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A rock, a shuttle, a King and a Batman: The best KPCC news photos of 2012

The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Charlie Wells of Sarens, the company charged with managing the logistics of the shuttle move, checks to make sure the Space Shuttle Endeavour can clear a tree on Crenshaw Boulevard on October 13.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Rose Princess Stephanie Grace Hynes leads a procession to royalty float from the Tournament of Roses headquarters on January 2.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Leslie Miller of San Diego prepares to protest and march along the route of the Rose Parade on January 2. Members of the Occupy movement followed behind the Rose Parade at the beginning of the year in one of their final major protest actions in Los Angeles.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Antonio Cabrera and Jahel Campos pass the time on their second day of occupying the lobby in front of Obama's campaign office in Culver City on June 15. Though the president announced a plan to defer deportations of undocumented youth, Cabrera and the other protesters feel that this isn't a strong enough action.
Roberto (Bear) Guerra
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Undocumented immigrant Claudia Ramirez was brought to the states from Atizapan de Zaragoza, Mexico, when she was four years old. She hopes to pursue a degree in nutrition to help educate people in her south Los Angeles community.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi prepared to speak to thousands of Burmese expatriates and refugees at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Tuesday, October 2.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Nuclear protesters gathered to call for the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Plant on April 6. The plant was shut down after a series of mechanical failures and remains closed, its future in doubt.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Officer Craig Suzuki takes information from a young gang member who authorities believed to be in prison on August 22. The officers hope to verify his home address as a condition of his release but found the man himself, a sign of the confusion inherent in a massive prison realignment that began this year.
Bear Guerra/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
California Highway Patrol officers brief the moving crew of a 340-ton boulder destined for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art shortly before they set off toward Long Beach and the next stop on the boulder's 11-day journey in March.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Rodney King's uncle Lloyd McDaniels stands outside King's funeral service at Lawn Forest Memorial on June 30. King's fiancee found him drowned in the bottom of his swimming pool in Rialto, Calif., on June 17.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
This is a photo collage of present-day photos with an archival image of the 1992 riots created for the riot's 20th anniversary. In the archival image, armed forces stop looters at Ralph's during the riots on South Figueroa in Los Angeles. The government deployed 2,800 National Guard with another 3,200 standby, and 4,000 Marines and US Army troops during the riots.
Mae Ryan/KPCC with archival photo by Gary Leonard
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
An Anaheim resident speaks to the City Council in August during a special meeting to address two recent officer involved killings, as well as what Latinos in the community see as a lack of representation in city government. The killings sparked often violent demonstrations in the Orange County community.
Bear Guerra/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Fernando Gutierrez exits the polling station after casting his vote in the primary election at La Puerta Abierta Fellowship in Glassell Park on June 5.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Rudy and Mariana Darryanto pose for a photo before becoming citizens in an immigration ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center in June. They live in Corona and Rudy owns a used car dealership in Riverside. They came to the United States as refugees when riots in 1998 targeted ethnic Chinese in their home country.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Kimberly Huber and her daughter Clarity, 4, view the transit of Venus on June 5 at Griffith Obervatory.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
A visitor to Griffith Observatory takes a cell phone photo of a television projection of the sun. On June 5, Venus crossed in front of the sun and hundreds of curious observers flocked to the observatory to witness the astronomical event.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Dogs dressed in steampunk outfits make their way through the Olvera Street Market near Union Station in June.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
David Davis, center, and his friends looked up at a big screen where clips from The Dark Knight Rises played on Thursday night during the film's Los Angeles public debut. That same night, a gunman entered a theater in Aurora, Colo., and began shooting, killing 12 people and injuring 58.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Mary Caryl of Northridge participates in a pole dancing master class the International Pole Dancing Convention on June 24 at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Lexie Collins, 11, writes on a graffiti wall in the center of the Verizon Ampitheatre in Costa Mesa on October 12. Thousands of fans of Korean pop music flocked to the venue from all over the United States for KCON, the first-ever convention dedicated to KPOP music in the United States.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
The champion of the Los Angeles air guitar championships Tim "Six-String General" Granlund air guitars to Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird on July 14. His win secured him a spot in the National Championships in Denver on July 21.
Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Gerry Regan, left, and Denny Gerber dance during the start of the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval on Santa Monica Boulevard on November 1.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
LA Kings team officials carry the fruits of the team's championship season through the halls of the Staples Center on June 14.
Roberto (Bear) Guerra
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Tanya Leonard, of Redondo Beach, watches a laser light show and video at the LA Kings Stanley Cup victory celebration at Los Angeles' Staples Center on June 14.
Roberto (Bear) Guerra
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
