From the uprisings across the Arab world to the Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver to the Occupy protests, 2011 saw no shortage of dramatic images of people taking to the streets, whether in violence, hope or protest. But while these are some of the defining pictures of the last 12 months, they are by no means the only ones.
We've gathered together highlights from some of the best year-end photo lists, and the images take in everything from grand natural wonders to intimate family moments.
To see the lists in their complete form, click on the title link for each:
Globe and Mail's Pictures of the Year 2011
People view the Tribute in Light, an art installation honouring those who perished in the 9/11 attacks, from the Top of the Rock observation deck on Sept. 10 in New York. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A fisherman arranges a net as his wife paddles their boat in the waters of the Periyar River on the outskirts of the southern Indian city of Kochi on Jan. 5. (Sivaram V/REUTERS)
Debbie Hakkers looks for possessions in the second-floor bedroom of her tornado-ravaged house in Goderich, Ont., on Aug. 22, a day after a devastating twister ripped through the historic town. (Frank Gunn/CP)
LIFE Magazine 2011 Pictures of the Year
Scott Jones and his girlfriend Alex Thomas during the riot following the Vancouver Canucks' Game 7 Stanley Cup loss in June. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)
At the other end of the country, more images of love in improbable places: Mike and Nancy Rogers pose for a wedding portrait as Nova Scotia's White Point Beach Resort's main lodge burns in the background. (Nicholas Augustus/AP Photo)
National Post's 25 Best Sports Photos of 2011
Alberto Contador punches a fan dressed up as a doctor as he climbs Alpe d'Huez in the 19th stage of the 2011 Tour de France.(Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
Boston Globe (via Boston.com's Big Picture) The Year In Pictures
A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile, 870 km south of Santiago, on June 5.(Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images)
Police spray Ugandan opposition party leaders with coloured water during demonstrations in Kampala May 10. President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to crush the protests and blamed rising food and fuel costs on drought and global increases in oil prices. (James Akena/Reuters)
National Geographic's Best Travel Pictures of 2011
A beluga whale swims near a scuba diver under an ice field in the White Sea in northern Russia in this photograph taken by Franco Banfi, winner of the "Spirit of Adventure" category.
The New York Times 2011: The Year In Pictures
Egyptian protesters started to pull down a mural of President Mubarak during the unprecedented demonstrations across Cairo on Jan. 28. The unrest came after weeks of turmoil across the Arab world that toppled the leader of Tunisia. (Scott Nelson for The New York Times)
Police officers arrested more than 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters after they took over a traffic lane on the Brooklyn Bridge in October. (Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times)
TIME Magazine The Best Photos From Space 2011
A photo taken from the International Space Station shows the India-Pakistan border on August 21, 2011. Because the border is floodlit for security purposes, it appears as a jagged orange line in this image. (NASA/Reuters)
Reuters Best Photos Of The Year 2011
A woman cries while sitting on a road amid the destroyed city of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan March 13, 2011, after a massive earthquake and tsunami. (Toshiyuki Tsunenari/Asahi Shimbun/Reuters)
Researchers dressed in panda costumes put a panda cub into a basket before transferring it to a new living environment at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan province. REUTERS/China Daily
SPIN Magazine's 25 Best Live Photos 2011
Montreal's Handsome Furs at the Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis. (Stephanie Colgan)
2011 also saw the loss of two photojournalists covering the uprising in Libya. Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed in a shootout between government and rebel forces near Misrata in April, 2011. The photographers were reporting from inside the only rebel-held city in western Libya at the time.
Here is an example of each photographer's work from the early stages of the conflict:
A Libyan rebel celebrates the launch of a rocket against government forces (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
A rebel fighter in Misrata. (©Tim Hetherington/Magnum)
According to Reporters Without Borders, 66 journalists were killed in the course of their professional duties in 2011. For the organization's full annual report on the dangers faced by journalists in the past year, follow the link at the bottom of this page.
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