Pictures Of The Year: 100 Incredible Images From 2015

31/12/2015 18:40 | Updated 31 December 2015

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.

  • ANNE GELBARD via Getty Images
    Armed gunmen face police officers near the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, during an attack on the offices of the newspaper which left eleven dead, including two police officers, according to sources close to the investigation.
  • Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
    Demonstrators make their way along Boulevrd Voltaire in a unity rally in Paris following the recent terrorist attacks on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. An estimated one million people are expected to converge in central Paris for the Unity March joining in solidarity with the 17 victims of this week's terrorist attacks in the country. French President Francois Hollande will lead the march and will be joined by world leaders in a sign of unity. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
  • PAUL FAITH via Getty Images
    A man walks in sea foam churrned up by high winds at Portstewart in Northern Ireland on January 9, 2015 as high winds and waves batter the north coast of the island. Engineers have been working to reconnect more than 100,000 properties left without power as high winds from an Atlantic storm battered northern Britain, bringing major disruption to the transport network, particularly in Scotland.
  • SEBASTIEN BOZON via Getty Images
    France's Sebastien Lacroix soars through the air over a message that reads 'Je suis Charlie' in reference to an attack by gunmen in which 12 people were killed at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's editorial office in Paris on January 7, during the individual Gundersen of the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, on January 10, 2015 in Chaux-Neuve, eastern France.
  • Scott Barbour via Getty Images
    Girlfriend of Andy Murray, Kim Sears looks on ahead of his men's final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during day 14 of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 1, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    Madonna falls as she performs on stage for the BRIT Awards 2015 at The O2 Arena on February 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom
  • Frazer Harrison via Getty Images
    Singer-songwriter Sam Smith, winner of Record of the Year and Song of the Year for 'Stay with Me,' Best Pop Vocal Album for 'In the Lonely Hour,' and Best New Artist, poses in the press room during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
  • Kevin Winter via Getty Images
    Host Neil Patrick Harris stands unclothed onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
  • Christopher Polk via Getty Images
    Actor Eddie Redmayne speaks onstage after winning his award for best Actor in a Leading Role during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
  • Kevin Mazur via Getty Images
    Actor John Travolta (L) and actress Scarlett Johansson attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
  • Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images
    (L-R) Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, actress/director Angelina Jolie and Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt celebrate during Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
    Investigators work on March 26, 2015 near scattered debris while making their way through the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps above the southeastern town of Seyne. The young co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight that crashed on March 24, appears to have 'deliberately' crashed the plane into the French Alps after locking his captain out of the cockpit, but is not believed to be part of a terrorist plot, French officials said on March 26, 2015.
  • Scott E Barbour via Getty Images
    The crowd watches as stunt pilots Melissa Pemberton, Jurgis Kairys and Skip Stewart of The Immortals fly past pyrotechnics as they perform at The Australian International Airshow on March 1, 2015 in Avalon, Australia. The Australian International Airshow 2015 pays tribute to Anzac and the heroes of military aviation. Also featured is the latest military heavy metal from Australia and overseas including super sonic jet fighters and attack helicopters.
  • Rich Schultz via Getty Images
    Mo Farah of Great Britain is taken care of by medical personal and Mary Wittenberg, the President of the New York Road Runners Club (L) after he collapsed at the finish line after finishing in second place at the 2014 New York City Half Marathon in lower Manhattan on March. 16, 2014 in New York City.
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    View from Frutillar, southern Chile, showing volcanic lightnings and lava spewed from the Calbuco volcano on April 23, 2015. Chile's Calbuco volcano erupted on Wednesday, spewing a giant funnel of ash high into the sky near the southern port city of Puerto Montt and triggering a red alert. Authorities ordered an evacuation for a 10-kilometer (six-mile) radius around the volcano, which is the second in southern Chile to have a substantial eruption since March 3, when the Villarrica volcano emitted a brief but fiery burst of ash and lava.
