APTOPIX Mideast Israel Palestinians
Bernat Armangue. Gaza City. Nov. 18, 2012. Covering a conflict has never been a pleasure, but since I became a father a year ago, war has become even harder to cover. This day was particularly complicated; 11 members of the Daloo family had been killed when an Israeli missile struck the family's two-story home in Gaza City, and I spent most of the day taking pictures of bodies being pulled out from beneath the rubble. I took this picture at the end of the day. The morgue was crowded and very noisy. Behind me, a few journalists were filming and taking pictures of four dead children of the Daloo family. In front of me, a group of men that had just stormed into the room were facing the cruel reality of discovering the dead body of a loved one. Everything was happening very fast, but I remember seeing a teardrop falling over the inert hand and whispering "ma'a salama" (goodbye in Arabic). I've always thought that war brings out the best and the worst in humans. To me, this was a sad and tender moment of love.Majed Hamdan—AP
APTOPIX Mideast Israel Palestinians
Stephen Wilkes. Seaside Heights, N.J., November 2012. IÕve covered disasters in other parts of our country, but Sandy devastated my hometown, it was a storm of historical significance. How does one begin to comprehend the scale of this storm? The only way for me was to capture SandyÕs destructive fury from above. On the Sunday after Sandy made landfall, I rented a helicopter and flew over some of the most devastated areasÑit was everything IÕd heard about, yet it was difficult to believe what I was actually seeing. Once we were above the shoreline, the scale of the destruction quickly came into focus. The expanse of land it ruined, the totality of the devastation Ñ it was like a giant mallet had swung in circles around the entire coast. I was particularly drawn to Casino Pier, and the Jet Star rollercoaster, where this photograph was taken. As I flew over the area, the ocean appeared dead calm; there were no waves, the water looked as if I was in the Caribbean, not the Atlantic. That contrast in itself was surreal to experience, and I was reminded of the iconic image in the film Planet of The Apes. Charlton Heston, riding horseback along a deserted shoreline, suddenly sees a charred structure rising out of the water, the torch of the Statue of Liberty. In a strange way this image shares a parallel universe, perhaps a warning from post-apocalyptic Earth.
APTOPIX Mideast Syria
A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his sniper rifle from a house in Aleppo
Martin Schoeller. Des Moines, Iowa. Spring 2012. I took this portrait of Gabby Douglas in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was living with a host family, in order to train under local coach Liang Chow. Though only 16, she left her family in Virginia to pursue her dream: competing in the London Olympic games this summer. Despite the growing pressure and all-consuming training, she was incredibly relaxed and easy-going. I like the image because it tries to detail the mysterious ways athletes of this caliber carry their round-the-clock determination and discipline into their most daily routines.
Parrish Ruiz de Velasco. Lancaster, Texas. April 3, 2012. It was like any other spring day in North Texas Ñ hot, humid and the weather was ripe for a classic Midwest storm. Within hours, 13 confirmed tornadoes touched down across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. My adventure began approximately 15 miles south from where the photo was ultimately taken. I turned my flashers on and pulled over to shoot pictures of the ominous clouds that were painted in front of me. Within seconds the sky spit out an incredible twister. I didn't have a clear view and seeing half a tornado wasn't good enough. I followed emergency vehicles, took back roads and, before I knew it, I was in the tornadoÕs direct path with a perfect view from the ground up. By day's end, I took more than 250 photos. My entire adventure and additional images can be seen here.
Dominic Nahr. Heglig, Sudan. April 17, 2012. It was April, and I was speeding north towards a small border war between Sudan and South Sudan that most of the world didn't even realize was happening. Bodies, dozens and dozens, lined the gravel highway. Less than a handful of journalists had found their way here, let alone photographers. Whereas other wars I've covered blanketed front pages, this was different. Each snap was significant; once again, Sudanese were dying. Once again, few knew. I had to document it. I'd hitched a ride with South Sudanese soldiers, who had just captured the Heglig oil town from the Sudanese army. On the way to the front lines, while careening enemy corpses left rotting as a post-mortem insult, I glimpsed a damaged oil facility. But the soldiers had little patience for me; there was no stopping. Later that afternoon, waiting for an imminent counter-attack, the commander ordered us back south. This time, I convinced the driver to stop; they, too, wanted to see this curious mechanical casualty of war. I jumped down, walking cautiously towards the burst pipe. Only then did I see the body, draped in sticky black. The clouds skimmed over the harsh white Sudanese sun, and I took the photo. There was the conflict, in front of me.
Colorado Shooting Funerals
Callie Shell. Windham, N.H. Aug. 18, 2012. Sometimes it's hard to remember who that person is at the podiumÑthat [politicians] are real people. We had been to a couple campaign events that day. Here, President Obama was waiting to be introduced before going on stage at a campaign stop in Windham, N.H. As President, you spend a lot of time waiting for people to introduce you, so that's always the best time for photographers to be around him. He was talking to staff and Secret Service and seemed really at ease. I don't remember what he was laughing aboutÑwhen I'm photographing, I don't really listen, I watch for a moment.
Li Wei
Bernat Armangue. Gaza City. Nov. 18, 2012. Covering a conflict has never been a pleasure, but since I became a father
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Majed Hamdan—AP
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TIME Picks the Top 10 Photos of 2012

Dec 13, 2012

Ten percent of all of the photographs made in the entire history of photography were made last year — an astounding figure. More than ever before, thanks in part to cell phone technology, the world is engaged with photography and communicating through pictures.

Nonetheless, a great photograph will rise above all the others. The ten photographs we present here are the pictures that moved us most in 2012. They all deliver a strong emotional impact — whether they show a child mourning his father who was killed by a sniper in Syria (slide #3); a heartbreaking scene in a Gaza City morgue (slide #1); a haunting landscape of New Jersey coastline after Hurricane Sandy, a rollercoaster submerged under the tide (slide #2); or a rare glimpse of President Obama moments before he goes out on stage during a campaign rally (slide #9). We spoke to each of the photographers about their images, and their words provide the captions here.

Over the past several days, we've unveiled TIME's Best Photojournalism and Best Portraits of the Year galleries on LightBox. And in the next three weeks, we will be rolling out even more end-of-year features: the Most Surprising Pictures of the Year; the Best Photo Books of the Year; the Top 10 Photographic Magazine Covers of the Year and other compelling galleries. We will also recognize TIME’s choice for the Best Wire Photographer of the Year. Senior photo editor Phil Bicker is curating many of these galleries with help from the photo team at TIME. His discerning eye has been responsible for the curation of TIME’s Pictures of the Week throughout the year, galleries that regularly present the best of the week’s images, with surprising and sometimes offbeat takes on the news. We will round off the year on December 31 with our second-annual “365: Year in Pictures,” a comprehensive look at the strongest picture of every day of 2012.

Kira Pollack, Director of Photography

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