Press Association photographers choose their top pictures of 2022
Here they choose their favourite shots and share insight into the stories behind the images that helped define 2022.
– Lionesses win the Euros
Joe Giddens was at Wembley Stadium to capture a shot of Lioness Chloe Kelly after scoring the winning goal of the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022 final.
Giddens said: “This was a picture that summed up the passion shown by Lionesses on their way to winning the Euros. The joy on the faces of the players shows just what it meant to them, and Chloe Kelly removing her shirt and swinging her shirt around her head became the iconic image inspiring women and girls around the world.”
– Queen surprises at Elizabeth line opening
Andrew Matthews was at Paddington station for the opening of the Elizabeth line when rumours began swirling the Queen would make a surprise visit herself – instead of her son the Earl of Wessex as planned.
Matthews said: “A sudden flurry of activity saw two workmen arrive to remove the plaque that had the name of the Earl of Wessex on it to replace it with one bearing the name of Her Majesty the Queen. At that moment a slight panic set in as I knew that it had become the story of the day.”
Matthews added: “I took a chance and positioned myself at the end of the greeting line knowing the direction she would walk and managed to get this photograph of her as she moved herself from one line-up to another.”
– Irish leader shares support in Kyiv
Niall Carson was in Kiev in July on a trip with then-taoiseach Michael Martin to view some of the sites where atrocities had been carried out during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Carson said: “As the first PA staff member to travel to the war zone, I had to file pictures and video while wearing body armour in 30-degree heat, all the while dealing with intermittent communications, security restrictions and arduous travel.”
– Golfers in the gloaming at St Andrews
Jane Barlow was at The Open at St Andrews to catch an atmospheric shot of the silhouettes of South Korean golfer Mingyu Cho and his caddy just before they lost the light.
She said: “This picture was taken at around 10:30pm as the very last group crossed the famous Swilcan Bridge on the 18th, and they just managed to complete their round in time before the low light stopped play.”
– King of the dancefloor
Ben Birchall took advantage of being the only news photographer present at Highgrove during the Platinum Jubilee, to blend into the crowd and capture a natural shot of the then-Prince of Wales on the dancefloor.
He said: “It helped being the only news photographer present and I consciously remember pulling back, leaving space to blend into guests and just observing without a camera to my eye. I could sense someone would ask him to dance, so I moved into the empty floor space, switched to my 20mm prime lens and sure enough they began to waltz towards me.”
– Nick’s trick at Wimbledon
One of the most talked-about players at Wimbledon this year was Nick Kyrgios. Zac Goodwin took a unique action shot during the Australian’s defeat to Novak Djokovic in the men’s final.
Goodwin said: “This position would usually provide limited opportunities for interesting images of players on the near side of the court, ‘usually’ being the key word. I was incredibly lucky to be shooting Nick Kyrgios, the man who plays exhibition shots for fun.
“Noticing a pattern of Nick attempting to play a ‘tweener/hot-dog’ through his legs, I was eventually gifted with a shot of him returning a lob from Djokovic.”
– Photographer becomes subject
Ian West was at 45 Park Lane, a luxury hotel in London, where photographer David Bailey launched his exhibition Vision And Sound, showcasing his portraiture of celebrities and other subjects from the 1960s and beyond, including John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
West said: “I had 15 minutes to take my pictures before he had a TV interview booked so I had to get a move on. I saw the photograph of John and Paul and thought ‘that’s where I want to take my picture’, and hopefully get David sitting under Paul. The problem was all the furniture that was in exactly the place I needed to stand and in the place I needed David to sit.”
– Cyclists collide dramatically in velodrome
John Walton was in the right place when a terrifying crash happened during the Commonwealth Games cycling held in London as England’s Matt Walls went over the barrier into the crowd.
Walton said: “[It was a] spectacular crash at the Commonwealth Games. The rider crashed into the crowd as anguished spectators looked on in horror as the accident unfolded.”
– Race turns upside down for F1 driver
Another sporting accident was caught by Tim Goode, who took a picture of the dramatic collision that sent Zhou Guanyu off-course in the British Grand Prix.
Goode said: “[Guanyu] said he did not know how he survived the opening-corner accident at Silverstone. He ended up wedged between a steel barrier and metal catch fencing after he was flipped upside down and out of control at 160mph, but emerged unscathed from one of the biggest crashes in recent Formula One memory.”
– A winning performance
Amid a hectic Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Mike Egerton caught an unusually serene image of rhythmic gymnast Suzanna Shahbazian competing.
“Most of the time sports photography is all about capturing that dramatic moment, but the thing I like most about this shot is its simplicity and grace,” he said.
“I had a small gap between two television cameras where I had to hope the gymnast jumped so that the background was kept clean. I got lucky with this shot as she jumped in just the right spot and luckily the ribbons were captured at just the right moment.”
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