28/12/2012 02:18 GMT | Updated 29/12/2012 16:22 GMT

Pictures Of The Year 2012: A Month By Month Guide

GRAPHIC IMAGE WARNING: The Associated Press (AP), one of the world's foremost news agencies has compiled it's most iconic images from 2012.

AP Director of Photography Santiago Lyon and Deputy Director of Photography Denis Paquin said: “Every day the Associated Press distributes some 3,000 photos to its subscribers around the world, more than a million images over the course of the year.

"Of the 150 being singled out this year, some are included because the photography is spectacular, some because they illustrate a major story.

"They reflect many things: victory, defeat, joy, sadness, drama, death and surprise.”


A wild full grown leopard scalps the head of a man as it attacks him after wandering into a residential neighborhood in Gauhati, in the northern state of Assam, India.

Photo gallery January - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


An unidentified woman throws flour on French Socialist Party candidate for the 2012 presidential elections, Francois Hollande, in Paris. The woman ran to the side of the podium where Hollande stood to sign a "social contract" in favor of housing for all.

Photo gallery February - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


Tibetan exile Jamphel Yeshi screams as he runs engulfed in flames after setting himself on fire at a protest in New Delhi, India, against Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India.

Photo gallery March - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


A bear that wandered into the University of Colorado Boulder, dorm complex Williams Village falling from a tree after being tranquilized by Colorado wildlife officials.

Photo gallery April - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


Chief midwife Maria Antoneta Cabral Barbosa holds a newborn baby boy she had just delivered by flashlight, at the regional hospital in Gabu, Guinea-Bissau.

Photo gallery May - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


Revelers on the Mall in London watch Britain Queen Elizabeth II appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony as part of a four-day Diamond Jubilee celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II accession to the throne.

Photo gallery June - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


The Olympic rings light up the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Photo gallery July - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


Jamaica's Usain Bolt crosses the finish line to win gold in the men's 100-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Photo gallery August - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


President Barack Obama is picked-up off the ground by Scott Van Duzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant during an unannounced stop, in Ft. Pierce, Florida.

Photo gallery September - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


Damage caused by a fire in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York is shown. The fire department sent more than 190 firefighters to the blaze caused by superstorm Sandy.

Photo gallery October - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad, at Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike on their family house, in Gaza City.

Photo gallery November - A Year in Pictures See Gallery


A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, on Dec. 14, 2012. 27 people died, including 18 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history.

Photo gallery December - A Year In Pictures See Gallery