Alfredo De Stéfano was born in Monclova, Coahuila, a city in the northeastern Mexican desert and has a bachelor´s degree in Communication Sciences by the Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila. He is considered one of México´s most important contemporary photographers. He has a passion for the landscape and especially the desert, an environment to which has has traveled countless times, performing art interventions in it and photographing it. His photographic series include Of places without a future (1992), Remains of paradise (1996), Replenishing emptiness (2002) and Brief chronicle of Light (2005). Since 2008 he is working in his new series Storm of light: All the deserts are my desert, which take place in different deserts from the world. His work has been exhibited internationally and are included in public and private collections in México as well as abroad.
Christopher Morris has photographed Barack Obama countless times but Tuesday was the first time he went behind the scenes with this U.S. president.
From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Morris documented Obama’s day, which included a meeting with the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, lunch with Vice President Joe Biden, a sit-down with King Abdullah II of Jordan and a celebration for the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Morris is a veteran photographer of politics, having covered George W. Bush’s presidency and Obama’s 2009 inauguration for TIME, so spending the day with Obama didn’t make him nervous. “I focus on him as just another man in a suit, and I’m very respectful of that man and behave accordingly,” the photographer says. “Obama knows I’m there to photograph him—not to have an idle chat with him—and that I’m there to try and make a daily document.”
Though official duties filled much of the day, Tuesday was also Michelle Obama’s 48th birthday. As the president returned to the West Wing in the evening, he unexpectedly ran into the First Lady. “Obama gave her several kisses and wished her a happy birthday then walked off,” Morris says. “It was the highlight of the day for me—something you can’t plan for as a photographer. It was the most interesting photograph for me of the day by far.”
Feifei Sun is an associate editor at TIME. Follow her on Twitter at @feifei_sun.
Animals have found themselves in the path of peril and at the heart the some of the biggest news stories over the past twelve months, from the Japanese tsunami and Bangkok floods to the war in Libya and the droughts in Africa. While some animals have been sent into the danger zone, the majority of these creatures have simply had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, victims of circumstance, and at the mercy of nature’s wrath or man’s violent feuds.
When U.S. special-forces stormed a compound and killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the story behind the story was that of the anonymous four-legged member of the eighty-strong team: a bulletproof vest-wearing K-9 military working dog that had taken part in the raid. Elsewhere, the mascot dogs of the Athens protests—Kanellos, Louk and Loukanikos, or”Sausage”—have been photographed countless times amid the protests. The subject of the online world’s attention, the canines have a dedicated Facebook and Wikipage, and are featured in numerous YouTube videos.
The average animal doesn’t make headlines, but countless creatures have been photographed amid the chaos and destruction so widely connected to some of the year’s biggest stories. Here, LightBox looks back on a few furry friends who’ve found themselves in harm’s way in 2011.