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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. "The View From Middletown" —The Guardian

David Levene

"I remember when I first got into photography that all I wanted to do was take photos at abandoned places because it looked cool. That is not what this photo series is. David Levene explores abandoned industrial sites in the Midwest, focusing on Muncie, Indiana. The old, decrepit factories are skeletons of an industrialized past. This photo essay also includes archival photos of the factories and scenes revolving around them during their prime to truly tell this story. The industrial boom in the area took place well into the 1960s, but in the later decades it saw job losses from economic recession. The jobs never came back, and the factories are now being reclaimed by nature." —Sarah Kobos, photo editor, BuzzFeed

2. "Edward Weston's 'Leaves of Grass' Project" —The Los Angeles Times

Edward Weston

"Fans of Walt Whitman like myself will enjoy Edward Weston’s rich embodiments of the famed “Leaves of Grass.” These images sing the songs of the individual, the common man, and America as seen through Weston’s lens. He spent eight months traveling the US to capture the images. Whitman would have admired Weston’s dedication to the project, 'Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, missing me one place search another, I stop some where waiting for you.'” —Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News

3. "The Tragic Fate of the Afghan Interpreters the U.S. Left Behind" —Smithsonian Magazine

Erin Trieb

"Erin Trieb's beautiful photos capture the anxiety of the interpreters that worked for the US military during the war in Afghanistan. Left behind by the Americans and accused as traitors by the Taliban, crucial partners in the war are now threatened by bureaucracy as a congressional program set to help them leave Afghanistan is set to close at the end of this year, stranding families in a dangerous political limbo." —Kate Bubacz, senior photo editor, BuzzFeed News

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4. "The Desire to Be Perfect in a Russian Ballet Academy" —FeatureShoot

Rachel Papo

"Rachel Papo employs the same precision and care in her photography that her subjects, young ballerinas, put in their dance. Really, it’s unsurprising that Papo herself is a former dancer. This series shows her intimate understanding of the pressures and emotions involved in a young person’s career. But most impressive is how she photographs the perfection of ballet and the unpredictability of childhood so seamlessly." —Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia

5. "One Photographer's Vibrant, Color-Saturated Landscapes" —The New York Times

Sanja Marusic

"Sanja Marusic’s landscapes are bold. They’re saturated, multi-hued, environments, each with a subject acting as a catalyst for change in the otherwise peaceful depictions. The presence of the subjects are also bold. The mystery of their actions, where they came from, how they ended up in these dreamscapes and what will become of them next, keep the viewer engaged throughout the series." —LG

7. "The New York Times on Scotland’s Western Isles, Glimpses of Life, Tradition and Reflection" —The New York Times

Laeticia Vancon

"Laetitia Vancon’s pictures of life in Scotland’s Wester Isles are beautifully shot, with each image carrying a gentle stillness. Even with the muted colours and hues of gray, none of these images are miserable or downbeat. Instead, all convey a feeling of settled community, despite the remote location. It was a tourism pamphlet describing the scottish Outer Hebrides as a “a wild untouched paradise” that intrigued Vancon to take her camera there. She wanted to dispel stereotypes of remote Scottish isolation and boredom. Some of the photos that feature young people show an element of suppressed yearning. Perhaps these environments are too sedate for those in their twenties? Personally, I wouldn’t think twice about living on a Scottish island — bliss. As long as there was broadband internet." —Matthew Tucker, picture editor, BuzzFeed UK

8. "Climate Change: In Focus" —National Geographic

Patty Waymire

"There is not a single way that people are experiencing climate change across the world. To one community, it may mean cracks in the soil due to a drought. To another, it’s losing your home to rising sea levels. This compilation allows us to see how this hot-button issue affects the lives of people on the other side of the planet, and National Geographic’s commentary lets readers understand those realities beyond the beautiful visuals." —AM

9. "These Are the Most Fascinating and Downright Bizarre British Traditions That Go Back Centuries" —BuzzFeed UK

Homer Sykes

"I admittedly don't know too much about British traditions, so these odd ones captured by Homer Sykes in the '70s are bafflingly interesting to me. This photo essay is chock-full of alluring photographs and very in-depth explainers of what exactly is going on in them. These photos are a reminder of how weird (and fun) humans can be, and certainly can make you recall odd traditions that spawned out of inside jokes with friends or family." —SK

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