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Documenting one family’s home birth experience

Home births aren’t for everyone. But for Ashley Bennett, having her second child at home in Medford was an opportunity to be encouraged and supported at a time when she, and many women, feel at their most vulnerable. The birth plan gave Ashleyand her husband, Mike, an array of delivery options, but, as always when it comes to birth, circumstances were unpredictable. The night Ashley went into labor, their toddler, Marin, came down with a fever. And Ashley’s dreams of a water birth — in a giant portable tub — dried up when the new addition to the family, Isaac Douglas Bennett, arrived before the tub was filled. Besides doula Catherine McKeown-Lindsey and midwives Tara Kenny and Audra Karp, the Bennetts allowed Globe photographer Jessica Rinaldi to witness the family’s private moments. (14 photos total)

Roll out the barrels

Saudi Arabia’s oil exports have risen in February in response to stronger demand from customers. As OPEC’s top producer battles for market share Reuters photographers around the globe have been photographing oil barrels to document how they are utilized once the fuel has been used.-- By Reuters (24 photos total)

Chinese New Year 2015

The Chinese Lunar New Year began Feb. 19 ushering in the Year of the Sheep, according to the Chinese zodiac. The new year also marks the beginning of the Spring Festival in China, which continues until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day.-- By Lloyd Young (35 photos total)

Wintry woes for the MBTA

The MBTA has been struggling to restore service after a massive amount of snow fell on the state, beginning with the blizzard in late January. Beverly Scott, MBTA general manager, said “tremendous progress” had been made in an “absolutely unbelievable recovery” effort. She also said that the commuter rail system is “still having challenges,” operating at a little over 60 percent. Scott said the MBTA woes this winter had sounded several “wakeup calls,” and that the system needs more investment. A look back at our recent public transit woes, due to an unusually harsh winter.-- By Bill Greene (26 photos total)

Carnival and Mardi Gras 2015

Pre-Lenten celebrations around the globe, including Carnival and Mardi Gras, wrapped up earlier this week before the marking of Ash Wednesday. Historians say the tradition dates back to Roman times, when the newly converted Christians retained vestiges of their pagan festival, “Lupercalia,” as a period of celebration before the penance during the 40 days of Lent.-- By Lloyd Young (35 photos total)

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

The Westminster Kennel Club 139th Annual Dog show took place this week, filling Manhattan with thousands of competitors, including 192 different canine breeds. Owners and dogs traveled from around the world to participate in this iconic event.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (30 photos total)

Fire and Ice

In Japan, winter festivals in the past week make for interesting visual juxtapositions. Snow and Ice festivals display large illuminated sculptures for the public to enjoy. In Shingu, the end of winter is celebrated by thousand of men lighting torches on a mountain shrine.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (20 photos total)

Snow keeps piling up in New England

The record-breaking snow amounts just keep piling up since the blizzard that hit the Northeast in late January, causing major commuting issues, damage to property, and sore backs across the region.-- By Lloyd Young (35 photos total)

Portraits of conflict in Ukraine

The heavy fighting in Ukraine has returned this past month, with leaders around the world hoping for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Photographers have captured the lives of the soldiers on both sides and the civilians living among the destruction and bloodshed.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (32 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, January 2015

Here’s a look at just some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month including the coverage of winter storms, a new governor taking office and the Patriots playoff run to the Super Bowl.-- By Lloyd Young (31 photos total)

Super Bowl victory parade for the New England Patriots

Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots defeat Seahawks

The Patriots defeated the Seahawks, 28-24, in Super Bowl XLIX to claim their fourth NFL championship. Tom Brady was the gamne’s MVP. (38 photos total)

Road to K-pop stardom

Thousands of Korean children dream of becoming household names like rapper Psy, whose 2012 “Gangnam Style” video was a global YouTube hit, often putting up with punishing schedules in the hope of one day making it big in the music industry. A recent survey of pre-teens showed that 21 percent of respondents wanted to be K-pop (Korean pop) stars when they grow up, the most popular career choice.-- By Reuters (15 photos total)

Massive snowstorm hits Northeast

The blizzard of 2015 blasted the region with wind-whipped snow that piled nearly 3-feet high in some places. (51 photos total)

Unrest in Yemen

The future for Yemen is uncertain after the president resigned this week after a Houthi rebel takeover of the country. Thousands demonstrated on Friday as lawmakers wait to convene over the weekend.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (18 photos total)

