Home
29 May 2023 ( 963 views )
Advertisements

‘Photos From History’: 96 Must-See Historical Pictures, Ranging From Wholesome To Heartbreaking

It’s every photographer’s dream to take a picture so powerful that it ends up being enjoyed by future generations. The deeper you delve into the past, the more you realize how many wonderful photos have been taken, but perhaps haven’t been given the time in the spotlight that they deserve. They’re full of character, and just as good—if not better than—some of the most iconic pics we know from textbooks and the internet.

The ‘Photos From History’ Instagram page does exactly what it says on the tin and features aesthetic pics from the past. We’ve collected some of the top ones to share with you, Pandas, and some of them are bound to change the way you view history. Don’t forget to upvote the ones that impressed you the most!

Bored Panda reached out to professional photographer Dominic Sberna, from Ohio, for a chat about high-quality photos, how photography has become more accessible over time, and how AI might affect the art form in the future. Read on for our full interview with him. 

#1 Helen Mirren, 1967

Image credits: photos.from.history

#2 August 23, 1989: 2 Million People Form A Human Chain Through Latvia, Estonia, And Lithuania, Uniting All 3 Countries To Show The World Their Desire To Escape The Soviet Union

Image credits: photos.from.history

#3 David Bowie Performs To A Huge Crowd At Milton Keynes Bowl In 1983

Image credits: photos.from.history

The creator of the ‘Photos From History’ Instagram page has shared over 2.7k photos over the years. At the time of writing, the account had 1,430 followers.

The founder of the page quotes legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson in the bio: “It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera. They are made with the eye, heart, and head.” We’re particularly big fans of the quote because we, too, believe that photography goes beyond technical skills and is Art with a capital ‘A.’

#4 Barbra Streisand By Cecil Beaton, 1969

Image credits: photos.from.history

#5 Leonardo Dicaprio, Johnny Depp & Brad Pitt In The Flush Of Youth

Image credits: photos.from.history

#6 Björk By Laura Levine In 1991

Image credits: photos.from.history

Some other brilliant quotes by Cartier-Bresson include the idea that “your first 10,000 photographs are your worst,” suggesting that there’s no substitute for practice and experience. He adds that “the picture is good or not from the moment it was caught in the camera,” alluding to the idea that art isn’t purely subjective—there’s a lot of objectivity hiding in each snap.

According to the French legend, taking a photograph means aligning “the head, the eye, and the heart.” For him, the camera was an extension of his body, and he would keep it with him at all times.

Photographer Cartier-Bresson said that the difference between a good picture and a mediocre one is “a question of millimeters.” Those tiny differences were essential. “I didn’t think there is such a big difference between photographers. But it is that little difference that counts, maybe,” he mused.

#7 The Couple On The Woodstock Album Cover Is Still Together 50 Years Later In 2019

Image credits: photos.from.history

#8 Audrey Tautou On The Set Of Amélie In 2001

Image credits: photos.from.history

#9 (1980) Punk Legend Viv Albertine Of The Slits Performs At Alexandra Palace In London

Image credits: photos.from.history

Bored Panda wanted to get professional photographer Dominic’s thoughts on Cartier-Bresson’s quote about millimeters separating the great from the mediocre.

“I think in some ways he is right. My interpretation of that is that the best photos are in the small details,” he told us, adding that what makes a good photo to someone is open to interpretation. “But, if we’re talking about art and aesthetics, then it definitely comes down to a game of millimeters,” he said that the French photographer’s thoughts can be interpreted differently.

We also wanted to get the photographer’s opinion on standing out with one’s photography now compared to a few decades ago. Dominic, from Ohio, believes that the art form has become far more accessible, so there’s a lot more content. However, quality photographers will almost always stand out.

