Migrants collect rainwater at a temporary refugee camp in Myanmar on June 4, 2015. | This shot is of a group of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants who were rescued from a boat carrying 734 people off Myanmar’s southern coast. Those on board had been at sea for more than two months — at the end with little food or water. Just moments before this shot, the sky opened, and the monsoon rains started coming down. The men were jostling with each other for space to catch water in their bottles and plates. I could see just how meaningful it was for them to suddenly have a chance to drink and clean themselves with whatever small amount of water they could capture. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters) From left, Ghazal, 4, and Judy, 7, carrying 8-month-old Suhair, run away after the shelling of a Red Crescent convoy in Damascus, Syria on May 6, 2015. | I was covering the Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy, which was carrying medical aid and supplies to children. Every time the aid convoy arrived, children would gather around it, happy that they were going to be supplied with food and medicine. While I was taking photos of the children, the shell exploded. It killed a female volunteer and wounded many people and volunteers nearby. It was a very sad moment when I put my eye to the viewfinder to take pictures of laughing children; then when I looked back after taking the picture, I saw the same children crying, distraught. It takes only a few seconds for life to turn to ashes and blood. (Bassam Khabieh/Reuters)
Worn down by near impossible cross-continental journeys, migrants trapped in a purgatory-like holding camp in Roszke, Hungary, finally breached the police line. They spilled and tumbled through, some breaking into a full sprint into nearby cornfields.
Amongst them was Syrian refugee Osama Abdul Mohsen, who was being chased by a policeman. As he struggled to run while holding his seven-year-old son, a Hungarian journalist put her camera down to stick out her leg out and trip him.
This jaw-dropping moment that went viral was the subject of one of the more memorable Reuters images this year. They also include the devastating terrorist attacks on Paris and a loose hippopotamus wandering the streets of Tbilisi, Georgia.
Here’s a look Reuters’s selection of some of their top images this year — and the photographers’ stories behind them. Their quotes have been edited for clarity and space.
A migrant carrying a child falls after being tripped over by camerawoman Petra Laszlo while trying to escape from a collection point in Roszke village, Hungary on Sept. 8, 2015. | The camerawoman tripped the migrants on purpose. It came as quite a shock when I realized that. Police collected the migrants from the border with Serbia and then the migrants would wait for buses to take them to registration camps. After waiting more than 24 hours, migrants started demanding to leave. A small group from Syria told me that the migrants planned to run away, and they needed as many journalists around, afraid the police would start beating them. On the command “Yalla shabab!” (“Let’s go!”) the migrants ran in all directions. I saw a man carrying a child running away from a policeman. Suddenly, he fell over the child he was carrying. I realized I had the whole tripping sequence on my laptop. It became a huge story that lasted for days. (Marko Djurica/Reuters) Palestinians try to prevent an Israeli soldier from detaining a boy in the West Bank on Aug. 28, 2015. | The incident happened all of a sudden so I had to rush with my camera to capture this picture. On any assignment an hour, or even several hours, might go by without an opportunity to get a good picture but then a strong image can emerge all of a sudden. You have to be ready to capture the moment that best tells the story in front of you. (Mohamad Torokman/Reuters) A Syrian refugee holding a baby swims toward the Greek island of Lesbos on Sept. 12, 2015. | Another inflatable boat packed with dozens of migrants and refugees headed towards the shore. The sea was calm, and they were cheering on the dinghy. Suddenly, some 200 meters away, the rear of the boat deflated for no obvious reason, and people started falling into the sea. In this hectic moment, one man, tense and yelling loudly, caught my eye so I shot some frames. It was only when I began editing that I could make out the tiny head of a baby in a life tube, who looked fast asleep as if in a cradle — dreaming or listening to a lullaby. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters) The body of a woman killed during shelling lies on a street in Kramatorsk, Ukraine on Feb. 10, 2015. | I was with the Reuters TV crew and we were coming back from the front line in Debaltseve when a crew member saw a tweet saying Kramatorsk was being shelled so we headed there. We got to the site of the shelling less than an hour after the explosion. The first thing we saw was a dead woman’s body lying on the ground; she had been like that for at least half an hour. The locals were just walking by, rarely reacting to what was going on. Her husband then showed up. He had been looking for her, calling home, but he could not find her. He went home and did not find her there either, that is when he made his way to where we were and saw her on the ground. