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AFP's top photos of 2012 provide a stunning visual history of the past year

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NASA shuttle Enterprise
NASA shuttle Enterprise

The end of the year often brings a flood of "best of" lists, but few will be as visually arresting as AFP's top photos of 2012. The collection of 99 images captures a huge variety of subjects, from lighter content like the 2012 London Olympics, Space Shuttle Enterprise buzzing New York City (our own picture from the flyover is above) Adele's big win at the Grammys and a portrait of the Obama's following the president's election win to more serious subjects like a Tibetan exile engulfed in flames, the conflicts in Gaza and Syria, and Hurricane Sandy. Not only is it an stunning look back at the year that's passed, it's also an excellent reminder of the power wielded by photojournalists. While end-of-the-year lists are a bit of a tired trope, one this good is always worth a look. We wouldn't be surprised if some photos shot in December are worthy of inclusion as well.