iPhone cameras have always been on the cutting edge of technology. Unlike other smartphone manufacturers, Apple doesn't just rely on powerful hardware to achieve the impressive photos we've all come to love. The iPhone's on-board software helps process raw camera data into brilliant presets like Portrait Mode and HDR, making it easy for anyone to take expert-level photos in a snap.
Because of their power and simplicity, iPhones have become a favorite for amateur and professional photographers alike. Recognizing the passion these users bring to the table, Apple unveiled its Shot on iPhone Challenge -- a photo contest where 10 chosen winners become the stars of Apple's latest billboards.
Well, the results are in -- and Apple is highlighting what it's calling the 10 "best photos shot on iPhone" from around the world. Chosen from a diverse group of nations and communities, the photos highlight the beauty and color of everyday life on our planet. You're not going to believe what smartphone can capture.
Choosing the winners
The top 10 winning photos came from a wide range of iPhone models. Many, naturally, came from the company's flagship iPhone Xs Max. But several winners took their shots on older models -- including the nearly 3-year-old iPhone 7.
An international panel of judges chose the winning shots based on a variety of criteria including color composition, framing, and exploration of themes. The winners, according to Apple, will be featured on billboards in select cities, as well displayed in Apple retail stores and Apple's website.
The top 10 photos shot on iPhone, according to Apple
Alex Jiang (US), iPhone XS Max
This brilliant composition captures a spectrum of colors using the balconies of a residential apartment bloc.
Blake Marvin (US), iPhone XS Max
Thanks to the iPhone's extremely fast shutter, the photographer was able to capture every detail of the raccoon before it moved.
Darren Soh (Singapore), iPhone XS Max
The colors and shapes of this photo are bent and refracted by water to produce an effect like a watercolor painting.
Nikita Yarosh (Belarus), iPhone 7
A simple, vibrant shot of a tennis court. Every line and detail is carefully placed in frame to create an intersection of perspectives.
Dina Alfasi (Israel), iPhone X
The distortion of light by the pool's reflection creates a pseudo fish-eye lens effect in an iconic heart shape.
Elizabeth Scarrott (US), iPhone 8 Plus
The fast shutter of the iPhone captures the color and clarity of foreground, background, and the rising dust in between.
Andrew Griswold (US), iPhone XS
The refraction of light and color in each water droplet creates the illusion of many small worlds in a single frame.
Bernard Antolin (US), iPhone XS Max
The contrast of light and shadow in this photo amplifies its texture and depth.
Lie Adi Darmawan (US), iPhone XS
The photographer's eye for color creates a seamless palette across the entire image.
Robert Glaser (Germany), iPhone 7
The placement of the horizon and objects in this photo emphasizes the vastness of the sky above.
How to get the perfect shot with your iPhone
What do you think of the winners? Think you can do a better job? If you haven't experimented with the iPhone's camera yet, you may want to give it a try. There's enough features built into the stock camera app that anyone can create a gallery-worthy masterpiece.
HDR is an easy toggle you can activate to add extra layers of light and color to any photo. HDR stands for "high dynamic range," and works by taking multiple exposures of the same image.
You can typically adjust exposure by tapping your screen on areas you want to highlight, but HDR performs this multiple times for the entire shot and blends the images together. The result is color like what you see in the winning images.
Portrait Mode can be reached by swiping left on the camera's frame until you see it. A label will appear letting you know you're in the right place.
Once you're in portrait mode, the iPhone's camera will guide you on the proper lighting and distance you need to capture an image. When you take the shot, portrait mode harnesses the dual camera to sharpen the foreground and artfully blur the background. This feature is only available on dual-camera iPhone 7+ models and later.
Filters add a personal touch to any photo you take. Just like on Instagram, you can layer a filter over both new and old pictures. These filters can highlight and sharpen specific colors, as well as change your photo from color to black-and-white or sepia.
A sharp eye and an iPhone are all you need to create brilliant photos. If Apple opens another photography contest, Komando.com will be the first to let you know.
Who knows? Your photo could end up a winner, too!
Free photography lessons you’ll really love from Apple
Do you want to take your iPhone photography game to another level? In case you didn't know, beyond the quick snapshot or selfie, you can do so much more with your iPhone camera. Apple wants you to learn all these expert tricks and be an iPhone photography virtuoso.