Would you be able to recognize an iconic, history-breaking photograph from another one that was taken a moment earlier? Scores of popular photographs have helped define and shape the course of history. But what about those, taken a few moments earlier that help fit together the bigger picture? Photography enthusiasts and history aficionados – this one’s for you!

#10. The calm cop

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August 15th, 1961. Berlin. A policeman in East Germany patrols the recently erected wire fence that divides the two German blocks, the seed of the late Berlin Wall. In the background, a group of citizens is chatting, oblivious to the cop’s uneasiness. On the west side, photographer Peter Leibing documents the building of the wall and captures the atmosphere of tense calm. No one would have ever guessed what he was about to photograph……

A few seconds later…

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#9. Crossing the road to history

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August 8th, 1969. The world’s most famous music band is just about to advertise an album that would be their last – Everest. The band was to fly to the Himalayas to make a photo book for the album but due to unforeseen issues, they changed the theme and ended up taking a few quick shots in a street near the recording studio in London. Photographer Ian McMillan captured the moments previous to the artists’ final pose….

A few seconds later…

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#8. A thankful fetus

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December 1999. Dr. Joseph Brunner is about to carry out a routine surgery in Vanderbilt University Medican Centre. A 21-week old fetus diagnosed with spina bifidia awaits the surgeon’s scalpel’s inside the mother’s womb. Meanwhile, freelance photographer Michael Clancy is getting some photographs for his report on children suffering from this disease. He takes a couple of shots of the operation and the room. Seconds before opening the mother’s womb, the surgeon allows him to come closer to capture a little detail…

A few seconds later..

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#7. Federico’s last shot

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1930’s battlefront in a European conflict. The world’s most important war correspondent is sent to cover resistance activities. During one of the attacks, he spots soldiers from his trench. Moments later, nobody could predict what would happen to the militiaman on the left…

A few seconds later…

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#6. The small flag

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February 23rd, 1945. Suribachi summit. Japan. The North American army occupies the hill at 10:20 am. Patrol leader, Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier, has been ordered to place the transport ship’s flag (USS Missoula) on the summit so that it could be sighted from every neighboring beach. The flag was to small. So a bigger flag was ordered…

Couple of hours later…

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#5. The museum that withstood disaster

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In the 20’s, Czech architect Jan Letzel built the most solid and modern building in his career to hold a museum programme. He was experienced in anti-seismic structures as he had carried out projects all over the East. However, Letzel never imagined that his museum would survive the most devastating catastrophe planned by mankind…

Couple of months later…

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#4. A concert to remember

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September 21st, 1979. The kings of British punk treat New York to an amazing night. Photographer Pennie Smith crouches beside the narrow stage, covering the band’s tour. Without warning, the bass player sets to bang his Fender Precision on the floor. The first blow caught the reporter unprepared. The second blow became the most famous picture in the history of rock…

A few seconds later…

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#3. Face of aids

pic_015In 1990, Journalist Therese Frare wants society to be aware of aids. She monitors David Kirby, an activist that contracted the disease and went home to die close to his family. The journalist lives with them in the hospital and takes shocking photographs among them, the most controversial in the history of the deadly disease…

A few days later…

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#2. Marching to death

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February 1st, 1968. Bay Lop, member of the National Liberation Front, is being escorted along a street in Saigon. Just two days earlier the same liberation front had ignored a cease-fire by attacking a police station. The superintendent then went on to carry out public revenge under the gaze -and lenses – of North American photographer Eddie Adam…

A few seconds later…

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#1. Baptism by fire

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July 11th, 1963. Buddhist monk, Lâm Văn Tức, has been fighting against the Vietnamese government’s Christian persecutions. During his stay in Saigon he receives baptism through one of the oldest Buddhist rituals that serve as a run-up to reincarnation. A companion assists him by pouring the sacred liquid…

A few seconds later…

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