Press Association photographers' best shots of 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, Milica Lamb, the Press Association's picture editor, picks a few of the best shots by the news agency's photographers, who have been on hand to record the events of the past 12 months and who provide a few thoughts on the making of the photo.

Select a set of your best news images from 2013? Sounds easy, but as PA's picture editor with an outstanding portfolio of pictures to choose from, where to begin? With a team of 34 photographers around the UK and Ireland producing an average of 600 news, sport and entertainment images on a daily basis, it's not an easy task.

The selection here represents our coverage of some of the top news stories from 2013. Some of these images, like the one of Prince George at his christening by John Stillwell, would have appeared all around the world. Others, like the waves by Owen Humphreys, fed the UK's obsession with the weather but still garnered interest internationally.

Justin Welby is enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby is enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury

Photographer: Gareth Fuller

"I was positioned high up next to the organist and wedged between a low stone wall, looking straight down on to St Augustine's Throne where the archbishop is enthroned. In fact, I had to look sideways through the camera as there was not enough space to turn my head."

Vigil for Fusilier Lee Rigby

Rebecca Rigby the wife of Fusilier Lee Rigby, with son Jack leave Bury Parish church in Bury, Greater Manchester, after a vigil on the eve of his funeral

Photographer: Martin Rickett

"This was the most striking image I took on the day and I knew immediately this picture was going to be good.

"The only light was from a window in the church steeple just inside the entrance. I spotted Rebecca Rigby holding her son Jack as soon as she stepped into the patch of light and shot four or five frames before she fell back into the shadows.

"I remember seeing this picture on the front page of the Guardian."

A royal baby

Prince George and Prince William

Photographer: Yui Mok

"What comes across in this image is a real sense of intimacy and calmness amidst the frenzy - it seems like time has frozen around the duke as he gently holds baby George in his arms.

"It is also beautifully lit by the last remnants of daylight, helped with a touch of either television lighting or another photographer's flash. It's one of those moments you live for as a press photographer.

"This hit the Scotsman and the cover of The Lady magazine, as well as being used for stamp issues in the South Pacific."

Winter weather

A sheep looks out from its snow covered shed in Penistone, South Yorkshire

Photographer: Anna Gowthorpe

"The sheep was positioned perfectly in the doorway as if it was deciding whether to venture out or not. The whole time, I thought the sheep would move and not stay so perfectly framed in the doorway but it was quite happy to stay looking at me for a few minutes.

"It is certainly one my favourite images that I have taken this year and it ran in the Times, Guardian, Mirror and the front page of the Yorkshire Post the following day."

Anti-fracking protests in Balcombe, West Sussex

Police officers escort a lorry heading to the Cuadrilla exploratory drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, as anti fracking demonstrations continue

Photographer: Gareth Fuller

"This image was shot last summer during the anti-fracking protests in Balcombe, West Sussex.

"Equipment was delivered to the drilling site every day, which meant the trucks arriving had to be escorted by police officers. On this particular occasion I went further up the road, where the officers formed this barrier, giving me a completely different picture."

Livin' On A Prayer

The Duke of Cambridge (right) sings with Taylor Swift (left) and Jon Bon Jovi at the Centrepoint Gala Dinner at Kensington Palace, London

Photographer: Dominic Lipinski

"Believing that my work was almost over for the evening, I was at the back of the marquee filing my last few pictures as Bon Jovi invited the Duke of Cambridge up on stage to sing Livin' On A Prayer.

"I had to drop my laptop, grab my cameras and dash back to the stage.

"What followed made for a great set of pictures as the unlikely trio sang together around one microphone, capturing a really unusual, fun moment - you certainly don't see many pictures of a future king having a singalong."

Storms batter UK

Gale force winds from the north whip the sea up at Seaham Harbour, in County Durham, as waves batter the seafront

Photographer: Owen Humphreys

"This image is my favourite weather photograph that I captured this year.

"There were stories about there being an Arctic blast, so I checked tide times and headed to Seaham harbour for the high tide the following morning. Even I was staggered to see the size of the swell and the waves crashing over the lighthouse and harbour wall.

"The picture was so impressive that the next day it appeared in nearly all the national papers and on some front pages, including the Guardian and the Times."

World champion

Mo Farah

Photographer: Dave Thompson

"This was Mo Farah's first race to become world and Olympic champion at both 10k and 5k distances. I got a spot slightly elevated at the finish line, knowing he would look up towards the large screen at the top of the stadium.

"I hoped that after watching him run for 27 minutes I'd get a picture of him celebrating a win, but this was always going to be a close race, so I think the look on Mo's face is part celebration and part relief.

"He did, of course, go on to win the 5,000m and complete the world and Olympic gold medal 'double double'. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have photographed all four races in London's Olympic Stadium and the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow."

Prince George christening

The Duke of Cambridge holds his son Prince George

Photographer: John Stillwell

"I only found out one hour before where I was allowed to stand and other restrictions - for instance, I wasn't allowed to move or talk. This made for a stressful time since I was the only agency photographer with every media outlet waiting for my images.

"I was positioned next to the television camera so for some shots I had to crouch and shoot below it to capture what I wanted.

"It worked out well in the end, as I took around 65 images and filed 16 remotely onsite. They appeared in every newspaper the next day."

Baroness Thatcher's funeral

Pallbearers set down the coffin of Baroness Thatcher inside St Paul's Cathedral, central London, at the start of the funeral service.

Photographer: Dominic Lipinski

"The picture was taken with a remote camera mounted in the Ornamental Gallery of St Paul's Cathedral, suspended more than 200ft about the floor and fixed to scaffolding installed by TV broadcasters. I was on a dusty floor looking at a feed on my laptop.

"I was really pleased with the picture of the union flag draped over the coffin, which was used quite widely in the papers and online the following day, and will hopefully be one of the more memorable pictures of a historic occasion."

Phil Coomes Article written by Phil Coomes Phil Coomes Picture editor

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