From nearly 6000 entries, judges whittled it down to just 40 finalists, then winners, runners-up and highly commended—each a new expression of the environment and society in which we live. These are the finest frames of 2020.
New Zealand-born photojournalist Robin Hammond does not turn away from human suffering, but bears it witness. His images of rape in the aftermath of civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, industrial injustice in Lesotho, and mental health across northern Africa have created global concern, and demand that we do not turn away either.
These scenes are familiar to anyone living in a region where forestry dominates the landscape. Photographer Rob Suisted, who rode his motorbike through the backblocks of the flood-stricken North Island to capture the following images, says the land looks “like Papatūānuku has had her skin torn off”.
There are difficult assignments, and then there’s filming in a watery, dank space with barely room to move. Director Melissa Nickerson goes behind the scenes of Luckie Strike, her documentary about the search for a connection between two Waitomo caves.
Every visual we see—in our social media feeds, magazines, advertisements—contributes to our understanding of the world around us. But is it possible to predict the images of the future? Well, yes, say the analysts at Getty Images.