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2016 In Pictures: The Year In Focus

And the stories behind them.

05/12/2016 7:20 AM AEDT | Updated 05/12/2016 7:33 AM AEDT
Carl Court, Getty Images
A boy pauses on his bike as he passes an oil field set alight by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive, on October 21, 2016 in Qayyarah, Iraq.

2016 has been a turbulent year.

From the US presidential election and the country's racial riots to twin battles in Aleppo and Mosul and the ongoing refugee crisis, we have bared the brunt of chaos, devastation and loss.

But there have also been light moments that have made the world smile -- and those which, together, we have celebrated.

Thanks to a suite of local and international photographers, each moment has been captured and shared across the globe.

After covering 130,000 events and taking 20 million images, Getty Images has launched their 'Year in Focus' -- a collection of iconic photos that have defined 2016.

The Huffington Post Australia was joined by Stuart Hannagan, Vice President of Editorial Content at Getty Images Australia, to look back on the photographs that were (and the stories behind them).

Usain Bolt: Day 9 At The Rio Olympic Games

It was a split second that stopped the world. Usain Bolt comfortably took out the men's 100m dash at the Olympic Games in Rio -- and local photographer Cameron Spencer captured the best part of it.

Cameron Spencer, Getty Images

"Rio was one of the biggest events in the world for the year. Cameron was inside the track where only eight to 10 photographers were allowed. And he took a big risk. That is a technically-difficult shot to take and to have Bolt look around, with his cheeky grin, was amazing," Hannagan said.

"The amount of play and social interaction received globally was unprecedented. You can't get a bigger moment then that."

Beach Volleyball: Day One At The Rio Olympic Games

"This really is the iconic picture of sport at Rio and it was taken by one of our Melbourne-based photographers," Hannagan said.

Quinn Rooney, Getty Images

"Quinn was down on the sand shooting basic action and the minute he thought the sky was at its richest, he ran to the top and captured that picture. That will live forever."

'The Boy In The Ambulance'

Images of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh, who was injured in an airstrike that hit Aleppo in August, shed new light on the country's ongoing civil war.

Anadolu Agency, Getty Images

"We see a lot of devastation. When you see a young child who is obviously in shock sitting in the back of an ambulance, you are concerned with how he is, what happened to him and what situation has brought him there," Hannagan said.

"The ability of the photographer to capture that moment renders it one of the best news pictures of the year."

Joint Forces Battle To Retake The Iraqui Town Of Mosul

A young boy pauses on his bike as he passes an oil field that was set on fire by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive.

Carl Court, Getty Images

"Our photographer was focusing on the fires in the background when this young child stopped to see what he was doing. And then he rode off," Hannagan said.

"Again, this brings a powerful humanity to the ongoing tensions in Mosul."

US President Elect Hugs Flag At GOP Rally In Florida

We've seen many sides of president-elect Donald Trump this campaign. And this is one of them.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

"I love it. We have images of Trump yelling, screaming, carrying on, hugging kids -- everything. But the cheeky grin in this one encapsulates him brilliantly," Hannagan said.

"Our photographer was on the campaign for weeks and it captures the kind of man he is. I've never seen a president-elect walk on stage and hug the flag. He's a show off and he's doing it his way."

State Of Emergency Declared After Police Shooting Sparks Violent Protest

Brian Bianco, Getty Images

"Every now and then, a picture that is so simple says so much," Hannagan said.

"This young man is standing there shirtless, in protest. The way it is shot at night -- with the prominency of his white sign -- shows delicacy amidst complexity."

Leo DiCaprio And Kate Winslet At The 88th Annual Academy Awards

"The Academy Awards are one of the biggest events that we do. We have about 50 staff at this event and the world is watching," Hannagan said.

Christopher Polk, Getty Images

"The photographer who took this was the first person Leo ran into as he walked offstage. He was right there. It's a brilliant moment between two friends amidst the pictures of trophies and banners."

David Bowie And Prince: The Stars We Have Lost

"Two of the biggest names of the world passed away this year. We have photographers who have shot them throughout their lives," Hannagan said.

"Of all the images we have on file, these are two of the best. Both of these portraits showcase their unique characters and they will live on forever."

Randee St Nichola, Getty Images

Steve Schapiro, Getty Images

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