30 Powerful Photos That Capture The Agony And Ecstasy Of Human Life.

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Johann Zahn is often credited for designing the first camera in the 1600s. There is evidence that inventors and scientists like Ibn- al- Haytham of Iraq imagined a similar device centuries earlier. It wasn't until the nineteenth century, however, that someone was able to actually click a camera and produce the images onto paper. This achievement has been credited to the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.

But more than just a testament to our advancements in technology, photography serves a specific purpose. This purpose may vary between the photographer, subject, and viewer. The bare boned purpose of taking a photograph is to document something or record a memory. We can keep them in our private circles or even to ourselves to reflect on moments missed or share them with the public alongside a story where it can be used to help entertain, educate, or invite its viewers to a new perspective.

Separated from but related to this purpose is the motivation. A photographer might feel motivated to further their career and establish themselves in a certain field. But not all do it for the recognition.

Many journalistic photographers have risked or lost their lives to capture scenes that deliver truths that news alone cannot. Their work introduces us to heroes and injustice alike. We can try to place values on photographs with awards but similar to any artistic endeavor, when it makes you feel something it is considered priceless.

Scroll below to see some of the most empowering photographs ever taken.

#1. A Brazilian protestor standing before gunfire during protests against police brutality and corruption.

A Brazilian protestor standing before gunfire during protests against police brutality and corruption.

Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty Images

#2. Souad Hamidi excitedly removing the niqab she has been forced to wear since 2014, after the Syrian Democratic Forces took control of her village.

Souad Hamidi excitedly removing the niqab she has been forced to wear since 2014, after the Syrian Democratic Forces took control of her village.

Rodi Said / Reuters

#3. Clara Gantt finally reunited with her husband's body after more than 60 years since he's gone missing during the Korean War.

Clara Gantt finally reunited with her husband's body after more than 60 years since he's gone missing during the Korean War.

Andrew Renneisen / AP

#4. A journalist sprinting across a bridge in attempts of rescuing the baby in his arms during the Civil War in 1936.

A journalist sprinting across a bridge in attempts of rescuing the baby in his arms during the Civil War in 1936.

Horace Abrahams

#5. Protestors calmly playing piano over the loud sounds of chaos in the midst of a riot.

Protestors calmly playing piano over the loud sounds of chaos in the midst of a riot.

SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP / Getty Images

#6. A KKK member's child touching his reflection in an African American police officer's shield in 1992.

A KKK member's child touching his reflection in an African American police officer's shield in 1992.

Todd Robertson

#7. A Pakistani woman grieving in front of what's left of her home after she lost two of her grandsons to an earthquake that killed more than 380 people in the region.

A Pakistani woman grieving in front of what's left of her home after she lost two of her grandsons to an earthquake that killed more than 380 people in the region.

Anjum Naveed / AP

#8. Frank Levingston Jr., being greeted by visitors at a ceremony for the anniversary of Peal Harbor as he is America's oldest military veteran at the age of 110.

Frank Levingston Jr., being greeted by visitors at a ceremony for the anniversary of Peal Harbor as he is America's oldest military veteran at the age of 110.

Andrew Harnik / AP

#9. Caring people in a bus saving a woman who tried to commit suicide in China.

Caring people in a bus saving a woman who tried to commit suicide in China.

#10. South Korean Lee Cheon-Woo filled with emotions as he becomes one of the 90 people who were finally reunited for a brief time with their North Korean relatives. Over 66,000 people are still on the waiting to list to see their loved ones.

South Korean Lee Cheon-Woo filled with emotions as he becomes one of the 90 people who were finally reunited for a brief time with their North Korean relatives. Over 66,000 people are still on the waiting to list to see their loved ones.

The Korea Press Photographers' Association / Getty

#11. Pope Francis taking a walk through the gate of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, becoming the third consecutive pontiff to visit the camp where Adolf Hitler's men killed over a million people.

Pope Francis taking a walk through the gate of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, becoming the third consecutive pontiff to visit the camp where Adolf Hitler's men killed over a million people.

Filippo Monteforte / AP

#12. Nancy Dinovo cries while playing violin at a service at Christ church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver for September 11 victims.