#10 The Rolling Stones’ First Photo Shoot 4 May, 1963

Image credits: photos.from.history

#11 (Studio 54) Ballet Icon, Rudolf Nureyev, Initiates Nine-Year-Old Actor Ricky Schroder Into The Delights Of Disco Dancing At Studio 54 In New York On Sunday, April 2, 1979

Image credits: photos.from.history

#12 Andy Fletcher From Depeche Mode At The Hill 16 Pub, Dublin, 1983

Image credits: photos.from.history

“At one time in history, you had to have a lot of money to be a photographer. Now, nearly everyone has a camera on them at all times. To some degree, it diminishes the art form, but, on the other hand, it opens the art form to so many more and creates a wider range of artists,” he explained.

The professional photographer added that this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone with a camera is an artist. However, “it does put the power of artistic expression in the hands of more people, myself included.”

He opened up to Bored Panda that his own photographic journey began as a teenager with a 1.3-megapixel cellphone camera. “What started as me taking photos of my friends skateboarding, turned into something much more.”

#13 Ukrainian Refugees In Germany In 1945

Image credits: photos.from.history

#14 Esso Hibernia Tanker Under Construction, Wallsend, England, 1970

Image credits: photos.from.history

#15 Ava Gardner, Age 19. Photo From Her Mgm Employment Questionnaire In 1942

Image credits: photos.from.history

In the expert’s opinion, there’s a saturation of photographs online these days, however, “those who excel in and hone their craft will stand out.” He added that things tend to happen for a reason and that some images might stand out even if we don’t understand why, at the moment.

Finally, Bored Panda was interested in Dominic’s take on how AI might impact the photography industry. Some artists and writers are already worried about the rise of AI, and we wanted to know whether photographers have anything weighing on their minds, too.

“If anything, I could see AI becoming another art form in its entirety (which I feel it’s already headed there) and possibly make photography more of an art form once again, rather than something we just take for granted,” he shared his perspective with Bored Panda.

However, Dominic was honest that he has concerns about AI-generated images manipulating what is and isn’t real. “I recently saw a political image that I did not know was AI. I thought it was a staged photograph, but I did not know it was AI until someone pointed it out to me. The spread of fallacy through generated images is something that scares me,” he said, adding that other than that, photographers shouldn’t fear AI.

#16 (1940) Father Christmas Handing Out Presents To Evacuees From Peckham, London

Image credits: photos.from.history

#17 Dutch Girls Ria Vermeulen And Ineke Van Wijck Write Messages On A Polish Armoured Division Tank After The Liberation Of Breda, Their Hometown, Noord-Brabant Province, The Netherlands, 1944

As the tanks are soon to pass through neighboring villages and districts, people use them as a ‘message carrier’ letting their, soon to be liberated family and friends, know, that they were ok. Also note the symbol of the Dutch resistance movement on the tank – OZO (Oranje zal Overwinnen – Orange Shall Conquer)

Image credits: photos.from.history

#18 Casting Polaroid Of Salma Hayek In 1995

Image credits: photos.from.history

With continued technological improvements and the rapid rise of AI, some people are worried that it will become more and more difficult to differentiate between what’s real and what’s been manipulated. It’s not a baseless fear either, as photo manipulation has become incredibly widespread thanks to social media and easily accessible filters, apps, and photo-editing software. People value aesthetics, but they also love authenticity, whether it’s a modern or historical photo. And it sometimes makes sense to be entirely sure whether a great-looking photo is genuine or a subtly-tweaked montage.

Some people lightly edit their pics, others go way overboard. Though many edited photos are quite easy to spot (you might have learned how to do that while scrolling your Instagram feed), others require an incredibly keen eye and some technological know-how to recognize them.

#19 David Bowie And Wife Iman

Image credits: photos.from.history

#20 Sigourney Weaver And Rick Moranis On Set Of The First Ghostbusters In 1984

Image credits: photos.from.history

#21 Iggy Pop Raised By The Crowd In A Messianic Pose Live In Cincinnati In 1970

Image credits: photos.from.history

MUO explains that one of the ways that you can tell if an image has been altered is by looking at the edges. Odds are that if there are jagged edges around the subject in the photo, someone probably used photo-editing software. On the flip side, if the edges around objects like hair or fur are too smooth, this might be another sign that the image has been photoshopped. Zooming in on details can reveal a wealth of information.

