Photos of the year, 2013

  • Two attendees at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium put their fingers in their ears as a band drums through the crowd to cheer on the UAE team at the UAE vs Brazil Fifa Under 17 World Cup match in October. Photo by Razan Alzayani
Brian Kerrigan, Photo editor
This photo ticks a couple of very important boxes for me. First, it is just a really great moment captured visually. It probably only lasted a few seconds, but yet all of the expressions and body language keep my eye happily roaming around the frame. Secondly it’s a fantastic example of looking all around. The action of the game is on field, but this wonderful moment is happening behind the photographers, great photographs often are right behind you, you have to keep your head on a swivel.
  • Here is Alia al Jaberi, an eight year-old from Abu Dhabi who is performing her first Ramadan fast this year. “When I eat suhoor, I drink milk and dates to help me be patient for the day,” she says. Photo by Delores Johnson.
Mark Asquith, Deputy photo editor My favorite types of assignment at The National are the ones where a photographer gets to spend a bit of time with the subject and really get under the skin of the story. This picture of a young girl observing her first Ramadan showed that wonderfully. It is the look in her eyes as she gazes in the mirror that works so well. It is honest and real, almost like she has forgotten the photographer is in the room.
  • Thick fog engulfs Abu Dhabi’s Reem Island in a January cold spell. Photo by Silvia Razgova.
Julie Nicholson, Assistant photo editor Early morning fog can give Abu Dhabi an ethereal feel, as  the partially obscured modern architecture is transformed into a futuristic city amongst the clouds. Only the tops of the Gate Towers can be seen above the mass of fog, with a lone delivery man traveling into the mist. It all seems quiet and peaceful.
  • Waves splashing at the Jumeirah Open Beach, Dubai, in January. Photo by Satish Kumar.
RJ Mickelson, Sports photo editor Here Satish Kumar captured a well-framed, quiet moment interrupted by the aggression of the Arabian Gulf. It appears as if the waves leapt up the rocks, engulfing the onlookers and forcing them to scatter and run for safety. The spontaneity of the moment along with the heavy, ominous skies makes this a beautifully uncommon scene in the Emirates and it is my favorite image of 2013.
  • Brothers (L) Khaled, 13, and (R) Mohammed, 11, Al Hadrami, play with bubbles at the Abu Dhabi Science Festival on the Corniche in November. Photo by Silvia Razgova.
Liz Claus, Business photo editor Here Silvia captures the essence of the Science Festival with this picture of two Emirati boys learning about mass by playing with bubbles. The light glowing from the center of the image draws you in; as does the excitement on the boys’ faces. Silvia captures the moment as well as drawing the viewer in. Every time I look at it, it puts a smile on my face.
  • A preview event ahead of a twice-yearly Christie’s auction sale of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art, in April. Photo by Sarah Dea.
James O’Hara, Weekend photo editor What caught my eye in this image was the contrast of light and colour set against the solid black of the Emirati lady’s abaya. She is perfectly positioned on the pattern of the carpet and the contrast of her black head scarf against the red on the artwork in front of her make her really stand out. All the while, the faces in the photographs to woman’s left stare intensely back at the viewer.
  • Rob Gurdebeke, News photo editor
Sultana Aktar, the wife of Mohammed Ala Uddin, one of 22 victims in the Al Ain bus crash, is surrounded by relatives and neighbors on a bed in her home in Paindong, Bangladesh. Photo by Silvia Razgova.
Rob Gurdebeke, News photo editor Sometimes what makes a good photo is not what the photographer has included but rather what they have eliminated. In this case it is the simplicity of the moment in a rather chaotic setting. The image of a grieving widow the day of her husband’s funeral appears to capture the woman still in shock, as family and friends try to help her through the ordeal. The light beautifully captures her expression of absolute abandonment as to what has occurred. Her eyes make an immediate connection with the reader.
  • Afsana Haji, co-owner and designer of Chenille Mens, poses for a portrait with one of her kandoora designs at her studio in Jumeirah Lake Towers in April. Photo by Jaime Puebla.
Olga Camacho, Arts & Life photo editor This photo by Jaime Puebla made for a great Arts & Life cover. I love the playfulness of it, and it seems to capture a bit of designer Afsana Haji’s shy personality.  The simple background in the photo makes it all about the designer and the clothes. There are no distractions.
  • A child is mimics the wings of a seagull while standing on top of a vehicle in a car park off Jumeirah Road, Dubai, in January. Photo by Sarah Dea.
Olive Obina, Magazines photo editor In this photograph Sarah Dea was able to tackle the challenging tasks of taking photos of children, and of birds in flight. She captures the perfect moment when the child was framed in the shot by the seagulls. I am not fond of birds myself, but to see a child enjoying being surrounded by seagulls, the innocence, the joy, the contentment, this is enough for me to forget my bad experience.

The National's photo editors have selected their favourite images taken by staff photographers in 2013, and explained what makes the photograph stand out.