Best photos of the year 2014
Bangui, Central African Republic: I was heading back to the hotel to file after a ceremony in Bangui, where the interim president had promised to reinstate the country's armed forces, urging for national unity. I was in the taxi for just a few...more
The crowd was in a violent, bloodthirsty frenzy and I tried to stay alert; an angry crowd can be dangerous, unpredictable and very scary, something I had unfortunately witnessed there before. The lifeless body of the victim, suspected of having joined the former Seleka rebel group, was being dragged, kicked, stabbed and pelted with rocks by Central African Republic soldiers.
Although no one noticed the journalists, I didn't feel like witnessing the lynching for a moment longer than I thought necessary. I must have stayed at the scene for no more than ten minutes.
I don't believe that photographers should ever get used to witnessing such violence and the event definitely affected me. Still, during these situations, I try to protect myself by not allowing certain memories to linger in my mind too long. I believe this picture is a strong reminder of how deep the thirst of revenge runs in the country and how difficult it will be for any internal or external force to stabilize and bring long lasting peace in the Central African Republic.
A Central African Army soldier stabs the corpse of a man, who was killed as he was accused of joining the ousted Seleka fighters, in the capital Bangui, February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Seigfried Modola
Gaza City: The strike on the family home of Al-Batsh, Gaza's police chief, killed 18 people. Moments before taking this photo, mourners brought out the bodies of the family members and their relatives started to cry and shout. Suddenly, this boy fell...more
While I was shooting this picture, loud explosions from air strikes could be heard and battles from the ground offensive were ongoing. The situation was risky and I had to take the pictures quickly and leave the area as fast as possible. This picture has affected me the most from the war. As a father, I was totally shocked and sad to hear this boy crying out for his dead father.
The son (L) of one of the members of Tayseer Al-Batsh's family, who hospital officials said were killed in an Israeli air strike, mourns during their funeral in Gaza City, July 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Vilona, Arkansas: I was covering the tornados that swept though Arkansas and other states, killing 35 people, and I decided to drive out to Vilona, a region that had suffered some of the worst damage, having seen it from a plane. Gaining access into...more
Gaining access into the area was difficult and I arrived quite late in the day so most of the rescue efforts had ceased, but I felt it was an important story to tell. I was walking around when I noticed the vintage hot-rod on a pile of rubble that had been a house, and I thought it was a good image to demonstrate American resilience and courage in the face of such a disaster.
I had to crawl over the debris so I could get a photo of the front of the car with the flag out the window and some of the other houses in the background that had been destroyed. I was affected by the image's story when I found out that the owner of the car and house, Dan Wasson, died in the tornado as he huddled over his wife and daughters in their home.
A U.S. flag sticks out the window of a damaged hot rod car in a suburban area after a tornado near Vilonia, Arkansas, April 28, 2014 REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Kabul, Afghanistan: Militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked Kabul International Airport from the roof of a building just to its north. Such attacks are not uncommon in Kabul and I have photographed quite a number of these incidents....more
After four or five hours of fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces, all insurgents were killed and curious locals and media were allowed to enter the site. A group of unidentified men armed with guns were looking around the bodies of the dead Taliban, some of them were kicking the bodies, some cursing. One of them pointed his gun at the body of the Taliban fighter who was lying at the scene. I shot the frames quickly and moved back thinking he might fire and the impact could get to me. He did not fire.
An Afghan resident points his weapon at the dead body of an unidentified militant, as a way of showing his hatred for insurgents, after an attack on Kabul airport, July 17, 2014. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Lima, Peru: I was covering a concert at Lima's National Theatre, awaiting the appearance of Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, who was singing with the young members of the orchestra he was sponsoring, 'Sinfonia por el Peru'. Moments before he...more
Moments before he showed up, a choir girl in the middle started vomiting. The children were performing for a very refined audience that came to see Florez, and perhaps she couldn't handle it. When she threw up for a second time, her vomit splashed onto the kids around her. They were all very professional and continued performing until eventually she was told to step off the stage.
A young member of the choir of "Sinfonia por el Peru" vomits before performing with Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez at Lima's National Theatre, May 13, 2014. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil
Ferguson, Missouri: As the evening rolled past midnight, I saw one man among the crowd who looked particularly agitated. He seemed to be a local resident, very upset with the police, and people were holding him back as he yelled towards the officers....more
As they started to pour the milk, I began photographing and noticed a bright spotlight in the background. I believe it was from the police. At that point the people taking care of the man started spraying mist or water to further clear his eyes and I positioned my camera and used the light source to create a rim light around his head and bring attention to the droplets.
A man is doused with milk and sprayed with mist after being hit by an eye irritant from security forces in Ferguson, Missouri, August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
Baghdad, Iraq: After I was done taking pictures and trying to reach our driver's vehicle to return to the office a powerful blast hit an exit gate. We tried to find a place to hide because we were expecting a secondary explosion and at the same time...more
Screams of the wounded, black smoke and bodies surrounded us, while security forces and militia members were shooting in the air to disperse the crowd. I tried to take cover behind anything close by. Along with Reuters cameraman Mahdi Talaat we could only hit the ground and film the event that was taking place in front of us.
Then a minibus that was advancing towards the site caught our attention. The car was only a few meters away from our position and heading towards a gate when it blew up.
