All of those qualities shine through in this selection of some of our favorite arts photography published this year by The New York Times — sometimes in the same image.

Photographers bore witness: at a listening party Kanye West held in Wyoming; as Tony Kushner’s masterwork, “Angels in America,” returned to Broadway in the age of Trump; as Caroll Spinney, who played Big Bird on “Sesame Street,” hung up his claws and yellow feathers.

They took us behind the scenes, from a salsa party called Las Chicas Locas to the wings of the Metropolitan Opera, where diva Elina Garanca was preparing to open the season. Group photos shed light on the actors who made us believe in Wakanda in “Black Panther,” and those who proved that the rom-com is not dead with “Crazy Rich Asians” — and who broke Hollywood racial barriers in the process. And revealing portraits captured pop producer and songwriter Teddy Geiger as she embraced her new openness after coming out as a transgender woman; comedian Ali Wong as her humor tapped a nerve; and novelist Philip Roth, photographed at his home in Manhattan months before his death.

“Here I was at a fancy Beverly Hills hotel photographing the cast and director of a monumental film. And they all kind of look like me.” — Rozette Rago on photographing the cast of “Crazy Rich Asians”

“I was so captivated by his movements, so many of which I simply can’t relate to anything else.” — Erik Tanner on photographing Jason A. Rodriguez of “Pose”

“A loop of choirlike music playing overhead and light beaming through the windows, it was just too perfect.” — Vincent Tullo on photographing the “Heavenly Bodies” at the Met Cloisters

“Sonny Tilders, the animatronics artist who designed Kong, lit up when he saw some of the movements I encouraged during the shoot. It felt like watching a father watching his child learning to walk.” — Erik Tanner on photographing King Kong on Broadway

“I wanted to bring forth the weight as well as the beauty of people prevailing in difficult situations.” — An Rong Xu on photographing dancers of color dying their ballet shoes

“We wandered around and talked about how our toddlers enjoy using us as punching bags.” — Elizabeth Weinberg on photographing Ali Wong

“I loved how the blood gradually crept up the white dresses of the chorus as it soaked into the material. It was visually ratcheting up the tension as the scene developed.” — Damon Winter on photographing François Girard’s production of Wagner’s “Parsifal”

“We ventured outside the hotel and found a plain concrete wall. That’s all we needed for the personalities and group dynamic of the ‘Atlanta’ cast to shine through.” — Bryan Derballa on photographing the cast of the FX show “Atlanta”

“His presence seemed to elevate everything around him.” — Philip Montgomery on photographing Philip Roth

“Such a brilliant artist and gentle human.” — Jody Rogac on photographing Benicio Del Toro

“It took every fiber of my being not to ask him to re-enact the final scene in ‘Breaking Bad.'” — Devin Yalkin on photographing Bryan Cranston, who is starring in “Network”

“I shall never forget looking onto my ground glass to see Françoise seated against the deep blue canvas.” — Jody Rogac on photographing Françoise Gilot

“There were 90 chorus members, 29 children’s chorus members, 12 supers and two principal singers on the stage at once. Was that enough for this production? No, the final seconds ended with a blanket of snow.” — Sara Krulwich on photographing “Mefistofele” at the Metropolitan Opera

“When she suggested putting one of the nylon tights she uses in her artwork over her head, I almost shook with excitement.” — Ana Cuba on photographing Sarah Lucas

“I took dozens of different angles of Smokeasac’s Lil Peep tribute tattoo. But he didn’t mind and made sure I got what I needed.” — Rozette Rago on photographing Smokeasac

“Making pictures of people — asking for intimacy through touch and trust — is never easy. Nick and Bob graciously made this picture with me.” — Whitten Sabbatini on photographing Nick Cave and his partner, Bob Faust

“I’m looking for a moment that captures the mood of the show while showing something candid yet subtle, such as an actor in the background on her phone.” — Todd Heisler on photographing “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” during a break on set

“Waiting, watching, dancing around them myself — looking for the moment to press the shutter.” — Landon Nordeman on photographing dancers at Las Chicas Locas, a weekly salsa party

“Upon first meeting her at the rink and seeing those incredible nails, I knew I wanted to do a shot that featured them and helped show her distinct style.” — Kyle Johnson on photographing Tonya Harding

“Caroll told me that he would roller skate around the set in these legs while preparing for each shoot.” — Cody O’Loughlin on photographing Caroll Spinney, who played Big Bird

“I think the most poignant quote about this session came from Brolin himself. He said something along the lines of ‘I feel like it’s just you and me in here. The New York Times who?'” — Erik Tanner on photographing Josh Brolin

“It was such a pleasure to see Kanye West come to life in this valley.” — Ryan Dorgan on photographing Kanye West near Jackson Hole, Wyoming

“They were topless and I was nervous about showing any nudity in The Times.” — Andrea Mohin on photographing “Kreatur” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

“We had three minutes to take this group photo. These fantastic actors had such magnetic energy and group dynamic that they were able to give us all we asked for in a few precious moments.” — Kendrick Brinson and David Walter Banks on photographing the cast of “Black Panther”

“The room went dark, and strobe lights began to flash, revealing performers with megaphones who created a body-trembling noise.” — Nina Westervelt on photographing Ashley Fure’s “Filament”

“It felt like she knew exactly what she wanted to give me, and I was over the moon to take it.” — Ana Cuba on photographing Swedish pop star Robyn

“I feel my most powerful and authentic when I am holding both my masculine and my feminine in both my hands at the same time, and I don’t take that as unique to me.” — Jordan Roth, Broadway producer

“We had three setups planned inside the Beacon Theater, but I spontaneously asked Jerry to go into the ticket booth. He obliged and — yada, yada, yada — this was the result.” — Landon Nordeman on photographing Jerry Seinfeld

“Creating imagery that is authentic to our experiences and that gives black people autonomy over our narratives is something that the Odufus and I both strive for.” — Dana Scruggs on photographing Chelsea and Emann Odufu

“A couple gave me dirty looks, another person covered their face, children sat excited and then soon bored. The snowman kept smiling.” — George Etheredge on photographing “Snowman” at MoMA

“He took my idea and multiplied it by 10.” — Charlie Gates on photographing Antonio Banderas

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.