If you're still one of those people who think you need a fancy camera to take stunning pictures, think again. iPhone photography award winners of 2017 were just announced, proving once again that a phone camera is more than enough to capture world-class, jaw-dropping, amazing photos.
The photos for the photo contest were submitted by thousands of iPhone photographers from over 140 countries for various categories such as Portrait, Abstract, and Still Life.
This year, the best photo award went to Sebastiano Tomada from Brooklyn, New York. The winning iPhone photo taken with the model 6s had the following caption: “Children roam the streets in Qayyarah near the fire and smoke billowing from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants.”
Bored Panda presents you with a list of the best entries - we hope this will inspire you to get your iPhone out of your pocket, go outside, and capture the beauty you see. And, who knows, maybe one day your pic will end up in the iPhone photography contest too.
More info: IPPA Awards
Dina Alfasi From Israel, 1st Place, People
“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.”
Sergey Pesterev From Mendeleevo, Russia, 2nd Place, Landscape
“ This photo was taken on January 30, 2016, on Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal, Russia. It was the first ice on the lake after heavy frosts below -30C, it is titled, Baikal Ice on Sunset.”
Sebastiano Tomada From Brooklyn, New York, Grand Prize Winner, Photographer Of The Year
Children roam the streets in Qayyarah near the fire and smoke billowing from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants.
Branda O Se From Cork, Ireland, 1st Place, Photographer Of The Year
“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.”
Joshua Sarinana From Cambridge Ma, United States, 2nd Place, Travel
“I took this image in the summer of 2016 in Cambridge, MA.”
Magali Chesnel From Ferney-voltaire, France, 1st Place, Trees
“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.
I am constantly amazed with ways Nature can create beautiful designs and compositions. I really enjoy having the flexibility of stretching my wings, in order to explore all the moments that life has to offer to photography. When the moment is captured, causing an emotion is my ultimate objective.”
Gabriel Ribeiro From Mato Grosso Do Sul, Brazil, 1st Place, Portrait
“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.”
Dongrui Yu From Yunnan, China, 2nd Place, Animals
“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.”
Barry Mayes From Herts, United Kingdom, 3rd Place, Children
Dyllon Wolf From Huntingtown Md, United States, 2nd Place, Trees
This image was taken in Huntingtown, Maryland in May of 2016. After a long walk through the woods, photographing the nature around me, I stumbled upon this majesty and tried to capture it in a unique way that would showcase its enormity. The result was this worm’s eye view of the trunk leading up to the canopy that has been several times compared to a python.”
Paddy Chao From Taipei, Taiwan, 1st Place, Architecture
“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.”
Vlad Vasylkevych From Kiev, Ukraine, 3rd Place, Portrait
"The title for this work is “Run with us, they said. It’s just a run, they said,”and it is from an annual bright event that combines sport and fun with a goal to bring the message of healthy lifestyle to the city. The color run is a holiday in which there is a place for running under the splashes of holi paints, a music program, a drawing of prizes and charity for kids. The Color Run celebrates the individuality and uniqueness of every member of it."
Kuanglong Zhang From Guangdong, China, 1st Place, Sunset
“The sunset and the Golden Temple in Amritsar add radiance and beauty to each other. The ripple in water seems to be formed by doves’ flapping of wings. I think photography is derived from life, and only people who love life can take a picture of temperature.”
Yuming Guan From Guangdong, China, 2nd Place, Lifestyle
“This picture was taken in the summer of 2015, in Oia, a beautiful small town of Santorini. Tourists from around the globe gathered at the cliff to see the breathtaking sunset that is known as one of the Greatest Views in the World. Everyone was amazed by the stunning moment with awe and applauds, that’s when this local old man caught my attention. He was so concentrated and undisturbed, as if no crowd or view deserves his attention better than his own windowsill. I guess perhaps in his mind, the Greatest View in the World is HOME.”
Maria K. Pianu From Pordenone, Italy, 3rd Place, The America I Know
“When in NY area, I like to take an out of season walk in Coney Island. This photo was taken during an Indian summer windy day,breathing the Ocean breeze and getting inspired by Coney Island decadent and old-school Brooklyn atmosphere.”
Joseph Cyr From Tucson Az, United States, 3rd Place, Sunset
““Sky on fire” has become a popular hashtag on social media, but cliché or not, the description rings so true so often in the deserts of southern Arizona. I try to time my after-work runs during the winter so that I finish right at sunset. Lingering in the desert, the colors ‘ripen’ for up to a half-hour after the sun dips below the horizon. The sky on this particular evening stopped me in my tracks; the seasonal angle of the sun during the winter months often adds a touch of pastels to the usual fiery mix on the bottoms of the clouds.”
