Powerful Images

Pictures really are worth a thousand words.This phrase emerged in the USA in the early part of the 20th century. Its introduction is attributed to Frederick R. Barnard, who published a piece commending the effectiveness of graphics saying “One look is worth a thousand words“, in Printer’s Ink, December 1921. Printer’s Ink printed another form of the phrase in March 1927, this time suggesting a Chinese origin: “Chinese proverb. One picture is worth ten thousand words.”


It’s pretty fascinating how a simple photo can make a person feel so many different emotions. A photo can make you sad, happy, cry, laugh, even tear you apart. Photos capture moments that we will never live again but will always remember. Some can take your breath away and have so much energy. I really enjoy taking photos weather it’s my friends, family, educational resources, landscape views, quirky things I see all around the place and the most random of objects 🙂

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Here are some of the most powerful, breath-taking photos that I have ever seen. I have sourced them online and wrote the name of the image, the photographer and a brief description about what was happening in the image. I feel that these images have the ability to question your humility and graciousness. These images could be put in a Powerpoint presentation and incorporated in any RE lesson. I have used many of these images for my own Religious Education lessons which included a range of topics; the Search for Meaning, Morality, World Religions, issues of justice and peace and they tie in with the syllabus for both exam and non exam Religious Education at both Junior and Leaving Certificate level.

10 photosHaiti Earthquake by Ebaum’s World

After the destruction of the earthquake in Haiti, this child was taken from under the rubble. He smiles as he is returned back to his mother. He looks victorious as he emerges here.3Syrian Rebel by SPA USA

This eight-year-old Syrian rebel, holds a gun and smokes a cigarette. You can see the callousness in his demeanor. Scary to think he’s lived such a harsh life already.



Tracy Caldwell gazes at Earth from Space.


2004 Tsunami by Ebaum’s World

The Indian Ocean’s first waves. The 2004 tsunami killed over 200,000 people.


Nuclear Bomb Devastation by Ebaum’s World

This child was blinded by the blast in Hiroshima. You could discuss the consequences of war here and continue with the next photograph.


War; Uncensored by Ebaum’s World

This photo reveals what war is like. How tragic and unfair it is. This little girl was separated from her family and the soldier is holding her. His face says it all.


Compassion and Empathy by Ebaum’s World

This is one of my favourite photographs of all time. Jaqueline Kiplimo helps a disabled Chinese athlete drink during the 2010 Zheng-Kai marathon. She stayed with him for several miles, costing her the 1st place finish and the $10000 prize. This story will motivate you to be a team player in all you do and is such a great demonstration of true kindness and how it costs nothing.


Breaking Barriers by Ebaum’s World

Elizabeth Eckford walks into Little Rock Central High in 1957 as one of only 9 black students allowed in the school.


The Falling Man by Ebaum’s World

This was one of the most popular photographs from 9/11. This man, unidentified, either jumped or was blown out of the World Trade Center during the attacks.


James Stanfield

A heart surgeon after 23-hour-long (successful) heart transplant. His assistant is sleeping in the corner.


Helping Hand by Navine Zaki

Christians protect Muslims during prayer in the midst of the 2011 uprisings in Cairo, Egypt.

A woman hitting a neo-Nazi with her handbag, Sweden, 1985.jpg

A woman hitting a neo-Nazi with her handbag, Vaxjo, Sweden, 1985 by Hans Runesson.

The woman in the photograph is 38 year old Danuta Danielsson. She was of Polish-Jewish origin, her mother had been in a concentration camp and she got very angry when she saw the young Nazi’s in her quiet town. This photo shows Danielsson hitting a marching Nazi-skinhead with a handbag. The photograph was taken during a demonstration of the Nordic Reich Party supporters.

Sadly, Danielsson was mentally ill and was being treated at a psychiatric ward but committed suicide just two years after this photograph was taken in 1988.

Again, this is a fantastic image for a class discussion and Runesson’s photograph was selected as the Swedish Picture of the Year (Årets bild) 1985 and later as the Picture of the Century by the magazine Vi and the Photographic Historical Society of Sweden.


Reach Out by Mike Wells

A missionary holding a starving childs hand. This image depicts the contrast of the reality between the developing world third world.

You can find so many more amazing photos that capture life perfectly online and one site I would highly recommend is Distractify for this with over 60 photos to choose from.


These photos remind me to be so grateful for everyday that I wake up, that I have a roof over my head, and that I have my loved ones around me. I feel blessed to have had such a positive educational experience and happy to be here today to share this post. These images are fantastic in lessons and students are always blown away by them – as I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post , pictures really are worth a thousand words 🙂

imagesAs always, feel free to let me know what you think and I can also turn this into a Powerpoint Presentation if anyone would like 🙂

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