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Top AP photos of 2019 range from the epic to the intimate


A U.S. Border Protection officer stands in heavy rain near the border fence between San Diego, Calif., and Tijuana, Mexico, on Jan. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

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Ours is a world of sweeping vistas, and intimate scenes. In 2019, Associated Press photographers captured both.

A single Border Protection officer stands in the rain at the border; pieces of heavy equipment, replacing a stretch of border wall, are dwarfed by the open, blue sky. And the bodies of a Salvadoran father and his toddler daughter, drowned just short of their destination, float in the Rio Grande.

Hordes of Hong Kong activists, umbrellas in hand, are glimpsed through a window framed by tattered posters; a police water cannon, seen from above, sprays scores of Chilean demonstrators. And a single churchgoer drops to the ground to pray near tires set afire by protesters in Haiti.

The scale of some images is breathtaking. Trails of rockets light the night sky over Sederot, Israel. Motorcycles, ant-like from a distance, race across sand dunes in Peru. A drone’s eye view tracks the dividing line between lush Amazon jungle on one side of a road, and burnt ruins on the other.

But the close-ups are no less remarkable. A mourner, lit by three candles, touches the body of a man killed during clashes with Bolivian security forces. In Washington state, friends and family lay hands on a 75-year-old throat cancer victim as he takes his last breaths, a suicide.

Sometimes, the focus is even tighter, like the full-frame face of a silverback gorilla, peering intently into the camera. Or the wrinkled, 88-year-old woman in Blaj, Romania — just one eye in the picture, gazing forward as she awaits Pope Francis’ arrival.

In their eyes, the photographers find vistas.


For the full array of AP’s best photos of 2019, go to

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