Juan Carlos Castañeda From Astoria Ny, United States, 1st Place, The America I Know
“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.”
Varvara Vislenko From St. Petersburg, Russia, 2nd Place, Children
“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.”
Naian Feng From Shanghai, China, 3rd Place, Architecture
“This photo was shot during a trip to the Forbidden City in Beijing. I was walking on this wide boulevard with two high red walls on both sides which really make me feel nervous and majestic. There were pigeons flying around the Forbidden City from time to time, this particular photo was one of the shots I took using the burst mode on my iPhone.”
Szymon Felkel From Poznan, Poland, 1st Place, Children
The photo titled “Children’s curiosity” was taken in August 2015 in New York at the Time Square.
Smetanina Julia From Moscow, Russia, 2nd Place, Floral
“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.”
Sidney Po From Cebu, Philippines, 1st Place, Floral
“About 20km southeast of Cebu City where I live is Cordova town which belongs to Mactan Island. This place has become a tourist (both local and foreign) attraction especially at night when all the white LED roses lit up.”
Kuanglong Zhang From Shenzhen, China, 3rd Place, Photographer Of The Year
“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.”
David Hayes From Milford Oh, United States, 1st Place, Still Life
“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.”
Xiaoying Tang From Zhejiang, China, 2nd Place, Sunset
Aaron Sandberg From Chicago Il, United States, 1st Place, Nature
“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.”
Shuo Li From Beijing, China, 3rd Place, Animals
“It was taken in Maasai Mara National Reserve, on October 6, 2016. It was the last safari that day, my friend and I were leaving Maasai Mara. The sky was pure blue with beautiful clouds, I noticed a giraffe was eating Kigelia Africana leaves. We drove our SUV around the giraffe ,and then I found the best angle to took this photo.”
Yeow-kwang Yeo From Singapore, 2nd Place, Photographer Of The Year
“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.”
Jen Pollack Bianco From Seattle Wa, United States, 1st Place, Travel
“I shot this image on a bridge in Norway’s Lofoten Islands overlooking Reinefjord towards Olstinden. The red cabins are traditional fishing cottages. I try to push myself outside of my comfort zone photographically a few times a year, and this year I headed to the arctic in February. I took this shot just after sunrise during a snowstorm. The colors changed every few minutes, and the snowfall was heavy at times changing the moody dramatically from minute to minute. It was a classic “wait for the light” situation. It was amazingly atmospheric and beautiful, but very cold and windy. I shot this image using the native camera app on my iPhone 7 plus. The light was beautiful and I and used a touch of the Instagram Clarendon filter, which punched up the blue in the water. I’ve always been a fan of sunsets but photographing sunrise can be just as magical.”
Laura Warren From Putney, Vt, United States, 3rd Place, Floral
“ I’m a special ed teacher throughout the year in NJ but have been teaching photography at Landmark College in Putney, VT for the last 5 summers. I was teaching my students how to minimize backgrounds and use natural light. I also teach how to look for “gesture” in nature.”
Kaiyuan Teng From Taipei, Taiwan, 3rd Place, Trees
“The photo was taken in 2016 when I traveled to Osaka.I found the tree in a plaza, which looked just like a person wrapped in bandages. Trees themselves are creatures intertwined by their roots, and now they are also covered by straps. The tense and smothering atmosphere triggered my curiosity to take this photo.”
Li Jinquan From Beijing, China, 3rd Place, Travel
“Every year, people coming from all over the world are gathering in front of The Taj Mahal no matter whatever their beliefs are. I went there in January of 2014 as a tourist. I saw this marvelous architecture, the people and the shadow of the building on the water, which are very impressive to me. In my eyes, the people in this photo seems to be between an illusory and the reality and the real worlds. I believe beautiful photos are everywhere but stories behind photos captured by photographers are much meaningful to me, even to the world. ”
Patryk Kuleta From Warsaw, Poland, 2nd Place, Architecture
“Shot in April 2017, near the place called Westerplatte where Second World War II has started. In this area a lot of new companies are building their offices and thus one caught my attention as it’s facade looks like digital code.”
Joseph-cyr From Tucson Az, United States, 3rd Place, Nature
“Coming down from an after-work trail run on a ridge above a canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains, this grouping of saguaros caught my eye. Iconic, perhaps cliché, these giant cacti, but I never tire of running among these living columns that can live for more than two centuries and weigh a couple tons. The slant of light on winter evenings adds such a contemplative flavor to the desert. It’s good to be reminded of our own brevity.”
