Photograph by Mark Leong
Asia’s Wildlife Trade: January 2010
“When I saw this photo, I thought: We have to do better than this. It made people think about what kind of relationship we want to have with wild animals and helped change legislation to protect wildlife in some Asian nations.” —Chris Johns
Bile is pumped from a sedated Asiatic black bear at a farm in Vietnam, in violation of national law. Thousands of wild bears have been captured to supply this traditional medicine.
Photograph by Randy Olson
Africa’s Last Frontier: March 2010
“The culture up and down the Omo River will likely change more in the next two or three years than in the last 500. That needs to be documented—with the kind of patience and persistence that Randy Olson has always shown.” —Chris Johns
A woman from the Suri tribe drinks honey beer over her traditional clay lip plate at a bar in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, one of Africa’s most intact cultural landscapes. The growing availability of strong, cheap alcohol is one of many dramatic changes the area is undergoing.
Photograph by Stephanie Sinclair
The Polygamists: February 2010
“Stephanie spends months gaining trust, so she can come into a culture and reveal it in ways never seen before. The image is filled with the symbolism of reaching toward heaven. The faces show sisterhood and absolute joy.” —Chris Johns
Female members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) wear old-fashioned ankle-length prairie dresses even while swimming. The pond is near their home on the Utah-Arizona border. FLDS is a polygamous offshoot of the Mormon Church.
Photograph by Paolo Pellegrin
Parting the Waters: April 2010
“Paolo takes this tough story about water in the Middle East and the politics that surrounds this combustible part of the world and makes this honest, open photo we can all relate to.” —Chris Johns
Girls from a West Bank village cool off in the salt-laden waters of the Dead Sea. Its main tributary, the Jordan River, is depleted by drought, pollution, and overuse and has been a source of conflict between Israel and its neighbors for decades.
Photograph by Lynn Johnson
The Burden of Thirst: April 2010
“A photo like Lynn Johnson’s gives voice to what it feels like to spend the majority of your waking hours making long journeys across barren land, searching for the water that you and your family depend on to survive.” —Chris Johns
Gabra women in northern Kenya spend up to five hours a day carrying heavy jerry cans filled with murky water. A lingering drought has pushed this already arid region to a water crisis.
Photograph by Lynsey Addario
Veiled Rebellion: December 2010
“My favorite picture for 2010. This country will see more turmoil if women are not respected, if someone doesn’t stop to give them a ride. Lynsey Addario did—and in the process made a picture worthy of hanging on a museum wall.” —Chris Johns
In the mountains of Afghanistan, a mother and her very pregnant daughter (at left) were stranded when their car broke down. The photographer gave them a ride to the hospital, where the mother delivered a baby girl.
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett
King Tut’s Family Secrets: September 2010
“Ken brought extraordinary respect to these mummies. The magnificent lighting, with every detail so finely brought out, makes you start to imagine how beautiful King Tut’s grandmother must have been.” —Chris Johns
DNA has identified this mummy, discovered in 1905 and previously known only as the Elder Lady, as Amenhotep III’s wife Tiye and the grandmother of King Tut. Tiye was embalmed with her left arm across her chest—interpreted as a queen’s burial pose.
Photograph by Wes C. Skiles
Bahamas Caves: August 2010
“This picture takes us to a place we’ve never seen before. It’s like Wes is in a magic place with stalactites and stalagmites and other formations in blues and colors and hues that are just otherworldly.” —Chris Johns
The Cascade Room, some 80 feet beneath the surface, leads divers deeper into Dan’s Cave on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. The flooded caves, containing both fresh water and sea water, are called blue holes—and are extremely dangerous to dive in.
Photograph by David Liittschwager
One Cubic Foot: February 2010
“Every time I look at this photo, I see something different. It is an affirmation of the diversity of life. David takes these little creatures that people swim by or walk by and makes us care about them. He turns them into art.” —Chris Johns
In just a single cubic foot of coral reef from the island of Moorea in French Polynesia can be found immense numbers of tiny organisms representing a highly diverse ecosystem.
Photograph by Fritz Hoffman
Shaolin Kung Fu: March 2011
“This exotic landscape seems a world away, but you can see in the expressions on these young men’s faces—the eagerness in their eyes, their anticipation of what they can learn—that this time-honored tradition is still relevant.” —Chris Johns
Some 25,000 pupils are enrolled at China’s Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School, where they learn discipline, character, and kung fu.