In 2020, photography gave us a welcome escape from the stresses of daily life and a chance to document the strange, pandemic-stricken world we all found ourselves in. With that in mind, we’re excited to continue our tradition of showcasing 25 photos from around the world that our community loved the most.
From the many photos shared on Flickr this year, we chose to highlight a selection of images that received the most engagement in the form of views, comments, and faves, while accounting for a diverse range of topics.
Landscape and wildlife photography continue to be two of the most appreciated genres in our community, but we also saw some outstanding portraits, candid street shots, and nightscape composites. And while many of the photos that made it to the list come from DSLR and mirrorless cameras, one of the top images this year is an aerial view captured with a drone camera.
We also want to take this opportunity to celebrate the geographical diversity of our top photographers, representing 13 different countries. We take pride in being a global community united by our shared passion for photography.
Thank you for sharing your images with the world and inspiring us all to take great pictures no matter how broad or narrow our interests. Enjoy the highlights from 2020’s top 25 and explore the top photos of the decade for a delightful throwback journey.
Desert Beauty by Christoph Fischer (Canada)
The Deadvlei in Namibia’s Namib-Naulkluft National Park is one of the world’s most striking and unique landscapes. It is a white clay pan with several dead but beautifully shaped camel thorn trees, and all of it is surrounded by giant red dunes. The trees have been dead for as long as 700 years, but they remain preserved due to the dry conditions. I used a telephoto lens to isolate a clean and especially beautiful arrangement of trees against a backdrop of towering red dunes.
Sheep in the woods II by James Mills (UK) with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
I often photograph the atmospheric birch woodlands in the Peak District. These woodlands sometimes have sheep grazing, but getting a good photo of them is not easy as they are very skittish and tend to move away quickly. I was lucky this time.
Dawn of Another Day by Sky Matthews (USA) with a Pentax K-1
I had a trip to Shanghai, and I’ve long been fascinated by the Karst landscapes of the area around Guilin in the south of China, so I decided to add an extra day to fly to Guilin. I arranged for a local guide to help me photograph the famous Cormorant fisherman, which I don’t typically do, but with so little time and not speaking the language, it was by far the best way to ensure a successful trip. I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.
Cool Power commended-LPOTY UK by Steve Cole (UK)
I live very close to one of the biggest coal-powered power stations in the UK, Ratcliffe on Soar power station. It is due to be decommissioned within the next five years, and nowadays, it is rare to see it with a full head of steam coming from the cooling towers. On the way home on this particular evening, I spotted my chance to capture a seldom seen sight and raced home to grab my camera.
Happy Birthday Adam! by Iwona Podlasińska (Poland)
I remember this day very clearly because things weren’t as they usually are. I remember I didn’t have my car, and I had to take my son to the speech therapist that day, and we took the bus, which was a great adventure for my son as we usually use cars. We came back home earlier than usual. I was doing something around the house when I noticed that my son Adam watched TV, sitting on the floor, petting the cat with one hand. The cat was on the couch. It was a sunny day, and they seemed to shimmer in that light […] I think I asked him to touch the cat’s nose with his nose. I immediately knew I would love this photo.
Secluded by Pete Rowbottom (UK) with a Nikon D850
Myself and a few friends headed up to the Lake District in October, our first visit to the area all year due to Covid 19, I’d been wanting to photograph this location for a long time, but it never seemed to happen, so we decided to make this the sole purpose of the visit during Autumn. The weather was terrible when we got there, glum and raining, but we just waited it out, and the sun eventually broke through the trees giving some great lighting on the old Corn Mill and colourful mossy rocks.
Tree and Morning Mist by Jos Buurmans (New Zealand) with a Canon EOS R5
This photo was taken from the top of Te Mata Peak, an iconic peak in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand. As a local, I visit this area regularly, and on the morning this photo was taken, I was welcomed by thick mist flowing through the valley below. Initially the visibility was minimal, but as the sun started to rise, the mist gradually disappeared and added a touch of mystery to the hills and trees at the foot of the peak.
Sunset 1663 by Junji Aoyama (Japan) with a NIKON D850
This photo was taken at dusk from the banks of Lake Shinji-ko on a stormy evening, in the rain. The little island in a middle of the lake is enshrined as a spiritual place and a cultural heritage, not only of the Izumo region, where Lake Shinji-ko is located, but for the entirety of Japan. This island and the massive lake surrounding it inspires me and is often the subject of my photography.
A Time of Change by Rachel Brokaw (USA) with a Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Fantasy Island by Daniel Cheong (UAE) with a Nikon D800
Europe’s best View by Fabian Fortmann (Germany) with a Sony ILCE-7RM3
Flower by A.G. Photographe (France) with a Hasselblad L1d 20C
If Only We Could Turn Back Time by Anna Kwa (Singapore) with a NIKON D750
Mists of Renfrew by Adam Gibbs (Canada) with a NIKON D850
Frosch, Bokeh 2 by Axel FW (Germany) with a Sony DSC-RX10M4
Catwalk am Bahnhof Zürich Oerlikon by Peter Arn (Switzerland) with a Fujifilm X-T3
Benito by Ria Putzker (Austria) with a Nikon D850
The Dark Love Boat by Pierre Gély-Fort (France) with a Sony ILCE-7RM3
Untitled by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (USA) with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Only in the darkness can you see the stars by Wizard CG (UK) with an Olympus E-PL7
Light of Spring by The Ashraful Arefin (Bangladesh)
The Quiraing by Andrew Robertson (UK) with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Alone by AZ Explorations (Germany) with a Sony ILCE-7RM3
Just a dew drop… by Anannya Kabir (Bangladesh) with a Nikon D7000
Evening Grosbeak male by Richard et Diane (Canada) with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II