[Pics] The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011

[Pics] The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011

"The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011", according to BuzzFeed. How many of these moments do you recognize? Which one do you find most compelling? And do you think BuzzFeed missed anything? Leave your anwsers in the comments below.

Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza in 9/11, pauses at his son’s name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial.
(Getty Images / Justin Lane)

A whirpool forms off the Japanese coast after the tsunami on March 11.
(Reuters / Kyodo)

This sightseeing boat, Hama Yuri, was pulled 1300 feet from the coast and somehow balanced itself on a two story house during the tsunami in Japan.

Members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1.
(Reuters / HANDOUT)

Two lights from the former site of the World Trade Centers shine for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Phyllis Siegel, 76, left, and Connie Kopelov, 84, both of New York, embrace after becoming the first same-sex couple to get married at the Manhattan City Clerk's office.
(Getty Images / STAN HONDA)

A protester gets sprayed in the face with pepper spray at an Occupy Portland protest.
(Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

A before and after shot of Joplin, Missouri after a massive tornado on May 22.
Source: zeitlosimagery

Friends and loved ones gather at the Oslo cathedral to mourn 93 victims killed in twin terror attacks from a bombing in downtown Oslo and a mass shooting on Utoya island on July 24.
(Getty Images / Paula Bronstein)

A monstrous dust storm (Haboob) roared through Phoenix, Arizona in July.
Source: danbryant.com

A policeman detains an opposition activist in Baku on March 12. Azerbaijan police detained more than 30 activists of the opposition Musavat Party when its members took to the street of Baku to protest against the ruling elite following a similar rally a day before.

Christians protect Muslims during prayer in Cairo, Egypt.
Source: @NevineZaki

An aerial shot of the damage immediately following the Japanese tsunami.
(Reuters / KYODO)

A girl in isolation for radiation screening looks at her dog through a window in Nihonmatsu, Japan on March 14.
(Reuters / Yuriko Nakao)

A man sits in front of a destroyed apartment building following the Joplin, Missouri tornado.

A University of California Davis police officer pepper-sprays students during their sit-in at an "Occupy UCD" demonstration in Davis, California.
(Jasna Hodzic)

A mother comforts her son in Concord, Alabama, near his house which was completely destroyed by a tornado in April.
(AP / Jeff Roberts)

Chile's Puyehue volcano erupts, causing air traffic cancellations across South America, New Zealand, Australia and forcing over 3,000 people to evacuate.

Firefighters of Ladder Company 4 — which lost seven men on 9/11 — perched together on their aerial ladder, watching a news bulletin in Times Square declaring that Osama bin Laden was dead on May 2.
Source: lens.blogs.nytimes.com

Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's dog "Hawkeye" lies next to his casket during funeral services in Rockford, Iowa. Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down during a mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire.

A boy looks at a figure of Steve Jobs next to flowers laid in his tribute at an Apple store in Hong Kong, China.
(AP / Kin Cheung)

Cars are abandoned on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive during the "Snowpocalypse" in February.
Source: chicagotribune.com

Facebook played an extremely important role in the uprisings throughout the Middle East.
Source: theatlanticwire.com

84-year-old Dorli Rainey was pepper sprayed during a peaceful march in Seattle, Washington. She would have been thrown to the ground and trampled, but luckily a fellow protester and Iraq vet was there to save her.
(Joshua Trujillo / seattlepi.com)

Australian Scott Jones kisses his Canadian girlfriend Alex Thomas after she was knocked to the ground by a police officer's riot shield in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadians rioted after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins.
(Getty Images / Rich Lam)

Hurricane Irene approaches the east coast.

Billy Stinson comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood on August 28 in Nags Head, N.C. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head.
(Getty Images / Scott Olson)

Flowers and tributes are seen outside the home of Amy Winehouse in London on July 24.

Office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington, D.C., moments after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook the nation's capital. The earthquake was centered northwest of Richmond, Va., but could be felt from North Carolina to Massachusetts.
(AP / J. Scott Applewhite)

Mihag Gedi Farah, a seven-month-old child, is held by his mother in a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee in the town of Dadaab, Kenya. The baby has since made a full recovery.
(AP / Schalk Van Zuydam)

A woman jumps from a burning building during the London riots in August.
(Amy Weston / WENN.com)

Office workers look for a way out of a high rise building in central Christchurch, New Zeland on February 22. A strong earthquake killed at least 180 people.
(Reuters / Simon Baker)

A woman cries while sitting on a road amid the destroyed city of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan after the massive earthquake and tsunami.

A demonstrator shows his bottom to riot police during a protest by European workers and trade union representatives to demand better job protection in the European Union countries in Brussels on March 24.
(Reuters / Thierry Roge)

A woman rebel fighter supporter fires an AK-47 rifle as she reacts to the news of the withdrawal of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces from Benghazi on March 19.

Police spray Ugandan opposition party leaders with colored water during demonstrations in the capital Kampala on May 10.
(Reuters / James Akena)

A student is punched in the face by a police officer in Chile. Students in Chile are demanding a new framework for education.

An aid worker using an iPad captures an image of a dead cow's decomposing carcass in Wajir near the Kenya-Somalia border on July 23.
(Reuters / STRINGER)

A Libyan rebel is pictured with Gadhafi's golden gun.
(Getty Images / Philippe Desmazes)

Harold Camping speaks about the end of the world. The world was supposed to end on May 22 of this year.
(AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A phone hangs off the hook on Wall Street.

