As photographers descend on Hawaii to photograph the astounding scenes of a volcanic eruption, CNN has curated those images down to the frames that will leave us most in awe — from those showing lava inching toward homes and humans, to ash plumes framing unperturbed golfers. (Insert “this is fine” meme.) Each of these 21 photos tells nonresidents two things we may not realize: 1. Lava moves at quite a slow pace, and 2. Hawaii's residents were built with a hell of a lot of resiliency.
—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia
Every week there's some new photo series out there on the human condition — but what about the doggos?! Aren't fluffers, woofers, and pupperinos human too? Well, no... no, they are not. But that's beyond the point! These good boys deserve very their own photo essay and we're here to give it to you. Here, photographer Alicia Rius has paired each canine with their personal belongings, exposing the curious and fun personalities behind each loving pet. Enjoy!
—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News
We don’t usually include full-length articles in this roundup, but the photos in this piece are so bonkers we had to. Adjectives: distressing, overwhelming, concerning. The sheer amount of plastic that is washing up on beaches and forming new islands offshores is abstract until you see these eye-opening photos that make you second-guess every purchase, package, and plastic bag in your life. A must-see.
—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News
Many are lured to Los Angeles by the promise of glitz, glamour, and a chance to become famous, but the city has always had its fair share of sensational crimes and serial killers. The seedy underbelly of LA is the focus of new Taschen book Dark City: The Real Los Angeles Noir, curated by Taschen America Executive Editor Jim Heimann. The book, a compilation of photographs, newspaper clippings, and other materials, reveals that the popular film noir genre of the 1940s and '50s was fueled by real-world events writers and moviemakers living in the City of Angels were experiencing.
—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News
Amid a lot of intense visual coverage of the protests in Israel and Gaza on Monday, this essay by Time stood out. Beyond making the obvious comparisons between the protests and the opening of the new embassy in Jerusalem, the work by Emanuele Satolli focuses on the behind-the-scenes moments of the protests, showing the panicked evacuations of the injured and the points of observation, prayer, and recovery away from the well-captured protest frontlines. For those looking for a more nuanced view, this essay shows important edges missed elsewhere.
The beautiful juxtaposition of modern portraits and old mugshots of the Freedom Riders work well to bookend a fraught period in our history, when riding a bus in the wrong seat carried serious consequences and the powers that be were reluctant at best to change that fact. This essay is helped immensely by captions summarizing the lives of those arrested trying to change unjust laws — some continued to work for social justice while others settled down into more mundane roles. It's a good reminder that causes and lives continue well beyond a police record, and those records can be misleading at best about the character captured.
In these pictures from 1924, during the last explosive eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, generations of people nearly a century apart are stricken by the same awesome power of nature. When these photos are shown alongside those of this week's eruption, it's hard to not feel humbled by our coexistence with forces much grander than the lives we lead.
Here are the most moving and breathtaking pictures from the past week.