Believe it or Not, These Incredible Photos Have All Been Shot With an iPhone

The first cellphone to have an inbuilt camera was invented only 15 years ago. The Nokia 7560 boasted a “large 176×208 pixel color display,” according to a media release at the time. At that point, it would have been very hard to fathom that a cell phone would have been able to take any kind of decent picture. Fast forward to today though, and with the advent of the iPhone and its technology, the capabilities of a smartphone camera have reached epic proportions – so much so that it has become the tool of choice for many creatives. Breathtaking panoramas, moving portraits and razor sharp macro shots are are now achievable from a device that fits in your pocket.

The annual iPhone Photography Awards have been working across the past decade to embrace and document this rapidly shifting art form and its capacity to capture our ever changing world. Now in its tenth year, the IPP awards have just released their picks for 2017. From fleeting moments in nature, to powerful portraits of war torn communities, the winners of the this year’s IPP awards will move and delight you. See our favorites below:

Grand Prize Winner, Photographer of the Year

Children of Qayyarah

Sebastiano Tomada, Brooklyn, New York.

“Children roam the streets in Qayyarah near the fire and smoke billowing from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants.”

1st Place, Photographer of the Year

Dock Worker

Brendan O Se, Cork, Ireland.

“I shot this photo on an early morning photo walk around the docks in Jakarta in April 2016. These were the hands of a dock worker who was taking a break. I was struck by the texture created by the accumulated dirt on his hands.”

2nd Place, Photographer of the Year

The Performer

Yeow-Kwang Yeo, Singapore.

“Chines 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.”

3rd Place, Photographer of the Year

The City Palace

Kuanglong Zhang, Shenzhen, China.

“Udaipur is one of the most romantic cities in India. in the City palace, I snapped a moment of one of the staff gazing out of the window as if he saw the slowly historic course of the palace’s construction, which was as quite attractive moment.”

1st Place, People


Dina Alfasi, Israel.

“I shoot mostly street scenes and portraits, trying to capture intimate moments. Every day I get to work by train and bus. For two hours every day I’m in a place with different people. At first, to pass the time, I was just observing them and trying to guess where they’re going, what they are dealing with, or what their story may be. Along with this observation, I noticed intimate moments and so I started to take photos, and I was surprised with the result.”

1st Place, Trees


Magali Chesnel, Ferney-Voltaire, France.

“Stormy winds have swept across Europe this winter, with Siberian temperatures transforming trees in wonderful icy show in Versoix, a little town close to Geneva, in Switzerland. After a conjunction of intense cold (-10 to -18 degrees Centigrade), with very strong winds, blowing at over 100 kmh, the waves from the Leman Lake got so harsh that they passed over the dikes and the droplets immediately froze everything they touched, including the trees. Braving the frozen ground, I took this photograph, early in the morning.”

1st Place, The America I Know


Juan Carlos Castañeda, Astoria NY, United States.

“These pictures were taken on December 5th, 2016 at Standing Rock, North Dakota. That day the water protectors, the people standing up for the Sioux tribe were supposed to get evicted by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department. Thousands of veterans came to the aid of those of us who were protesting. They told us that they had vowed to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. President Obama announced that the Dakota Access Pipeline had to be halted until an investigation was made. The veterans still marched on that afternoon and made sure to let everyone know that they were there helping protect Standing Rock. Mother Nature stepped in that day with a blizzard of 40 to 50 mph winds with temperatures of -30F. The height of the storm and the march was captured with the photo that was selected for first place. Everyone there stood until it was physically impossible to continue. Shortly after that picture was taken everyone had to go back to camp and the officers on the other side of the bridge had to leave as well. It was a great reminder of who truly was in charge.”

1st Place, Landscape

Singing Rock

Christian Horgan, Fremantle, Australia.

“I captured this image in the Margaret River region of Western Australia.  It’s my second home, and one of the most spectacular places on earth.  This was taken on the coast at Wyadup Rocks, and is called Singing Rock.  I was swimming there with family when I was drawn to it by the sound of it’s song as the wind whistled through it, and just had to capture this image.”

1st Place, Nature


Aaron Sandberg, Chicago IL, United States.

“I took this photo in late June of 2016 while in Sigtuna, Sweden. I used my old iPhone 6s (native camera) then did some light post-processing with Snapseed, Photoshop Fix, and VSCO. This photo didn’t need too much editing at all unlike some of my others—nature did most of the work here. This was the best shot out of maybe a dozen or so captures.”

2nd Place, Travel


Joshua Sarinana, Cambridge MA, United States.

I took this image in the summer of 2016 in Cambridge, MA.”

2nd Place, Children


Varvara Vislenko, St. Petersburg, Russia.

“On the pic is one of my 3 year old daughter who is making her silly face. It was taken in the beach on island Bali-Changgu in 2017 with an iPhone 6s.”

1st Place, Architecture

Chand Baori

Paddy Chao, Taipei, Taiwan.

“This photo was taken when I was traveling in India. Chand Baori consists of 3,500 narrow steps over 13 storeys. It extends approximately 30 meters into the ground making it one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India. I marveled these elegant stepwells and shadows, I immediately took out my camera and captured this beautiful scene before it was gone.”

1st Place, Portrait


Gabriel Ribeiro, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

“This photo was taken in January of that year, my aunt came from Bahia to Campo Grande and my cousin was with me when I had the idea of doing a picture of him, we went to the nearest window and began to photograph using natural light. My main goal was to capture the depth that a look can achieve, especially when it comes to children. I used the Lightroom Mobile app along with Snapseed to get the final result.”

2nd Place, Animals

The Swan in the Pond

Dongrui Yu, Yunnan, China.

“This photo was taken on a cloudy morning by a pond. I liked the reflection in the water which was dark and smooth because of the cloudy sky.”

1st Place, Still Life


David Hayes, Milford, OH, United States

“I’ve been working in the still life genre for the last several years and like styling vignettes such as this one. I had recently seen several other images that had used a smoking candle and wanted to see what I could do with that concept.”

2nd Place, Other


Zarni Myo Win, Yangon, Myanmar.

“This photo was taken on 16 August 2016 of a young man walking on puddle after rain in Yangon city, Myanmar. His image and the buildings were mirrored on the water and I shot that moment. It had nice movement and the buildings were a beautiful color.”

Go the the IPPAwards website to view the full list of winners, finalists and highly commended entries.

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