Photos are important historical documents and their significance is permanently increasing. We are living in a visual world where sometimes things are only considered to be true when there’s a photo, or even better, a video as a piece of evidence.
Thanks to smartphones and their integrated cameras millions of photos are taken every day and in almost every single corner of the world. The importance of photography for this generation probably cannot be fully understood yet, but one thing’s for sure: There hasn’t been a period in history when it was possible to gain such deep insights into people’s lives and into almost every social class.
However, photos have certainly been enormously important before the rise of the smartphone industry. All of us probably know the photo taken by Kim Phúc, also known as the “Napalm Girl”. She was nine years old when Nick Ùt, a Vietnamese photographer, took a photo of her screaming in pain, escaping burnt and fully naked. It was that image that revealed the real horrors and the actual dimensions of the Vietnam War to the public.
With the “100 Photos” project “THE TIMES” aims to present a list of the 100 most influential photographs of all times and then to find and tell the stories behind these pictures. It’s pretty obvious to everyone that this isn’t an easy task at all.
How to make a selection of 100 photos among all the pictures taken over a period of 200 years? You can read on the project website how difficult it was to create such a selection. The team had to conduct thousands of expert interviews with photographers, historians, curators and editors all over the world. Whenever it was possible friends and family members of the people portrayed in the pictures had to be contacted. You can see the final list of the 100 photos and their stories on the project website.