The blazing fire, smoke and the blast's shockwave along with shrapnel raining down on us and the wailing of the wounded made us believe that we were witnessing judgment day.
This incident has had a great impact on myself and resulted in raising my awareness and developing a great internal fear of street gatherings, protests and celebrations. Images of the incident are still fresh in my mind and they keep replaying in my head every time I see a large gathering of people and it even haunts me in my sleep at times.
An explosion is seen during a car bomb attack at a rally by militant group, Asaib Ahl Haq (League of the Righteous), to introduce its candidates for elections at a soccer stadium in Baghdad, April 25, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
Chicago, Illinois: Two agents were posted outside this generic campaign office, and the simplicity of the setting and placement of the agents caught my eye. I took about 10 frames, and then one agent looked up. The juxtaposition of the agents was...more
At the end of the day, the job of a Secret Service Presidential Protective Detail agent and a White House press travel pool photographer are not all that different. We go everywhere the President goes, we are ready to react to anything that might happen to the President, we think on our feet, we spend lots of hours waiting, we spend a lot of time on the road, we work strange hours and we are very close with our colleagues. Of course there some major differences. While we watch the President the agents scan the crowd. We carry cameras and they carry guns. Oh, they also tend to look a whole lot sharper than we do....those suits, haircuts and sunglasses do not come cheap.
Secret Service agents keep watch as President Obama visits a Pat Quinn campaign office in Chicago, October 20, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany: During lap 26, towards the end of the race, I was standing behind the tire barrier in the first bend waiting for the pack of riders. I decided to make this lap the last one before changing position to shoot the winner...more
When the pack approached, two riders came skidding out of the pack, losing contact with their bikes and coming to a halt in the gravel traps a mere two metres away from each other.
It was impossible to make what had actually happened as the incident that led to the crash was obscured by the other riders. But Schouten seemed to be sure who was to blame. He jumped to his feet and started to lay into his compatriot, Scott Deroue, kicking and punching his helmet. After initially blocking the attack somewhat coyly, Deroue became equally furious and responded in kind. The two had to be separated by several medics and race attendants who struggled to bring the brawl to an end.
Mahindra Moto3 rider Bryan Schouten of the Netherlands fights with compatriot Kalex KTM Moto3 rider Scott Deroue (R) after they crashed during the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring circuit in Hohenstein-Ernstthal, July 13, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Kiev, Ukraine: Everyday protestors moved up to the barricades, made from burnt buses and cars, to clash with the police. It was winter, cold, and police used water hoses to turn the streets in front of the barricades to ice. The protestors kept...more
The protestors kept moving up to the police positions to throw molotov cocktails and the police kept driving them back with rubber bullets and water hoses.
This was happening for many days. Molotov cocktails were everywhere - in the air, being thrown at the police and behind barricades ready to be used. The flag of Ukraine was seen everywhere, and one song was sang many times a day - the Ukraine anthem.
To shoot pictures every day in a bulletproof vest and helmet, while walking among the piles of burnt tires and avoiding rubber bullets was a challenge.
I was surprised by the strong desire of the protestors to change something in their life, how they helped each other - many people, including the very old, brought warm clothes and hot food to them.
Pro-European integration protesters take cover from water sprayed from a fire engine at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev, January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
Atlanta, Georgia: Atlanta is usually known for its mild winters but when an ice storm began hitting the Metro area directly, traffic reached nightmarish proportions and vehicles became stranded for long hours. I began my day on another assignment...more
I began my day on another assignment 100 miles north of Atlanta but immediately headed back when I saw the snowfall. Having grown up there, I know the back roads well, which helped as I hit traffic in the northern suburbs. I began taking pictures and transmitting what I could on the drive, arriving into the city at sunrise.
My sister said a friend of hers was stuck at a Publix grocery store that stayed opened all night to shelter and feed people. Ironically, I had slid into a bush nearby so after extracting my car, I went to the store to take pictures. The scene was surreal; scattered people slept soundly on the floor or tried to stay awake.
Several of the pictures were widely published and friends called me from all over to ask about them. In total I spent over 30 hours in my car before I made it home.
People hang out in a Publix grocery store after being stranded due to a snow storm in Atlanta, Georgia, January 29, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Gaza City: I was covering the celebrations by Palestinians moments after the declaration of a ceasefire that ended a 51-day fighting between Israel and Hamas. Throwing sweets and chanting slogans, people took to the streets, riding vehicles and...more
It was quite difficult to take the picture since there was not enough light, and the car was driving quickly. My movement was also restricted due to the traffic jams and flows of people in the streets.
Palestinian children hold guns as they celebrate with others what they said was a victory over Israel, following a ceasefire in Gaza City, August 26, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Legudsen, Nepal: Chaupadi is the practice of treating women as impure and untouchable when they menstruate. In isolated regions like Achham, chaupadi has been a custom for centuries. But those from Nepal's cities or from abroad often don't know what...more
When women go through their monthly cycle, they are not allowed to enter a house or pass by a temple. They cannot use public water sources, touch livestock, attend social events like weddings, or touch others. And at night, they are not allowed to sleep in their homes - instead they have to stay in sheds or outbuildings, often with no proper windows or doors.
As I worked on this story, I met many women who had been affected by the tradition. Uttara Saud, a shy 14-year-old girl, told me that she has to miss school during her monthly cycle.
