5’s best photography
of 2022

5’s best photography
of 2022

Celebrating images that moved us.

Words: Marta Julia Johansen

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At 5, we believe that pictures are a powerful tool in evoking an idea, feeling or atmosphere. They speak a language we all understand, directly and viscerally. And so we’d like to take a moment to showcase some of the outstanding images that caught our eye this year. Our visual director Marta Julia Johansen shares her favourites.

Photo: Lucas Foglia

“This picture is one of my favourites from the ‘Human Nature’ series. There is so much energy in this moment. It’s so full of enjoyment and hope. But it’s also a very direct reflection of how nature is a source of healing for us when we allow ourselves to get close to it.”

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Photo: Carol Sachs

“There are so many possible stories in this picture that come to mind. But most important is the beautiful visuality of it all. It looks like the basketball player in the middle actually has wings flying up to score the perfect shot. Monks shooting hoops in a remote landscape where is this peaceful place, you ask yourself? I instantly get a feeling of wanting to go there.”

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Photo: Maisie Cousins

“Maisie Cousins invites us look at trash in an almost intimate and sensual way here. Plastic and organic remnants collide with fluids and textures, making a landscape of leftovers that you almost yearn to touch. It’s a strange mix of loveliness and disgust.”

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Photo: David Vintiner

“Is the future of farming in our hands? This image says a million things about our foo(d)tprints on the planet going forward. Can this little soldier fly hold the solutions to our massive biodiversity crisis as a sustainable source of protein?”

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Photo: David Vintiner

“Portraiture made easy and mesmerising at the same time. Photographer David Vintiner always finds that fine balance of light, colours and atmosphere that is hard to take your eyes away from. This portrait of social entrepreneur Charmian Love is beautiful in both its composition and colours, making it one of our top 5 portraits this year.”

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Photo: Delaney Allen

“In his book ‘Doors of perception’ Aldous Huxley describes how he found the whole universe in the folded drapings of his grey flannel trousers. Like in Botticelli’s paintings he understood the beauty of drapery. Even though Huxley was on a mescaline trip, his admiration for drapery in classical art history has been shared for centuries. This photo (and series) captivates just that and it is hard not to think of the lush paintings of soft textile folds in old baroque paintings. Not only does this water foam look absolutely otherworldly, it also makes you wonder what it is at first glance. It’s hard to realise that this is naturally made by the force of the waves. The textuality of this picture is beyond.”

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Photo: Denisse Ariana Pérez

“Such a brilliant twist to classic portraiture. There is so much emotion and presence in this photo. An almost perfect incarnation of man and animal in a single shot, as if each is trying to see with the eyes of the other. We think of humans as separate to other life on this planet. This image captures a two-in-one tale of our codependence.”

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Photo: Tobias Nicolai

“Where art meets life. This giant interactive snake was the centre of attention at this year’s Venice Biennale. I was lucky to get to visit with 5 in the spring. Made for the Korean pavilion by artist and electronic music composer Yunchul Kim and curated by Young-chul Lee, the exhibition shows how a biosystem is so intimately connected and how each parts affects the whole organism. Like a snake with no head, the exhibition wants us to understand the world as a labyrinth where there is no ending or beginning. Instead, everything is linked and has an equal role in the bigger picture.”

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Photo: Ye Rin Mok

“Sometimes a portrait just hits you right in your core. This is the feeling I get when looking at this image of activist Leah Thomas by Ye Rin Mok. There’s such a presence in this image and oh — the light, the light. Leah has been photographed a lot already but this series of her I found was really special.”

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Photo: Eylul Aslan / Connected Archives

“This must be one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. Finding this for our ‘The sky has no corners’ essay exploring a multi-species mindset was so spot-on that it has set the bar for everything I strive to achieve visually. This composition is pure poetry and life.”

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Photo: Gianni Cipriano

“When great minds join forces for the greater good we can all make the world a better place by working together. This ‘art for the oceans’ marine conservation project would not have been possible if it was not for this fisherman and his lifelong passion for the ocean. I love the composition, the way he sits and looks so powerful and pensive. A brilliant mind on an important mission.”

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Courtesy of Nomad

“I’m blown away by the profound connection between these two animals. I just love how this little bird is resting on the back of this giant giraffe. Like it’s perched on a tree or a hill for a better view of the landscape. Biodiversity in a beautiful moment.”

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Photo: Muhammad Fadli

“This Plastic for Rice project is so meaningful and full of change and hope. The waste system in Indonesia faces a long way to sustainability but this picture shows two generations making a living by cleaning up plastic on Bali. I really like the empowerment this woman conveys in the way she straddles her motorbike with her daughter and looks straight into the camera.”

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Photo: Dillon Marsh

“I cannot stop looking at this series every time I come across it. I love how these nests have turned into giant in-situ art installations — but made by birds. Brilliant! Magical. Like something straight out of Michael Ende’s ‘Neverending Story’.”

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Photo: Denisse Ariana Pérez

“The healing power of water yet again. This whole series by Denisse Ariana Pérez is just profound and captivating. I love how this girl is really in sync with her surroundings. This is a poetic reminder of all beginnings of life on this planet. We all came from the sea. That itself makes you feel connected to the oceans – there are so much to care for there.”

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Photo: Tobias Nicolai

“We are all made of stars… and the way this close-up of a jellyfish mirrors the swirling immensity of universe is simply unbelievable. Tobias (the photographer) has a very significant eye for detail and this project was no exception. The series was taken at the cost of Denmark where a lot of stingy jellyfish had washed up at the shore. So there in the sand, inside the Jelly fish’s – he found the universe. This is not only a document of life but really a piece of art itself”

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