Great Photographers on What Makes an Iconic Image

Posted on March 6, 2017 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Think about an image that has changed your worldview, that has lodged itself in your memory.

For me, and probably many others, some of the most powerful and awe-inspiring images I have encountered have been between the pages of a National Geographic magazine.

But what makes photography so powerful? How do you get an image that stops you in your tracks and changes your perspective?

Image: Photographer taking an image with a large lens
Source: Mike Baird // Flickr

I want to share with you a short (but remarkably powerful) video from National Geographic that asks some of the world’s most influential photographers to talk about what makes a photograph powerful.

These interviews are an incredible reminder of how something as seemingly simple as a photograph can send ripples of change across the globe and strike a chord of connection in us all.

Even after watching this video for the tenth time I am left speechless.

Where would we be today without photography?

It’s hard to fathom a world without it.

There is something truly profound about looking into the eyes of somebody across the globe in a well-composed portrait. Something that pulls on you deeply in a snapshot that captures the energy and feeling on a moment. Something that opens your eyes to the world around you in a new way after looking at a sweeping landscape.

Great photography gives you a feeling and sense of connection. As one of the photographers in the video put it:

“We’re not operating in a vacuum, human beings cannot exist alone.”

Now, more than ever it is vital we remember that. We are all inexorably connected to each other, to nature, to this planet, and to everything beyond.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


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