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Best pictures: Photojournalism excellence on display

Palm Beach Photographic Centre offers free events with top photojournalists June 26-28.

Remarkable moments in time captured by some of the most skilled photojournalists in the world can be seen this weekend at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in West Palm Beach.

More than 120 pictures are part of the Best in Show Festival, a tour of images honored in the prestigious POYi (Pictures of the Year International) photojournalism competition at the Missouri School of Journalism, and stopping at the PBPC Friday-Sunday.

The pictures cover a wide range of subject matter, including violence in Ferguson, Mo., and Somalia; the vicissitudes of the Dallas Cowboys and Brazil's World Cup squad; the wonder of the rain forest and the plight of the bumblebee.

The exhibit is arranged in three parts. One is devoted to more than 40 large prints from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Ferguson riots. Another grouping of 30 or so pictures come from "A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity," a years-in-the-making series by Lisa Krantz of the San Antonio Express-News. The rest of the POYi winners are gathered in a third area.

Fatima NeJame, president of the nonprofit PBPC, says the festival celebrates both superior photography and excellence in storytelling. This is especially true in the Ferguson and "A Life Apart" sections, which she calls "very touching."

"This is true storytelling. Usually you only get to see one image with a story, but with Ferguson, you see the whole coverage," NeJame says. "The prints are 30 by 40 [inches], or 40 by 60. It is amazing to be able to immerse yourself in the complete story … and feel the emotions, which are still very raw, and still around us."

The PBPC will offer a series of free, public events for the exhibition, beginning Friday with a 6-8 p.m. opening reception that will include a film, "A Thousand Pictures Tell a Thousand and One Stories," showing every POYi 2015 winner. On hand will be some of the winning photographers and editors, including St. Louis Post-Dispatch director of photography Lynden Steele and staff photographer Laurie Skrivan.

Saturday will bring an afternoon of TED-style panel discussions with winning photographers moderated by Scott Mc Kiernan, founder of Zuma Press and ThePicturesOfTheDay.com.

Among those speaking will be Brad Vest (noon-1 p.m.), named POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year for pictures taken after a series of tornadoes for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Krantz (1-2 p.m.) and Steele and Skrivan (2:30-5:30 p.m.).

On Sunday, a noon-3 p.m. discussion will focus primarily on the business of photography in partnership with the South Florida chapter of the American Society of Media Professionals.

The Best in Show Festival will open with a reception 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 26 at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, 415 Clematis St., in West Palm Beach. Admission is free. Call 561-253-2600 or go to Workshop.org.

bcrandell@southflorida.com

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