Every year, a bunch of photographers challenge the idea that you need expensive gear to take good photos by entering the iPhone Photography Awards. The competition is exactly what it says on the label: a way to showcase the best photos taken with the best smartphone to come out of Cupertino.
Thanks to the improvements that’ve been made in smartphone photography, this year’s results are better than ever.
As well as the overall awards, there are 19 categories including Animals, Landscape, Portrait and Abstract. The winners don’t just get bragging rights: the overall Photographer of the Year Award winner receives an iPad Pro, the first, second and third place Photographer of the Year Award winners will each receive an Apple Watch Sport, and the first place winner in each category will be awarded a Gold Bar and the Second and Third place winners will each get a Palladium or Platinum Bar from the most recognizable private gold mint in the world.
The overall winner this year was Sebastiano Tomada for “Children of Qayyarah.” It’s described as “Children roam the streets in Qayyarah near the fire and smoke billowing from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants.” It was taken with an iPhone 6s.
1st place for Photographer of the Year went to Brendan O Se and his iPhone 6s for “Dock Worker.” He said “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.”
The full list of winners and their distressingly good iPhone photos are available on the award organization’s website. You should look through them, and remember the quality next time you’re whining about how you really need a DSLR to get this picture just right.