I realized that chaupadi does not just bring discomfort and isolation to the women practicing it - sometimes they even have to pay with their lives. Isolated and poorly protected from the elements, they can be killed by snake bites, freezing weather, wild animal attacks, or fires they light to keep warm, which can cause blazes or suffocation in small sheds with poor ventilation. There have also been cases of these women, cut off from their families, being the victims of rape.
Uttara Saud, 14, sits inside a Chaupadi shed in the hills of Legudsen village in Achham District in western Nepal, February 16, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Perevalnoe, Ukraine: During Russia's occupation of the Crimean peninsular in Ukraine, masked men without insignia had appeared at Ukrainian army bases and important transport hubs all over the peninsular. Although they declined to say who they were,...more
The locals believed they would protect them from attackers from Kiev and consequently welcomed the Russian soldiers like liberators, bringing them flowers and food and flocking to wherever they set up base as if a travelling circus had come to town. These two women had clearly dressed up for the occasion and flirted with the young men in uniform, who were visibly grateful for the distraction to their sentry duty.
Eventually, Russian soldiers became less anxious to be seen by foreign media chatting with their Ukrainian counterparts across the compound walls.
Local women watch armed men, believed to be Russian soldiers, assemble near a Ukrainian military base in Perevalnoe, March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: I was shooting the clear-out by the police of a building which belonged to a giant telecommunications company and had been taken over by homeless people a week earlier. It was my third day there as I was doing a photo essay on...more
Still, there was tension in the air that the police could invade the place at any moment. When I arrived that morning, it was still dark and I saw more than 1,000 police officers surrounding the area. Some of the homeless were leaving on their own but there was a lot of confusion and small riots outside. I took this picture about 15 minutes after I managed to enter the area, which was very challenging.
The image is both strong and sad because the man is poor, black, unarmed and helpless against a whole squad of a heavily armed police spraying tear gas right into his eyes.
It was a challenge shooting this image and avoiding being beaten, because people were extremely violent and they didn't care if you were journalist.
Riot police use pepper gas against residents of the Telerj slum as they attempt to repossess the land in Rio de Janeiro, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Ana Carolina Fernandes
Manhattan, New York: Outside the courthouse I was waiting for Lucarelli when a photographer friend from a local paper stopped by to chat and ask me what was going on, I told him it was a minor fraud case that we were covering. His paper wasn't...more
Lucarelli looked out the door and saw the two photographers and a TV crew and thought they were all for him. He ducked back inside for a moment, then came back through the revolving door and took off at a full sprint. He ran away so fast that his sandals flew off his feet, which is what made the photo and caused the other media to run to the story. If he had just walked out, TV and the other photographer would have never sent their images.
Michael Lucarelli runs from the media as he leaves the federal court building after posting bail in the Manhattan borough of New York, August 26, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip: I was shooting pictures of houses that were destroyed during the 51-day war in Gaza to cover the life of displaced people after the offensive. I was moving from the ruins of one house to another adjacent house where people...more
The man riding a motorcycle past destroyed houses captured my attention. It was not easy to get the picture as the light was very dim and I was very lucky that a light from a car illuminated the motorcycle.
Palestinian pedestrians and a motorcyclist commute along a road between the ruins of houses in Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip, September 7, 2014 REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Sochi, Russia: This image is a great example of the cliche 'always expect the unexpected'. Two days before, at the Olympic opening ceremony rehearsal, I had seen that the Olympic rings were supposed to open from a small, flower-shaped ball and then...more
I had just reduced my ISO and increased my shutter speed when I noticed the top-right ring was not forming like the others. So I took a few photographs, still anticipating the next stage. But no. Nothing. The incomplete Olympic symbol just hung there before disappearing completely.
Did I manage to correctly adjust the camera settings for the unpredicted dull Olympic ring? Thankfully, you see the answer before you. Needless to say, it was the talking point of the opening ceremony, and became one of the most memorable images of the Sochi Olympic Games.
Four out of five Olympic rings light up during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray
Jerusalem: The Palestinian women were singing and chanting in Arabic while heavily armed Israeli border police looked on and occasionally pushed them back to make way for Jewish worshipers going to the Western Wall. The Palestinian women shouted and...more
About half a dozen Orthodox Jewish worshipers wanted to pass along the narrow street toward the Western Wall and the Israeli border police created a passageway through the crowd of Palestinian women. As the Israelis walked between the shouting protesters I focused on the woman in the center of the scene. When she was right in front of me, she turned and gestured to the Palestinian woman. It wasn't something done for the camera -- I don't think she even realized I was there. It was only when I looked at the picture afterward that I realized that the Palestinian woman had returned the gesture, which in this part of the world is the equivalent to giving someone the middle finger.
An Israeli woman and a Palestinian woman gesture at one another during a protest by Palestinian women against Jewish visitors to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
Lake Whitney, Texas: I was covering the controlled burn of a house slowly falling into Lake Whitney due to the decaying cliff underneath. Asked to take photos from an aerial perspective, an instructor and I took off from Grand Prairie Municipal...more
I love flying, but patience proved challenging as circling for nearly three hours gets boring fast. Once the fire started we only had 15 minutes to take photos because the plane was booked at 1pm. The owners invested their retirement savings in the house and were even advised by geologists that the ground was stable. To watch your investment literally go up in flames must take its toll emotionally. The owners said they don't expect their insurance to cover the loss.