Nancy Dinovo cries while playing violin at a service at Christ church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver for September 11 victims.

Christopher J. Morris

#13. A Turkish police officer carrying the lifeless body of a Syrian child from a boat of refugees that sank while trying to get to the Greek island of Kos.

A Turkish police officer carrying the lifeless body of a Syrian child from a boat of refugees that sank while trying to get to the Greek island of Kos.

Nilufer Demir / Stringer

#14. A woman taking a close observation at a 3-D ear, identical in shape of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh's severed ear at the ZKM museum in Karlsruhe, Germany.

A woman taking a close observation at a 3-D ear, identical in shape of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh's severed ear at the ZKM museum in Karlsruhe, Germany.

THOMAS KIENZLE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

#15. Climate activists left their shoes behind in their place after a COP21 march in Paris was cancelled.

Climate activists left their shoes behind in their place after a COP21 march in Paris was cancelled.

Patrick Aventurier / Stringer / AP

#16. Armed soldiers and law enforcement officers standing in a line to prevent the Dakota Access pipeline protesters from blocking the construction on private land.

#17. Protestors denouncing the wrongful killing of Cecil the lion, in the parking lot of Dr. Walter Palmer's River Bluff Dental Clinic.

Protestors denouncing the wrongful killing of Cecil the lion, in the parking lot of Dr. Walter Palmer's River Bluff Dental Clinic.

Adam Bettcher / Getty

#18. A yellow-crested cockatoo squeezed inside of a water bottle for illegal trade in Surabaya, Indonesia.

A yellow-crested cockatoo squeezed inside of a water bottle for illegal trade in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Antara Photo Agency / Reuters

#19. A note from an "evangelical Christian" that was left at the Orlando vigil for the shooting victims that lost their lives in the Pulse nightclub.

#20. A man holding a photo of a 18-month-old Ali Dawasbsheh after he was killed when suspected Jewish extremists threw firebombs into his family's home.

A man holding a photo of a 18-month-old Ali Dawasbsheh after he was killed when suspected Jewish extremists threw firebombs into his family's home.

Majdi Mohammed / AP

#21. The belongings of Jo Cox, lawmaker for the Labor Party in England, laying on the ground after she was shot dead in her constituency.

The belongings of Jo Cox, lawmaker for the Labor Party in England, laying on the ground after she was shot dead in her constituency.

Phil Noble / Reuters

#22. Migrants refusing to be removed from the tracks at a railway station in Bicske by Hungarian policemen.

Migrants refusing to be removed from the tracks at a railway station in Bicske by Hungarian policemen.

Laszlo Balogh / Reuters

#23. An American soldier in a forest while a curious Afghan girl holds her hand.

#24. A fire fighter battling the ferocious flames near Las Flores Canyon as they began approaching a nearby ranch.

A fire fighter battling the ferocious flames near Las Flores Canyon as they began approaching a nearby ranch.

Mike Eliason / AP

#25. Rescue workers searching the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps after the plane's co-pilot intentionally crashed the plane, killing all 150 people on board.

Rescue workers searching the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps after the plane's co-pilot intentionally crashed the plane, killing all 150 people on board.

getty

#26. A 6 year old orphan, Werfel, being given his first pair of new shoes by the American Red Cross in 1946.

A 6 year old orphan, Werfel, being given his first pair of new shoes by the American Red Cross in 1946.

#27. A man taking a photo in Tiananmen Square amongst people attending a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to commemorate China's 1989 crackdown.

A man taking a photo in Tiananmen Square amongst people attending a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to commemorate China's 1989 crackdown.

PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

#28. Thania Sayne hunched over her dead husband's headstone crying the day before their wedding anniversary.

Thania Sayne hunched over her dead husband's headstone crying the day before their wedding anniversary.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

#29. The helmet that saved Officer Michael Napolitano's life when his unit responded to the Pulse nightclub shooting.

The helmet that saved Officer Michael Napolitano's life when his unit responded to the Pulse nightclub shooting.

AP

#30. A man carrying his dog through a flooded street in Chennai, India.

A man carrying his dog through a flooded street in Chennai, India.

Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters

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