Well, it’s the end of the year and, of course, the lists are starting to roll out. So, here is a photography related list. The 45 Most Powerful Photos of 2011.

I’m aware that these 10 X lists are just the opinion of the photos and if you ask a 100 different groups or different people, you’ll probably have a whole different group of photos with little in common.

I approached the photos from this point of view: I’d go through all of these photos and see how many of them I like, completely without context. In other words, I’ll give a quick judgement of which ones strike me on their own, completely without context. I came away with about 6 of 45. The rest were just snapshots, I thought, without context, which brings me back to my ‘opinion’ that it is rare that photos can stand on their own without context.

When I’ve brought this up before, I would get reference to the ONE example that might have disproved the point, the well-known National Geographic cover shot, Afghan Girl. It is most certainly a striking photograph, and can stand alone and be admired, but as what? When you add context, it breathes a whole new life into the photograph.

The balance of the photos, 39 of them, needed context, in my opinion. That said, I would say that the title of link could be: 45 of the most provocative/interesting/headline stories of 2011, with photos. 🙂

I’m curious as to how many of these do you think can stand alone, in your opinion.

As for this photo, it certainly isn’t one of them. It’s just a shot that I took while standing in line this morning waiting to get my parking permit.

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