The World's Most Powerful Images Welcomed to Philadelphia

Aesha Desai, for GPA -- It was up to an international jury to narrow down the 98,671 entries (provided by 5,745 photographers representing 132 countries) down to 143 prize-winning photos to be displayed at the World Press Photo Exhibition, making its first appearance at Drexel University’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery thanks to the Good Idea Fund.

At the opening event, this year’s jury chairman and award-winning photojournalist Gary Knight made a speech about the awe-inspiring amount of submissions that allude to the hierarchy of issues around the world. In addition, the Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki was recognized for his photo of the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

The photo captured a detailed moment of the chaos and pain. Tlumacki gave a personal account of the event and with sadness he stated that, “I will never forget the sound and smell of the bombs and the view of the darkest moment in history.” The image shows what happened 16 seconds after the bomb and is a must-see, award-winning example of photography.

However, the photo that was declared the most prestigious of the year was taken by John Stanmeyer of National Geographic. Stanmeyer’s entry is titled “Signal” and depicts African migrants on the shore of Djibouti City, raising their cell phones to the night sky in hopes of catching a signal - a tentative connection to relatives at home - from neighboring Somalia. World Press Photo notes that Djibouti is a common checkpoint for refugees fleeing Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea for Europe and the Middle East. It is an unbelievable photo that captures the themes of survival, hope and incredible will.

With this entry and the other 142 photos, the exhibit displays unbelievable, jaw-dropping features and behind the scenes stories. These powerful photos are breathtaking and seize moments in time flawlessly.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon. It also inspires the world’s biggest international contest for photojournalism. The internationally-minded will not want to miss this opportunity to see things through the eyes of the world’s leading photographers.

After its brief stay in Philadelphia, The World Press Photo exhibition is moving on to 100 cities in 45 countries. People from Amsterdam, Singapore, Milan, Hamburg, Vienna, Santiago, Toronto, and other cities from around the world will be able to view the collection of amazing photos and learn about their incredible stories. Images of war, destruction, violence, hope, beauty and life are just some of themes that are represented and the exhibit will no doubt broaden our knowledge of the world.

For more information, visit World Press Photo’s website.

Photo courtesy of Aesha Desai.