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for any reversed text in the pics: the photo manipulator might have forgotten to focus on details like this. Moreover, take a look at the shadows in the image. Photoshopped shadows often look flat. Others might be missing altogether.

#22 A Shirtless Benito Mussolini Harvesting Wheat In Aprilla In 1938

Image credits: photos.from.history

#23 Young Couple Kissing Before The Fall Of The Berlin Wall In 1989

Image credits: photos.from.history

#24 A Bank Robber Shooting His Pistol At The Surveillance Camera, Cleveland, Ohio, 1977

Image credits: photos.from.history

The same goes for odd or missing reflections and bad perspectives: they suggest that someone might have taken to photoshopping the image, adding, removing, altering, or moving around objects for whatever purpose they had in mind. What’s more, take the time to comb the background and look for ‘cloned’ objects—things that were copy-pasted multiple times to fill in the blank space.

According to How-To Geek, if something like a person’s skin looks too ‘perfect,’ it’s probably been airbrushed to get rid of any ‘imperfections.’ This can give the subject of the photo a strange, uncanny valley sort of feel, as though they’re not a real person.

#25 Light From Billions Of Years Ago Detected By The James Webb Telescope

Image credits: photos.from.history

#26 Croatians Ira And Marijan Kiss Near The End Of The Croatian War Of Independence In 1995

Marijan Horvat was coming back from the frontline after military operation ‘Storm’, and Ira was waiting near the road to see if he was on one of the trucks. This was the moment when she saw him and ran to him. “I was looking forward to see if he would be on a truck and suddenly I saw him. The truck was passing, they were not allowed to stop, so Marijan just leaned over to kiss me”, Ira explains. The couple married not long after this photo was taken and are still together today (swipe for image above). Photo by Lea Krivošić. Coincidentally, this photo was taken 50 years to the day after Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous Life Magazine photo of a kiss between a sailor and a nurse in New York’s Times Square on August 14, 1945, just after the end of World War II

Image credits: photos.from.history

#27 A Box Lot Of Debbie Harry

Image credits: photos.from.history

Meanwhile, check for signs of warping by seeing if the background remains unaltered around the subject. An obvious sign of photo manipulation would be, for example, if the otherwise straight lines in the background are suddenly curved around someone’s biceps.

And that, in contrast, is the beauty of historical photos. They’re often authentic, maybe with some color rebalancing having been done to make the details pop. They’re full of character. They give us a fresh perspective on what we’ve only learned with the help of textbooks.

#28 Jacques Cousteau And His Crew Relax In A Submersible After Work During The Conshelf Two Expedition, 1963

Continental Shelf Station Two was an attempt at creating an environment in which humans could live and work on the sea floor. Dix oceanauts lived 10 metres down in the Red Sea, at Sha’ab Rumi off Sudan, in a starfish-shaped house for 30 days.

Image credits: photos.from.history

#29 Family Friend Went Camping 30 Years Ago And Heard A Noise. She Stuck Her Camera Outside Her Tent And Snapped This Picture

Image credits: photos.from.history

#30 Russian Soldiers Sunbathe On A Rooftop While A Sniper Stands Guard In Grozny, Chechnya, 9 May, 2000

Image credits: photos.from.history

We’d love to hear which of these pics from ‘Photos From History’ you enjoyed the most, dear Pandas. Let us know in the comments which ones were your favorites and why. And don’t forget to follow the Instagram page if you enjoyed the type of content they feature.

#31 John Lawrence Burns, Veteran Of The War Of 1812, Became A 69-Year-Old Civilian Combatant With The Union Army At The Battle Of Gettysburg During The American Civil War. He Fought Valiantly For 3 Days During The Battle, Being Wounded Three Time, And Survived To Become A National Celebrity. Photo By Timothy O’sullivan In The 1860s

Image credits: photos.from.history

#32 A Vehicle Hovering Over A Crevasse During The Trans-Aantarctic Expedition Of 1954

Image credits: photos.from.history

#33 American Soldiers Talk To A Pontifical Swiss Guard From The Vatican, June 1944

