Whenever it nears the end of a year, we feel compelled to take pause and reflect on the past 12 months. It’s almost instinctual, this desire to revisit current events and reassess them with fresh eyes. Almost nothing allows us to do this better than photography. The world is frozen in time within each photograph, allowing us to either relive a moment or embrace a new perspective we ourselves haven’t experienced. This is the magic of photography and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to photographers around the world that allow us to dive into these visual aids imbued with emotion, information, and nostalgia. That’s why we at My Modern Met love taking a look back each year at the past 365 days of incredible photography, and 2023 is no different.
This year has been filled with imagery that has wowed us. And with AI being so prevalent in nearly all walks of life lately, it is all the more refreshing to see photographers, with camera in hand, capture snippets of real life. In particular, nature has proven to be an unwavering source of awe and inspiration. From the spectacular views of the Moon and cosmos to the sweeping landscapes down on Earth to the exotic creatures that wade through the sea, we’ve been reminded of the natural beauty that surrounds us at every corner and elevation. It is a wakeup call about all that we must work to preserve.
The environment and its inhabitants have been prime subjects over the past year. Everything from the image of a microscopic juvenile sea star (only 1 centimeter wide) to a giant wave with what seems like the face of a man have stuck out in our minds this year. There are also images of people that have really resonated in 2023. Human life is precious and seeing the faces of these varying individuals from all walks of life looking joyous, angry, forlorn, proud, confident, or otherwise have all reached out beyond the frame and tugged at our emotions and inner psyche.
Ultimately, 2023 has been a year of images reflecting the beauty and heartbreak found all across the globe. Each image is a reminder of the passage of time. Whether it is an actual time-lapse image or a light painting, or it’s a fleeting moment we won’t ever see again in our lifetime, these photos we’ve selected offer a range of views of people, animals, landscapes, the universe, and a wide scale of emotions felt over the last year.
Join us as we take a visual journey through the highs, lows, and everything in between of 2023.
Take a look at our selection of the “best photos of 2023″—a mix of images that reflect the beauty of the natural world and a range of emotions expressed in human portraits.