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Pictures of the Decade, through the lens of Reuters photojournalists

The Northern Lights are seen above the ash plume of a volcano in Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland, April 22, 2010. Picture taken April 22, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo SEARCH "POY DECADE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2019 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. - RC2SND92A74T

By Reuters Communications

From Haiti’s devastating earthquake to war in Syria, Reuters photojournalists have covered the biggest news stories of the 2010s, capturing images of armed conflict, natural disasters, the plight of migrants and the drama of sport.

Reuters has published a three part-series of Pictures of the Decade here which includes Putlizer Prize-winning photographs and quotes from the photographer about how they captured the moment.

Of the hundreds of thousands of images taken each year by Reuters photojournalists, just 142 were selected as the pictures that defined the past 10 years.

Below are two stand-out images taken from Reuters Pictures of the Decade, accompanied by the photographers’ comments.

The eruption under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, Iceland’s fifth largest glacier, in 2010 was described as the most significant volcanic event since a huge eruption in 1996.

While traveling from the airport after arriving in Iceland, Reuters photojournalist Lucas Jackson was overwhelmed by the sight of untold amounts of ash and rock spewing out of the volcano. He described the experience as “magical” and one of his “favorite memories at Reuters.”

“Some the best pictures I took were actually of the eruptions as the sun went down and you could use the incredible darkness to get long exposures that showed lightning or magma flying out of the crater,” Jackson said.

“After those first couple of days there was some bad weather and so the local photographer Ingolfur Juliusson and I made a special point to go and take photographs of the volcano any time the weather allowed while the sun was setting. That is why we were out the evening that the Northern Lights showed up in an incredible show of natural beauty juxtaposed above this still erupting volcano.”

Usain Bolt is considered the fastest man in history after setting a world record at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with a sprint time of 9.58 seconds in the 100-metre event. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, he took the gold, running the 100m in 9.81 seconds, and setting a new personal record.

Kai Pfaffenbach’s image of Bolt looking back at Andre De Grasse during the men’s 100m semi-final won third prize for the Sports, Singles category at the 2017 World Press Photo awards.

“The semi-finals is a warm up also for photographers. I was free to play around and I thought I would try a motion blur … I saw him running … The moment he turned his head I thought the picture was ruined as it would be too shaky but it just happened … and overnight it became ‘the’ picture.”

You can view the full gallery of Reuters Pictures of the Decade here

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