Image credits: photos.from.history

#34 East German Soldier Helps A Little Boy Sneak Across The Berlin Wall The Day It Was Erected In 1961

Image credits: photos.from.history

#35 Rory Gallagher, Age 11

Image credits: photos.from.history

#36 Richard Jack At Work On His Iconic Painting, The Second Battle Of Ypres, 1917

Image credits: photos.from.history

#37 Heath Ledger And Rose Byrne In Las Vegas, 1999

Image credits: photos.from.history

#38 Al Capone With His Son “Sonny” Capone In 1925

Image credits: photos.from.history


#39 “When I’m In Nature, Everything Falls Into Place. I’m Just One Tiny Piece Of A Big Jigsaw Puzzle And I Like That.” – Björk, 2008

Image credits: photos.from.history

#40 Mounted Police Officer Flies Down Tremont Street, Boston In The 1920s. Photo By Leslie Jones

Image credits: photos.from.history

#41 King Arthur’s Statue Overlooking The Atlantic Ocean On The Cliffs Of Tintagel In Cornwall, England

Image credits: photos.from.history

#42 Pink Floyd Concert In Venice In 1989

Image credits: photos.from.history

#43 As The Tour De France Enters The Alps, Another Look Back At The History Of The Greatest Race Of Them All

Image credits: photos.from.history

#44 Archeologists Unearth 2,200 Year Old Mosaics In An Ancient Greek City Named Zeugma In Gaziantep Province, Turkey

They have given us the opportunity to witness the unveiling of Greek and Roman art that hasn’t been seen in thousands of years. Three new mosaics have been discovered. They are exceptionally well preserved mosaics, dating back to the 2nd century BCE.

Image credits: photos.from.history

#45 Elijah Wood With His Scale Double Kirann Shah On The Set Of Fellowship Of The Ring In 2001

Image credits: photos.from.history

#46 (1914) Germans In Front Of The Reichstag The Day After The Declaration Of War On Russia

Image credits: photos.from.history

#47 ‘youth And Maturity’, Photo By Henri Cartier-Bresson In Paris

Image credits: photos.from.history

#48 Michael Rockefelle, Son Of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, In Dutch New Guinea, May, 1960. He Went To Explore The Jungle And Went Missing In 1961. His Body Was Never Found

Image credits: photos.from.history

#49 Arnold Schwarzenegger In College, 1979

That same year Arnold got his bachelor’s degree in business administration and fitness marketing from University of Wisconsin-Superior. It’s also the same same year Schwarzenegger appeared with Kirk Douglas and Ann-Margret in the comedy The Villain.

Image credits: photos.from.history

#50 Nurses In Their Bomb Trenches Between Hospital Wards In France, 1918

Image credits: photos.from.history

#51 Clint Eastwood & Shirley Mcclaine On The Set Of 2 Mules For Sister Sara, In 1969

Image credits: photos.from.history

#52 Grace Jones By Jean-Paul Goude, 1981

Image credits: photos.from.history

#53 A Wheat Field In Manhattan Showing The Twin Towers

The Public Art Fund hired artist Agnes Denes in 1982 to produce something of artistic worth in Manhattan’s Battery Park before high-rises and condos took over the region. Rather than an artwork, she chose to cultivate a golden wheat field. The dirt required to do so was mined during the construction of the neighbouring Twin Towers a decade earlier

Image credits: photos.from.history

#54 The Face Of War By Salvador Dali In 1941

Dali had spent the years 1936-1939 in Paris, throughout the Spanish Civil War. During the beginning of the Second World War (1940), Dali fled to California with his wife, due to the Fall of France, in which Germany had invaded and captured France. This experience, along with then recent horrors of the Spanish Civil War, inspired Dali to express the misery of Europe through this painting

