“A photograph is a moment – when you press the button, it will never come back,” said René Burri. The Swiss photographer, who documented several political, cultural events and historical events in the second half of the 20th century, captures the essence of photography in this quote. The moment might be fleeting, but once photographed it gets frozen for a lifetime. Photographs have the potential to evoke memories and take us back to the past. To mark the importance of pictures, every year on August 19, World Photography Day is celebrated. On this day, those who share the passion for photography come together and observe this day. Many, all across the world, commemorate this day by capturing stills and spreading joy through them.
The day also serves as an inspiration for many to take up photography as a profession or to pursue it as a zealous hobby.
On the occasion of World Photography Day, we bring you some of the most iconic photos by different photographers. The list, however, is in no way exhaustive but these works continue to impress.
German-born American photographer and photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt remains one of the most celebrated photographers of all times. His photograph of an American sailor kissing a woman in Times Square represents the jubilance that followed after World War II ended. The photgraph has been replicated inneumerable times, ever since.
No conversation regarding photography can be complete without the mention of the auteur Henri Cartier-Bresson. The French photographer documented everyday lives like no one else and was one of the first to champion street photography. The list of his iconic images can go on and different people have different favourites. The photograph of girls watching a boy serves as a rather fitting example of his brilliance.
This American photographer and photojournalist is famous for a number of work but his most iconic image remains one from the Vietnam War. Adams had clicked the moment when a police chief of South Vietnam had raised a gun to a handcuffed man’s head.
Elliott Erwitt, an American documentary photographer is known for his iconic black and white photographs. Founder Robert Capa had invited Erwitt to become a member of Magnum Photos. Among other stunning photographs, that also includes portraits of Marilyn Monroe, the photograph of a couple of kissing -as reflected on the car’s mirror, also known as Santa Monica – remains one of his most enduring works.
American photographer, McCurry’s most famous work remains The Afghan Girl. The image of a girl with piercing green eyes has achieved an iconic status. The photograph appeared on the June cover of National Geographic in 1985.
Photojournalist, Drew’s iconic image remains that of a man falling from the World Trade Center towers after the September 11 attacks. Known as The Falling Man, the image provides a powerful commentary on the attack.
Indian photographer and photojournalist, Rai was Henri Cartier-Bresson’s protégé. It was Bresson who inducted Rai in Magnum Photos. Rai’s works continue to enthrall and one can keep going back to his photographs of Mother Teresa.