The roller coaster is definitely just starting in Zimbabwe, which celebrated its first election in a generation without Robert Mugabe on the ballot. The anxiety and hope related to such an undertaking is well summarized in this roundup, which looks at the first 24 hours of polling.
—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News
This powerful series was made by photographer M L Casteel during his time as a valet driver at a Veterans Affairs Hospital in North Carolina. After forming relationships with the owners of vehicles he was parking, Casteel was granted permission to photograph their interiors, creating a profound series of found still lifes that offer a raw and unbiased window into the psyche of many of America's veterans today.
—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News
This California Sunday collaboration with photographer Rose Marie Cromwell gives viewers an intimate look at the world of dedicated, passionate women surfers who've been waiting for the opportunity to compete at Mavericks — a big-wave competition that has historically been open only to men. We see the women both in and out of the water. By comparing the images, it's clear where they feel most alive and at home, giving viewers the impression that agitating for a change of the societal norms that surround the sport can be tougher than training to ride these monster waves.
—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News
This week, the life of Gerda Taro was commemorated by a Google Doodle on what would have been her 108th birthday. Taro was a war photographer best known for her work during the Spanish Civil War. Along with her partner, Robert Capa, Taro covered troops, refugees, and everything in between during the war, often sending their images back to French newspapers for publication. Sadly, in 1937, she was killed by a tank while working on the frontlines. In September 2007, the International Center of Photography opened the first major US exhibition of Taro’s work, and hundreds of her photos remain on display on its website.
—Neah Gray, photo intern, BuzzFeed News
Looking at this photo story, I find myself with two very different thoughts. On the one hand, it shows the extent of the plight of farmers experiencing Australia’s worst drought in decades. On the other, the photos are just breathtaking. Reuters has managed to find the beauty in what’s usually photographed as grim, giving us a totally different take on environmental photography.
—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia
Usually, when we think of more bikes, it’s associated with the idea of being environmentally conscious, even sanctimonious, about the carbon-free mode of transport popular around the world. That feeling is turned on its head in this essay, which looks at the extremes of excess capitalism that caused millions of bikes to be overproduced and discarded. The masses of tires and bent handlebars are as disorienting as they are beautiful.
Photographer Kerry Mansfield has dug into the archives of libraries across the country to photograph the books that once fed our minds. Old, tattered, aged, and marked books all make their way into Mansfield’s series, highlighting a special part of many of our childhoods that most have almost forgotten about. Maybe this photo series will prompt a to visit your local library for that nostalgic communal feeling of reading a library book. Or maybe it will make you contemplate finally paying those long overdue library fines.
Here are the most moving and breathtaking pictures from the past week.