Year’s best ‘Shot on iPhone’ pix will take your breath away

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Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge's comment: "Gorgeous dynamic range. There’s detail throughout the photo in the meadow, trees, and clouds. Beautiful deep sky and pleasing color overall." Shot on iPhone 7
Photo: Robert Glaser, Germany

A stunning edit of 10 photos will soon adorn billboards around the world to advertise the iPhone’s camera capabilities after Apple today announced the winners of the Shot on iPhone Challenge.

The contest ran from Jan. 22 to Feb. 7 and drew thousands of images from around the world. Six of the 10 winners are from the United States. The other four photographers are from Belarus, Singapore, Israel, and Germany. They were selected from a panel of judges that included Apple executives and some of the most widely respected artists, photographers, and editors in the photo community.

Winning photos originated from the range of iPhone models, from the newest flagship iPhone XS Max to the now seemingly humble iPhone 7. The contest drew heat from online photo communities when Apple initially announced the contest would not include paying the photographers.

Apple did an about-face a couple of days later, announcing it would pay an undisclosed fee to license the photo for the ad campaign.

Apple has run “Shot on iPhone” campaigns since the iPhone 6. Typically, a team from Apple mines Instagram and Twitter in search of a hashtag to indicate photos were made with an iPhone. This is the first contest it has held to find photos for the campaign.

Among the winners was Dina Alfasi of Israel, whose work she finds on her daily commute to work was featured on Cult of Mac earlier this month.

Alfasi’s picture was of a reflection of a silhouetted pedestrian perfectly center in a heart-shaped puddle.

The winning images below will include a caption with a judge’s comment.

Alex Jiang, U.S., iPhone XS Max

Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge’s comment: “The narrative in architecture. There is actually life behind the surface of an average apartment building in an unknown city. Vivid colors and a perfect composition with the basketball board right in the middle! Great eye.”
Photo: Alex Jiang

Blake Marvin, U.S, iPhone XS Max

Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge’s comment: “The stolen glance between this raccoon/thief and photographer is priceless, we can imagine that it is saying ‘if you back away slowly no one has to get hurt.’ “
Photo: Blake Marvin

Darren Soh, Singapore, iPhone XS Max

Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge’s comment: “Distortion and reflection at a strange angle — this photo creates a fantastic feeling.”
Photo: Darren Soh

Nikita Yarosh, Belarus, iPhone 7

Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge’s comment: “You don’t have to travel to Iceland to capture something beautiful, it’s right under your nose. The way the lines intersect, the vibrant color, the sense of old and new… this is just a great image.”
Photo: Nikita Yarosh

Dina Alfasi, Israel, iPhone X

Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge’s comment: “Love how the heart shaped water puddle frames the subject, capturing a glimpse of the world as the subject hurriedly walks past.”
Photo: Dina Alfasi

Elizabeth Scarrott, U.S., iPhone 8 Plus

Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge’s comment: “The setting is a familiar — I’ve probably stood in this exact spot. But the picture is not like any I’ve seen from this location.”
Photo: Elizabeth Scarrott

Andrew Griswold, U.S., iPhone XS

Shot on iPhone
Judge’s comment: “What I find most interesting is the background pattern, uniquely magnified and distorted in every one of the water droplets. I’m drawn to studying and trying to elucidate what that pattern is.”
Photo: Andrew Griswold

Bernard Antolin, U.S., iPhone XS Max

Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge’s comment: “Looks like a simple scene but a good choice of using black and white to elevate it with a different mood. Helps to bring out the dramatic contrast in the clouds and the surrounding landscape.”
Photo: Bernard Antolin

LieAdi Darmawan, U.S., iPhone XS

Shot on iPhone challenge
Judge’s comment: “I feel like this landscape was treated like an old portrait. The texture of the mountains evokes an old wrinkled face. Portraits and landscapes are the oldest way of creative representation by humans. There’s something about it that belongs to the realms of the subconscious mind, and this is mainly what appeals me of this picture; the part that I’m not able to explain.”
Photo: LieAdi Darmawan