Are These The Best Photos Ever Taken With An iPhone?

The iPhone turned 10 years old last month! When Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone exactly a decade ago, the it launched with a 2-megapixel camera– measly by our standards now, but the prospect of a mobile phone that could take photos was positively groundbreaking back then.

And now, it’s easy to take our 12-megapixel, ultra-high performance phone cameras for granted.

Just in case you needed reminding of how powerful that phone camera in your pocket is, take a look at the winning entries for the 2017 iPhone Photography Awards, a yearly photography contest dedicated to picking the best photos taken with an iPhone. With thousands of entries from over 140 countries around the world, picking a winner for each of the 19 categories probably wasn’t easy. 

Here are some of our favourite winning photographs:

Grand Prize Winner, Photographer of the Year

Sebastiano Tomada (iPhone 6s) Brooklyn, New York
Children of Qayyarah
“Children roam the streets in Qayyarah near the fire and smoke billowing from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants.”

Of course, there were a few rules: All photos had to be taken by an iPhone. Any model, or even an iPad or iPod. While contestants weren’t allowed to alter their photos with any desktop image processing programs like Photoshop, but any IOS image-processing app and even iPhone add-on lenses were fine.

2nd Place – Floral

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Smetanina Julia, Moscow, Russia
“This photo was taken when I was preparing for a lecture on composition in a still-life. This was one of the classes on mobile photography which I conducted last year.”


3rd Place – Landscape

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Alexandra Maldonado, Quito, Ecuador
“This photo, titled Pachamama, was taken on June 5, 2016 at the Cayambe Volcano in Ecuador, at 5790 meters.”

1st Place – Other

Darren Boyd, London, United Kingdom
“This photo, Late Night Dumpling Run, was taken in China Town, London, on the celebrated Chinese New Year, 29th January 2017.”

2nd Place, Photographer of the Year

Yeow-Kwang Yeo (iPhone 6 Plus),  Singapore
The Performer
“Chinese traditional street opera is part of the Chinese culture. Unfortunately, the young generation in Singapore is no longer interested. Hence the street opera is fast disappearing.  Instead of shooting their performance, I decided to go the back of the stage to capture the performers’ preparation activity. I spotted this experience performer who is taking a short rest and was waiting for his turn to perform. I was attracted by the lighting of the old plastic curtain, electric fan, and the overall calm atmosphere.”

1st Place – News/Events

Samuel Nacar, Albacete, Spain
The nomads of Europe
“Monday 24th of October started the eviction of the biggest migrant camp in Europe named The Jungle, located in northern France only 5 kilometers away from the city of Calais. On Wednesday 26th of October the camp was set on fire and thousands of migrants had to leave, some of them were relocated while others were not. In this photograph you can see thousands of migrants being evicted from the camp due to the many fires.”

2nd Place – News/Events

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Thea Mihu, Sibiu, Romania
“Shot on February 4th, 2017 during anti-corruption protests in Romania, the largest protest since the fall of communism, where thousands of people protest creatively against Romanian government.”

(And just for curiosity’s sake, check out the winners from the first ever competition in 2008. iPhone cameras have sure come a long way!)

All photos belong to the iPhone Photography Awards and their respective photographers.