Declining water levels in the Dead Sea

Originally one of the world’s first health resorts, the Dead Sea in Israel has a far from healthy future as its water levels continue to decline. In fact, it has been estimated that since the 1950s the water levels have dropped about 130 feet. The dangerously low level has been attributed to an imbalance between the amount of incoming and outgoing water. Known also as the Sea of Salt, separating Israel to the west and Jordan to the east, the lake’s surface and shores are 1407 feet below the level making it earth’s lowest elevation on land. The problem of the annual declining rate is due largely to the reduction of inflowing of water from the Jordan River. This has been attributed to the increased current consumption of water within the Jordan River water and irrigation drainage basin. Water resources in the region are scarce and affect Israel, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan that are located within and bordering the basin. The sea is called ‘dead’ because its high salinity prevents aquatic organisms such as fish and aquatic plants from living in it.-- By European Pressphoto Agency (13 photos total)

Bird’s Eye View

A change in perspective can make everything look a little different. Patterns emerge, shapes coalesce, and chaos simplifies. (32 photos total)

The Naga tribes of Myanmar

In Myanmar, around 120,000 people live in the Naga Self-Administered Zone in Sagaing Division where they survive mainly by subsistence farming and hunting. Cultural practices are changing - for example, younger men now wear trousers rather than traditional loincloths - although many Naga communities remain impoverished and inaccessible by road. The Naga speak dozens of languages and many of those in Myanmar use Burmese as a lingua franca. (14 photos total)

Dakar Rally 2015

The 13-stage Dakar Rally is traveling through Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia via motorcycle, quad bike, car, or truck over extreme terrain. Competitors and support crews come from around the world to challenge their mechanical, driving, and orienteering skills. The race wraps up this Saturday in Buenos Aires after covering the more than 5,592-mile loop-shaped course.-- By Lloyd Young (25 photos total)

Unity Rallies for France terror victims

A crowd estimated to be between one to three million people marched in Paris to remember the victims of a series of terror attacks which claimed the lives of 17 people. The Paris march was said to rival crowds that turned out for the liberation of France after WWII. Other rallies throughout France drew massive crowds as well.-- By Lane Turner (18 photos total)

The Natural World: Animal patterns

Animals offer photographers a wealth of visual material. Interesting forms, texture, patterns, movement, and color enrich the image. This is a selection of recent photos of animals and their environment from around the world that are captured with this in mind.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (28 photos total)

Charlie Baker Inauguration

Charles Duane Baker Jr., a Beacon Hill budget whiz turned health insurance chief executive and politician, was sworn in Thursday as the 72d governor of Massachusetts. (11 photos total)

Paris attack

Authorities are looking for the armed gunmen who stormed the office of the weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris and killed 12 people including the editor and two police officers. The paper had a history of publishing cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims. (18 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, December 2014

Daily Life: December 2014

For this edition of our look at daily life we share images from France, China, Cuba, Pakistan, United States and other countries from around the world.-- By Lloyd Young (25 photos total)

Seasonal lights

Around the world, nights look brighter this time of year. Illuminations of all kinds help celebrate holidays or festivities.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (31 photos total)

Hands in the news

Hands tell stories. They are are functional and they have the power to communicate emotion. This post is edited from today’s wire photos. The hands in these photographs represent hope, communication, power, connection and longing.-- By Thea Breite (16 photos total)

2014 Year in Pictures: Part III

Photos from the last four months of the 2014 depicting news events and daily life around the world. (28 photos total)

2014 Year in Pictures: Part II

Photographs from May-August on a range topics from around the world.-- By Lloyd Young (28 photos total)

2014 Year in Pictures: Part I

-- By Thea Breite (26 photos total)

Protesters rally in downtown Boston over police killings

About 1,000 people demonstrated Saturday in downtown Boston to protest over the recent deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in New York City. State Police said they arrested 23 people for disorderly conduct after a skirmish near Nashua Street Jail.-- By Lloyd Young (21 photos total)

Powerful storm pounds West Coast

A strong storm hit the West Coast this week, causing overflow of rivers and flooded freeways. Northern and southern California dealt with power outages, wind damage and landslides.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (20 photos total)

The best photos of 2014: stories behind the Globe’s most memorable pictures of the year

