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The Globe's photographers share their favourite photographs from 2012

The Globe’s staff photographers choose the one image from 2012 that meant the most to them, from an Olympic victory we all celebrated to a child being baptized in Congo

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Deborah Baic For The Globe’s American Postcards series that ran before the U.S. election, reporter Josh Wingrove and I decided to do a story out of Williston, N.D., a boomtown that developed because of the Bakken oil fields. The explosion of jobs brought men and women to the small city, but some brought their whole families. As it neared the end of the day, we found a small RV campground – and the Whitcomb family. They had come to Williston a year ago with their trailer in tow, thinking they would use it for a short while before finding a place to live, but they soon found what was available was far out of their financial reach. The father, Paul Whitcomb, agreed to be interviewed. I entered the trailer, amazed. It was such a small space for two adults, four children, three chihuahuas, and a cat with her five kittens. As I stood there listening to the Whitcomb’s moving story, about leaving everything behind, kittens crawled up my pant legs.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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John Lehmann The best images are always unplanned – they appear anytime, anywhere, occasionally in the middle of nowhere. While driving back to Lubumbashi from Kipushi in the heart of Congo after covering child miners who were working in a mud-filled, open-pit mine, I saw a large congregation of priests wearing long, white flowing robes baptizing the faithful in a clear stream of water. It was a complete and stunning contrast to what I had witnessed only an hour earlier.

John Lehmann/John Lehmann/Globe and Mail

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Moe Doiron “I’ve always been comfortable in front of the camera,” she said, in what could be described as a French Californian accent. It was a welcome pause from the celebrity chase and hurry-up-and-wait pace that is TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival. A few minutes with veteran actress Genevieve Bujold, who rarely does interviews or Hollywood parties, choosing instead a quiet almost solitude life in Malibu. In suite 304 of the Intercontinental Hotel, absent of managers and press handlers, Ms. Bujold, now 70, spoke of her long career, her children and the joy of being at home.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Fred Lum Assigned to take pictures of a Cirque du Soleil rehearsal, I'd photographed several performers with one more to photograph before it was over. Behind the beauty and grace of the show lies performers who are unbelievably incredible athletes. This photograph all came together with the performer doing a handstand while serendipity put me in the right spot to catch backlit drops of water as they fall. Performer Iuliia Mykhailova is photographed rehearsing for the Water Bowl act on Sept 4 2012 during a media preview of Cirque du Soleil's latest show, Amaluna. The show opens Sept 6 and runs till November 4 after which it will head for Vancouver and western Canada.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Peter Power While foreign investment in Africa promises great wealth for governments and investors, the benefits are not readily apparent in most villages. I couldn’t help but wonder what the future holds for this little girl who lives in the tiny village of Manamkoh, Sierra Leone. Her community leaders said the rice fields they depend upon for food and trade have been flooded due to the actions of a nearby mining operation. Now young villagers wade in the water, looking for fish and snails to eat in water that once been a rice field. In areas where development is taking place, land is being taken over by large corporations. A small number of people find employment, but many villagers are put out of work with little or no compensation. They are being forced from an agriculture-based economy into a currency-based one, with little understanding of the value of money.

Peter Power/Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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Fernando Morales Six years after Mexican President Felipe Calderon decided to use the army to fight drugs cartels, I met Juan Manuel Duarte and his wife Maria Del Carmen Cruz in downtown Mexico City. They were wearing pictures of their missing son, Angel Duarte, whom they hadn’t seen in a year after he was kidnapped from a bus in the state of Guanajuato. It struck me how still and lonely they looked in such a busy place, a city of several million people. The couple travelled to Mexico City to meet thousands of other people whose family members went missing, in an attempt to organize and co-ordinate the search of those considered to be collateral damage in the war against drugs.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Kevin Van Paassen The 2012 Olympic Games were chock full of great performances but the one that really seemed to capture our hearts was that of the Canadian women’s soccer team. The team was heartbroken after an epic semi-final match against the United States in which Canadian captain Christine Sinclair scored a hat-trick but still came out on the losing end. Thankfully, redemption would come a few nights later in the bronze medal game versus France. After being badly outshot, Canada scored in the waning moments, winning the bronze in dramatic fashion. The moment the ball crossed the goal line, I frantically panned my lens across the field in search of Ms. Sinclair. After a couple of anxious seconds, I spotted her on the far side of the pitch. I was able to zero in on her just in time, as she leapt into the arms of a teammate as the entire stadium erupted in celebration. It was an historic win and a great moment for Canada.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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