With every moment of our lives seemingly Instagram’d, Facebooked and Twitpic’d, has the power of the photographic image faded like a Polaroid ravaged by sunlight? Not a bit of it. The camera is always on hand to record the wonder of the natural world and the thrill of exploring it. This year it showed us a man falling to Earth faster than the speed of sound; the nightmarish denizens of the deep oceans; and the delicate tracery of a brain’s protective shield. These, and more, are some of Nature’s favourite pictures of 2012.

Credit: Anna Henly