Discuss as:

Pictures of the Year International awards best images of 2011

Liu Jie / Xinhua News Agency

Portrait series, 3rd Place: Peasant worker Wang Jianjun who serves as low-income labor in Chengdu city of China sits beside an image of his daughter being left behind at the undeveloped rural area in Sichuan province in China, Dec 05, 2011. As the progress of urbanization in China is speeding up, there are 250 million young Chinese peasant and farmers moving to cities working as low-income labors, leaving 20 million old people and 58 million children behind at the undeveloped rural areas.

It's photojournalism award season which gives us a chance to look back at last year's images and acknowledge some of the best work captured. Last week, we published some of the winners from the World Press Photo contest.

Sam Dean / The Roanoke Times

General News, Award of Excellent: "I had to be here and look and feel if there was anything here," says Gil Harrington, left, supported by her husband Dan Harrington while visiting the site where their daughter Morgan Harrington's remains were discovered. She went missing after a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, Va. in 2009.

This week, winners were announced in the University of Missouri's prestigious Pictures of the Year International. The winning images are a reminder of the huge stories that made the year remarkable. From tsunamis to the Arab Spring, photojournalists had more dramatic, historic and poignant events to capture than usual. To do it well takes expert skill. But it's also the mark of a great photojournalist when they can cover the everyday and mundane and still make a compelling frame.

In this post, fellow editor James Cheng and I point out a few of our favorite frames from these quieter stories. If you have time this weekend, take a look at the POYi website to see them all, from the big stories to the less well known.

Pavel Koubek / Nerikes Allehanda

Portrait, 3rd Place: The person looking back at you in the mirror never changes. It is the same person as it was when you were five years old according to Kjell Nilsson, life coach. Like the forest lake`s reflection of the world, where the surface seems to split reality. Above all is elusive, comes and goes from birth to death. Underneath is the anchorage, the awareness of the constant being.

Preston Gannaway / The Virginian-Pilot

Feature, Award of Excellence: Joe Patch grabs a drink of water during a break between acting for groups during Bethel Baptist Church's Judgement House. The dramatization is an evangelistic tool for the conservative Christian church. In the Judgement House play, the character, who had not been saved, is sent to hell despite being "a good person."