Image credits: photos.from.history

#55 Carolyn Jones’ Morticia Addams Wishes You A Ghoulishly Good Weekend

Image credits: photos.from.history

#56 Ornithologist Jerry Mcgahan Holding A 6-Month-Old Andean Condor In 1971

Image credits: photos.from.history

#57 The Last Public Appearance Of Laurel & Hardy In 1956

Oliver Hardy passed away the following year due to heart complications. Due to his own ill health at the time Stan Laurel was unable to go to his dear friend’s funeral, famously saying ‘Babe would understand.” Laurel would never recover from Hardy’s death. He refused to perform in any capacity afterwards, turning down interviews, stage and screen roles. Instead, Laurel decided to dedicate the remainder of his life to his fans and offering tips to up and coming comedians. His address to his small Santa Monica apartment and phone number where published in the phonebook. He eagerly greeted fans and guests that would show up unannounced. Fans were surprised that Laurel, himself, would answer the phone. Much of his free time was dedicated to answering his fan mail. He insisted that each and every letter be answered personally. Amongst the up and coming Comedians that often visited Stan Laurel were Jerry Lewis and Dick Van Dyke. The advice they received from Laurel was invaluable to the later success of their careers. Stan Laurel out lived Oliver Hardy by eight years. As his health continued to decline, he remained out of the public eye, fearing that children would be horrified by his current old appearance. In 1965, he suffered a final heart attack and four days later passed away. At his funeral, Dick Van Dyke gave the eulogy and among the attendees were Hal Roach Sr and silent film comedian Buster Keaton who remarked “Chaplin wasn’t the funniest, I wasn’t the funniest, he was the funniest”

Image credits: photos.from.history

#58 Superman On The Set Of Superman

Image credits: photos.from.history

#59 An Armed Guard Provides Both Service And Security To White Golfers At A Golf Course At The Hotel Leopard In Rhodesia, 1978

Image credits: photos.from.history

#60 Joy Division Lead Singer Ian Curtis. Kevin Cummings Captured The Band’s Complete Journey, From Their Original Work Under The Name Warsaw, Through To The Heyday Of Joy Division

Image credits: photos.from.history

#61 Forging The Chain For Titanic’s Anchor In 1910

Image credits: photos.from.history

#62 Westminster Silhouetted By The Fires Of The Blitz In London, 1940

Image credits: photos.from.history

#63 Cult Hero Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards Soars Above The 1988 Winter Olympic

Image credits: photos.from.history

#64 Anthony Bourdain On Dublin – “If You’ve Got Any Kind Of A Heart, A Soul, An Appreciation For Your Fellow Man, Or Any Kind Of Appreciation For The Written Word, Or Simply A Love Of A Perfectly Poured Beverage, Then There’s No Way You Could Avoid Loving This City.”

Image credits: photos.from.history

#65 Sr 71 Blackbird Designed In The1950s, Was Able To Cruise Near The Edge Of Space And Outfly A Missile

To this day, it holds the records for the highest altitude in horizontal flight and the fastest speed for a non-rocket powered aircraft. For me it is one of the most beautiful engineering designs in history, a kin to the great Art Deco locomotives of the 1930s. “It still looks like something from the future, even though it was designed back in the 1950s,” Peter Merlin, an aviation historian and author of “Design and Development of the Blackbird”. “Because of the way the fuselage bends and the wing curves and twists, it looks more organic than mechanical. Most conventional airplanes look like someone built them — this one almost looks like it was grown.” 70 years on from its inception the SR 71 Blackbird is a timeless design classic.

Image credits: photos.from.history

#66 Surgeon After Open-Heart Surgery On A Chernobyl ‘Liquidator’

Image credits: photos.from.history

#67 Father, Son, And Grandfather, New Guinea, 1970

Image credits: photos.from.history

#68 Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, And Bunny Wailer Started A Ska Band In 1963 Called The Teenagers, Before Renaming Themselves The Wailing Rudeboys, Then The Wailing Wailers And Finally The Wailers. I Wonder What Became Of Them?

