The year in pictures
An Eritrean Orthodox Christian pilgrim was baptised, during Epiphany, at the Qasr El-Yahud baptism site on the west bank of the River Jordan. The site is where Christians believe Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. Due to the sensitivity of the area, an agreement to allow visitors to the site was reached between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority alongside seven Orthodox denominations.
A moth landed on the nose of Rafael Nadal of Spain during the Men's Singles quarter-final match against Milos Raonic of Canada at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament.
In south-west France, a golden eagle grabbed a drone mid-air during a military training exercise at Mont-de-Marsan Air Base.
Italy's Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano, spewed lava as it erupted on the southern island of Sicily in February.
On 21 August, more than seven million people across the US witnessed the first total solar eclipse to cross the North American continent from ocean to ocean since 1918. Here, in Sisters, Oregon, the Sun just reappears from behind the Moon. Warnings had been made about eye safety in the build-up to the eclipse, with people told they should not look at the Sun directly with the naked eye.
A Rohingya Muslim is helped out of the Naf River by photographers, while undertaking the difficult crossing from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority who have long experienced persecution. More than 647,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh since violence broke out in August.
In September, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watched the launch of a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile. The country has conducted a number of missile tests amid growing international unease.
Firefighters took a break from tackling a wildfire at Penela, central Portugal. A wave of wildfires across the north and central regions of the country killed more than 30 people and injured many more after a hot, dry summer.
In Beijing, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China determined who rules the country and its direction for the next term. President Xi Jinping, who has been consolidating power, remained as party chief for at least five years until the next congress.
Blindfolded 16-year old Fawzi Al-Juneidi is escorted away by Israeli soldiers, one of whom hardly looks much older than the Palestinian youth.
A man holds a baby at the border wall between Mexico and America. On International Human Rights Day, families separated by the border are reunited for three minutes through the fence that separates Ciudad Juarez Park in Mexico and Sunland in New Mexico, United States.
The Rohingya crisis: Brutality of the worst kind
Clad in the ancient robes of a Shaolin monk and hoisted balletically on one foot, an instructor in Wushu, a modern form of traditional kung fu, struck a statuesque pose on a hilltop west of Kabul. Flanked on either side by a retinue of crouching students poised for combat, the female instructor’s stance echoed a shape in ancient Asian art, claimed Grovier.
An extraordinary photo, taken in the battle-ravaged Syrian city of Aleppo, was shared widely in March. Shot in the ruined, bomb-rattled home of Mohammed Mohiedin Anis (also known as Abu Omar), and showing the 70-year old collector of vintage cars smoking a pipe while listening to music on a record player, the image was “a mute dirge to the savage devastations of war”, according to Grovier.
Footage of Abd Alkader Habak rescuing injured children after a bomb blast on the outskirts of Aleppo showed the moment when the Syrian photojournalist was “forced to choose between remaining separate from the unfolding events or setting his camera aside and inserting himself into the action”, said Grovier. He described a painting made by John Everett Millais after witnessing a firefighter dying in the course of a rescue.
A photo that won an award in November – showing a sculpture at a 14th-Century Buddhist temple in central Thailand – was praised by Grovier for “the sense of gradual erasure that seems to deepen before us – of nature slowly eradicating every trace left by the ancient sculptor who created the ruined statue of Buddha almost 700 years ago”. With its “jigsaw of geometric joints and elbowing shadows”, revealing the Buddha’s face “as if on the verge of dissolving into the dense shatter of shapes that surround it”, the image reminded Grovier of Cubist paintings by Picasso and Cézanne.