1. Painterly Photo
The great Frans Lanting has been astounding us with nature and landscape imagery for years, but this photograph, taken at the Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia, goes beyond astounding, all the way to astonishing. The photo, which appears in the June issue of National Geographic, is indeed a photo, its painterly effect coming from lighting conditions at dawn: Lanting explained: “The warm light of the morning sun was illuminating a huge red sand dune dotted with white grasses while the white floor of the clay pan was still in shade. It looks blue because it reflects the color of the sky above.” This might be the nature photo of the year.
2. Tornado Alley
In the week after the a killer tornado his Joplin, Missouri, residents began picking up the pieces of their lives and recalling the terror of May 22. Photographer Edward Keating, shooting for Time magazine, photographed Ed Boyd and his wife Kathy standing near the closet they hid in when the storm destroyed their house.
In Somalia, clashes continued this week between Somali soldiers supported by the African Union and Islamist fighters—though “clash” seems too weak a word, in light of this image of a Somali soldier standing over the body of a man believed to be one of the Islamists.The photo was taken by Mustafa Abdi/AFP
4. Obama's Mojo
Visually, if not politically, it has been a very good month for President Barack Obama. There was now-iconic "Situation Room" photo showing him in command as a Navy Seal team killed Osama bin Laden, then came a successful four-nation European trip, during which Obama was photographed performing in a variety of presidential roles. Meeting with with Briton's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his new wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Obama was the Glambassador-in-Chief. Meeting with world leaders at a G8 Summit in France, he was the dynamic Chief Executive. This photo, which shows Obama at Paris’s Orly airport on May 27, was shot by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images. Two days later Obama would be photographed with his arms around survivors of the Joplin tornado, fulfilling his duty as Comforter-in-Chief.
5. Palin's Mojo
On May 30, the president was performing his duty as the Commander-in-Chief, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, who may be inching closer to declaring herself a candidate for president, launched an East Coast bus tour at the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally in Washington, D.C. “I love that smell of emissions,” she told FOX News.Who needs Air Force One as a backdrop of power when you can wear a Harley helmet? This photo was taken by Damon Winter for the New York Times.