40 OF THE MOST POWERFUL PHOTOGRAPHS EVER TAKEN
Triumph. Tragedy. Joy. Protest. Discovery. Despair. A star-studded selfie. It’s all on display in TIME’s ambitious new undertaking, a multi-media project that commemorates the 100 most influential photos of all time.
For three years, TIME worked with international curators, historians, photo editors, and photographers to nominate the contenders. The magazine then conducted thousands of interviews with the photographers, their subjects, friends, and family members in hopes of answering the question: How do you quantify a photograph’s influence?
“This project does not look at the influence of photographers within the history of the medium, but rather at how history has been influenced by specific photographs,” explained TIME. “Sometimes those two points overlap, but mostly, this project is about the unique power that still images have to influence change – some of these pictures can be disturbing in nature but somehow those are also the pictures that are seared onto the back of our brain, affirming their power.”
At the end of this exhaustive, exhausting process, the magazine had unearthed 100 images and the incredible stories that go with them. Some made the cut because they were the first of their kind, some because they shaped the way we think, and some because they directly changed the way we live. What all 100 share is that they each marked a turning point in our human experience.
The project can now be viewed in several forms across multiple platforms. An interactive virtual museum is live at 100photos.time.com. The entries include essays, 20 original short documentary films, and the never before told stories behind many of the photos.
Video: Lunch Atop A Skyscraper: The Story Behind The 1932 Photo | 100 Photos | TIME
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