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The Best VICE Photos of the Year

Here's a selection from the thousands of images our photo editor has looked at in 2014.

Photo by Sara Cwynar from the 2014 VICE photo issue

As photo editor of the website you're looking at as well as VICE's print magazine, I see hundreds if not thousands of photographs every day. One time I tried to count how many images I had to look at critically before noon, but I got so dizzy I had to stop. Amid all that visual clutter, there are a few photographs from the past year that have burned themselves into my memory. Like old favorite songs, I call these pictures to the front of my brain whenever the world reminds me of them, or if I need to see them again. As legendary photographer Thomas Roma told me in an interview earlier this year, "Music is art, and when we need it, it's there for us. When you have a breakup or fall in love. When you're confused, when someone's been mean to you. There are different songs for those times. And I think the same thing works for photography; there are photographs that come to my mind when I'm going through different things."

Here are the best VICE photos of 2014—or the ones I return to, anyhow. Many of these were made especially for us, while others we had the privilege of debuting or featuring in some other capacity. Thanks to all of the great artists who have contributed work to VICE this year.

Photo by Awol Erizku from Power in the 2014 VICE fashion issue

Photo by Jacqueline Silberbush from Photos of the NYPD from Last Night's Protests

Photo by Frederick Paxton, from VICE News: Embedded with the Islamic Front in Aleppo

Photo by Contact Press Images from the 2014 VICE photo issue

Photo by Nina Berman/NOOR from Recuperating Memories in the Zaatari Refugee Camp

Photo by Zak Arctander from the 2014 VICE photo issue


Photos by Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum from Strangeways Here We Come

Photo by Bruce Gilden/Magnum from The Face of Camden

Photo by Bruce Gilden from The Women of Wall Street


Cover of the Wall Street Issue by Michael Marcelle

Photo by Hobbes Ginsberg from 'MATTE' Magazine Presents

Photo by Cheyenne Sophia from Being Gay Is Beautiful in Oakland

Photo by Pawo Choyning Dorji from Samsara Is a Movie

Photo by Philip Heijmans from Fire from Above


Saving South Sudan issue cover by Tim Freccia


Photo by Tim Freccia from Ebola: Disease Without Borders

Photo by Morgan Ashcom from Mossless in America

Photo by Aneta Bartos from her portfolio Dad

Photo by Kathya Landeros from Mossless in America


Photo by Tammy Mercure from Coondoggin' with Tammy Mercure

Photo by Walter Pearce from Walter Pearce's Photo Diary


Photo by Amy Lombard from My Week with Sydney

Photo by Amanda Dandeneau from My Parents Had a Party

Photo by Jaimie Warren from the 2014 VICE photo issue

Photos by Laurie Simmons (left) and Jimmy DeSana (right) from the 2014 VICE photo issue

Photo issue 2014 cover by Michael Bühler-Rose

Photo by Thomas Albdorf from the 2014 photo issue

Photo by Dana Giacchetto from The Real 'Wolf of Wall Street'

Photo by Curran Hattleberg from Mossless in America

Photo by Allen Frame from Goodbye David Armstrong

Photo by Annette-Lamothe Ramos from the 2014 VICE fashion issue

Photo by Fryd Frydendahl from The Camera Club of New York's Future

Photo by Robert Melee from A Dozen Roses

Photo by Scott Alario from What We Conjure


Photo by Ol' Skool Sean from Barbershops of Brooklyn


Photo by Esa Ylijaasko Under the Clouds of Süleymaniye

Photo by Juan Madrid from Mossless in America

Photo by Spot from Desolate Photos of 1970s LA

Photo of Blondie by Godlis from It's a Godlis World

Profiles Issue cover by Nick Veasey

Photo by Pierre Winther from Easter in Seville

Photo by Thomas Roma from The Waters of Our Time

Photo by Rose Marie Cromwell from Letters From a Lost Weekend

(Left) Photo by Miyako Bellizzi from Hood Housewife (Right) Photo by Bobby Viteri from Crooked Conduct

Photo by Elizabeth Renstrom from Tuning the Human Instrument

Photo by Maurizio Di Iorio from Papichulo


Photo by Pacifico Silano from Leather Grandaddies

Photo by Dylan Collins from his ongoing coverage of Gaza for VICE News

Photo of Porter Robinson by Sam Clarke for THUMP's

Artist of the Year


Photo by Lara Shipley from Mossless in America

Photo by Jamie Taete from Los Angeles Is a Paradise


Photo by PIXY from 'MATTE' Magazine Presents

Photo by Ben McNutt from Wrestling Is Gay

Photo by Chris Maggio from Male Chef on MUNCHIES

Photo by Brian Finke from US Marshalls


Photo by Peter Funch from Last Flight

Cover of The Evolutionary Resilience Issue by Neil Winokur

See more photos at VICE.com/photos

Follow VICE photo editor Matthew Leifheit on Twitter.