I was thinking how amazing it was that the world contained so many lives. Out in these streets people were embroiled in a thousand different matters, money problems, love problems, school problems. People were falling in love, getting married, going to drug rehab, learning how to ice-skate, getting bifocals, studying for exams, trying on clothes, getting their hair-cut and getting born. And in some houses people were getting old and sick and were dying, leaving others to grieve. It was happening all the time, unnoticed, and it was the thing that really mattered.
Every year is made up of countless moments that humble us, terrify us, sadden us. Moments that make us laugh, cringe, shake our heads in disbelief or wonder. Photographers strive to capture those moments, to tell us something of the times we live in. This gallery presents the pictures that did just that over the past year:
Pictured: About two weeks after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated eastern Japan, killing some 16,000 people, a baby undergoes a check for radiation in Fukushima City. A nearby nuclear power plant suffered major damage in the March 11 disaster, and the zone surrounding the facility was evacuated. As yet, no one has died as a direct result of nuclear exposure, but fears over the long-term effects of radiation leaks from the plant, which has since been disabled, have not dissipated.