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Chinese weight lifters training for the London 2012 Olympics
Photo Essay

The Gold Standard: James Nachtwey Photographs China’s Female Weight Lifters

China has developed some of the toughest women weightlifters in the world. TIME contract photographer James Nachtwey documented China's team as they prepared for the 2012 Olympic games in London.

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Todd Forsgren
In Progress

Ruffled Feathers: Recording Birds Caught in Nets

Todd Forsgren ruffles feathers every time he takes a picture. LightBox presents his series of ornithological photographs of birds caught in biologists' mist nests.

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Xinhua/KCNA
Closeup

Pictures of the Week: July 20 – July 27

From drought-cracked earth in Yemen and massive floods in China to violent protests in California and Olympic preparation in London, TIME’s photo department presents the best images of the week.

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Naoya Hatakeyama—Courtesy of Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Taka Ishii Gallery
Out There

Landscapes on the Verge of Change

A new retrospective of the work of Japanese photographer Naoya Hatakeyama, opening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on July 28, looks at vistas on the verge of change.

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Tomas Munita for TIME
Photo Essay

A Young Olympian: Diver Carolina Mendoza’s Path to London

Although she is one of the youngest athletes set to compete in this summer's Olympic games, 15-year-old Carolina Mendoza displays a maturity beyond her years through her training. TIME commissioned photographer Tomas Munita to photograph Mendoza as she prepared for London.

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Photo-Illustration by Bartholomew Cooke for TIME
The Backstory

Behind the Cover: How Guns Won

Bartholomew Cooke photographed this week's TIME cover story, which explores gun control in the U.S.

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Karine Laval
Out There

Through the Glass Ceiling, Into the White Cube: 31 Women in Art Photography

Now in its third incarnation, "31 Women in Art Photography" gives women photographers a powerful platform to show their work.

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Yuri Kozyrev–NOOR for TIME
Photo Essay

The Wrestlers of Chechnya: Photographs by Yuri Kozyrev

The dusty Russian town of Khasav-Yurt, which the locals like to call the Wrestlers' Mecca, boasts the greatest concentration of wrestling champions in the world. Photographer Yuri Kozyrev documented the young athletes at their school in the North Caucasus.

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Neil Leifer for Sports Illustrated
The Backstory

Best Magazine Assignment Ever: Neil Leifer’s 1984 Olympic Odyssey Around the World

Neil Leifer spent a year traversing the globe to photograph athletes for TIME's 1984 Olympics special issue. From the plains of Kenya to Russia's Red Square to The Great Wall of China, Leifer used grand backdrops to photograph the athletic stars of the day.

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Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
Photo Essay

Paradise Lost: 20 Years of Independence in Abkhazia

20 years after Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia, TIME contract photographer Yuri Kozyrev returned to the region to document the place where he vacationed as a boy and later photographed a brutal war.

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