Friday, November 4, 2011

Most Epic Photo Ever Taken

Are you on Quora?  
Quora is sorta like Google on steroids.
You ask a question, and get insightful, mostly intelligent replies.
I'm kinda hooked.

One of the Quora questions I've been following is 
I initially thought there would just be a collection of gorgeous landscape photos.
National Geographic-ish.
Ansel Adams-ish.
But the results have been stunning.
And disturbing.
And awe-inspiring.
And shocking.
And some have made me downright cry.

Here are some of the ones that stand out to me:
Tiananmen Square, China, 1989
A lone man standing in brave defiance to "the man."

My sister and I traveled to China in 2009 and were in Tiananmen Square during the 20th Anniversary of the massacre.  It was the eeriest thing to be there with hundreds of teenage soldiers gripping machine guns every few feet.   It was even eerier to hear our tour guide tell us there was "no such thing as the Tiananmen Square Massacre" and that it was "propaganda constructed by Hollywood."
This photo reminds me of just how misguided her statement was.

National Geographic Photo of a 45' Whale Encountering a Person (Auckland Islands)
This photograph is simply stunning.

A sunrise in Norway reflected in a bubble.
I love the simplicity and the lightness of this photo.

Sudan famine, 1993  
An infant girl slowly crawls to a food distribution center.  
A vulture lurks close by, waiting for her to die.

This photo is one of the most painful photos to look at.  It highlights something that our privilege of life in America never allows us to comprehend.  Forbes blogger, Mark Hughes submitted this photograph and wrote, "This image explains something very basic and true about our world, and something we are very reluctant to admit: in order for some of us to have more food than we need, children have to starve to death and animals have to eat them. We purchase our excess with those children's lives. And this photo captured this truth purely and literally for us all to see."

Hughes continues, "The photographer, Kevin Carter, chased the bird away and then sat sobbing uncontrollably after taking the photo. In April of 1994, Carter was informed he'd be winning the Pulitzer Prize for the photo, and he was presented with the prize on May 23rd of that year. Two months later, he killed himself out of grief and desperation over all of the things he'd seen and his depression at the things humanity does to one another."

The best photography to me has a way of capturing the essence of our humanity.

What do you think is the most epic photo ever taken?

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