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Pictures Of The Year 2013: Press Association's Most Breathtaking Images (PHOTOS)

23/12/2013 11:29 GMT | Updated 27/12/2013 15:14 GMT

Press Association (PA) the UK's biggest national multimedia news agency brings you their best pictures of 2013.

The PA Images database has more than 12 million photographs available online dating back 150 years.

Hundreds if not thousands of pictures are filtered through onto the site on a daily basis. Images from breaking news to entertainment events from across the globe.

These striking images come to us through the hard work and sheer determination photographers put themselves through to bring news to our front door and without them we would sadly otherwise not see.

PA editor's choice of images has delved deep to select their most monumental moments of 2013 in pictures.

london eye lightning

Photographer Lewis Whyld on his image of lightning striking behind the London Eye on the day the Royal Baby was born

I'd previously shot Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament with lightning behind and thought at the time that the London Eye would make a dramatic weather picture. I had to wait a couple of years for the right storm and when it came along it was the day Kate gave birth to the Royal baby.

I should have stayed in bed as the following day was going to be a long one, but having waited years for the right storm I couldn't resist going out to shoot it. I used my car as a faraday cage to protect me from the lightning and data from a boltec lightning detector to plot the path of the storm and waited in place for the shot. I then went straight to the Lindo wing to wait for the Royal baby.

seaham wave

Photographer Owen Humphreys spoke of his dramatic shot of waves crashing at Seaham Habour and his stunning Starling murmuration images he captured

The waves at Seaham was my favourite weather picture i've taken this year, the night before there were reports on the weather of an arctic blast coming down from Scotland down the east coast so I headed down for high tide at Seaham.

When I got there I was amazed as i've photographed the lighthouse before but never seen a swell and waves as big crashing over the lighthouse, some were over 100ft. The thing that really makes this picture is the black stormy clouds but the sun still shining backlighting the waves as it hit the harbour wall.

Over the years I have been up to Gretna Green in the Boarders to photograph the murmuration of starlings which is an amazing spectacle which happens from November through until January. This year I thought I'd go up there once a week for 4 weeks and try and capture them arriving and there behaviour. I had been up 3 weeks and got all the feature type pictures but didn’t have the big shot of them making the amazing shapes I knew they could. On my final visit at the end of November I got extremely lucky, not only did I have the starlings making the most incredible shapes but I got the chance to see some kind of hawk or bird of prey trying to attack them which is why they make the shapes to warn off birds of prey.

I've been shooting for PA now as there North East staff photographer for 17 years, strangely enough one of my first big jobs was photographing Nelson Mandela with Tony Blair. The best thing about working for the Press Association is the Variety of jobs, as I also shoot a lot of sport and have been lucky enough to cover many major events such as the Olympics, World cup, major Golf tournaments and Wimbledon. Being a area photographer you have to be constantly in the know of what's going on in that area as the desk in London rely on you to keep tabs on all the events going on around you which is one of the good things of being a patch man, but leaves little time to switch off.

Press Association Pictures Of The Year