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters) Syrian migrants cross under a fence into Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke on Aug. 27, 2015. | Among the shrubs we could make out the contours of migrants waiting for the right moment. Everyone watched everyone else. We watched the refugees, who watched the police, who watched us. This family decided they had waited enough. They started for the fence. Aware of the stakes, they lifted the razor wire, looked around, then went for it. Once across they vanished in the woods. I never saw them again. But those who walked along the tracks stopped and talked. They accepted water or the odd chocolate bar. They even shared stories — stories that will haunt me forever. There is no way to shake the emotional impact. You have to let the story wash through you to remain human. (Bernardett Szabo/Reuters) An injured man is carried out of the Bataclan following fatal shootings in Paris, on Nov. 13, 2015. | The weekend appeared calm. I had the evening off. Just before 10 p.m., the phone rang: In a grave voice my editor told me that a shooting had occurred at a cafe in eastern Paris, and I should get there as quickly as possible. Around the same time, colleagues who were covering the France vs. Germany match heard explosions at the Stade de France. They turned their lenses away from the match and scanned the crowd to try and catch something. I took the bulletproof vest from my car – it had been there since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January – and got on my scooter. When I arrived at the Bataclan, police warned journalists that we could be considered targets. They ordered us to take cover. The streets were silent. Once the special forces operation finished, people covered in blood and wrapped in blankets came flooding out of the theatre. Some people, covered in blood, spoke to us. Their stories were chilling. The moments they lived will remain with them forever. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters) A staff member removes the Iranian flag from the stage during the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna. | On July 14, foreign ministers of the United States, Iran, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, France and the European Union walked on stage to tell the world about a historic agreement. As the ceremony ended and colleagues rushed to file their images and stories, I decided to stay on. A few seconds after the country representatives left the stage, a staff member showed up to remove the countries’ flags. The man took hold of the Iranian flag and walked past the U.S. flag. That was what I had been waiting for: beyond the spotlight, unscripted. The lesson: be the first to arrive and the last to leave. (Carlos Barria/Reuters) Suspects are handcuffed after breaking into a house belonging to married police officers, in Johannesburg, on Aug. 12, 2015. | I got a message that my neighbors’ house was being broken into, and they needed help. When other neighbors and I arrived we found one man lying inside the house bleeding. He later confessed that the other robbers had fled, and they might still in the area. A few weeks earlier, my car was broken into, and all of my photographic equipment stolen in broad daylight. Police patrolling in the neighborhood helped to apprehend a second suspect. They were both handcuffed outside the house, and as we waited there for the arresting officers to arrive, I got out my camera, took a few pictures of the suspects handcuffed together. Both men were crying and pleading with the community not to hit or attack them. Although I was both angry and shaken as this robbery took place next to my home, I was able to keep calm as I remembered my responsibilities as a photojournalist. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters) A man holds a giant pencil as he takes part in a solidarity march in the streets of Paris after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, Jan. 11, 2015. | I made my way through the streets, which were packed with people holding “Je suis Charlie” banners, to the Place de la Nation. It was the end of the day, the light was soft as I walked around the statue, “The Triumph of the Republic,” looking for a picture with the French flag and a pencil. I was fortunate that everything fell into my frame, and I was able to combine dramatic light, a dynamic gesture with the giant pencil, and an interesting group around the statue. People online have called it “The Pencil Guiding the People”, in reference to the famous painting by Eugene Delacroix, “Liberty Guiding the People.” I find the comparison really interesting, and it was a historic march, but I am surprised that my photograph has become so symbolic of the day. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters) A hippopotamus walks across flooded street in Tbilisi, Georgia, June 14, 2015. | The flood killed at least 12 people and partly destroyed Tbilisi Zoo, killing dozens of animals, while 30 more – including tigers, lions and bears managed to escape from their cages. On that night the capital of Georgia was as I’d never seen it. Among the escapees roaming the streets were a rare breed of white lion cub and six wolves, which roamed through the grounds of a children’s hospital. I was smiling as I took this photo of Begi, as I discovered it was called. I had bought a watch for my 14-year-old daughter in that shop just two days before the flood. And here was a hippo in front of it. There was only one escape route available to me in case Begi decided to attack. I was also reassured that armed police would protect me in case (this happened). (Beso Gulashvili/Reuters)
More In Sight:
– Iconic symbols of modern-day protests
– The story behind the photos of Syrian refugees escaping along the ‘Black Route’: Part I
– Migrants at the gates, lives in the balance along the shores of Europe