US gay service members march in a gay pride parade for the first time ever.
(Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker)

A woman hangs onto a street sign in chest deep water along the flooded streets in Rangsit on the outskirts of Bangkok on October 24.
(Getty Images / Paula Bronstein)

A distressed bride attempts suicide in China after her fiance abruptly called off their marriage. Still in her wedding gown, she tried to kill herself by jumping out of a window of a seventh floor building. Right as she jumped, a man managed to catch and save her.
(Reuters / CHINA DAILY)

A U.S. Army soldier takes five with an Afghan boy during a patrol in Pul-e Alam, a town in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan.
(Reuters / Umit Bektas)
via [BuzzFeed]
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Been holding this damn camera in my hand since 1991.
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Really powerful images.. gotta admit that I didn't recognize all of them. And didn't video footage prove that the couple on the ground in Vancouver weren't kissing at all..?

they weren't kissing, but it's still a widely recognized image from the year

The first clips that came out were footage after the timestamp on the photo, later footage came out of it and even later the couple in the photo confirmed the story.

More to the point, you should trust a Getty photographer, or any well known photo journal. These photos weren't even wired in by the photographer, they were processed off the card by an editor. Kind of weird that you wouldn't trust one of the biggest wires in the world, as a  (I assume) photographer yourself.

trust that the couple was kissing, when in fact they weren't..?

Vitaliy, I have a high resolution copy. I've seen the other frames before and after the image (recovered from the card). They're kissing. More to the point, the entire media follow up, you know, with verified facts and journalism (rather than the wild speculation that followed the day after) says that they're kissing. Google could have helped you here.

Staging a photo would be a serious violation of journalistic ethics. That's the distinction between a photojournalist and a random photographer, you should be able to trust the images. Very, very rarely this is violated and wires take extreme measures to ensure against it (the last doctored photo was pulled immediately with a statement of retraction, the photographer was fired and every image he'd ever shot was removed from the wire. The only other cases in the major wires since have been perpetrated by government agencies.)

Here's the CBC story, interview with the couple, and video verifying it.

Out of curiosity, what else would they be doing in the picture?

I'm not trying to say that the image was staged or anything of that nature, but it's also not as 'pure' and romantic as the image was originally seen by the public when it first came out. As far as the video, I've seen it and I think it goes to prove that he was comforting her after they were knocked down to the ground, and not so much as simply kissing on the ground amidst the violence.

Strange that you mention staging of photos, because it's absolutely rife in photojournalism all over the world. Most of the iconic images we see are partly or wholly manufactured.

It's funny because most of this pictures were taken in US... and the rest of the world? Amy Winehouse? Poor girl but, wasn't there something a little more important..?

19 0f 45 were in the US.  If anything, it seems the Japan quake/tsunami of 2011 received above average coverage in this set...

@facebook-19600507:disqus I saw the same footage.  She was knocked down and hurt.  I agree that they weren't really kissing.

Being from Alabama, I'd have to say some of the Tuscaloosa tornado shots were pretty crazy.  Joplin was probably worse but that month was tough for a lot of towns.  

You're welcome for the link ;)

I just don't like when a single image try to show only "one's" sides of the story, like about those freaks protestants. There are abuses ... for sure. But from BOTH sides. But always only show like the policemen are the bad guys. 
Peaceful my arse ... policemen are PEOPLE and patience has limits even for trained people. 

Unfortunately cops don't hug people too much. Instead they spray them in the mouth with pepper-spray. So are you saying you want to see more protesters pepper-spraying cops? You might get a very poignant photo of an anarchist throwing a gatorade bottle but the picture of him getting shot, in retaliation, with rubber bullets in the head, unfortunately, sells more papers.

Awesome, truly inspirational. Reuters has a similar selection of 100 pictures:

I'm sorry to say, there are some really terrible choices in here. A lot of repetitive images from similar issues, and skewed toward issues American-centric. A lot of good images, but a couple of bad choices.

From the moment I first saw it I knew the Reuters photo by  ASAHI SHIMBUN was going to be seen as a photo of the year if not THEE photo by several outlets.

Awesome photos!  A little bit liberal with the story-telling, though.

Is it horrible of me that I kind of laughed at the photo of the woman in the wedding dress?

Yet another happy year it seems ;)

The Norway attacks were on 22. of July though and the total number of people no longer with us was 77.


The best ones to me are, "Christians protect Muslims"," Australian Scott Jones kisses his Canadian girlfriend Alex Thomas" and "A woman cries while sitting on a road ".

I like the pepper spray shots....

Wauw amazing!

One photo of Christchurch, New Zealand??? & they couldn't even spell New Zealand correctly!! It's not like this happened in some developing nation that no-one has ever heard of!!! And it wasn't just one earthquake that killed 182 people, there have been thousands of quakes since then, & most of Central Christchurch was destroyed!
I think this is a lot more important & deserves more photo space than say, a weird guy who predicted the world was going to end, or some woman in China who clearly needs to get a life if she believes just because a guy left her at the altar that's reason to jump out a window!!!

The Joplin before and after shot do not appear to be on the same corner, if you look at the "tan" concrete section on the road, it' sin  one but not the other, also the side street appears to be narrower.

7/27/12, none of the images appear to be working anymore. Can this be fixed?

Broken links on all of the pictures ;/

How did the image of the phone off the hook make it into this list?