Smoke rises from a house days after part of the ground it was resting on collapsed into Lake Whitney, Texas, June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Brandon Wade
Donetsk, Ukraine: Around 500 people were waving Ukrainian flags and shouting anti-Russian slogans. After 30 minutes they started a protest march, but soon afterwards pro-Russian protesters turned up with baseball bats and sticks and clashes broke...more
I followed pro-Ukrainians who ran away to small alley, but as there was no way out they got trapped. After some 30 seconds, pro-Russians came and started beating them. For me the image was important because it shows how easily people who were living together for years can turn violent overnight because of politics.
Moments before I took this picture I remember I was hiding behind a tree because stones from both sides were flying around. I remember one stone hit Baz Ratner, our photographer who was covering the event with me. The biggest challenge while shooting this image was to not get beaten, because people were extremely violent and they didn't care if you were a journalist.
Pro-Russian protesters attack a pro-Ukranian protester during a pro-Ukrainian rally in the eastern city of Donetsk, April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Kamloops, British Columbia: Although some people might conclude that a curling event could produce a dull atmosphere, it is actually far from it. Some of the most energetic and loyal fans are committed to showing their colours at tournaments around...more
There was a lull in the games that were being held on this day and I remember spotting these nuns sitting in their seats earlier. Although them just sitting there didn't produce a picture, I kept my eye on them for the entire match. As soon as I spotted them with beer in their hands, I slowly turned my camera towards them and waited for them to take a drink.
One of the challenges of shooting this image was to not have everyone notice me taking the photo. I had a longer lens on and was right in the middle of the rink. I slowly turned my lens, not to make my intentions too obvious, and waited until they drank from their beers together.
Two women wearing nun outfits drink beer while watching the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier curling championships in Kamloops, British Columbia, March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Ben Nelms
Abuja, Nigeria: A morning rush-hour bomb killed at least 71 people at a Nigerian bus station near the capital. I had just shot the wedding of the president's daughter in Abuja and was looking forward to a quiet week. On my way home I was listening to...more
My heart flashed with panic and anxiety, and I decided to go to the nearest hospital. Gaining access to the premises was a challenge but after a lot of pleading I managed to persuade security to let me in.
The sight was unbearable, and the smell of burnt skin filled the air. The crowd gathered at the hospital was overtaken with emotion and pandemonium ensued. As I was shooting away, there came another siren from the gate. I turned and noticed these women standing by the wall, close to the morgue, breaking down in tears and calling on God to help put an end to senseless killings.
I turned my camera towards the women and tried to compose the shot carefully, but from my position the vehicle behind which the women were standing was intruding into the frame. There was no way to quickly relocate and recompose the shot, as I did not want to interfere with what was going on.
Bystanders react as victims of a bomb blast arrive at the Asokoro General Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria, April 14, 2014 REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
Caracas, Venezuela: I was covering a Caracas rally against Nicolas Maduro's government. Students were setting up a blockade and several had been arrested. They were organizing their counter-attack against the police when this girl, ironically the...more
The challenge and the biggest reward of this picture was capturing something different to the tear bombs and shooting, an intimate and personal moment in the middle of chaos, something with soul and heart.
The moment I took it, I knew this photo had something special, but I didn't realize the image's power until next day, when it went viral on social media. The photo is inspiring. Love is everywhere.
Anti-government protesters kiss during a protest against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, March 22, 2014. REUTERS/Christian Veron
Mogadishu, Somalia: I was covering the execution of three Somali men who were accused of being members of Islamist militant group al Shabaab. I took the photo while the men were still alive and tied to poles. Once they were shot, I could see blood...more
I took the photo while the men were still alive and tied to poles. Once they were shot, I could see blood gushing from their head, chest and stomach. They died within seconds, but we were not allowed to take pictures of their dead bodies.
It was shocking to see men just waiting to be killed and unable to escape because they were tied tight to strong poles. The story really affected me and I panicked because I was watching human beings being executed. It was terrible to see their blood as they writhed, and to hear them scream.
Three men found guilty by a Somali military court of killing civilians and masterminding a recent attack on the Presidential Palace stand tied to poles shortly before they were executed by a firing squad in Mogadishu, August 3, 2014. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
Carlsbad, California: The witch is actually a radio controlled airplane powered by an electric motor. The inventor Otto Dieffenbach III invited me to shoot a test flight as he was keen to fly his invention through a full moon. I have no idea how he...more
I have no idea how he makes it fly but it's amazing just to watch, freaky actually. Shooting was a bit of a challenge, as the moon was setting into the ocean fog and there needed to be a slight bit of dawn light for some separation in order to focus on the witch and not the moon. It was only near the end of the 15 minute battery powered flight that it all came together with the flight path, light, focus and timing.
A radio-controlled flying witch makes a test flight past a moon setting into clouds along the pacific ocean in Carlsbad, California, October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: I'd been following the protesters since the morning. Parliament was set to vote on a law extending the current president's 27-year term and the people were protesting against that. By the time it reached 9 a.m., tens of...more
Some might look at the images and say 'These are unruly people, they're destroying public buildings'. But the protesters felt they were destroying public buildings that no longer represented the public. They felt they were taking matters into their own hands.