Each year, editors from the Globe Magazine (www.bostonglobe.com/magazine) and the Boston Globe photo department choose the most memorable and incisive pictures of the last 12 months from staff photographers. The 2014 photos that follow -- and the behind-the-scenes stories about them, as told to reporter Elizabeth Gehrman -- will appear in the Globe Magazine on Sunday, December 14. (And scroll down for additional great pictures that we couldn’t fit in the print magazine.)-- By Francis Storrs (21 photos total)

Massive fire in downtown Los Angeles

The huge fire shut down parts of two major freeways early Monday morning.-- By Thea Breite (14 photos total)

Affordable housing crisis in Brazil

Affordable housing in Rio de Janeiro is in high demand for the city of twelve million. The city is dealing with a housing crisis daily, with about 220,000 people without a proper place to live. With the Olympics coming in 2016, real estate has become too expensive for many. Recently, several hundred squatters were evicted from a housing complex and forced to live back in the slums.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (26 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, November 2014

Hong Kong protesters and police clash

Pro-democracy protesters tried to surround the government headquarters in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. After failing to shut down the government, pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong announced that he and two other members of his group will go on a hunger strike until the city’s chief executive restarts dialogue on electoral reform.-- By Thea Breite (12 photos total)

Strike up the band

Over the decades, marching bands at Boston’s public high schools slowly died out, a victim of dwindling resources and interest. On Thanksgiving Day, the English High Marching Band band will revive that tradition.-- By Lloyd Young (17 photos total)

Reaction to the Ferguson decision

Life during the battle of Kobani

The Syrian town of Kobani has been under attack by Islamic State militants since September. As the Kurdish fighters defend their city, displaced residents are forced to live in camps across the border into Turkey.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (35 photos total)

Snow buries area in upstate New York

More than 6 feet of lake-effect snow was dumped in the Buffalo, N.Y., area over the last few days with reports of more on the way. Storms closed a 100-mile plus section of the New York State Thruway, and the US National Guard has been called in to help dig out.-- By Lloyd Young (22 photos total)

Portraits

A portrait often pauses events and allows viewers to look into the eyes of the participants. Candid moments are usually how stories are told, but sometimes the interaction between photographer and subject tells its own story. Like a movie character who breaks the fourth wall, a portrait can arrest our gaze when we’re otherwise focused on narrative, forcing us to consider an individual. Collected here is a celebration of that special genre of photojournalism, the portrait.-- By Lane Turner (30 photos total)

The Natural World: November weather

November can bring a variety of changes in the weather to many different regions. Among the long shadows of autumn, cold temperatures, winds and snow begin the transition to winter in the northern hemisphere.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (24 photos total)

Veterans Day 2014

United States veterans who have served in the armed forces were honored during Veterans Day events yesterday. It coincided with other countries marking Armistice Day or Remembrance day (Poppy Day), when in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the armistice between the allied nations and Germany in 1918 effectively ended World War I.-- By Lloyd Young (28 photos total)

Monochrome

Some of the best photographs in color make no attempt to utilize the entire available palette. A splash of just one hue can crystalize a moment or a mood in a way that a full spectrum often cannot. Sometimes black and white photography simplifies a chaotic world, stripping away distractions to focus on the subjects at hand. This isn’t necessarily true all the time, and there are many reasons for creating images in black and white. The monochrome image as well gives photographers that same distillation of intent that black and white can achieve, and still allows for the vibrant saturation of real life. Collected here are images that celebrate the primarily monochrome vision.-- By Lane Turner (33 photos total)

Art in public spaces

Art in public spaces enriches our lives in various ways, in many places. It can send important messages to the community, make people more aware the environment, and let them see it in a different way. Here is an homage to the artists who create for all to see, and to the photographers who captured it.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (41 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, October 2014

The death of former mayor Thomas M. Menino, politicians on the campaign trail, the last day of racing at Suffolk Downs, and more of last month’s best images from the Globe staff.-- By Lloyd Young (24 photos total)

Election 2014

Hawaiian volcano lava flow slows, but remains active

Lava from the Kilauea volcano has stalled but Hawaiian authorities say there is still an active threat. There are now active breakouts behind the leading edge, causing a widening of the flow. Lava has been pouring from the volcano since June 27th. So far it has crossed one road, toppled trees and burned a shed and vegetation, but has not yet touched any homes.-- By Thea Breite (24 photos total)

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, 1942-2014

Boston’s longest serving mayor dies at 71. (35 photos total)

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