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Stunning Winners of the 2016 iPhone Photography Awards

The 9th iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAwards)—an annual international competition that celebrates iPhone and iPad photography—announced its winners this week. Submissions included photographs from 139 countries around the world, and there were multiple winners in each of the 19 categories ranging from Abstract, Nature, News and Events, to Still Life and Others.

The Grand Prize was awarded to Siyuan Niu of China for his entry titled The Man and the Eagle. The photo depicts a 70-year-old Mongolian man with his golden eagle in the Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang, China. Niu shared with TIME that he was photographing the snowy landscape when the man came towards him on horse with the eagle on his right arm. “The eagle must have noticed me as it started flapping its wings and screeching, very agitated and vigilant,” Niu said. “The old man used his hand and his voice to calm it down. They were touching face-to-face. With my iPhone in hand, I took the shot.”

“It’s amazing to see what people capture and how connected they are to those moments, no matter what country in the world they are in,” says Kenan Aktulun, the founder of IPPAWARDS. “It feels like a warm invitation from someone sharing a slice of their life experience.” Niu echoes Aktulun's sentiments, adding: “The iPhone is like a pen in our hands. Good or bad, the pen itself will never write poems, but the poets will.”

IPPAwards originated in 2007 with the launch of the iPhone, and since then the entries have become progressively more competitive every year. With the next iPhone model slated to arrive this Fall, there will be countless more opportunities and improved technology for people to capture and share their unique and treasured moments in the coming future. In the meantime, visit the IPPAwards website to view the full list of winning submissions from all categories.

Above: © SIYUAN NIU, Xingian, China, Grand Prize Winner – Photographer of the Year

© PATRYK KYLETA, Warsaw, Poland, 1st Place – Photographer of the Year

© ROBIN ROBERTIS, Carlsbad CA, United States, 2nd Place – Photographer of the Year

© CAROLYN MARA BORLENGHI, Coral Gables FL, United States, 3rd Place – Photographer of the Year

© ERICA WU, San Francisco CA, United States, 1st Place – Animals

© METTE LAMPCOV, Los Angeles CA, United States, 2nd Place – Animals

© JUNBIAO CAI, Guangdong, China, 3rd Place – Animals

© RICHARD SMITH, Honorable Mention – Animals

© TANYA LU, Honorable Mention – Animals

© VASCO GALHARDO SIMOES, Lisbon, Portugal, 1st Place – Landscape

© NAZARET SANCHEZ RODRIGUEZ, Tarragona, Spain, 2nd Place – Landscape

© JIAN WANG, Beijing, China, 3rd Place – Landscape

© JUNFENG WANG, Honorable Mention – Landscape

© K K, Changsha, China, 1st Place – Children

© JIAN WANG, Beijing, China, 1st Place – Architecture

© LONE BJORN, Zurich, Switzerland, 1st Place – Flowers

© JUNFENG WANG, Shanghai, China, 1st Place – Nature

© KEVIN CASEY, Pemulwuy, Australia, 1st Place – Other

© ELAINE TAYLOR, Leeds, United Kingdom, 1st Place – Portrait

© WEN QI, Guangdong, China, 1st Place – Still Life

IPPAwards: Website | Facebook | Twitter

All images via iPPAwards.

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