Some of the Best and Oddest Photos of 2012

BY Jeremy Blackman  December 28, 2012 at 1:40 PM EDT

From runways to rooftops, refugee camps to campaign stumps, this slide show offers a smattering of images that caught our eye in the last 12 months. Some of the photos were of familiar scenes, such as presidential candidates stumping and bizarre weather events. Others covered less well-known events: a tattoo contest and the death of a humpback whale.

Together, they weave one very small path through one very busy year — and suggest that, when it comes to reflection, words only go so far.