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


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…


#9. Crossing the road to history


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…


#8. A thankful fetus


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..