Anti-government protesters take over the parliament building in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney
Belo-Horizonte, Brazil: After Germany had scored an amazing six goals to none from Brazil, I thought I should start keeping an eye on Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari as he would certainly receive some harsh criticism after the game for his team's...more
The number he was yelling ended up being extremely symbolic, as Germany went on to defeat Brazil by 7 goals. I had a split-second to capture this moment.
Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari gestures to Bernard during their 2014 World Cup semi-finals against Germany, July 8, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray
New Delhi, India: I enjoy photographing religious events, especially those which involve late evening and early morning shoots. Chatt Puja is a Hindu festival worshipping the Sun God Surya, and thousands of people come and go throughout the day. Upon...more
It looks like soap or a mountain of snow but actually it's all pollutants from sewage waters flowing into the Yamuna river. I started shooting women praying but had one eye on the men working their way through the foam. Once they spotted the sun which took longer due the fog in the air the man in the picture was at his best. I had a minute and thankfully some clean space to frame it.
A Hindu devotee worships in the polluted waters of the river Yamuna during the Hindu religious festival of Chatt Puja in New Delhi, October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
Donetsk, Ukraine: It was an awful sight: A column of jaded and haphazardly dressed people walking along the street surrounded by armed rebels. Citizens were shouting curses and throwing eggs at them. The column was followed by street sweepers washing...more
I think this image perfectly shows the negative emotions of conflict: weakness, devastation, shame, fear on one side and spite, aggression, rage and desire for revenge on the other.
It reminded of a quote 'History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce'.
Armed pro-Russian separatists (R) escort a column of Ukrainian prisoners of war as they walk across central Donetsk, August 24, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: When the shooting began I was at home. The favela is just round the corner, so I saw the police cars in the streets, fire in the slum and the street gradually emptying. When I arrived at the slum the residents were in one...more
When I arrived at the slum the residents were in one corner and the police in another. Both screaming and very tense.
The residents had set fire to the entrance of the slum, to stop the police getting in. But the police had guns pointed at them all the time. That's why the man in the picture is opening his arms, to show the police that he is 'clean'.
After that, the residents left the body, covered in blood, in the middle of the street and the police went in to get the dead man. I was the only one that took these pictures, because I was the first photographer to get there.
A resident gestures during a protest against the death of a man in Pavao-Pavaozinho slum, in Rio de Janeiro, April 22, 2014. Residents accused Police Peacekeeping Unit (UPP) officers of causing the death of a dancer, Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira, 25, who was found dead inside a school at the community. REUTERS/Lucas Landau
Glasgow, Scotland: This picture was shot during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In the image, the wrestler's coach is carrying her away after she lost her bout. It was not immediately clear to me whether she had been injured in the contest or...more
If anything I suppose the picture shows that sometimes in sport a moment of crushing disappointment can be just as engaging as a moment of victory.
Ifeoma Nwoye of Nigeria is carried away by her coach after she lost her women's freestyle 55kg wrestling semi-final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Bunkerville, Nevada: We were on a bridge in southern Nevada in the midst of a tense standoff between the BLM and a group of angry ranchers, militia members and gun-rights activists. It seemed as if we were a hair's breadth away from Americans killing...more
I found myself in the photographer's typical position when covering standoffs - behind law enforcement. But just as I started feeling comfortable with my surroundings, a woman yelled out that there was an incident taking place below the bridge a couple hundred meters to the east, and I began sprinting that way with other members of the media. The weight of my camera gear slowed me down but I told myself I needed to keep running. I had to be at the scene as fast as possible.
It was already a surreal moment, here on a random stretch of highway in the Nevada desert, where men with weapons had taken up tactical positions on government officers something not seen in this country in decades as traffic whizzed by unaware. Sometimes cars would stop and people would step out to take pictures of the scene with their phones, as if it were just another roadside attraction. After a while it became apparent that the BLM was going to release the cattle to the protesters. The animals were freed, and no shots were fired. But the reality of how close to gunfire the situation had come sent a chill through me which I will never forget.
Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge as protesters gather by the Bureau of Land Management's base camp, where cattle that were seized from rancher Cliven Bundy are being held, near Bunkerville, Nevada, April 12, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Jerusalem: The picture was taken outside the courthouse following the release of Khdeir, a 15-year-old American of Palestinian descent, whose beating by Israeli police during a violent protest in East Jerusalem drew U.S. concern. Tariq Khdeir from...more
Tariq Khdeir from Tampa, Florida, is a cousin of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khudair, who was abducted and killed in July 2014 in a suspected revenge attack for the killing of three Israeli youths by Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank. Three Israelis have been arrested and charged on suspicion of killing Abu Khudair.
The abduction and killing of three Israeli youths by Palestinian militants in June 2014 caused alarm throughout Israel and set off a cycle of violence, including the killing of Mohammed Abu Khudair in a suspected revenge attack. Khudair's killing led to clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police in East Jerusalem.
