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9 Incredible Photo Stories You Absolutely Can’t Miss

Here are the most interesting and powerful photo stories from across the web.

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1. "27 Of The Most Amazing Science Photos Of 2016" — BuzzFeed

Photography Society International Images for Science

"Science imagery has really started to come into the public eye this past year, be it through high-quality images from outer space, the technology of microscope photography, or the fact that people are able to take such amazing pictures using their phones. This roundup highlights some of the very best science photography from the past year, from the depths of our galaxy to a 99-million-year-old dinosaur feather encased in amber."

—Laura Gallant, staff photographer, BuzzFeed UK

2. "Photography Is Not a Team Sport" — The Atlantic

Harry Benson

"Harry Benson has captured scenes from the lives of some of history's biggest icons and most prominent moments. In the new documentary Harry Benson: Shoot First, the viewer gets a sneak peek into the making of some of Harry's most notable images. Here, he shares some of his earlier photos with The Atlantic and recounts the story behind the images. My favorites are Edith Bouvier Beale posing amid the rubble of her home in what we learn was years before Grey Gardens would make her scandalous, and the striking portrait of David Field. An image that could stand alone on the merit of the photographer and the look on David's face is given even more significance when we learn it was taken after he'd cheated death."

—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News

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3. "New York City's Most Classic Street Photographer" — The New Yorker

Luis Mendes

Most NYC photographers have a Luis Mendes story. My first encounter was as a grad student, strolling around town with my vintage 4x5 Speed Graphic camera — a rather large and uncommon camera to catch on the street. You can imagine my surprise to see another person with the same thing — though his decked out with all the bells and whistles. After a quick exchange, he had no problem bragging about how his was a superior ‘all-original,’ purchased brand new from the shop decades ago. In this great profile by The New Yorker, we catch a glimpse into the life of the NYC legend and one of the most genuine and sincere photographers alive today.”

—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News

4. "The Last Meals Of Prisoners Executed In 2016" — BuzzFeed News

Henry Hargreaves

"Food is often seen as a path to cultural exchange and understanding, and within that, the lushness of this project belies its morbidity. Like a magazine spread for a feast of the damned, photographer Henry Hargreaves captures the last meals of death row prisoners without the institutional factors of the prison, allowing the viewer to look at the photo and for a moment agree with the inmate: That looks delicious. The project is beautifully comprehensive and underscores a few of the paradoxes of death row."

—Kate Bubacz, senior photo editor, BuzzFeed News

5. "50 Astonishing Animal Photos of 2016" — Time

China Daily / Reuters

"A welcome break from the onslaught of bad news this week. This roundup focuses on the important issues — the fuzzy creatures that bring wonder and joy."

—KB

6. "My Three Years Photographing Afghanistan's Forgotten War" — The Guardian

Andrew Quilty for The New York Times

"Andrew Quilty’s narration of his three-year journey in war-torn Afghanistan reminds us that the real work of a photojournalist is a lot about resilience and a fervent commitment to tell a story. In staying for an extended period of time, he was able to document what it means to live through the aftermath of a war — that the ‘war’ doesn’t actually end when world leaders say so. Quilty doesn’t hold back in showing the daily struggles of Afghans in both the cities and provinces, and on the national and community levels."

—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia

7. "Flint water crisis: A visual essay" — Detroit Free Press

Ryan Garza / Detroit Free Press

"The Detroit Free Press photo essay by Ryan Garza on the Flint water crisis is a grim reminder that even in the US, citizens can't take clean, safe water for granted. Garza was born and raised in Flint, so this photo essay was deeply personal for him and helped him gain extensive access into the homes and lives of many of Flint's residents. His images are powerful: angry citizens holding up rust-colored water at meetings with officials, a child drinking soda because the water in unsafe, a school water fountain covered in a black plastic bag, a skin rash due simply to showering at home, bottled water being used for every simple household task, and perhaps most unforgettable, a tear-stricken 9-year-old being tested for lead poisoning."

—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News

"Matt Black’s ongoing look at poverty across America is inspiring and sobering. Smithsonian Magazine has a lovely edit of some of his recent work in its December issue. His unsparing style is well suited for such a heavy topic, allowing room for the inescapable brutality of poverty to co-exist with the timeless efforts to endure it."

—KB

9. "19 Shockingly Beautiful Birth Photos From 2016" — BuzzFeed

Apple Blossom Families

"For many, 2016 was a tough year. While it's important to look back and remember the people we’ve lost, it’s also far too easy to overlook the beautiful new lives that came into existence in 2016. In one of the most interesting end-of-year photo roundups to date, BuzzFeed’s parents editor, Mike Spohr, has gathered the year’s best birth photos in all of their emotional — and at times humorous — glory.”

—GHS

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