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Pictures Of The Year: 100 Incredible Images From 2015

31/12/2015 18:40 GMT | Updated 31/12/2015 18:59 GMT

It's been another incredible year in news photography.

Getty Images have provided us with the most memorable images from the past 12 months, from everything to the General Elections to the shocking plight of the refugees, bringing visual news to our very doorstep.

Jonathan Klein, Co-Founder and Chairman of Getty Images, reflects on the last 365 days.

As you look through our 2015 Year in Focus, I’d like you to consider something: The difference between looking and seeing is the power of the image.

Every photograph selected has the ability to connect you to the world in a way that only pictures can. They offer you a glimpse into the lives of your fellow human beings, but they also stop you, confront you and make you think. They make your heart beat faster. They leave space for reflection and contemplation.

From the migrant crisis in Europe to the deadly earthquake in Nepal, race riots in the US to terror attacks in France and Tunisia, our editorial team went to great lengths to capture this year’s decisive moments. We were backstage at the Oscars, in the front row at Paris Fashion Week, at the F1 winners’ podium and on touchline at the Rugby World Cup. Through our archive, we marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and 50 years since Martin Luther King’s address in Montgomery, Alabama.

With imagery widely recognized as the universal language and the driving force behind the most popular websites, platforms and apps, it is more important than ever for our photojournalists to capture events like these and tell the stories that represent our time. These pictures inspire, evoke emotion, drive people to action and expose truth.

But while imagery becomes widespread in our digital world, the work of the photojournalist has only become more challenging. Apart from the technical side of their work as masters of light, colour and composition, our photographers are equally expert at building relationships in tough situations -- tapping into their natural empathy, curiosity and trustworthiness. They are creative people, continuously seeking new ways to draw attention to our planet’s most important news, while at the same time often becoming targets for those who wish to extinguish freedom of the press. At the time of this writing, the Committee to Protect Journalists confirmed 47 journalists killed in 2015 in direct reprisal for their work, with 16 others killed with an unconfirmed motive. Getty Images, together with other great media organizations and the CPJ, maintains our commitment to combating these trends. These atrocities are completely unacceptable.

Our photojournalists are humankind’s storytellers and they are among the most gifted in the world. This book aims to honour them, and, as 2015 saw Getty Images celebrate 20 years as the world’s leading visual media company, also honour their legacy.

At Getty Images we provide coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from all corners of the world, and we are constantly evolving the way we bring those stories to you. From VR-ready 360˚ imagery to partnerships with Facebook Notify and Twitter Moments, our teams continue to innovate new ways to harness the power of the image.

As you spend some time with this book, I hope you will think about the people who make this work possible: the photojournalists, field editors, directors of photography and the countless men and women who work around the clock in numerous functions to ensure these photos touch you.

It’s the difference between looking and seeing.

Some graphic images below.

Pictures of the year Getty