Tariq Khdeir is greeted by his mother after being released from jail in Jerusalem, July 6, 2014. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Graham, Texas: I was covering the Tornado and Dixie Alleys, areas of the central and southern United States which are vulnerable to strong tornados, due to the severe weather forecast for that week. We had been chasing the storm for almost 18 hours...more
We had been chasing the storm for almost 18 hours when I saw this tornadic cell coming at us at about 45-50 miles per hour. With very little time, I had to quickly switch to a wider lens to capture the storm coming over us.
The image shows just how big these cells are and how close we had to get to create the image. I had one chance to get the shot and I'm just happy I was able to switch lenses in time.
A large tornadic vortex signature thunderstorm supercell passes over storm chaser Brad Mack in Graham, Texas, April 23, 2014 REUTERS/Gene Blevins
Caracas, Venezuela: The building was intended to be a shining new financial center but was abandoned around 1994 after the death of its developer and the collapse of the financial sector. Squatters invaded the huge concrete skeleton in 2007 and now...more
The first time I tried to get access to the tower wasn't really a success. I was told, not in the friendliest of terms, that I should leave while I still could. The residents of the tower, and particularly those in charge of managing it, were (and still are) very sensitive to media. Publications frequently feature headlines such as: 'Tower of terror,' 'The shanty skyscraper,' it has even been featured in an episode of the TV series 'Homeland' as a kidnappers' den.
My intention wasn't to follow on from these headlines. I wanted above all to create a portrait of the lives of the thousands of people who call this place home, and who face struggles and risks every day. I wanted to document without judging. That is what I told the squatters' board of administrators, who made me explain my intentions in producing this story. I felt the strong sense of community here from the first time I ascended the tower.
Men rest after salvaging metal on the 30th floor of the "Tower of David" skyscraper in Caracas, February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rafah, Gaza Strip: I was at a house with my colleagues monitoring the situation in Rafah, when I heard two huge explosions. The shout went up: 'A hit by Israeli F16!' Once I realized that the house had an asbestos roof, I knew there would be serious...more
Nine of Mahmoud's relatives, including his uncle's family, were killed in the strike and another seven were wounded.
Seeing him beneath the debris was the worst experience of my life. Tears were running from my eyes while I was taking the pictures. Looking at the boy was like looking at my own son.
A colleague of mine knows Mahmoud's relatives and after the strike he helped me to trace him to where he was being treated in hospital.
Palestinians rescue Mahmoud al-Ghol from under the rubble of a house in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, August 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Suruc, Turkey: A crossing point along the Turkish-Syrian border frontier was normally a hive of activity, with wailing children and families desperately trying to carry whatever they could manage across the dusty terrain. To my surprise on this...more
To my surprise on this particular day, the refugee collection didn't start. Bewildered, I started to look around me. My eyes fell on an empty baby's cradle and I thought: How is it possible for someone to leave behind such a basic, but important, thing for a baby? Were the owners in a hurry? Was there no space in the bus or truck? As I photographed the cradle I thought how lonely and sad it seemed. For me, it signified a kind of hopelessness. If its owners had felt hope, perhaps they would not have left it.
I took four images using a 24mm wide-angle lens and photographed the deserted border area in the background aiming to illustrate the desperation the refugees feel, and the harshness of the environment, where baking sun can turn to driving rain in an instant.
A cradle left behind by Syrian Kurdish refugees lies at the Turkish-Syrian border near Suruc, September 27, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Donetsk, Ukraine: On March 3, a couple hundred pro-Russian demonstrators stormed the Donetsk regional government building after clashing with police who were guarding the main entrance. They successfully entered through a side door, and in the end...more
Later, they asked with interest how people in Europe see the situation in Ukraine and wanted to know if anyone supports them, and what will happen in the end. They seemed a bit scared. I didn't have a good answer to their last question.
A masked pro-Russian protester sits on a chair as he poses for a picture inside a regional government building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 25, 2014. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
London, England: Although Richmond Park is only 3.69 square miles (9.56 square kilometres) wide and 650 deer graze there during the autumn deer rutting season, I spent nine hours on foot with my 500mm lens as well as shorter optics following the...more
The mist had long gone and the sun was dipping lower to the horizon when I found the male in the photograph in the undergrowth. I had followed him for roughly an hour before this frame, and an hour afterwards, hoping he would either get an even more impressive head-dress, pick a battle with another male or chase some potential mating partners...but eventually the light went and so did I shortly after.
I think the bracken stuck amongst the deer antlers gives the picture a certain appeal by adding a little humour to a natural history photograph, with a hat-like appearance, plus the tongue out looks a little as if the deer is licking his lips!
A male red deer with antlers covered in bracken, walks through undergrowth in Richmond Park in south west London, October 3, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Jakarta, Indonesia: After Prabowo supporters had been taunting the police who were holding the barricade, the police launched a very quick and violent strike to disperse them. I had a helmet on so I was able to stand my ground for a few seconds...more
I had a helmet on so I was able to stand my ground for a few seconds while sticks, rocks and teargas flew through the air - added to that I had attack dogs right behind me.
The clash was fast and decisive. The supporters were not expecting such a violent reaction and dispersed. It was all over in a few minutes.
