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10 Photo Essays That You Must See

A critical look at the Olympics, with a heavy side of human interest. Enjoy!

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1. "How a Photographer Snapped That Brilliant Photo of Usain Bolt" —Mashable

Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

"Declaring this picture as ‘THE shot of the games so far,’ Mashable has a put together a great profile on the Olympics photographer who captured this iconic image. The interview gives a unique behind-the-scene perspective from someone granted access to what’s arguably the most exciting location on the planet." —Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed

2. "Life With the Irish Travellers Reveals a Bygone World" —National Geographic

Birte Kaufmann / Institute

"Birte's work is subtle, allowing this little-understood culture speak for itself. The images center on the humanity of the subject - their personalities, celebrations and the off-moments of the day." —Kate Bubacz, senior photo editor, BuzzFeed News

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3. "The Art of Sports Photography" —CBS News

Gerard Rancinan

"Amid the onslaught of pictures captured at the 2016 Rio Olympics, CBS News shines a spotlight on the unsung hero of the games: the photographers behind the camera whose precise judgment in framing and timing brings the intensity of the Olympics to your doorstep. Here, CBS chats with sports photographer Howard Schatz about his work, which is part of a brilliant exhibition of sports photography on view at New York’s Brooklyn Museum." —GHS

4. "On the Sidelines: The Rio Olympics" —Reuters

Reinhard Krause / Reuters

"Live broadcast in the toilet facilities… Long lines through security checks… Pool cleaners… Wires, wires, and more wires. This collection by Reuters photographers shows those of us who aren’t in Rio what goes on behind Brazil’s games — beyond Usain Bolt’s big grin to the finish and those pools that turned green. And don’t you just wish you were in all of that action? (I know I do!)"

—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia

5. "How One Town in Indiana Became the Circus Capital of the World" —Time Lightbox

Tina Leto

"I had no idea this was a thing, so I was thrilled to learn that the circus lives in this town. Leto's photos remove the carny stigma that can stick to other works about the circus, making the viewer reconsider joining up, if only for a day." —KB

6. "Photos Show Why the Dakota Pipeline Is Problematic" —BuzzFeed News

Daniella Zalcman

"Daniella Zalcman’s photo series follows hundreds of protesters opposing the construction of 1,172 miles oil pipeline running from North Dakota to Illinois. The demonstrators are primarily from Lakota and Dakota Native American reservations. The approved pipeline will run through sacred ground and raises concerns over health and safety issues from possible oil spills.

"Zalcman’s photos hold a dignified and eerie low-key atmosphere. One image shows a woman calmly allowing herself to be arrested, simply because she is standing four feet over the police barricade. Her fellow protesters look on in apparent silence as she is handcuffed by five officers. The image has a sombre air about it, as though everyone is resigned to the grim outcome of their demonstration, but are still determined to stand their ground and represent their principles.

"Another photo shows riders on horseback from the Standing Rock, Rosebud, and Lower Brule Lakota reservations facing a line of police. The picture holds tragic echoes of the history of conflict between Native Americans and settlers of the past." —Matt Tucker, Picture Editor, BuzzFeed UK

7. Scott Typaldos' Butterflies: Indonesia —Washington Post

Scott Typaldos / Prospekt

"We’ve seen a lot of photo essays featuring eerie and cobweb-decked abandoned asylums for all over the world. But what makes Scott Typaldos’ project so heart-wrenching is that these are active institutions for the mentally ill. These people are still alive and enslaved, both in their own minds and physically, by bars and chains. His photos show his deep understanding of the human condition within these walls." —AM

9. "These Photos Show Iconic Rock Stars Looking Flawless Back In The Day" —BuzzFeed

Gered Mankowitz

"BuzzFeed taps that sweet spot of bygone nostalgia by highlighting the work of photographer Gered Mankowitz, whose new book chronicles his 50-some years documenting rock ’n’ roll royalty in the biz. It’s a must-see for those who bask in the soft glow of ’80s glamour lighting and one-piece cashmere leotards." —GHS

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