1. Circus Maximus
Reese Witherspoon, star of the new film Water for Elephants, may be one of the biggest names in Hollywood, but she was dwarfed by her co-star in a circus-themed fashion layout in Vogue's May issue. The images were shot by Peter Lindbergh.
2. Political Figure
Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, profiled in Time, can be seen either as a hero or as a villain, depending on whether you agree with ideas for cutting the federal budget, or President Obama’s. There’s not much middle ground these days in American politics. Photographer Marco Grob went for a neutral interpretation in this portrait, centering Ryan’s ambiguous expression within shades of gray. Nonetheless, one right-leaning magazine called Time’s story a “hit piece.”
3. Springtime in Texas
Sometimes spring brings wildflowers. This year a spring heat wave has brought wildfires to Texas. This photo, which shows a fire threatening a home in Strawn, Texas, presents the terror vividly. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
4. Rock Star
Here, a young man named Dean Potter takes a preposterously dangerous route up a rock wall in Yosemite National Park. Potter is one of several climbers revolutionizing the sport with risky new maneuvers. Note that he is not tethered to a rope. Note also that the photographer who shot this picture, Mikey Schaefer, was not in a safe place, either.
Flags were hung over Regent Street in London in preparation for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.The alternate headline for this shot was "The Empire Strikes Back." Photo by Carl Court/Press Association/AP.