Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson
Chosen by Nigel Parry, photographer
“As a teenager in Yorkshire, England, I would while away my lunch breaks with my nose buried in photo books, and this photo always stuck in my mind for its cleverness. It’s essentially a play with lines: They transport the eye around the rectangle and back to the human element. Clearly, Cartier‑Bresson composed it and waited for the decisive moment in which an element of life—it could easily have been a dog or an old lady or a running child—injected itself into the perfect, irritatingly elegant composition to complete this celebration of both photographer and photograph. Pure genius.” Don’t miss these exceptionally rare “National Geographic” photos.
Photograph by Slava Veder
Associated Press/Courtesy Newseum
Chosen by Cathy Trost, senior vice president for exhibits and programs at the Newseum
“I have a copy of this photo in my office, and it lifts me up each time I see it. An American prisoner of war is released from captivity in Vietnam in 1973. His family members have waited nearly six years without knowing if they will ever see him again, and they are literally lifted off their feet with excitement at this moment of reunion. The photo symbolizes hope and healing near the end of a bitter war, but for me, it’s all about the love of family.”