Thea Mihu From Sibiu, Romania, 2nd Place, News/events
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.
Francesca Tonegutti From Milan, Italy, 1st Place, Animals
“The photo is shot after a dressage-clinique at the stable “Cuadra de la luz” in Chiclana de la Frontera , Andalucia, Spain. The horse in the photo is my horse, Yeguizo. He was resting and drying on the sun, looking at me.”
Nick Trombola From Pittsburgh, Pa Usa, 1st Place, Lifestyle
“I went on a ski trip to Telluride, Colorado last winter with some friends. On the second morning we were already outside before the trails even opened for the day, so we were one of the first groups on the lift. The snow was perfectly white and mostly undisturbed because the only people who were on the Mountain before us were locals who had houses higher than our hotel. On our way up we passed over a group of three skiers, and I thought that they contrasted so well against the snow and our skis in the foreground that I quickly dug my iPhone out of my jacket and took the shot.”
Waldemar Nowak From, Gdańsk, Poland, 3rd Place, Still Life
“This photo, “Abandoned Chair,” was taken in abandoned resort in Poland – I love to explore abandoned buildings. Everything that surrounds me and brings out emotions to me – is my inspiration. I catch a moment, I’m a thief of frames.”
Christian Horgan From Fremantle, Australia, 1st Place, Landscape
“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.”
Dan Liu From Sichuan, China, 2nd Place, Portrait
"This photo was taken in October 2016, in a Tajik people’s community in Tashkurghan county, China. Tajik people are an Iranian-speaking ethnic minority in China. This old lady was just back from herding her sheep."
Christopher Armstrong From Sydney, Australia, 1st Place, Abstract
“I’ve always sought to connect to the viewer though notions of beauty and the sublime and this has continued to shape my image making. I am striving to capture the luminous tones of light, ones that glow and transport. I hope to touch the viewer with simply beauty but also to connect to the history of art making as I reference and am inspired by other practitioners.”
Deena Berton From Weston Ma, United States, 2nd Place, Still Life
Lee Jones From Shanghai, China, 3rd Place, Abstract
I was at an exhibit viewing an art work with light shining through the spider net and most of people were observing the spiders. There was dust flying in front of the net and captured the dancing particles.”
Davis Bell From Los Angeles Ca, United States, 2nd Place, The America I Know
“As we made our way around Antelope Island on that clear and crisp September day I couldn’t help but be startled and amazed at the immenseness of these bison. Out here on the open field as they moved about the dry golden grass above the Salt Lake, slowly, deliberately, the feeling of quiet strength was humbling to me, the observer. In many ways this image encapsulated my internal search on this particular road trip. Being but an arms length away from this gargantuan creature gave me some pause for reflection in my search for so many answers. Here this animal that became the imagery of The West, and whose lore is interwoven with pioneers, cowboys, and the earliest inhabitants of these American plains, stands as a mythical remnant, a symbol, of our American journey and what is possible with a little foresight, a little courage, and a lot of dedication.”
Alexandra Maldonado From Quito, Ecuador, 3rd Place, Landscape
This photo, titled Pachamama, was taken on June 5, 2016 at the Cayambe Volcano in Ecuador, at 5790 meters.
Dongrui Yu From Yunnan, China, 2nd Place, Nature
David Redhill From Sydney, Australia, 2nd Place, Abstract
“This photo was taken on my first visit to the Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany. After absorbing the adjacent museum’s documentation of WW2 horrors, I walked around the concrete stelae of the Holocaust Memorial for a couple of hours, often in tears, criss-crossing the 54 X 87 grid repeatedly while absorbing its meaning and significance. As the sun gradually set, the afternoon shadows rose higher up the Memorial sentinels, with the evening light transforming from a stark, unforgiving exposé to a softer, more compassionate warmth.”
Marina Spironetti From Milano, Italy, 3rd Place, People
“This picture was taken in Arles, France, during the Rencontres d’Arles, an annual photography festival. I was visiting one of the exhibitions when I saw the picture – it was almost too good to be true: the bright yellow of the walls, the lady sitting down and then, all of a sudden, another visitor approaching in the background. It was one of those lucky moments. I decided to crop the lady in the background so that the two women in the picture could form two halves in the frame.”
Samuel Nacar From Albacete, Spain, 1st Place, News/events
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.
Xirui Huang From Hunan, China, 3rd Place, News/events
Taken on January 2016, during clashes between Turkish Government forces and PKK militants at the old district Sur, Diyarbakir.