Editor’s Picks: Ten Beloved Photographs from the Archives
Published August 26, 2015
• 5 min read
As the curator of the Found Tumblr, I often find myself lost in the pages of history when searching through the National Geographic archives. You might not know this, but National Geographic was one of the first publications to have photographs on its pages. Our first photograph was an engraving of a topographic map in 1889, just one year after our founding in 1888. The archive contains photos unlike many others taken during the 1800s and early 1900s. When staged family portraits and celebrity pinups were the norm, National Geographic staked its claim as a forbearer of modern photojournalism, capturing daily life one frame at a time.
I’m often attracted to images that have what I call “good energy”—bright colors, a surprising scene, and a hint of excitement. Here I share a few of my favorites from Abu Dhabi, South Dakota, France, Romania, and more.
Obsessed with a treasure city, conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured the Inca emperor Atahualpa. To spare his life, the emperor offered up the largest cache of gold the Spanish ever acquired in the Americas.