Grand Prize Winner, Photographer of the Year Photo: Sebastiano Tomada “Children of Qayyarah” Children roam the streets in Qayyarah near the fire and smoke billowing from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants.
A decade ago, you wouldn’t imagine snapping a great picture on a cell phone. But with the advent of the iPhone and increasingly refined smartphone technology, photography on a mobile device is becoming the standard for many creatives. Breathtaking landscapes, emotional scenes, and intricately detailed images are now capable with the stellar lenses. The annual iPhone Photography Awards recognizes and celebrates the best iPhone photography from folks in over 140 countries across the globe.
Now in its 10th year, the contest documents our ever-changing world. For 2017, Sebastiano Tomada took home the grand prize and title of Photographer of the Year. His dramatic image is called Children of Qayyarah, and it depicts the desolate Iraq town as two kids stand alone on its streets. In the background, smoke surges from oil wells that were set on fire by ISIS militants. It’s a heartbreaking and powerful portrait that reminds us that we can’t turn our backs on the people who are directly affected by the terrorist organization—no matter how far the threat may seem.
Check out other winners from IPP Awards below. If you want to enter your own work, you’ve got until March 2018 to submit your best iPhone photography.
The annual IPP Awards celebrates the best iPhone photography. See some of the incredible winners of the 2017 competition and learn the stories behind their images.
1st Place, Photographer of the Year Photo: Branda O Se “Dock Worker” 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.
2nd Place, Photographer of the Year Photo: Yeow-Kwang Yeo “The Performer” Chinese 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.
3rd Place, Photographer of the Year Photo: Kuanglong Zhang “The City Palace” 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.
1st Place, People Photo: Dina Alsfasi 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.
1st Place, Trees Photo: Magali Chesnel 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.
1st Place, Landscape Photo: Christian Horgan “Singing Rock” 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.
2nd Place, Floral Photo: Smetanina Julia 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.
1st Place, Nature Photo: Aaron Sandberg 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.
1st Place, Travel Photo: Jen Pollack Bianco “Snow + Fishing Cottages = Win” 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.
3rd Place, Children Photo: Barry Mayes
1st Place, Architecture Photo: Paddy Chao 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.
2nd Place, Animals Photo: Dongrui Yu “The Swan in the Pond” 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.
1st Place, Abstract Photo: Christopher Armstrong 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.
2nd Place, Other Photo: Zarni Myo Win This photo was taken on 16 August 2016 of a young man walking on puddle after rain in Yangon city, Myanmar. His image and the buildings were mirrored on the water and I shot that moment. It had nice movement and the buildings were a beautiful color.