Best of 2022: Top 50 Photographs From Around the World

Debora Lombardi UV Flower Photo

Photo: Debora Lombardi (Website | Instagram)

As we inch closer to the end of yet another year, we innately have the urge to reflect on the past 12 months, dissecting everything we’ve accomplished, endured, and overcome. One of the best ways to take a trip down memory lane is through pictures. Whether it be to take a look back at a shared experience or to evoke an individual feeling, images have a way of retracing our steps and reminding us of our humanity, ephemerality, and perseverance.

The year 2022 has been filled with a range of events, emotions, and everyday moments that have united people from all across the world. Whether it be a candid shot of two foxes sharing a tender moment or an unnoticed gasoline puddle that seems to hold the entire universe in its reflective surface, there is beauty to be found in all corners of the world. To balance these sweet, serene, and surreal moments, there are also reminders of the struggles, strife, and sadness that have been experienced this year. Namely, the war in Ukraine, the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the U.S., and the protests in Iran have drawn the attention of nations across the globe. Within the U.S., gun control also took center stage yet again as the country grappled with the aftermath of the heartbreaking Uvalde school shooting.

Despite all the social and political unrest, it’s important to remember the bright spots of the year and the scientific community has had many. For starters, the James Webb Space Telescope successfully reached its destination this year and has exceeded expectations ever since. Thanks to this amazing successor to the Hubble Telescope, we’ve been able to capture sights never before seen with such clarity, including images of the Pillars of Creation, Jupiter’s auroras, and Neptune. And right at the tail end of  this year, NASA’s Artemis I launched into outer space, paving the way for more missions to the Moon and Mars. We also got an incredible image of the Sun’s chromosphere. It's been an amazing—dare we say, stellar—year for astronomy and astrophotographers alike.

Join us as we take a visual trip back to some of the most breathtaking, eye-opening, invigorating, and heartwarming photos of 2022.

This year has been a mixed bag of good and bad moments, but photographers have found a way to unite the world with their images. Let's take a look back at all the sweet, sad, and surreal photos of 2022—everything that contributes to our human experience this year.

Eye Catching Photo

Photo: Jacki Gordon (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Photo of a Bird by Tim Flach

Photo: Tim Flach (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Pillars of Creation by the James Webb Space Telescope

Photo: James Webb Space Telescope (NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; J. DePasquale, A. Koekemoer, A. Pagan (STScI)) (Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter)

Beautiful Landscape With Iceberg on Water and a Red Boat

Photo: Albert Dros (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Jordan Anast Shark Breach with Surfer Photo

Photo: Jordan Anast (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Aerial Photo of Woman Walking Across Pink Sea

Photo: Kristina Makeeva (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Photo of Affectionate Foxes by Roeselien Raimond

Photo: Roeselien Raimond (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Close-Up Portrait of Ant

Photo: Josh Coogler (Instagram)

Artemis I Takeoff

Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky (Flickr)

James Webb Space Telescope Jupiter Photo

Photo: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team; image processing by Judy Schmidt (Website | Facebook | Flickr)

Ukrainian Soldier in the Mariupol Steel Factory

Photo: Dmytro Kozatsky (Twitter)

James Webb Space Telescope Photo of a Spiral Galaxy

Photo: NASA / ESA / CSA / Judy Schmidt (CC BY 2.0)

Butterfly Nebula

Photo: NASA/ESA/Hubble; Processing: William Ostling (APOD)

Boys with Braids

Photo: Angel Horn (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Girl with a hummingbird at her mouth

Photo: Raffael Gunawan (Instagram)

African Wildlife at Watering Hole

Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Photo of flowers that looks like an impressionist painting

Photo: Robert Peek (Website | Instagram)

Eye contact

Photo: Benjamin Lee (Website | TikTok | YouTubeFacebook Instagram)

Fernando Famiani best photos 2022

Photo: Fernando Famiani (Instagram | Facebook | Website)

Webb’s First Deep Field (NIRCam Image)

Photo: James Webb Space Telescope (NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI) (Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter)

Francisco Javier Munuera Gonzalez best photos 2022

Photo: Francisco Javier Munuera Gonzalez (Flickr | Facebook)

Tiger in Snow

Photo: Sascha Fonseca (Website | Instagram)

Funny raccoon waving

Photo: Miroslav Srb Holoubkov (Website | Instagram)

The Eye of God in Space

Photo: Connor Matherne (Website | Instagram)

Dasun Nirmala Malaarachchi Best photos 2022

Photo: Dasun Nirmala Malaarachchi (Instagram | Viewbug)

Beautiful Chicken Portrait by Alex ten Napel

Photo: Alex ten Napel (Website | Instagram)

Shark Photography by Mike Coots

Photo: Mike Coots (Website | Instagram)

Close Up of Shark with Tiny Fish Swimming in Its Mouth

Photo: Mike Coots (Website | Instagram)

Galaxy in a Gasoline Puddle

Photo: Juha Tanhua (Website)

Electricity Pole With Segmented Sky

Photo: Alex Hyner (Website | Twitter | Instagram)

Photograph of Basilica San Pietro di Vaticano by Aishy

Photo: Aishy (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Thandiwe Muriu Photography

Photo: © Thandiwe Muriu (Website | Instagram | Facebook)

Food Photography by Debdatta Chakraborty

Photo: Debdatta Chakraborty (Instagram)

Cosplay Portrait by Thurstan Redding

Photo: Thurstan Redding (Website | Instagram)

Blue Portrait by Heather Smith

Photo: Heather Evans Smith (Website | Instagram)

Murmurations by Daniel Dencescu

Photo: Daniel Dencescu (Website | Instagram)

Light Painting by Will Ferguson

Photo: Will Ferguson (Website | Instagram | TikTok)

Ukrainian Students

Photo: Stanislav Senyk (Instagram | Twitter)

Portrait by Felicia Simion

Photo: Felicia Simion (Website | Instagram | Facebook)

Photo of a Crashing Wave by Ray Collins

Photo: Ray Collins (Website | Facebook | Instagram)

Li Ping Grand Prize Winner, Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

Photo: Li Ping/Courtesy TNC Photo Contest 2022

The Storm is coming by Giovani Cordioli

Photo: Giovani Cordioli (Website | Instagram | Twitter)

Rainbow Colored Light Painting of Skeletons by Darren Pearson

Photo: Darren Pearson (Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube)

Eclipse and Milky Way in One Photo

Photo: Dane Smith (Website | Instagram | Facebook)

Kyoto Nighttime Lights Glowing in Streaks of Neon Colors

Photo: Xavier Portela (Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter)

Ukrainians Sheltered on Underground Subway Station Staircase

Photo: Fotoreserg/Depositphotos

Photo: Jason Rinehart (Facebook | Instagram)

Photo of Alaska by Ian Merculieff

Photo: Ian Merculieff (Website | Instagram)

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Best of 2019: Top 50 Photographs From Around the World

Best of 2018: Top 36 Photographs From Around the World

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