We've come across some fantastic images this year: photographic evidence that one man can absolutely claim to be the "world's best father", some mind-blowing retro shots of rock stars with their parents in rooms that have to be seen to be believed, as well as a shocking exposé of the reality of Ken and Barbie's relationship.
We also celebrated some of the awesome things Canadians have done, and took a look at some jaw-dropping artwork involving massive numbers of objects.
Here are our top five visual stories of the year. Click the links to see more images and read the whole story.
Here He Is... The World's Best Father
Is Dave Engledow the World's Best Father? Well, these photos make a pretty compelling argument that he is: from arm wrestling with his daughter Alice, to looking on as she irons his shirts to using her as a ballet foot rest, Dave clearly just wants her to be involved in his life.
The pictures are staged, of course, with some intricate Photoshop work involved. They are also very, very funny. Check out a bunch more right here.
Rock Stars And Their Parents (And Their Parents' Amazing Living Rooms)
Back in 1971, a LIFE Magazine photographer went to the parental homes of many of rock's biggest names: Elton John, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa (shown above), and many more.
The images he got are awesome, both as a reminder that even a rock star is someone's child, and for their overview of the wildness of 70s interior decorating. The Daily Mail republished them this year; you can see the entire set right here.
The Art of Thousands
How does a visual artist turn thousands of books into a static stream exploding out of a window? Or stack thousands of chairs between two buildings to comment on the "topography of war"? Or fill an abandoned mental health centre with thousands of flowers?
Maybe the how isn't as important as the final effect of the work: there's something haunting and epic about these shots. See photos from all three installations here.
Ken And Barbie And What Happens In The Dollhouse
Have you ever wondered what the relationship between Ken and Barbie would be like if they were actually alive? Well, this story in pictures by photographer Dina Goldstein suggests it wouldn't all be smooth sailing.
The shots tell a story of frustrated desire on both sides. Ken turns out not to be much of a ladies man, and Barbie ends up losing her head (literally). While they were shooting the pics, the photo studio opened to the public to raise money for a women's shelter. Check out the story and more photos right here.
11 Pictures Of Canadians Doing Awesome Things
On Canada Day, we thought we'd celebrate some of the awesome things that Canadians have done. Like hanging out in an elevator with the Stanley Cup, working to cure HIV/AIDS, skydiving with Canadian flag parachutes, and many more things that should make us all proud of this country.
If you're in the mood to celebrate Canada as 2012 draws to a close, you can see all 11 shots right here.
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