  • WPA Pool via Getty Images
    Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron feeds orphaned lambs on Dean Lane farm near the village of Chadlington on April 5, 2015 in Chadlington, England. Britain goes to the polls for a general election on May 7.
  • Daniel Berehulak via Getty Images
    Residents forage through rubble of their destroyed homes in search of valuables and belongings on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, on April 25th, killing more than 8,000 people at the latest count. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital, were destroyed all over the country during the earthquake, leaving thousands dead or trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempted to clear debris and find survivors. Thousands of residents living in remote hillside villages were left to fend for themselves, as rescue and relief operations struggle to reach all of the affected.
  • David Ramos via Getty Images
    Victims of the earthquake are cremated at Pashupatinah Temple on April 30, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 5500 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble.
  • Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
    Demonstrators climb on a destroyed Baltimore Police car in the street near the corner of Pennsylvania and North avenues during violent protests following the funeral of Freddie Gray April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, who was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody.
  • Ian Forsyth via Getty Images
    Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls enjoys a traditional Lemon Top ice cream as he joins Labour candidate Anna Turley on the seafront on April 15, 2015 in Redcar, England. The visit intended to show support for the Labour campaign in a key battleground seat ahead of what is predicted to be the closest fought General Election which takes place on May 7.
  • Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg holds a fish as he visits Newlyn Harbour accompanied by Harbour Master Rob Parsons at Newlyn Harbour on April 21, 2015 in Cornwall, England. The Liberal Democrat party leader visited the harbour to campaign alongside Liberal Democrat candidate and MP of 18 years Andrew George and meet members of the fishing community. Britain goes to the polls in a general election on May 7.
  • TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images
    Honoree and Comedian Amy Schumer pretends to trip and fall on the floor in front of honorees Kim Kardashian (2nd-L) and Kanye West (L) as they attend the Time 100 Gala celebrating the Time 100 issue of the Most Influential People at The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York.
  • Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images
    Caption: Facebook lights up the London Eye with the nation's general election conversations. Each day from 21:30 on May 1st until May 7th, the London Eye will be transformed into a huge pie chart visualising the daily conversations taking place on Facebook around the main UK political parties on April 29, 2015 in London, England.
  • Albert L. Ortega via Getty Images
    Director J.J. Abrams and Chewbacca share a Twizzler on Day One of Disney's 2015 Star Wars Celebration held at the Anaheim Convention Center on April 16, 2015 in Anaheim, California.
  • Alex B. Huckle via Getty Images
    Andy Murray and Kim Sears leave Dunblane Cathedral after their wedding on April 11, 2015 in Dunblane, Scotland.
  • GLYN KIRK via Getty Images
    The Arsenal team pose with the trophy after winning the FA Cup final football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Wembley stadium in London on May 30, 2015.
  • WPA Pool via Getty Images
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn daughter at St Mary's Hospital on May 2, 2015 in London, England. The Duchess was safely delivered of a daughter at 8:34am this morning, weighing 8lbs 3 oz who will be fourth in line to the throne.
  • WPA Pool via Getty Images
    British Prime Minister David Cameron poses for a photo with the newly elected Conservative Party MPs in Palace Yard on May 11, 2015 in London, England. Prime Minister David Cameron continues to announce his new cabinet with many ministers keeping their old positions.
  • Ian Forsyth via Getty Images
    Former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Prime Minister, Lord John Prescott climbs into the ring to spar with journalist Michael Crick as he joins Labour candidate Anna Turley on a visit to an Amateur Boxing Club on May 1, 2015 in Redcar, England. The visit marks the start of the final weekend of Labour's campaigning ahead of what is predicted to be the closest General Election in decades on May 7.
  • LEON NEAL via Getty Images
    A fox runs past the front door of 10 Downing Street in central London on May 6, 2015, on the eve of a general election in Britain. Britain's political leaders launched their last day of campaigning Wednesday for the most unpredictable election in living memory which could yield no clear winner and weeks of haggling over the next government.
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