The 10 Most Influential Photos of All Time

These are Top ten of the most influential photos of all time. There is no formula that makes a picture influential. According to time magazine editor; “Some images are on our list because they were the first of their kind, others because they shaped the way we think. And some made the cut because they directly changed the way we live. What all 100 share is that they are turning points in our human experience”.

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Have a look at 10 most influential photos of all time.

1. The Terror Of War, Nick Ut, 1972

This photo is taken by Nick Ut, on June 8, 1972. A 9-year-old girl, Phan Thi Kim Phuc running alongwith a group of children and soldiers. She had been hit by napalm that South Vietnamese air force mistakenly dropped on the village. The photo was awarded Pulitzer prize in 1973. See historical images.

2. Starving Child And Vulture, Kevin Carter, 1993

The most haunting image on the most influential photos of all time. In March 1993, photographer Kevin Carter made a trip to southern Sudan, where he took an iconic photo of a vulture preying upon an emaciated Sudanese toddler near the village of Ayod. See more details.

3. Lunch Atop A Skyscraper, 1932

It’s the most dangerous or risky yet playful lunch break ever captured. 11 men casually eating, chatting and sneaking a smoke as if they weren’t 840 feet above Manhattan with nothing but a thin beam keeping them aloft. That comfort is real; the men are among the construction workers who helped build Rockefeller Center. But the picture, taken on the 69th floor of the flagship RCA Building (now the GE Building), was staged as part of a promotional campaign for the massive skyscraper complex.

4. Alan Kurdi, Nilüfer Demir, 2015

The war in Syria had been going on for more than four years when Alan Kurdi’s parents lifted the 3-year-old boy and his 5-year-old brother into an inflatable boat and set off from the Turkish coast for the Greek island of Kos, just three miles away. Within minutes of pushing off, a wave capsized the vessel, and the mother and both sons drowned. On the shore near the coastal town of Bodrum a few hours later, Nilufer Demir of the Dogan News Agency, came upon Alan, his face turned to one side and bottom elevated as if he were just asleep. See details.

5. A Man On The Moon, Neil Armstrong, Nasa, 1969

6. Jewish Boy Surrenders In Warsaw, 1943

7. Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange, 1936

The picture that did more than any other to humanize the cost of the Great Depression almost didn’t happen. Driving past the crude “Pea-Pickers Camp” sign in Nipomo, north of Los Angeles, Dorothea Lange kept going for 20 miles. Migrant Mother has become the most iconic picture of the Depression. Through an intimate portrait of the toll being exacted across the land, Lange gave a face to a suffering nation. See also; The Disturbing Photographs Telling Tales Of Disaster.

8. The Hindenburg Disaster, Sam Shere, 1937

This photo of 804-foot-long German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg, was taken by the Sam Shere of the International News Photos service, at the Lakehurst, N.J., Naval Air Station on May 6, 1937. It was taken exactly when, the grand ship’s flammable hydrogen caught fire, causing it to spectacularly burst into bright yellow flames and kill 36 people.

Shere was one of nearly two dozen still and newsreel photographers who scrambled to document the fast-moving tragedy. But it is his image, with its stark immediacy and horrible grandeur, that has endured as the most famous—owing to its publication on front pages around the world and in LIFE and, more than three decades later, its use on the cover of the first Led Zeppelin album.

9. Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still, 1978

Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. Since she burst onto the art scene in the late 1970s, Cindy Sherman the person has always been obscured by Cindy Sherman the subject. Her images have become some of the most valuable photographs ever produced. By manipulating viewers and recasting her own identity, Sherman carved out a new place for photography in fine art. And she showed that even photography allows people to be something they’re not.

10. Untitled (Cowboy), Richard Prince, 1989

The picture by Richard Prince taken in 1989, named Untitled (­Cowboy). It was sold for $1.2 million at auction in 2005. It was the highest publicly recorded price for the sale of a contemporary ­photograph.


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