here, since a lot of pictures that "influence" public opinion or touch people are traumatic in nature and capture distressing emotions, and not everyone can stomach that. Personally, I favour pics that show lots of emotion.

While I was going through pictures online that are award winning stuff, I was just again reminded of the human spirit.

Also, I can't say I've ever stumbled upon dark deep web content, although it sounds ominous...

What is impressive about a lot of these photographs is the timing, but also the correct exposure, which is truly a talent, because when things happen in a split second, there's no time to fiddle with exposure. Like this one of the migrant crisis:

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I also wonder about the photographers, how they stay sane when their subjects are so traumatised. Sure you can try and stay detached, although I doubt if that's possible.
Another amazing refugee crisis pic:

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A girl cries after Hungarian police use tear gas and water cannons on migrants at the border.

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'Woman in red' sprayed with teargas becomes symbol of Turkey protests:

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Sadly, when I look at these, I have to question the humanity of humanity...
Unfortunately, the pic of the sailor kissing the nurse isn't as innocent as it appears either. The nurse in the photo has come out and said she was basically assaulted - she was an immigrant who, when she heard the war had ended that day, was confused and wandering, worried about her parents who were still overseas. She was on her way home from working as a dental assistant. She says the soldier grabbed her forcefully and wouldn't let her go. Sad
How about some photos of uplifting empowering moments! unity is just as strong as conflict if not stronger!
Oh dear, I had no idea about the New York kiss! I also had to correct the caption for the Russian soldier with Himmler, initially it said the prisoner was Horace Greasley, but then I Googled him and saw he claimed it was him in the photo, when it never was. Also, the guys eating lunch high up in the air, was staged unfortunately, but it's still a great photo.

I'll try and get some more uplifting ones, Observer! Smile That's actually why I posted the New York kiss...ironic.

The stories behind the pictures are as interesting as the pictures themselves. Kevin Carter got a lot of flack for not helping the starving child with the vulture, and some say it played a role in his suicide, and the photographer of the Hector Pieterson shot says it ruined his life.  
Lifting a paralysed man for a better view

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Garbage men taking a break

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Dance

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A boy runs home with a stick of bread.

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Love

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Man gives his shoes to a barefoot woman

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There goes the camera! Now in this instance the guy leaving his camera behind is right, and the guy trying to rescue his is just silly. Never lose your life for a camera!

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Kids playing in water

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Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Thailand

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I find it very important to emotionally and intellectually explore the catalyst presented in each of these photos, even the 'negative' ones.

I was wondering where I came up with that notion and was able to dig up this quote:

http://www.lawofone.info/results.php?s=38#8 Wrote:38.8 Questioner: I was wondering if that particular social memory complex from the Sirius star evolved from trees?

Ra: I am Ra. This approaches correctness. Those second-density vegetation forms which graduated into third density upon this planet bearing the name of Dog were close to the tree as you know it.

38.9 Questioner: I was also wondering then if, since action of a bellicose nature is impossible as far as I understand for vegetation, would not they have the advantage as they move into third density from second as to not carrying a racial memory of a bellicose nature and therefore develop a more harmonious society and accelerate their evolution in this nature? Is this true?

Ra: I am Ra. This is correct. However, to become balanced and begin to polarize properly it is then necessary to investigate movements of all kinds, especially bellicosity.
That's a very applicable quote, these pics are definitely a huge catalyst. I consider these press and war photographers heros, because nothing tells a story quite like a picture does. I remember how I felt when I first saw the pic of the Syrian boy who washed out on a beach. That pic changed public opinion, and it was a devastating indictment on humanity.
I consider the cartoonists heros as well, they quickly sprang into action:

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This amazing pic was taken in the Kruger National Park. That's when you keep the doors nicely shut!

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A woman walks on a highway blocked by rocks after the passage of hurricane Matthew on the coast of Guantanamo province, Cuba, October 5, 2016.

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Members of the Castellers Joves Xiquets de Valls try to complete their human tower during the 25th Human Tower Competition in Tarragona, Spain. The tradition of building human towers or "castells" dates back to the 18th century.

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Afghan girls play on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.

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Pure joy. The little girl is happy too.