A Thousands Words

So in a search to find new inspiration for my senior portfolio, I googled Photos That Changed The World. I was blown away by some of the images I saw. Many if not all of them are insanely famous and have been poster photos for many causes around the world. But some of them were new to me and I cannot stop think about them. I just wanted to post a few of my favorites on here and hopefully you can get something out them too.

WARNING: Some of these photos are extremely graphic. You may not want to continue reading if you have a weak stomach.

burning-monk
Burning MOnk
Burning Monk
Malcolm Browne – 1963

As a protest to the Diệm slow and unreliable reforms in Vietnam, the Buddhist monks have resorted to immolation, such as this Mahayana Buddhist monk, Thỉch Quảng Đức. Đức burned himself alive across the outskirts of Saigon, mainly because of the harshness done by the South Vietnam government to his fellow Buddhist monks.
Đức was re-cremated after he burned himself; his heart meanwhile remained in one piece, and because of this he was regarded as a Bodhisattva by the other Buddhist monks and followers. His act of self-immolation increased the pressure on the Diệm administration to implement their reform laws in South Vietnam.

lina-medina
5 Year Old Mother – 1939

One of the photographs meanwhile that changed medical history is that of Lina Medina, the youngest mother who gave birth at the age of five. Born in Peru in 1933, Lina was brought to the local hospital by her parents because of an increasingly enlarged belly, which they first thought of a tumor. After a series of tests however, the doctors confirmed that she was seven months pregnant. A month later Lina gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Gerardo, after her doctor.
Lina Medina is the first known case of precocious pregnancy, and based on studies it was shown that she had an advanced menarche development resulting to menstruation at the age of 8 months, prominent breasts upon turning four, and bone maturation at age 5.
Her son Gerardo was first raised knowing that Lina was his sister, but eventually he found out that she was his mother at the age of 10. In 1972, Lina married and gave birth to her second son, 33 years after Gerardo was born. Gerardo soon died seven years later at the age of 40, due to a bone marrow disease. Lina, who is now aged 74, continues to live with her husband in Chicago, Chico, in Lima, Peru.

draw-home
Child Draws Home
David Seymour – 1948

The effects of the World Wart II have not only resulted to the death of millions, but also a long-standing disturbance on the lives of those who survived, particularly children. They were the ones who greatly suffered from the pain and trauma brought by the war. They not only witnessed killings of their families and friends; they also lost their future. They may have survived the war, but the pain will forever be there.

Among those who suffered this effect is Teresa, a young Polish girl who lost her family during the war. While in staying in a concentration camp, she drew an unrecognizable image on the blackboard, which was somewhat chaotic. When ask what her drawing was, she pertained to it as her “home”.

dali-atomicus

Dalí Atomicus
Philippe Halsman, 1948

Philippe Halsman is quite possibly the only photographer to have made a career out of taking portraits of people jumping. But he claimed the act of leaping revealed his subjects’ true selves, and looking at his most famous jump, “Dalí Atomicus,” it’s pretty hard to disagree.

The photograph is Halsman’s homage both to the new atomic age (prompted by physicist’ then-recent announcement that all matter hangs in a constant state of suspension) and to Dalí’s surrealist masterpiece “Leda Atomica” (seen on the right, behind the cats, and unfinished at the time). It took six hours, 28 jumps, and a roomful of assistants throwing angry cats and buckets of water into the air to get the perfect exposure.

But before settling on the “Atomicus” we know today, Halsman rejected a number of other concepts for the shot. One was the idea of throwing milk instead of water, but that was abandoned for fear that viewers, fresh from the privations of World War II, would condemn it as a waste of milk. Another involved exploding a cat in order to capture it “in suspension,” though that arguably would have been a waste of cats.

Halsman’s methods were as unique as they were effective. His celebrity “jump” portraits appeared on at least seven Life magazine covers and helped usher in a new – and radically more adventurous – era of portrait photography.

PAR13189

TEHRAN, Iran—Veiled women learn how to shoot in the outskirts of the city, 1986.
© Jean Gaumy / Magnum Photos
PAR112328
MEXICO—Mexicans are arrested while trying to cross the U.S. border, 1979.
© Alex Webb / Magnum Photos
the-falling-man
The Falling Man
September 11, 2001. Photographer unknown.
footnote:  All information can be found on ptctw.com or neatorama.com

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