A click of the shutter is only what pauses the physical ephemeral world around us. To show the world what we just saw, is incredible! Perhaps, a photograph so powerful that it could change the world, make the viewer stop for a while and think; travel back in time to re-live it or push it forward in time to bring a change or just stay still in time to admire it. These 10 photographs simply steal the show.
1. The One when the World became a small place
Starting off with a mere 120 feet coverage, 20 feet off the ground, the Wright brothers changed the course of history with the first ever successful flight in December 1903. As we now live the Wright brothers’ dream, all it takes is a ticket to go out and venture into the world.
Captured by the photographer John Thomas Daniels, this was the only photo that stood out of all the blurry pictures taken because he couldn’t squeeze the bulb that triggered the shutter as he stood there in awe and bewilderment that man has successfully realized how to “fly”!
2. The One that created fear thereafter.
Days after the twin towers were brought down, a cloud of dust silhouetted its powerful presence as a remembrance of September 11, 2001; a day satiated with horrors and heroism. Does it end there? No. Its reactions sprouted gruesome wars in the middle east creating colossal amount of refugees and countries that are now nothing but just rubble stained with blood.
3. The One where it took a Princess to teach us that it’s okay to touch them
It is true that Princess Diana reigned the hearts of multitudes. A rare photograph, yet incredibly touching, of Princess Diana making a courageous move to shake hands with people suffering from AIDS. So powerful was this picture that it changed the concrete mindset of world that considered patients with AIDS, untouchables. Her gesture showed that there should be nothing stopping us from showing love to people who are suffering and are closer to their end.
4. The One With the comical pose of the genius!
Taken in 1951, right after his 72nd birthday party, exhausted Sir Albert Einstein was requested to smile for one last photograph before he called it a night. He stuck his tongue out! An iconic picture of a legendary scientist. His theories are unfathomable and baffles us all still today.
5. The One With our home away from home.
We could get used to seeing the sun rise right out of the window, or climb up altitudes to get the perfect viewpoint of the sun rise or maybe even roll up the shutters while flying to catch a glimpse of the first rays. But how often is it that we get to our earth rise? Clicked by the astronauts of the first manned Apollo mission to the lunar orbit, this picture captures the tranquility of our beautiful planet against the pitch black ocean of the endless space beyond.
6. The One where neither your children nor the sky are the limits!
This working mother decided to “drive” away into the space! Being a role model to many women and mothers, superbly determined Anna Lee Fisher was among the first women astronauts working for NASA in 1978 and then again in 1984, when she boarded on the space shuttle discovery being the first mother in space.
7. The One that showed the ultimate miracle
Lennart Nilsson, photographer who changed the way of looking through the lens. In 1965, using his background as a scientist, he devised the miraculous endoscopes to photograph human blood vessels. Famously captioned as ‘how life begins’, his photograph religiously justifies the marvel of how human life is created.
8. The One when we become ashamed of our race.
Nature’s fury is inevitable. It lashes onto us taking away many. But we start to realise how benign it is, the moment we compare it to the fury of man. Perhaps, his greed? This famous photograph was taken during the ravaging seal hunting season in Canada. Taken just before a baby seal was ruthlessly beaten to its death in the presence of its mother. Killing seals for its fur is still legal in parts of Canada, although after repeated protests, the hunting of baby seals have been forbidden.
9. The One that restores faith.
There is still the shining ray of hope through the cracks of humanity. Care worker Anja Ringgren Loven found a malnourished ,scrawny toddler in the streets of Nigeria, shunned by the neighbourhood and called a ‘witch’. Knowing that the toddler wouldn’t survive another day if left on the streets, Anja rescued him. Following which, he has recovered to a healthy little boy!
10. The One Where we should change our camera because it looks like a gun!
Treated unfairly, their childhood is snatched away. Adi, a traumatized girl living in the rubble of the war torn Syria mistook the long lens of the camera for a gun, raises her hands and is seen as whimpering in the picture. The world has changed. But we are not sure if it is still a better place for everyone alike.
Ever wondered where the word “coconut” originated from?
A 15th century Spanish ghost-legend used to scare children featured “Coco,” a scary face resembling the hard coconut shell. Humans are always fascinated to see ourselves in Nature; so some of us decided to paint on coconut shells. Thus was born Mascaras de Coco, kept alive even today by Nahuatl artists of the Mezcala region in Mexico. At first, coconut shells are soaked in water, scraped with a knife, then coated with clay and decorated using acrylic paint.
Traditionally, the masks showed painted human faces, the jaguar and devil-faces. But as the local artists sensed the foreign tourists’ interest in their art, they began accepting suggestions. Thus, by incorporating admirers’ feedback, these coconut masks began having animal faces and even sun or moon faces. Along with being a means of livelihood, the masks are a link for the artists to their ancestors and culture.
Take a second to look at your hands; pretty unique aren’t they? Most distinctly designed. They give us immense strength and also the finest of control. This combination of power and precision has given us the ability to shape the world around us. We take our hands for granted, but if you really think about it, they are truly remarkable. Without them there would be no Michelangelo, no William Shakespeare, and no Beethoven. Without the hands there wouldn’t be a world as we see today.
No other animal has hands like us. Our hands are what we use to mould the world. Everything we achieve, in a practical sense is directed by our brain but achieved with hands. Our hands are a medium of expression. Take an artist for instance, Paintbrushes can fill the canvas with color but they need their fingers to create magic. Their identity is entirely tied up in their hands.
So what makes our hands so unique? Nature’s remarkable engineering which is entirely different from other animals. Our hands are like puppets connected with strings called tendons and controlled by our brain using the forearm muscles. Tendons connect muscles to bones. They are vital in making the hand move.
The crucial ability of the human hand is the opposable thumb. In other words, our thumb can move directly opposite to touch other figures tip to tip, which allow us to grab or hold things. This is something no other animal can perform with such precision, not even our closest animal relatives, Chimps! Chimps have relatively smaller thumbs. Scientists believe that the making and using of stone tools by the early man drove the evolution of more versatile hands. And this allowed our early ancestors to manipulate object in ways in which no other species could. An ability that allowed us to shape and dominate our world.
Our hands are special. There is a huge natural engineering behind our every action and movement of our hands. The sensitivity of our finger tips connects us to the world. Our hands are such a versatile and powerful instrument. From the gentle handshake to the power of a weightlifter, our hands do and perform great deeds. From the disastrous atom bombs to the finest art of Picasso; all hand made! Our hands have reached to the deepest core of earth to the farthest corner of space. Without hands we wouldn’t be who we are!