Time Magazine chose the ten most impressive pictures of 2014. Many wars have been fought, people died, etc. But also a lot of love was given and made. Most of this wasn’t captured on camera, but a lot was…
1. Monrovia, Liberia
“I had been covering the Ebola epidemic for more than two weeks,” says freelance photographer Daniel Berehulak. “My day started following an ambulance team bringing patients to an Ebola Treatment Unit.
I noticed James Dorbor, 8, struggling as he lay in the dirt. Wearing surgical gloves, the boy’s father, Edward, tried to get him to drink, raising coconut water and then bottles to the boy’s lips; he refused. I grabbed more water and threw it to Edward. I kept reminding myself that everyone around me potentially had Ebola, and made sure I didn’t get too close. Over three hours I watched James’ health deteriorate. Sitting upright at first, he later became too weak. Lying down underneath a shelter, he began to convulse before my eyes. After a minute, he lay lifeless, his father reacting to the loss of his son. The crowd, which had been supportive and humming with suggestions of how to help, hushed. There were murmurs: ‘The boy has passed.’ James fought a while longer, his body and eyes moving as his father tried to get him to drink. It was then that the door to the ETU opened.
2. Torez, Ukraine
“We were in Donetsk when we got word that a military plane had come down,” says Magnum photographer Jerome Sessini. “As we made our way there, we heard it was, in fact, a passenger plane. When we arrived, I could see the burning wreckage along the small roads. And the scene itself to me: There were bodies strewn everywhere, and bits of plane scattered – it was a horrific scene.
3. Mediterranean Sea
“I spent 12 days on board of the FREMM Bergamini, a modern Italian Navy ship to rescue human lives of thousands of migrants between Africa and Malta,” says Italian photographer Massimo Sestini. “I really wanted to report on the lives of these admirable Navy men, who have devoted their time to saving these desperate migrants.
“One day, on a patrol aboard a helicopter, we arrived above one of the migrants’ boat. There were hundreds of people (500 if not more) waving their arms, looking at us and calling us! Their desperation and, concurrently, their happiness at being saved. It’s not something that happens every day.”
4. Kiev, Ukraine
“The banging of sticks on metal is the only noise I can remember from that Saturday on Hrushevskoho Street,” says photographer and filmmaker Ross McDonnell. “It provided a dull, metronomic backing-track to my afternoon as I photographed in and around a barricade of charred vehicles in central Kiev. It was only then, in the daylight, that the results of the previous nights rioting, a scene of seething anger and towering, explosive flames, were visible. Temperatures had dipped below -20ºC and the winter light, diffused by heavy smoke and the spray of fire hoses created an alien but ethereal scene that will linger long in the memory.
“With civilian casualties mounting in Gaza, I had just returned to my hotel from photographing the destruction from overnight bombings,” says Tyler Hicks, a photographer with the New York Times. “I heard a close explosion and rushed to the window to see a small shack atop a sea wall had been struck by an Israeli bomb and was burning. Young boys emerged from the smoke, running toward the adjacent beach.
6. Sinjar Mountains, Iraq
“I took this photograph aboard a rescue helicopter a few hours after surviving a crash on another helicopter in Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidi civilians had fled the Islamic State,” says Magnum photographer Moises Saman. “I had flown to Mount Sinjar earlier that afternoon on an Iraqi Airforce helicopter sent to deliver supplies to the besieged population there. We landed on the mountain and before us unfolded a most dramatic scene – sickly men, women and children, fatigued by hunger and thirst, lay everywhere. Many of them scrambled to push their way onto our helicopter, in the hopes that they would be carried to safety in Iraqi Kurdistan. The crew loaded as many people onto the helicopter as they could, prioritizing women, children and the elderly, and prepared for take-off.
7. Novosibirsk, Russia
“It was a very hot day, which is unusual for a summer in Siberia, so my girlfriend and I decided to go to a city beach,” says Nikita Dudnik, a 20-year-old businessman and the owner of a small hunting company. “When we got there the weather took a turn for the worse, and when we reached the water, a very strong wind began.
8. Hollywood, California
“It started out as a joke on Meryl Streep – because I adore her and she has a great sense of humor,” says Ellen DeGeneres. “The plan was: I was gonna go to Meryl in the audience and say, ‘Let’s take a selfie.’ And try to set a record for the most retweets. I knew she’d be up for that and I knew that there were some people sitting in that area who would join in if I asked (by the way, no one knew I was doing this. It was a surprise to everyone.)
9. Whitney Curtis. Ferguson, Mo
“I was not surprised by the reaction following the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson,” says photographer Whitney Curtis. “The racial tension in the St. Louis area was something I noticed when moving to the city. It was an issue bubbling just under the surface.
10. Lake Oroville, California
”I took this photo with my camera attached to an aerial drone as part of my ‘Blue Sky Days’ personal art project,” says VII photographer Tomas van Houtryve. “During the past year I’ve traveled from coast to coast building a portrait of our country as seen from the sky. In addition to the unique point-of-view offered by this new technology, my project allows me to push back against what I consider to be a troubling trend: cameras are increasingly weaponized – used for surveillance, targeting and killing – rather than their traditional role as tools for portraiture, fine art and journalism. The rapid rise of drone technology means our sky will soon be buzzing with many more cameras.