A man reads the Quran before Friday prayer at the Islamic Center of Southern California on Sept. 14.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
A Dodgers fielder catches a ground ball in warm ups before an exhibition game against the Angels on April 3. It was the first time the Dodgers took the field under new ownership after a coalition led by Magic Johnson took control of the team.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Mario Rodriguez rests after a long day of practice for fencing in the Paralympics at a training gym in West LA. Rodriguez traveled to London to compete in the games in early September.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
The 405 freeway was completely empty as construction continued during the second coming of Carmageddon on Sept. 28.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
A student from Bell Gardens High School poses for a photograph in her prom attire in a ballroom at the Biltmore Hotel on April 21.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Friends of Frank Evans, who was shot in South Central earlier this year, attend his funeral on April 23.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Maria waits for clients on Pacific Blvd in Walnut Park on May 8. She has been working this same street for more than 30 years.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
U.S. paralympian Katy Sullivan walks to her car after completing one of her final practices before heading to London for the Paralympic Games in September. Sullivan is one of only two above-the-leg double amputees in the world to compete in running competitions.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Veronica McGregor, social media manager for JPL, reacts as pictures roll in from the surface of Mars from cameras onboard the Curiosity rover. The rover successfully landed on the surface of mars on August 6.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Painters bring down primer and Universal White paint to the Hollywood sign on October 26th. The sign received a fresh coat of paint for the first time since 2005.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
US Naval Sea Cadets listen for orders on "manning the rails" as the USS Iowa approaches it's final resting place at Berth 87 in San Pedro on June 9. The Iowa will be outfitted as a floating museum.
Roberto (Bear) Guerra
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Nancy Jimenez moved into the Travelers Hotel seven years ago and now studies Chemical Dependency at East Los Angeles Community College. The Los Angeles City Council revoked the land-use permit for the Travelers Hotel in June.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Supporters of President Barack Obama watched his acceptance speech at Union Station after the president won reelection November 6.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
John Doan of Costa Mesa pauses to watch election coverage at the OCGOP election night party at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., on November 6.
Anibal Ortiz / KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Jackie Lacey speaks to supporters on November 6th after winning the Los Angeles District Attorney race.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Students show their moves as they dance a tango during judging at the Dancing Classrooms competition at the Ambassador Hotel's Cocoanut Grove Theater on June 19.
Bear Guerra/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Gamers take in the sights at the E3 Expo, massive video game convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 5.
Roberto (Bear) Guerra/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
For three weeks this summer, city crews cleaned up Skid Row. Area resident, Frank Jeffrey Kennon moves his belongings before they arrive on June 21.
Bear Guerra/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Kevin Dillman, 16, of La Mirada High School's Matadores varsity football team closes his eyes as he stretches on the field before practice in La Mirada on September 5. A native of Sweden, Dillman plans to pursue his dream into college football and later make it his career in the National Football League.
Anibal Ortiz / KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
After 60 years of service, the Wilshire Grand Hotel will be demolished in the next year to make way for a new Wilshire Grand hotel and office tower. Some hotel rooms still have furniture, lamps, mirrors, and ironing boards left inside.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour passes over the huge crowd gathered at Griffith Observatory on September 21.
Bear Guerra/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
The crowd at Griffith Observatory watches for one last glimpse of the Endeavour on September 21.
Bear Guerra/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
Women line the back of the Darbar Sahib, the Sikh holy room, at the Khalsa Care Foundation on August 6. The community gathered for a memorial service to the victims of a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier in the week.
Grant Slater/KPCC
The space shuttle Endeavour leaves Los Angeles International Airport in the early morning hours of October 11 on its way to the California Science Center. The 12-mile journey through the streets of south Los Angeles took three days.
An instructor gets her student ready for a Nutcracker rehearsal at Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, Calif., on December 1.
Mae Ryan/KPCC


This is one in a series of year-end stories that look back at the most memorable pieces KPCC reporters worked on in 2012 and look ahead at a key issue that will be the focus of coverage in the coming year.

The year 2012 was a rich one for visual storytelling in Southern California, starting with the color of the annual Rose Parade (which included a contingent of Occupy protesters).

During the year, our photographers captured the festive atmosphere of the LACMA Rock's journey through Los Angeles in March, a commemoration of the 1992 L.A. riots in April, the poignance of Rodney King's passing in June and the tumult of the year's political campaigns in the summer.

The fall brought us the majesty of the Shuttle Endeavour's overflight of Los Angeles, as well drama of the presidential election in November.

Along the way, there were moments of joy and tragedy and everything in between, including immigrants, protesters, pole dancers and Batman.

We invite you to enjoy the best of 2012 in pictures, above, and let us know which were your favorite moments.

If you have photos of your own from the past year, please share them with us and we'll share the best of them with the KPCC audience.

Here's how to send us your Instagram images:

Here's how to send us your Twitter images:

E-mail us your pictures:

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