Image credits: photos.from.history

#69 Harvey Ball And The Smiley Face He Created In The 1960s

Image credits: photos.from.history

#70 17-Yr-Old Tom Hardy Photographed In A Friend’s Kitchen In 1994

Image credits: photos.from.history

#71 Marilyn Monroe In The Late 40’s

Image credits: photos.from.history

#72 A Reusable Shopping List From The 1920s

Image credits: photos.from.history

#73 The Clash Riding On Their Way To Shea Stadium, New York (1982)

Image credits: photos.from.history

#74 “Kombat” By Max Alpert: A Soviet Officer Leads His Men In A Counterattack Against German Lines In Ukraine, 12 July 1942. The Officer In Question, Alexey Yeryomenko, Was Killed Soon After This Picture Was Taken

Image credits: photos.from.history

#75 The Discovery Of An Ancient Maya Statue In The Jungles Of Honduras, 1885

Image credits: photos.from.history

#76 In A 1996 Incident At An Illinois Zoo, A Female Gorilla Cradled A 3-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Nearly 20 Feet Into Her Enclosure An 8-Year-Old Gorilla Named Binti Jua Made Worldwide Headlines When She Carried A Boy To Safety After He Slipped Away From His Mother And Climbed Through A Barrier At The Western Lowland Gorilla Pit At The Brookfield Zoo On Aug. 19, 1996

Image credits: photos.from.history

#77 Iconic Traditional Irish Folk Band The Dubliners In 1972

Image credits: photos.from.history

#78 Children Watch In Fear As Their Neighborhood Is Bombed In Minsk, Belorussia

Image credits: photos.from.history

#79 Winona Ryder On The Set Of Beetlejuice In 1988

Image credits: photos.from.history

#80 Donald Campbell’s Final Moments At Over 300 Mph In His Bluebird In 1967

He died in the accident which followed. Campbell broke eight world speed records on water and on land in the 1950s and 1960s. He remains the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year. Campbell’s body wasn’t recovered until 2001.

Image credits: photos.from.history

#81 Alec Guinness As King Faisal 1 & Director David Lean On The Set Of Lawrence Of Arabia

Image credits: photos.from.history

#82 A Factory Worker In Rute, Gotland, Sweden, Posing For A Photograph. Photograph Taken By Måns Birger Bruzelius In 1920

Image credits: photos.from.history

#83 Nancy Sinatra Pictured With Her Father Frank And Family Friend Yul Brynner At The Sands Hotel In Las Vegas, 1965

Image credits: photos.from.history

#84 Greek Partisans Pose For A Photograph Following The German Invasion Of The Island Of Crete In 1941

Image credits: photos.from.history

#85 Felix Rodriguez And Che Guevara, Moments Before His Execution In Bolivia, 1967

Image credits: photos.from.history

#86 “I Didn’t Want To Get Blood On Your Floor.” Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci & Frank Vincent, With Martin Scorcese Under The Bar, On The Set Of Goodfellas In 1990

Image credits: photos.from.history

#87 Aztec Sun Calander Stone, National Museum, Mexico, 1964

Image credits: photos.from.history

#88 Logging Drivers Near Glens Falls, New York, On The Hudson River, 1907

Image credits: photos.from.history

#89 The Ghost Ship – C. 1900

Image credits: photos.from.history

#90 Photo Of The Day

Image credits: photos.from.history

#91 The Swedish Warship Vasa Sank In 1628 Less Than A Mile Into Its Maiden Voyage And Was Recovered From The Sea Floor After 333 Years Almost Completely Intact

Image credits: photos.from.history

#92 Rip Pelé (1940-2022) – A Master, An Icon, And A Gentleman

Image credits: photos.from.history

#93 ‘the Thinker’, By Hiromu Kira. Los Angeles, C. 1930

Image credits: photos.from.history

#94 Saddam Hussein As A Young Boy In The 1940’s

Image credits: photos.from.history

#95 A Girl Watches Her Father Perform Acrobatics

Image credits: photos.from.history

#96 Charles Ebbets, Credited With Taking The Iconic Photograph ‘Lunch Atopa Skyscraper’ (1932)

Image credits: photos.from.history

Recommended Videos

Advertisements

You may also like

Male Jawfish with the Mouthfull of Babies 20+ Animals That Are So Big, It’s Hard to Believe They’re Real 58 Tasteful Animal Print Home Decor Ideas Temple-Theater Complex in Monte San Nicola, Italy