Indonesian police use tear gas and water cannon to disperse supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto in Jakarta, August 21, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
Amazon basin, Brazil: I was flying over the Amazon alongside an Ashaninka chief who was searching for illegal logging on their lands.It was a bad flight. Grey skies and heavy winds, over a sea of unbroken forest - no sign of humanity all the way to...more
Three months after this photo was published, the same group of Indians made their first formal contact with the Ashaninka people and Brazil's national Indian agency (Funai). They said encroaching non-Indians had burned their villages - which lie in a border region with known drug trafficking and illegal logging activity. Immediately after meeting the outsiders, several of the Indians fell ill. Funai says the situation is under control: It provided flu shots and has reopened a local base that it abandoned three years earlier, following an attack by cartel gunmen.
Indians who are considered uncontacted by anthropologists react to a plane flying over their community in the Amazon basin near the Xinane river in Brazil's Acre State, near the border with Peru, March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho
Gaza: I was part of a Reuters team who were given exclusive access to take pictures of the tunnels used by Hamas' armed wing to fight against Israel. We were blindfolded by Hamas militants and guided to an undisclosed location. Suddenly I found...more
A Palestinian fighter from the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, gestures inside an underground tunnel in Gaza, August 18, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Niagara Falls, Canada: I was out on a specific assignment to photograph the partially frozen Niagara Falls. There was a lot of angry muttering under my frozen breath that day, mostly asking myself why I lived there in winter, laced with several...more
I wasn't outside for very long, but taking photographs in such a bitter-cold temperatures was challenging. I was dressed appropriately for the weather, but the bone-cracking cold still pierced through all the layers. I had only brought two cameras and two lenses knowing there was no way I'd be changing anything out there.
For such a static landscape image I thought it was strong, and from what I've seen and heard, it was widely published. I didn't think the image would strike the chord it did, as I've never photographed a weather feature generating so much of a reaction. I think it was a testament to how strongly people felt about the miserable winter we had to endure.
The U.S. side of the Niagara Falls is pictured in Ontario, January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Aaron Harris
Tianjin, China: Almost six months had passed since the Malaysian Airlines MH370 disappeared. Although authorities concluded that the plane crashed in the remote Indian Ocean and lost all the passengers, many family members refuse to accept that...more
I was very careful not to hurt their feelings or invade their privacy when taking these pictures. My first priority was showing my respect for the family members, so before photographing them, I would wait to ask their permission to take pictures until I felt that they were ready and would always spend some time listening to them talk. Sometimes this brought tears to my eyes.
Zhiliang, whose fiancee was onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared in March, is silhouetted at an empty house which he had planned to decorate with her for their marriage, in Tianjin, China, August 26, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung Hoon
Cannes, France: I was covering the stars' red-carpet arrival for the film screening of How to Train Your Dragon 2. Suddenly, Vitalii Sediuk, a Ukrainian journalist also known as a red-carpet prankster, tried to stick his head under actress America...more
I had only ten seconds to realize what was happening and take the shot. Security rapidly dealt with the culprit amid shocked looks from Ferrera and co-star Cate Blanchett. After a flash of appearing red faced and confused, the actress continued the red carpet walk as if nothing had happened.
A man is arrested by security as he tries to slip under the dress of actress America Ferrera in Cannes, May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Natal, Brazil: I was covering Italy v. Uruguay and it felt almost just like any other match. But in the second half, there was some strange contact between Italy's Giorgio Chiellini and Uruguay's Luis Suarez. I was following the action elsewhere on...more
I shot some photos and, for me, the story was finished.
But I only did part of the work. The second, very important part of the job was done by our great editors who spotted the teeth marks on Chiellini's shoulder, and a cropped version of my picture was sent out to our clients so they could see too.
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows teeth marks on his shoulder where he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup match, June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
San Cristobal, Venezuela: Following a couple of days of riots in Caracas, we decided to travel to the Venezuelan city of San Cristobal to photograph the conflict there. In the afternoon, I was told of clashes between anti-government protests and the...more
When I finally arrived, it looked like the worst had passed as there was debris everywhere, but a group of youths with giant slingshots remained. With the help of their neighbours, who hurled objects from the top floors of buildings, they had driven the National Guard back to the end of the street.
Demonstrators use a slingshot against the National Guard during a protest in San Cristobal, February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Paris, France: I was covering the first round of the French municipal elections in Paris and went to a local poll station in a school where Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy were due to cast their votes. Afterwards they exited through the...more
I had stayed behind in a school corridor to send out the photos I had just taken when I spotted the open door. I got inside the courtyard where there were two other photographers. Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla saw us, so I got only around 15 seconds to take their picture before their security staff stood in front of them.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sits on a bench with his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in Paris, March 23, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: How on earth could I take a close-up shot of a Soyuz rocket as it blasted off amid orange flames? Especially when to comply with safety requirements, I was in a photography position over a kilometre away from the...more
The launch of a Soyuz into orbit is meticulously calculated to the last second. This precision provided the answer to my dilemma - a simple photo-timer the size of a mobile phone. What remained to be done was as simple as ABC - to calculate the hours, minutes and seconds before the takeoff and set the timer on countdown.
I prepared the rest of my kit; as well as my camera, this included a bag for gravel to keep the tripod steady, sandwich wrapping, and scotch tape. I had a soft, sealed ball perched on a tripod - with a lens curiously sticking out.
