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Year in Review: Getty Images 2016

Commentary by: Stuart Hannigan VP of Editorial, Getty Images Asia

Water Polo – Olympics: Day 12
Photo by Adam Pretty


Water polo is one of the most difficult sports to photograph, but also one that holds amazing potential for a great images. Taken by Getty Images photographer Adam Pretty with an underwater robotic camera at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, I can’t believe how clean and clear the image is. It shows what really happens under the water in the sport and the way the players are all spaced out across the frame, it really makes you look hard at what is going on.

Cycling-BMX-Olympics: Day 14
Photo by Ryan Pierse

I love the point of action for this photograph of the BMX cycling at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. With all the competitors in the air at once, the use of the slow shutter speed has helped show the speed that this relatively new Olympic sports.

Super Moon rises over Australia
Photo by Paul Kane

Globally this is one of the best photographs of the super moon and was captured by Australian photographer Paul Kane at the Fremantle War Memorial in Western Australia. Social media and news sites meant that everyone was outside to see and photograph the moon. Paul knew this so he spent the day before scouting for locations that would allow him to position people in the photo, as moon photos don’t look great unless you have something positioned in the foreground to show the scale. Contrary to popular belief this is not a composite photograph, it was taken with a fixed 600mm Canon lens.

Joint forces battle to retake Iraq City of Mosul from Isis
Photo by Carl Court

A boy pauses on his bike as he passes an oil field that was set on fire by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive in Qayyarah, Iraq. Several hundred Iraqi families have been made to leave their homes for Mosul by Islamic State fighters as the UN warns they could be used as human shields.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds campaign rally at Regent University in Virginia Beach
Photo by Win McNamee

Throughout the 2016 US Presidential Election, there have been thousands of photographs taken of Donald Trump. This particular image has trumped the rest for me with the light haloing his hair and showing a comical angle of the next President of the USA.

Jessica Minh Ahn’s Spring Fashion Show
Photo by Brendon Thorne

With a beautiful runway photograph like this it isn’t often that a photographer captures something that looks so surreal at the same time. The shadow positioning is amazing and this photography by Sydney photographer Brendon Thorne could easily double as a work of art.

Wounded Syrian Kid Omran Daqneesh
Photo by Mahmud Rslan/Anadolu Agen

This is one of many photographs that show the impact of the atrocities the Syrian people are living with every day. However, often the images of huge groups of refugees make it difficult for us to empathize with. The scale is so big, how can we possible understand? The image of an innocent child hits home and forces you to feel his pain. This image shook the world.

Oscar Pistorius attends a fresh sentencing hearing in Reeva Steenkamp murder
Photo by Siphiwe Sibeko

Oscar Pistorius’ trial riveted the world from 2013. This image of him walking across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of his hearing for a resentence was an iconic moment of the trial. It was the first time in public we had seen him walk without his prosthetics and while it was a very important part of his defence it was also a very emotional moment, showing the vulnerability of the ‘Blade Runner.’

88th Annual Academy Awards – Backstage and Audience
Photo by Christopher Polk

After six nominations Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for Best Actor in 2016. It’s something you work for your whole career. It was a big deal for him and you can see it in the imagery. Getty Images photographer Chris Polk was able to share this moment with Leo that no one else could, and that’s special. His reaction is so real, it is the closest thing to being inside what he is thinking. This is a spectacular image of him embracing his Titanic co-star Kate Winslet. When else are you going to be able to shoot something like that other than at the Oscars?

Athletics-Olympics: Day 9
Photo by Cameron Spencer

People think that this photograph of Usain Bolt by Getty Images photographer Cameron Spencer is a fluke, that it is an easy shot to capture. This is simply not true, this is an example of a highly skilled photographer getting it right. Cameron has spent hours perfecting this photographic technique called panning. If his shutter speed had been any lower the legs in the image would have turned out too blurred; any higher and they wouldn’t have been blurred enough. Cameron’s knowledge of the sport meant he knew exactly what he needed to get that picture.

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