10 most popular photographs ever clicked


Photographs have always conveyed some message or other, here are the top 10 most popular photographs ever clicked since the introduction of camera. By calling them the most popular photographs, we don’t guarantee that these are evidently the most viewed. These are by far some of the most iconic photographs.

Here’s the 10 most popular photographs

10. 1954 White Dress of Marilyn Monroe

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Sam Shaw

It is without a doubt that everyone has viewed this iconic photograph, even after 60 years of her death, Marilyn Monroe is still dominating the modelling industry with this exceptional photograph. This image has said to have mesmerised an entire generation of youths. It was in the year 1954 when Billy Wilder was filming a scene of the film The Seven Year Itch where they captured this scene which eventually became one of Hollywood’s most adored bold moment ever captured. It should definitely make the top 10 most popular photographs. You might have not watched this film, but the photograph?

09. 2011 The Situation Room Photograph

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Pete Souza

It was 4:05 p.m. on May 1, 2011, the entire room was dropped into silence. You know this moment of pressure, don’t you? This photo is none other than the popular Situation Room Photograph, President Barack Obama, along with the members of his national security team observing the brave Navy SEALs raid that eventually killed the mastermind of 9/11 Osama bin Laden. It was President Obama’s direct decision to launch an attack but everyone in the room is mere spectators, you could also see the tension on every member sitting in that limited space waiting to see its outcome.

08. 1945 VE Day in Whitehall London

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Major W. G. Horton

The then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill waves to the large crowd gathered in Whitehall, London to celebrate VE Day on 8th May 1945. Prime Minister Winston Churchill waves from the balcony of the Ministry of Health while showing his famous ‘V for victory’ sign to the crowds on their broadcast to the nation while proclaiming that the Allied had won against Germany on 8th May 1945. Left, Sir John Anderson, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour to the right of Sir. Winston Churchill.

07. 1937 Hindenburg disaster

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Sam Shere

In 1937, Sam Shere, a European photographer pictured the Hindenburg disaster while on assignment in New Jersey. Without a doubt, this photograph is painful to watch as the tragedy was happening in front of everyone’s eyes. The crash took the life of 36 people and ended the whole concept of passenger-carrying airships, which was said to be the future of transportation. Sam said of the photo: “I had two shots in my big Speed Graphic [his camera] but I didn’t even have time to get it up to my eye. I literally ‘shot’ from the hip–it was over so fast there was nothing else to do.” This is definitely not a pleasant photograph but definitely one of the top 10 most popular photographs.

06. 1951 Say Cheese Einstein’s tongue

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Arthur Sasse

It was Albert Einstein’s 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951. Arthur Sasse a United Press photographer was requesting Einstein to smile for the camera, but having smiled throughout the day for different photographers, Einstein got a little wicked for the moment. Instead of smiling he just stuck his tongue out, and there it goes, it became one of the most popular photographs to have ever taken, depicting Einstein to be a person of lighthearted sense.

Einstein is said to have loved this photograph and request UPI to provide him with nine copies for personal use and one which he signed for the reporter. This is one of the top 10 most popular photographs to have ever received so much science popularity, this image has featured in almost all scientific journals and websites.

05. 1996 Bliss

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Charles O’Read

Who doesn’t know this extraordinary masterpiece that had stayed as our wallpaper for years? This is undoubtedly one of the top 10 most popular photographs out there, but Bliss is a virtually unedited photograph of Los Carneros American Viticultural Area of California’s Wine Country, where green hill and blue sky with cloud had made the picture so perfect that almost everyone claimed it to be a photoshopped image.

However, former National Geographic Photographer, Charles O’Read, the photographer of this image claimed to have clicked this image with his medium-format Mamiya RZ67 camera while going to visit his girlfriend in the year 1996. In the year 2000, Microsoft bought the rights of this photograph and the rest is history, just smile listening to Windows XP.

04. 1945 The Mushroom Cloud over Nagasaki

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Lieutenant Charles Levy

It was the year 1945, the war had ended it was peace everywhere, but Japan? Two days after an atomic bomb was dropped an even more powerful bomb named Fat Man was slopped over Nagasaki. The explosion was such high that a 45,000 feet high column of radioactive dust and debris shot up. The American officials censored and banned photos of bomb’s devastation, but this image circulate and probably the only one to show the full scale of mushroom cloud from the air was somehow circulated widely.

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03. 1993 Starving Child and Vulture

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Kevin Carter

The most disturbing photo in this entire list was taken by Kevin Carter, where he took a photograph of a starving child in Southern Sudan that spanned worldwide attention. According to Carter, who claimed that the girl reached a nearby feeding center after he drove the vulture away, but soon there were questions that interrogated Carter on why didn’t he carry the child to the feeding center by himself. Months after receiving a Pulitzer Prize for the image, the South African photographer committed suicide.

02. 1960 The Che Image

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: Alberto Korda

Even if you don’t know who it is, every single person on this planet might have seen this image in some or the other format – digital, print or on a t-shirt. This extraordinary image of Che Guevara was clicked on March 5 1960, at a funeral service of 136 people, killed when a French ship carrying arms to Havana was sabotaged and blowed up. While all the leaders like Fidel Castro, French writers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, were giving their funeral oration, behind stood a man with an expression according the photographer Alberto Korda, “absolute implacability” as well as in anger and pain.

Korda clicked this moment with his Lecia M2 loaded with Plus-X film and a 90mm Lecia telephoto lens mounted on it. This iconic image eventually became a sensation.

01. 1968 The Earthrise

Top 10 most popular photographs
10 most popular photographs, Photographer: William Anders

Literally, everyone might have seen this image, or your subconscious makes you see this picture of earth. Earthrise is a photograph that shows how the earth looks from the surface of the moon. This moment was humanity’s first true grasp of the beauty, fragility, and loneliness of our world itself.  “Oh, my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming (rising) up. Wow, is that pretty!”

Anders exclaimed and snapped this picture. And there it was our first full colour view of earth from far off it that eventually later claimed by Nature photographer Galen Rowell declared it “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken”

BTW, did you know that Your smartphone is more powerful than a spacecraft?

Simply adding a funny conversation between Anders, Boreman and Lovell to give you an idea how lightly was this image captured.

Anders: Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, that’s pretty.
Borman: Hey, don’t take that, it’s not scheduled. (joking)
Anders: (laughs) You got a color film, Jim? Hand me that roll of color quick, would you…
Lovell: Oh man, that’s great!

Amal Varghese
Amal Varghesehttp://moonjis.com
Lecturer by profession, a philologist by qualification and a scribbler by passion. Like John Lennon says, "I believe in everything until it is disapproved, so I believe in fairies, myths and dragons", everything around me is an illusion and a reality. I am basically you, but I am a confined me.

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