As Soyuz lifted off in clouds of dust, the wind changed a blast of eastern wind curled and the sand lifted by the roaring Soyuz blew back to the launch pad, straight towards our remote cameras. Only my sandwich? ball was still standing firmly upright. A bullet-like hole proudly gaping in the filter, and the plastic wrapping melted on top. I was thinking with horror about my broken lens, because my next assignment was just a day away. Luckily, sandwiches appear to be well protected these days! A broken filter was my only loss, and I had my shot.
Debris flies after the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft blasted off from the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
Amritsar, India: I was covering the 30th Anniversary of the Operation Blue Star Remembrance prayer at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. Operation Blue Star took place in June 1984 and saw the Indian Army storm the Golden Temple to flush out Sikh...more
After a prayer and remembrance meeting for the Sikh separatists who lost their lives, some members of Sikh radical groups clashed with some Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee supporters, which resulted in brandishing swords, leaving at least six injured.
Sikhs wield swords during their clash inside the complex of the holy Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, June 6, 2014. REUTERS/Munish Sharma
Hong Kong: This picture was taken when the Hong Kong government ordered the culling of over 20,000 live chickens in a temporary wholesale poultry market as a precaution against the spread of H7N9 bird flu after an outbreak in nearby Guangdong...more
Health officers in full protective gear wait to cross a road near a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong, January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Nazare Paulista, Brazil: Words can't express what it feels like to view a landscape as bleak and disturbing as the one in this photo. In the four years I've lived in Brazil I've seen many extraordinary and terrifying things, but the current drought...more
The World Cup and recent elections managed to distract the attention of the population away from the looming problem. They also seem to have kept the state's institutions busy with little attention paid to this pending disaster.
As I rode in the helicopter to take this and other aerial photos, it was only after landing and opening the image on a computer that I noticed the real message that of a woman in panic as in Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream." For me, this is Mother Nature screaming for help.
An aerial view of the Atibainha dam, part of the Cantareira reservoir, during a drought in Nazare Paulista, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, November 18, 2014. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
Boston, Massachusetts: I was positioned near the Forum restaurant in case anything significant happened at the time and place of last year's second bomb attack. I heard the crowd starting to make noise and noticed a man struggling but still standing,...more
Four runners decided to each take one of Hurst's limbs and haul him closer to the line. The moment Hurst's feet came off the ground the spectators erupted in a cheer and they set off faster than I was able to keep up with them on the sidewalk. Both as a journalist and a runner it mattered to me whether he finished on his own legs or theirs, but most importantly I knew it mattered to Hurst. The last thing I wanted was for him to see my picture published saying he didn't carry himself over that line.
Some folks have pointed out that this sort of moment is almost commonplace in marathons, and that's partly true. But just because what happened that day on Boylston Street isn't unprecedented doesn't mean it isn't special. The moment I was fortunate to witness sums up so much of what I love about this city, this sport, and this event in particular.
Four runners carry Adam Hurst down Boylston Street after his legs locked up during the 118th running of the Boston Marathon in Boston, April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
Suruc, Turkey: In these days of modern warfare, the weaponry is more powerful than that in the old days. So all of my colleagues and I have to be doubly careful to ensure we do not end up in the line of fire, as positions of Kurdish YPG fighters and...more
We ended up on hills about 2km away from Kobani using very long telephoto lenses, often more than 1000mm, to get a peek into the city while listening to the sound of war and smelling its scent.
Sometimes you see a shadow of a fighter hiding behind a building and more often you see the massive impact of heavy airstrikes.
It is a bit strange sitting there with lenses I usually use for sports photography alongside people from the area, who come to the hills to see what's going on. They bring binoculars and make tea - making it almost seem like a tourist attraction.
Smoke rises over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, October 18, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Heshan village, China: Heshan is in an area rich in realgar, or arsenic disulphide, and is sometimes given the grim label 'cancer village'. Factories and mines sprang up to process this precious resource but they were shut down in 2011 because of the...more
I am no stranger to death and during my coverage of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, I was witness to huge-scale tragedy. But this was the first time I saw people who lived as though they had a sword hanging over their heads all the time the desperation and hopelessness were unimaginable.
Qin Zhengyu, 78, shows moles and tumours on her back in her home at Heshan village, in Shimen county, central China's Hunan Province, June 4, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Ferguson, Missouri: I'd been in Ferguson for 11 days, waiting for the grand jury's verdict on the Michael Brown shooting. I shot the crowd which had gathered outside the Ferguson police department to listen to the prosecutor announce the decision and...more
Myself and two colleagues decided to drive about two miles away, where buildings had been set on fire, and that's where I saw a strip mall engulfed by flames. As I shot the fire, a group of young kids walked in front of me. They were silhouetted and, for a moment, I thought the boy was holding a real gun as there had been reports of a lot of shooting all night.
Throughout the night I filed all the pictures off the back of my camera using a wireless transmitter and mobile Wi-Fi. The connection was up and down all night but it always worked, taking from a few seconds to two to three minutes a picture. It worked great as I could send the pictures as soon as I shot them without needing to carry a laptop around or have to pull away from the action.
A man walks past a burning building during rioting after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young
Psychiatric patients struggle through the Ukraine conflict.
The woman beaten for defending two girls at a McDonald's in Germany is laid to rest.
Al Qaeda's branch in Yemen claims responsibility for a car bomb attack on the Iranian ambassador's house in the capital Sanaa.
In the villages controlled by the troops of Syria's al Qaeda wing.