Day 138 Question 138:
What are some images that have inspired you/moved you in some way or another?
There are images in the world that can move us to tears or inspire us to do great things. I came across an image yesterday that inspired me to make this my topic for the day. The world is the massive place all around us and there is so much we are all unaware of that is going on in other parts of the world. I sat with a my very dear friend last night after we had finished work and I told him what great appreciation I had for working in a place with such diversity. The staff at the restaurant is made up of people from northern US, southern US, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, etc. It has been this enlightening experience because I have learned so much about me. I have been able to see people in a whole different light and I was able to see that I did have unfair prejudices in the past. The people I work with have taught me so much about the culture of the world. I cannot even start to express how lucky I am to have such an experience that opened my eyes just a little bit more to this world around me.
I started to surf the Internet and I found new images and I found images I have seen many times before that brought me an immediate feeling of emotion….sometimes the emotion was disbelief while at other times the emotion was hope. Some images gave me a hope for a better tomorrow and a better future and allowed me to see the beauty in humankind. Other images allowed me to see how ugly humankind can be and made me understand the severity of war and violence that controls so much of the world. Either way, these images moved me….these images made me feel alive and I wanted to share them with you. If you have any images that you could share I would absolutely love that. :0)
1) Phyllis Siegel, 76, left, and Connie Kopelov, 84, both of New York, embrace after becoming the first same-sex couple to get married at the Manhattan City Clerk’s office.
2) Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza in 9/11, pauses at his son’s name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial.
“Gandhi at his Spinning Wheel,” the defining portrait of one of the 20th century’s most influential figures, almost didn’t happen, thanks to the Mahatma’s strict demands. Granted a rare opportunity to photograph India’s leader; Life staffer Margaret Bourke-White was all set to shoot when Gandhi’s secretaries stopped her cold: If she was going to photograph Gandhi at the spinning wheel (a symbol for India’s struggle for independence), she first had to learn to use one herself.
But that wasn’t all. The ascetic Mahatma wasn’t to be spoken to (it being his day of silence.) And because he detested bright light, Bourke-White was only allowed to use three flashbulbs. Having cleared all these hurdles, however, there was still one more – the humid Indian weather, which wreaked havoc on her camera equipment. When time finally came to shoot, Bourke-White’s first flashbulb failed. And while the second one worked, she forgot to pull the slide, rendering it blank.
She thought it was all over, but luckily, the third attempt was successful. In the end, she came away with an image that became Gandhi’s most enduring representation. it was also among the last portraits of his life; he was assassinated less than two years later.
4) World Press Photo of the Year: 1994 James Nachtwey, USA, Magnum Photos for Time. Rwanda, June 1994. Hutu man mutilated by the Hutu ‘Interahamwe’ militia, who suspected him of sympathizing with the Tutsi rebels. About the image Nachtwey says his specialty is dealing with ground level realities with a human dimension. He feels that people need photography to help them understand what’s going on in the world, and believes that pictures can have a great influence on shaping public opinion and mobilizing protest.
5) Starving Boy and Missionary
Wells felt indignant that the same publication that sat on his picture for five months without publishing it, while people were dying, entered it into a competition. He was embarrassed to win as he never entered the competition himself, and was against winning prizes with pictures of people starving to death. (World Press Photo of the Year: 1980 Mike Wells, United Kingdom. Karamoja district, Uganda, April 1980).
6) Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson’s dog “Hawkeye” lies next to his casket during funeral services in Rockford, Iowa. Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down during a mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire.
7) US gay service members march in a gay pride parade for the first time ever.
8) A U.S. Army soldier takes five with an Afghan boy during a patrol in Pul-e Alam, a town in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan.
9) The Photograph That Ended a War But Ruined a Life “Murder of a Vietcong by Saigon Police Chief”Eddie Adams, 1968- “Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world,” AP photojournalist Eddie Adams once wrote. A fitting quote for Adams, because his 1968 photograph of an officer shooting a handcuffed prisoner in the head at point-blank range not only earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1969, but also went a long way toward souring Americans’ attitudes about the Vietnam War.
For all the image’s political impact, though, the situation wasn’t as black-and-white as it’s rendered. What Adams’ photograph doesn’t reveal is that the man being shot was the captain of a Vietcong “revenge squad” that had executed dozens of unarmed civilians earlier the same day. Regardless, it instantly became an icon of the war’s savagery and made the official pulling the trigger – General Nguyen Ngoc Loan – its iconic villain.
Sadly, the photograph’s legacy would haunt Loan for the rest of his life. Following the war, he was reviled where ever he went. After an Australian VA hospital refused to treat him, he was transferred to the United States, where he was met with a massive (though unsuccessful) campaign to deport him. He eventually settled in Virginia and opened a restaurant but was forced to close it down as soon as his past caught up with him. Vandals scrawled “we know who you are” on his walls, and business dried up.
Adams felt so bad for Loan that he apologized for having taken the photo at all, admitting, “The general killed the Vietcong; I killed the general with my camera.”
10) Picture of segregated water fountains in North Carolina taken by Elliott Erwitt
Lastly, the cover photo- Afghan Girl
And of course the afghan girl, picture shot by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. Sharbat Gula was one of the students in an informal school within the refugee camp; McCurry, rarely given the opportunity to photograph Afghan women, seized the opportunity and captured her image. She was approximately 12 years old at the time. She made it on the cover of National Geographic next year, and her identity was discovered in 1992.