The new year has begun and that means it is time to update all my lists and “bests of” once again. It’s always fun because it lets me catch up on anything in popular culture that I’ve missed in the years since last looking for the best out there. In the case of finding a new best picture on the Internet, I had a relaxing time searching out photos and galleries I should have spent more time on in the first place. Some pics made me ooh and ahh, some were literally astounding, many were heartbreaking. And, of course, since this is the Internet, some had me lol’ing.
Before we get to the best of the best, we should deal with a couple of clichés. The first of those is, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The saying goes back to the third century BC and it basically means that not everyone is going to find the same thing beautiful. A report filed in Current Biology in 2015 says there is data proving this to be absolutely true. Leaders of the team taking on the project summarize, “We estimate that an individual’s aesthetic preferences for faces agree about 50 percent, and disagree about 50 percent, with others.”
The same is probably true of funny, cute, silly, odd, touching, sad, happy, and any other adjective we can use to describe a photograph. The falling/fainting pair you will see later in the article brought a chuckle to me, but you might just cause you to tilt your head trying to find any hint of humor in it at all. It’s all ultimately defined in the eye of the beholder, the person looking at it, and may be quite different from what another person thinks. So as I go through some of these pictures remarking they are hilarious, disturbing, or breathtaking, don’t feel bad if you can’t see that in them.
Also, don’t get stuck on the notion of a picture being worth a thousand words. You may look at any or all of these pictures and just say, “ahhhhhhhhh” or “whaaaat?!?” and that’s O.K. Sometimes there are no words, truly, while in other instances a photo can bring up so many they all crowd into the brain at once. Just go with your own reaction or response to it because that’s always the right one.
Another thing – there were many excellent shots throughout the long 2016 primary and general election season of candidates and their supporters, but since most of them would appear to support one candidate or another, I stayed away from all of them. The same is true of images showing one side or another of conflicts around the world and any pic, no matter how impressive, that seemed to touch on any religious or political statement. I didn’t miss them. I saw them all. I just thought there were plenty to consider without them and that we’d probably be the better for it.
News Site Photos
News organizations have some of the best photographers around, skilled in how to take just the right shot at just the right angle in the best light to convey the story most appropriately. One picture that brought out at least a thousand words from me is this November 2016 photo of a young Iraqi boy trying to lead his livestock to safety after fleeing his ISIS-controlled village. How old is he? Where are his parents? Are they still alive or is he now on his own with all of these animals that need care and feeding? If his parents are gone, does he have younger siblings depending on him getting these animals to safety for their food or to sell in the market? What happened to him hours, days, weeks after this picture was taken?
This comes from the Pictures of the Year 2016 slideshow at Reuters, as do these two that I placed side-by-side because I see similarities between the two. Do you? Neither seems to be missed much by their peers, although I am certain the panda suffered much less from its fall than the Guardsman did.
Nature and Culture Photos
Not to get hung up on bears, but isn’t this pic of a mother Polar Bear and her cub simply adorable? The cub here is four months old. Scenes like this will be playing out again in the Arctic this year in late winter, February and into March. It’s just one of the many images you will find at National Geographic’s Travel Photographer of the Year Contest 2016.
Here is another one that brings about a thousand words of question and wonder, also from the Nat-Geo site.
Do you see the old woman in this picture? I did not know to look for her until I read the caption, “An old woman in a remote village in Himachal Pradesh, India, carries a big log back home to warm up her house.” Again, questions, questions, questions, and I’ll share just these: How far did she have to carry that log? How long will it keep her house warm? Is there anyone in that house waiting for her?
Loving all things spacey – and I don’t mean the actor in this case – means you go almost daily to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. Pics can be of awesome space art, impressive shots from earth, educational graphics, and much, much more. It’s definitely worth a book mark in your browser to make sure you see each day’s selection. If you still miss a pic, you can go to the archive to browse them all from the very first (June 16, 1995) to the one you missed yesterday.
I’m sure it will be no surprise to anyone to learn that the Internet is almost as loaded with cat pictures as it is cat videos. The one featured here comes from a site called We Love Cats and Kittens. It is part of the December 13, 2016 weekly gallery featuring the best cat pics submitted that week.
At first, I had one word for it, “Cool!” Later, however, I began to wonder, “Is this real or is it Photoshopped?” It’s still cool, but it also looks like one of those pictures where the same image is put into a frame over and over again in smaller and smaller sizes so that it looks like the image never ends. This one definitely ends, though. That could be because it is real and there are only four cats, or it could be that would not look realistic if they didn’t stop. Whether it is real or not, it has garnered more than 14,000 likes on Instagram.
A Real Snapchat Pic
Do you remember last summer how all those people were filling up your Facebook timeline with images from Snapchat with dog ears and noses and tongues sticking out at you? By now you probably know they used something called a Dog Filter to add those features to their (but hopefully not your) face. Well, look at this:
That’s right – it can really happen! This is a young lady hugging her dog, and the picture turns out just like something using the Snapchat dog filter.
I loved the picture when I saw it, so I went to find the source. It is from an app called Funny Pictures 2017 APK. It looks like an easy way to get a laugh worthy of sharing with your friends each and every day.
Speaking of Dogs
I found these two cuties at the Funny Dog site. Not only can you find some of the best dog photos on the Web, these are real pics sent in by real people. The front page is filled with fresh selections posted as recently as hours ago. Plus, when you click on a picture and go to its feature page, you can rate it from 1 to 10, showing support for the nice little doggy and the person who loved him or her enough to snap the photo and share it with us.
The Best of the Best
Of all the photos I have viewed on the Internet in the past year, the one here is my favorite. When I see it, I smile, my heart warms, and love floods it. I can even kinda feel a little sunshine warming me on the outside. That is because this image combines two of my favorite things: A garden bed and two dachshunds that look like mine. The one on the left looks a lot like my “good boy” and the one on the right could be a twin for his “little” sister (those are their “praise names”). I found the pic at a site called Easy Pet MD.
Your Best of the Best
Like I said before, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” means that one picture will be the best of the best on the Internet when I am looking at it while a totally different type of image will be the best when you are looking at it. Maybe it will be one that I shared with you here, but maybe not. One thing is for sure, when you find that certain photo that is the very best in your eyes, you will know it. Let me know in the comments here what you think of my selection of photos. Thanks for reading!