2012's Award-Winning Photos

If it's been a big year for news, then it's been an even bigger one for photos. From the conflict in the middle east and shamed public figures, to celebrations of Olympian proportions, there has been plenty going on infront of a camera lens.

While the UK Picture Editors' Guild Awards have decorated those photographers in the front line, 2012 has also seen smaller awards pop up, like the Student Street Photography Awards, which say as much about the world around us.

Life outside our planet has been captured by the talented few celebrated in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year, and the bounty of our ever-changing natural environment has been the subject of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer Awards, now on show at the Natural History Museum.

The 2012 London Olympics are perhaps a surprising omission from the roundup below, but maybe more a sign of the other historic events and beautiful sights that this year has seen. The Nikon Sports Photographer Of The Year went not to an image of a gold medallist, but to a photograph capturing the hopeful stares of footballer Fabrice Muamba's teammates as medics flocked to the scene of his on-pitch collapse.

One thing was consistent in this year's awards though: the huge numbers of people taking part. It was fitting that the Wildlife Photographer Awards celebrated its 48th year with 48,000 entrants.

As digital photography becomes increasingly accessible for amateurs - like this year's winning Astronomy Photographer of the Year - we should expect to see more people getting their photos in 2013's competitions. What they'll capture, however, remains to be seen.

Check out our round up of this year's winners in the slideshow below.