15 Incredible & Incendiary Print Images From The Past 100 Years

15 Incredible & Incendiary Print Images From The Last 100 Years

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then these incredible images speak volumes. The photographs below catalogue some of the most influential moments of the past 100 years, captured by professional photographers, opportunist photojournalists and intrepid explorers alike.

None of the photographs that have made this list (the Loch Ness Monster aside) have lost any of their emotional impact over the years, despite being reproduced thousands, and in some cases, millions of times. In fact, many have become more powerful and iconic, now that our feelings surrounding the documented events have matured.

Unknown: The Nuremberg Rally [1934]

Nuremberg Rally

The 1934 Nuremberg Rally, later labelled the “Rally of Unity and Strength” (Reichsparteitag der Einheit und Stärke), was a major propoganda event organised by Adolf Hitler’s NSDAP (Nazi Party).

(Supposedly by) Robert Kenneth Wilson: The Surgeon’s Photo [1934]

Loch Ness

Published in the Daily Mail on 21 April 1934, this became the most iconic image of Nessie. It was later revealed to be a hoax.

Robert Capa: Death of a Loyalist Soldier [1936]

Loyalist Soldier

This photograph of a shot Loyalist Militiaman was taken during the Spanish Civil War, in Cerro Muriano on the Cordoba Front. Its authenticity has since been disputed.

Murray Becker: Hindenburg [1937]


36 people died when the Hindenburg exploded into flames in Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey. It’s still not known what caused the fire.

Joe Rosenthal: Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima [1945]

Iwo Jima

This iconic photograph depicts five US Marines and a US Navy Corpsman raising a flag atop Mount Suribachi, during the battle of Iwo Jima. Three of the pictured men later died during World War II.

Edmund Hilary: First Ascent on Everest [1953]

Edmund Hillary

Tenzig Norgay stands atop the summit of Everest after becoming the first to scale the mountain with his partner Edmund Hilary. Norgay’s axe bares the flags of Great Britain, Nepal, India and the United Nations.

Alberto Korda: Guerrillero Heroico [1960]

Guerillero Heroico

This portrait of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara was taken on 5th March 1960, in Havana, Cuba. It has since become one of the most reproduced images of all time, printed onto posters, T-shirts, towels and almost everything else.

Malcolm W. Brown: Burning Monk [1963]

Burning Monk

This Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, ignited himself in protest against the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnamese government at the time.

Various: Olympics Back Power Salute [1968]

1968 Olympics

African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos perform the Power to the People salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Neil Armstrong: Apollo 11 Moon Landing [1969]


This photograph shows Buzz Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon. The photographer, Neil Armstrong, is seen reflected in Aldrin’s visor.

Hubert van Es: Evacuation of Saigon [1975]

Evacuation Saigon

The day before the Fall of Saigon, a CIA helicopter lands to evacuate stranded South Vietnamese civilians.

Stuart Franklin: Tiananmen Square [1989]

Tiananmen Square

This iconic image shows a defiant student protestor as he boldly confronts four advancing PLA tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

NASA: Pillars of Creation [1995]

Pillars of Creation

This photograph, the most incredible image captured so far by the Hubble Space Telescope, depicts columns of dust and gas in the Eagle Nebula.

Lyle Owerkoof: September 11 [2001]

September 11

The angle of this shot sets it apart from all the other horrifying photographs taken of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Unknown: Abu Ghraib Prisoner Abuse [2004]

Abu Grhaib

Former United States Army reservist, Lynndie England, points to an Iraqi prisoner being abused by his captors.

About the author:

Tom is a freelance writer, living and working in North London. Fascinated by art, design and gadgets, he spends much of his time writing and blogging on these subjects. His other interests lie in music, film, fashion, football and generally enjoying life!

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  • User Gravatar Ian Cowley
    July 25th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks for your comments and I hope the workshop goes well.

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