Top 50 photographs from around the world

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Photo: Kristina Makeeva (Website | instagram | Facebook)

As the end of another year in the midst of a pandemic (that just isn’t going to go away) fast approaches, we’re all inclined to pause and reflect on all that’s happened, good and bad. . It was a tumultuous year full of ups and downs, but mostly a lot of gray areas. In 2020, we were able to identify the anomaly – the world was ravaged by a pandemic, a disastrous event unprecedented in our lifetime. But 2021 brought another set of challenges. We’re not quite out of the pandemic yet – now with another variant of the virus looming across the globe – but we have encountered a glimmer of hope in the form of vaccines and their subsequent booster shots.

The world got a glimpse of the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ as shops, pubs, gyms, theaters and more began to slowly reopen in 2021. Vaccines gave new hope to our global community, re-energizing the world. Many photographers, who had previously lost a lot of work due to travel restrictions and social distancing mandates, have found new ways to document the world and continue to capture striking images. Despite the dodgy state of the world in 2021, they managed to capture beauty, desperation and everything in between to great effect.

There is a brilliant sense of resilience and passion for life that we have felt through these images taken over the past 12 months. More than in the past, photographers seem to have focused on the unparalleled majesty of nature and the unwavering human spirit. The images that have remained with us over the year are varied in color, content and composition; but they all share a sense of appreciation – appreciation for the Earth, for life, for each other.

While there is no defining moment to fully capture the essence of 2021, it has undeniably been a year of shared challenges. All over the world we had parallel obstacles to face and brilliant revelations of beauty all around us. Join us as we take a look at some of the most breathtaking, humble, emotional and awe-inspiring photos of 2021.

Our selection of “Best Photos of the Year” runs the gamut in 2021 – beautiful landscapes, majestic wildlife, spectacular natural phenomena and the unwavering human spirit are all front and center.

Lion standing on a hill of bones

Photo: Simon Paul Needham (Website | instagram)

Sunset over Wild Horse Beach in North Carolina

Photo: George Wang (instagram)

Aerial view of landscapes in China

Photo: Florian Delalée (Website | instagram)

Two Polar Bears Swimming in Water by Martin Gregus

Photo: Martin Gregus (Website | instagram)

Black Panther Photo

Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas (Website | Facebook | instagram)

Cao Ky Nhan Fourth Place Epson International Pano Awards Landscape Winner

Photo: Cao Ky Nhan (Website | instagram | Facebook)

Milky Way 2 Gigabyte Photo by Bartosz Wojczynski

Photo: Bartosz Wojczynski (Website | instagram)

Meteor on Mount Merapi in Indonesia

Photo: Gunarto Song (instagram | 1 time)

Mihail Minkov

Photo: Mihail Minkov (Website | instagram)

Hiroki's nose

Photo: Hiroki Nose (instagram)

Quad Microburst

Photo: Mike Olbinski (Website | instagram | Gallery)

Susan Kyne Andrews

Pictured: Susan Kyne Andrews: (instagram | Twitter)

Photo of pink algae by Paolo Pettigiani

Photo: Paolo Pettigiani (Website | instagram | Behance)

Chasing Illusions Photo by Fares Micue

Photo: Fares Micue (instagram | Saatchi)

Flora Borsi sharing an eye with a swan

Photo: Flore Borsi (Website | instagram | Behance)

Bird photo by Jocelyn Anderson

Photo: Jocelyn Anderson (Website | Facebook | instagram)

Otter carrying her baby

Photo: Chee Kee Teo (Facebook | instagram)

Killer whale sunset photography

Photo: Mary Parkhill (Website | Facebook | Twitter)

Photograph of the Icelandic volcano by Jan Erik Waider

Photo: Jan-Erik Waider (Website | Facebook | instagram)

Sun Photo by Andrew McCarthy

Photo: Andrew McCarthy (Website | instagram)

different colors of the moon

Photo: Marcella Giulia Pace (Website)

Green turtle Photo by Aimee Jan

Photo: Aimee Jan (Website | instagram)

Mads Nissen COVID Embrace World Press Photo of the Year

Photo: Mads Nissen (Website | instagram)

Northern lights over an erupting volcano in Iceland

Photo: Christophe Mathews (instagram | fine art america)

Composite of Milky Way over the heads of Easter Island

Photo: Samir Belhamra (Website | instagram | Facebook)

Lava flowing from Iceland's volcano by Brian Emfinger

Photo: Brian Emfinger (Website | Facebook | instagram | Twitter)

Light painting around Glastonbury Tor

Photo: Will Ferguson (Website | instagram | ICT Tac)

The ISS transits the Sun

Photo: Wang Letian (Website)

Portrait of an Erupting Volcano by Anna Isabella Christensen

Photo: Anna Isabella Christensen (Website | Facebook | instagram)

Street photography of corner store and neon lights

Photo: Omi Kim (Website | instagram)

Photo: Gary Bhaztara (instagram)

Best photos of 2021 -

Photo: Caroline Fraser (Website | instagram | Facebook)

Best photos of 2021 -

Photo: F. Dilek Uyar (Website | instagram | Facebook)

Best Photos of 2021 - Viral Whale Sighting Photo by Eric J Smith

Photo: Eric Smith (Website | instagram)

Benjamin Barakat

Photo: Benjamin Barakat (Website | instagram)

Women collecting water from dry riverbed

Photo: Sujon Adhikhary (Website | instagram)

Insect diversity

Photo: Pal Hermansen (Website | instagram)

Bird photo by Tom Leighton

Photo: Tom Leighton (Website | instagram | Facebook )

Photo by James Kerwin

Photo: James Kerwin (Website | instagram | Facebook)

Photo by Daniel Kordan

Photo: Daniel Kordan (Website | instagram | Facebook)

Tornado photo by Mitch Dobrowner

Photo: Mitch Dobrowner (Website | instagram)

Photo: Istvan Kerekes (Website)

Related Articles:

Best of 2020: over 60 photographs from around the world

Best of 2019: 50 best photographs from around the world

Best of 2018: Top 36 Photographs from Around the World

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