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9 Visual Stories That Will Challenge Your View Of The World

Here are some of the most interesting and powerful photo stories from across the internet.

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Jeff Frost has been capturing the terrible beauty of fires — and their effects — for years. And as the deadliest wildfires on record continue to burn through the Bay Area, the artist's work in Time magazine has never been more relevant: It's captivating to see his images of flames from afar, but most compelling are those that examine the ugly aftermath.

—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News

The relative inaccessibility of Puerto Rico is exacerbating the catastrophe left by Maria. A month after the storm, roads are still out and power is still not on. Reuters offered a unique look at one solution: the helicopter crews bringing supplies to ravaged communities. The stress, fatigue, and gratitude etched onto the faces of citizens and volunteers as they arrive is a testament to the long recovery ahead.

—K.B.

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Wired's thought-provoking showcase of images from photographer Michael Amato's collection, "Fear Culture, USA," explores the insidious nature of the 24-hour cable news cycle. The images are shot in a variety of seemingly innocuous locations but in each is a television tuned to cable news transmitting an alarming message about disease, terrorism, or nuclear war. These photos speak volumes about the way this steady drip of sensationalized news leaves many Americans in a permanent state of imminent emergency.

—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News

During the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency embarked on an ambitious project to document the US's environmental woes and to better understand the atrocious damage caused by years of unregulated hazards. From the nearly 80,000 pictures made from 1971 to 1976, Business Insider curated a portrait of New York City at its smoggiest and roughest. While it's safe to say that the city has changed for the better, it's still hard to deny some of that old New York charm.

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

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In a city like New York, where there’s no shortage of subjects for street photography, it’s often hard to find angles that have never been done before. Peter Funch’s project, however, has achieved a fresh way of approaching the genre. I love most how simple the idea is — there’s no need for fancy equipment or heavy editing, it’s just about the concept. He pushes it further by finding the pedestrians of 42nd and Vanderbilt and documenting them over time. By hanging out at the exact same spot for nine years, in a way he has become part of the landscape too.

—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia

For decades, the incredible Helen Levitt (1913–2009) captured the spirit of New York City through her swift and unabashed street photography. A new book profiled by the New York Times, Manhattan Transit: The Subway Photographs of Helen Levitt, compiles some of the artist's most poignant images from the one thing which threads together the lives of every New Yorker — the New York City subway system.

—G.H.S.

It’s taken the people of Thailand an entire year to bid farewell to their monarch. The closest comparison I can think of in the western world is the passing of Princess Diana, whose story lives on to this day. But even her seven-day mourning was considered unusually long and elaborate. This Reuters feature shows how differently things are done in Thailand. Ancient traditions are given the highest regard and anyone who questions that is in fact committing a crime.

—A.M.

With Russian involvement in our 2016 election dominating US news, the country often feels much closer than it is. This incredibly well curated and designed photo essay on Russia's border nations is an informative look at what it's like to actually neighbor the nation. From a military presence in Ukraine to an open border in Norway, we see that each individual country's current and historical interactions with the largest country in the world are what guide their immigration and border patrol policies and diplomatic relations.

—L.G.


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BuzzFeed's resident photo geek.

Contact Gabriel H. Sanchez at gabriel.sanchez@buzzfeed.com.

Kate Bubacz is a Senior Photo Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Kate Bubacz at kate.bubacz@buzzfeed.com.

Laura is a photo editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Laura Geiser at laura.geiser@buzzfeed.com.

Anna Mendoza is a photo editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Anna Mendoza at Anna.Mendoza@buzzfeed.com.

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