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The best photography of 2012

As another year comes to a close, publications have begun to highlight the most memorable moments from the past 12 months. All the significant news from the year is retold through the various photos, such as NASA's achievements in space, the US presidential elections, and the London Olympics. There's also attention paid to some of the smaller events that passed the world by, as well as a closer look at everyday life on parts of the planet that are often forgotten.

  • Chris Welch

    Nov 30, 2012

    Chris Welch

    The year's best pictures get the spotlight in annual National Geographic photo contest

    Mantis Nat Geo
    Mantis Nat Geo

    Today's the last chance for photography buffs to enter National Geographic's photo contest. The annual showcase has always been a stunning reminder of what's possible when you place a camera in the hands of a skilled photographer, and submissions collected thus far reveal 2012 will be no exception. Two of the prominent photography blogs on the web, In Focus and The Big Picture, have run several galleries of some standout entrants; landscapes, wildlife shots, and a number of unforgettable portraits are on full display.

    To most of us, these stills serve as motivation to work at and improve upon our own camera proficiency. But if you managed to capture a stellar shot of your own this year, you've got until 11:59 PM EST tonight to send it in. And even if you're not convinced it's worthy of Nat Geo, feel free to share some of your best photography work in the comments below.

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  • Nathan Ingraham

    Nov 29, 2012

    Nathan Ingraham

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

    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.

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