How 4 separate covers tell the story of a tumultuous year
The January issue features more than one cover, each highlighting the biggest stories of the year: COVID-19, climate change, conflict, and conservation. Here’s how they were selected.
More than 1.9 million images, taken by more than 300 photographers, were added to National Geographic’s archives in 2021. As editors pored through these stunning images to put together the January Year in Pictures issue, they realized one cover wouldn’t be enough. Instead, they created four covers, each reflecting the four biggest stories of the year: COVID-19, climate change, conflict, and conservation.
There was no arbitrary number of images to be picked, says Whitney Johnson, the director of visuals and immersive experiences. Rather, editors worked to curate a collection of images that tell a story.
We recently spoke with Johnson and Kathy Moran, deputy photo editor, to learn more about the challenges that went into choosing each of