On May 14th, 2009 a little blog called PetaPixel made its debut. More than 10 years and nearly 27,000 published posts later (26,886 to be exact), as we wrap up our first full decade in existence, it seemed appropriate to look back at the ten most popular articles of the decade.
So before you go ring in the New Year and the new decade (semantic debate aside), scroll down and check out the ten pieces of content that you’ve found most interesting, inspirational, informative, or just plain sharable from January 1st, 2010 through December 31st, 2019.
#10 – Picture of a Single Atom Wins Science Photo Contest
2018 was the year a scientist proved you could photograph a single atom, and see the results with the naked eye. The award-winning photo that proved it is titled “Single Atom in an Ion Trap,” and it was shot by David Nadlinger of the University of Oxford.
Click here to see it for yourself, and read all about what made this incredible photograph possible.
#9 – Photographer Died Protecting His Film During the 1980 Mt. St. Helens Eruption
This is the incredible story of photographer Robert Landsberg, who captured the eruption of Mount St. Helens form just a few miles away. Knowing he would survive, Landsberg used his own body to protect the film so it could be found and developed.
Click here to read the whole story.
#8 – 40 Tips to Take Better Photos
This thoughtful (and complete) article lists 40 answers to the question: “how do I take better photos?” It was put together by photojournalist Lisa Clarke and remains, to this day, one of the most useful and popular “tips” articles we’ve ever published.
Click here to read the whole thing. You won’t regret it.
#7 – Photos of the New Futuristic Library in China with 1.2 Million Books
These photos of China’s Tianjin Binhai Library by Dutch photographer Ossip van Duivenbode clearly struck a chord with architecture lovers when we featured them in November of 2017, and they’ve continued to strike ever since, earning the #7 spot on our Best of the Decade list.
Click here to see the whole series.
#6 – Annie Leibovitz Shoots the Pirelli Calendar Into a New Direction
In 2015, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz was tasked with taking the Pirelli Calendar in a “new direction.” Instead of shooting scantily clad (or unclad) models and celebrities, her version featured portraits of notable women, such as 77-year-old Agnes Gund, the president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art.
Click here to see the results and read more about Leibovitz controversial Pirelli takeover.
#5 – 20 Composition Techniques That Will Improve Your Photos
Gear is great, but composition is king. Take this 2016 article by Dublin-based photographer Barry O Carroll as proof. It’s an in-depth tutorial that covers 20 composition techniques, and our 5th most popular post of the entire decade.
Click here to read (and bookmark) this incredibly educational article.
#4 – Amazon Accidentally Sold $13,000+ Camera Gear for $100 on Prime Day
This past Prime day, Amazon screwed up big: an error allowed photographers to purchase gear worth thousands of dollars—including a $13,000 Canon lens—for just $95. But you know what’s even crazier? To our knowledge, Amazon honored the deals and delivered all of the orders that were successfully placed.
Click here to read the full story.
#3 – Photographer Catches Squirrel Stopping to Smell a Flower
Published just a couple of months ago in September of 2019, these photos of a squirrel literally stopping to smell the flowers have taken the Internet by storm. Kudos to Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn for capturing something instantly iconic.
Click here to see the full series and read the story behind these images.
#2 – Half-Drag Portraits Show the Before & After Transformations of NYC Drag Queens
Captured by New York-based photographer Leland Bobbé, this striking series of portraits from 2013 examine the idea of gender fluidity by showing New York City drag queens in half-drag. These are not digital manipulations—each is a single exposure.
Click here to see the full photo series and find out more about these portraits from the photographer himself.
#1 – 70 Inspirational Quotes for Photographers
It seems inspiration and wisdom never go out of style. This list of 70 inspirational quotes for photographers—curated by photographer Tammy Jean Lamoureux and originally published in May of 2014—has been one of our top posts week, after month, after year.
Click here to read the full post.
Finally, we want to say a sincere and heartfelt “Thank You!” to our readers. A publication—be it the New York Times or our humble little photo blog—is nothing more than a meaningless collection of text on a page or pixels on a screen without a community of readers to engage with, share, and, yes, even criticize the content they’re being presented.
We are grateful for each and every one of you, and wish you all a very Happy New Year.