Since the dawn of civilization, we have always attempted to capture the most important parts of our lives pictorially. Never has this been most effective as with the invention of the photograph. Also, in the 150 years photography has undergone substantive changes and improvements overtime. Hence, we have decided follow this improvements by reviewing some of the most famous photographs in history.
Also, this blog post is about the most iconic photographs not necessarily the photographs of the most iconic events. These are photographs that have achieved fame on its own merits.
So, below are some of the most famous photographs in history:
1.View from the Window at Le Gras
View from the Window at Le Gras in oxygen-free case at The University of Texas. By 100photos.time.com
View from the Window at Le Gras: It is the oldest surviving camera photograph. It is a heliographic image, and was created by French inventor Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827 at Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France, and shows parts of the buildings and surrounding countryside of his estate, Le Gras, as seen from a high window.
Artist: Nicéphore Niépce
Year: 1826 or 1827
2. Boulevard du Temple, Paris
Boulevard du Temple, Paris By wikipedia
Boulevard du Temple, Paris by Open Culture
The shoe shiner working on Paris’ Boulevard du Temple one spring day in 1839 had no idea he would make history. But Louis Daguerre’s groundbreaking image of the man and a customer is the first known instance of human beings captured in a photograph. Before Daguerre, people had only been represented in artworks. That changed when Daguerre fixed his lens on a Paris street and then exposed a silver-plated sheet of copper for several minutes (though others came into the frame, they did not stay long enough to be captured), developed and fixed the image using chemicals. The result was the first mirror-image photograph.
Artist: Louis Daguerre
3. Valley of the Shadow of Death
Valley of the Shadow of Death by Wikipedia
The Valley of the Shadow of Death, with no cannonballs on the road by Wikipedia
The place of the picture was named by British soldiers The Valley of Death for being under constant shelling there When in September 1855 Thomas Agnew put the picture on show, as one of a series of eleven collectively titled Panorama of the Plateau of Sebastopol in Eleven Parts in a London exhibition, he took the troops'—and Tennyson's—epithet, expanded it as Valley of the Shadow of Death with its deliberate evocation of twenty-third psalm of the Bible.
Artist: Roger Fenton
4. Gordon, or "Whipped Peter
"Whipped Peter", or Gordon, was an enslaved African American who escaped from a Louisiana plantation in March 1863, gaining freedom when he reached the Union camp near Baton Rouge. He became known as the subject of photographs documenting the extensive scarring of his back from whippings received in slavery. Abolitionists distributed these carte de visite photographs of Gordon throughout the United States and internationally to show the abuses of slavery.
Artist: William D. McPherson and Mr. Oliver
Nautilus By Wikipedia
Nautilus By The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The iconic Nautilus is a black-and-white photograph taken by Edward Weston in 1927 of a single nautilus shell standing on its end against a dark background. It has been called "one of the most famous photographs ever made" and "a benchmark of modernism in the history of photography.
Artist: Edward Weston
6. Ruth Sinder
Ruth Brown Snyder By Wikipedia
The Mugshot of Ruth Brown Snyder by Wikipedia
Ruth Brown Snyder (March 27, 1895 – January 12, 1928) was an American murderer. Her execution in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison for the murder of her husband, Albert, was recorded in this well-publicized photograph.
Artist: Tom Howard
7. Lunch Atop a Sky Scrapper
Lunch atop a sky scrapper by wikimedia
The RCA Building (now Comcast Building) shortly after it is built
Lunch atop a skyscrapper is a photograph showing 11 construction workers having lunch atop a girder beam at the on the 69th floor (840 feet or 260 meters above the ground). The picture has been a subject of many controversies over the authenticity, authorship as well as the identity of the men on the photograph. Though the men in the picture are actual construction workers, many Archivists believe that it was staged by the Rockefeller Center to promote the building. There has also been debates over the author of the photographs, which was initially attribute to 'unknown', but is now generally attributed to Charles C. Ebbets based on evidence.
Artist: Charles Clyde Ebbets
7. Migrant Mother
Migrant Mother taken by Dorothea Lange
Florence Owens Thompson (Migrant Mother) with daughters Katherine, Ruby and Norma L-R
Famous photograph of Florence Owens Thompson (born Florence Leona Christie; September 1, 1903 – September 16, 1983), at the heart of the great depression. She was Native American and a migrant agricultural worker. She was travelling with her family towards Watsonville, when their vehicle broke down at a pea-pickers' camp at Nipomo Mesa, and shortly afterwards she was photographed by documentary photographer and photojournalist Dorothea Lange. Though the family moved on shortly afterwards, the photograph and others moved the federal government of the United States to send 9,10kg of food to the starving pea-pickers and shortly afterwards became famous as the face of depression America. Florence's identity was not know until 40 years later, when reporter Emmet Corrigan acting on a tip, located her in Modesto mobile Village in California. In 2002, Dorothea Lang's personal print of the migrant mother was for $141,500 at a British auction house Christie's New York. Thompson died on September 16, 1983 at the age of 80.
Artist: Dorothea Lange
Finally on Some of the Most Famous Photographs in History
Many books have been produced about iconic photographs, but these are our pick of the most iconic, not all, there are tons of them. Getting an iconic photograph is a combination of skill and professionalism and sometimes that elusive factor - luck. You could try your luck at getting an iconic photograph of yourself or your event, and luckily we can help you with that. Let us know if you would want to work with one of our professional photographers. Give us a shout.