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Top 10 World’s most famous photos – Editors Choice

By Top Inspired photo editor Dragan Tapshanov

It is difficult to make “Top 10 list” of photographs that were directly involved in the shaping of the world since the time of Henri Le SecqEdouard Denis Baldus, and Gustave Le Gray.

– Few days I was working on this list, constantly adding and removing photos that changed the mankind, I admire them all. Finally today i managed to select my all time favorite photographs created by some of the most iconic names in photojournalism.

– I would like to see your favorite memorable shots and discus about them, you can use the Disqus comment box to add the photo.

These are the TOP 10 World’s Most famous photos that changed the mankind according to our magazine.

Gen. Nguyễn Ngọc Loan summarily executes Nguyễn Văn Lém.


Photograph taken by Eddie Adams on 1 February 1968.

It shows South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing a suspected Việt Cộng officer Nguyễn Văn Lém in Saigon during the Tet Offensive. – Wikipedia

Migrant Mother, Florence Owens Thompson


Photograph taken by Dorothea Lange (1936)

Migrant Mother, is an iconic image of the Great Depression. – Wikipedia

Vulture Stalking a Child


Photograph taken by Kevin Carter (1960–1994) – South African photojournalist.

He was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph depicting the 1994 famine in Sudan. He committed suicide at the age of 33. – Wikipedia

The Terror of War – 1972


The image above is an Associated Press photograph that won the Pulitzer Prize for spot news. It was taken by Nick Ut on June 8, 1972.

Afghan Girl (Sharbat Gula)


Photograph taken by journalist Steve McCurry.

The photograph has been likened to Leonardo da Vinci‘s painting of the Mona Lisa and has been called “the First World’s Third World Mona Lisa“.

Mother and child in Hiroshima, Japan, December 1945


Photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

V-J Day in Times Square (August 14, 1945)


Photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt 

The photograph portrays an American sailor kissing a woman in a white dress on Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) in Times Square in New York City

Vancouver kissing couple


Photograph taken by Rich Lam / Getty Images

Riot police walk in the street as a couple kiss on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver broke out in riots after their hockey team the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. – Getty Images

Fire on Marlborough Street (1975)


Photograph taken by Stanley Forman

Stanley Forman received the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1976 for this photograph and the title of World Press Photo of the Year. The photograph, which is a part of a series, shows 19-year-old Diana Bryant and her 2-year-old goddaughter Tiare Jones falling from the collapsed fire escape of a burning apartment on Marlborough Street in Boston on July 22, 1975.

A starving boy and a missionary (1980)


Photograph taken by Mike Wells

In April 1980, a white missionary in northeastern Uganda holds the comparatively tiny hand of a starving African boy.

7 thoughts on “Top 10 World’s most famous photos – Editors Choice”

  1. This is a very compelling list of photos. Good job. At the same time it must have been very hard to narrow the field to ten and I’m curious what the criteria was. I would think a list of the “World’s most Famous Photos” would also include the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the burning of the Hindenburg,Tank man in Tiananmen Square and something of the Beatles. But that is based solely on images most likely seen by the most people in the world. Maybe the original list is not simply “most viewed” as the title of this page posits but rather “photographs that were directly involved in the shaping of the world” as the editor adds in the commentary. The latter would certainly make the job harder as you’re not merely looking at iconic photos but also judging the impact of the photo on the culture at the time.

    • Dear @davefreed:disqus

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes it was difficult to narrow the photos to “TOP 10”, and yes I do agree that the photos that you mention deserve to be on this list, but I was limited on 10. I am really interested in your TOP 10 List.

      You are also right, maybe the tittle should be different but I think that this one isn’t so bad also (I’ve talked with few colleagues about it, and they agreed)

      Again, if you have time please make a list/article and we will publish it. It can have the tittle “Top 10 Most Iconic photos according Top Inspired readers”

      Have a nice day

      D. Tapshanov


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