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Major stock library Shutterstock has launched its 2020 Year in Review, its choice of pictures of a year none of us will forget anytime soon. “As the world prepares to ring in the new year, the curated collection looks back at the people and events that have left a mark in 2020,” says the company. “From a glamorous red carpet season to a global pandemic and social unrest, this year began with hope and has transpired into one that will be remembered mostly for loss but also for a newfound appreciation for humanity.”

From the millions of photographs published by Shutterstock Editorial in 2020, the company’s picture editors have come up with their the Top 10 most downloaded images (below), the Top 50 and Top 200. Out of the top ten photos of the year, eight centred on the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. This was a significant shift from recent years, as A-list celebrities took the back seat. Other themes included:

* The US Election: Starting with a field of candidates and narrowing to a nail-biting finale between Trump and Biden that stretched on longer than anyone had expected, the review * captures the evolution of the campaigns from start to finish
* The Awards Season: In what seems like a lifetime ago, 2020 delivered a landmark Oscars, with Bong Joon-Ho’s ‘Parasite’ winning Best Picture, and in doing so, becoming the first non-English-language film to take Hollywood’s top prize. Other big Awards Season winners included Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix and Billie Eilish.
* Sports: The crowds grew silent being substituted with cardboard cutouts and fabricated fan noise in empty stadiums, leaving players around the world in quite a surreal predicament as they played on for the love of the game.

The year was summed by Shutterstock photographer Stephen Lovekin, who found himself doing more and more news stories, rather than covering his usual entertainment industry patch. ‘”Combine the worst pandemic in a hundred years, racial tensions at an all-time high, and probably the most important Presidential election in US history, and you have a year like none other. It has forced me to challenge myself creatively. And for this I am forever grateful. Call it the ‘silver lining’ to a year most of us would rather forget.”

Shutterstock’s top 10 from 2020

Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock (10667827m)
Several hundred Black Lives Matter protesters take a knee and hold their fists in the air during a moment of silence to honor George Floyd during a peaceful protest march from Manhattan Beach to Hermosa Beach and return at the Hermosa Beach Pier Plaza Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Photo by Nina Westervelt/Shutterstock (10627936m). Medical workers are seen outside Lenox Health Greenwich Village as people applaud at 7pm to show their gratitude to medical staff and essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo by Jose Coelho/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10619741c). A woman undergoes COVID-19 screening tests that allow them to receive results between 24 and 30 hours, at Comendador Joaquim De Sa Couto Foundation nursing home in Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal, 17 April. This circuit involves teams from the health centres of Santa Maria da Feira and Arouca and the hospital in Gaia, where there is one of five machines in the country with the capacity to carry out up to 1000 tests per day – with results in 24 hours.

Photo by Julio Cortez/AP/Shutterstock (10662535v)
Protester carries the carries a U.S. flag upside, a sign of distress, next to a burning building, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, broke out in Minneapolis for three nights.

Photo by Alex Brandon/AP/Shutterstock (10964363d)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Carson City Airport, in Carson City, Nevada.

Photo by Frank Augstein/AP/Shutterstock (10671522l)
Girl wears a face mask during a Black Lives Matter rally in Parliament Square, in London, as they protest against the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, USA. Floyd, a black man, died after he was restrained by Minneapolis police while in custody on May 25 in Minnesota

Photo by David Fisher/Shutterstock (10525972go)
Kang-Ho Song, Bong Joon-Ho, Park So-dam, Jeong-eun Lee, Lee Sun-kyun and Choi Woo-shik – Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – Parasite

Photo by David Fisher/Shutterstock (10763218am)
Tilda Swinton, ‘The Ties’ premiere and Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Ceremony, 77th Venice International Film Festival, Italy – 02 Sep 2020

Photo by Noah Berger/AP/Shutterstock (10654910c)
Circles designed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging social distancing line San Francisco’s Dolores Park

Photo by ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10969104g)
Los Angeles Dodgers’ fans watch game two of the World Series 2020 between the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers, at a drive-in is organized on the grounds of Dodger Stadium (foreground) amid the coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles, California, USA, 21 October 2020