In the hands of skilled photographers, smartphones are capable of producing works of art – as these stunning images show.
They are the winning and runners-up entries to the 2019 iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS).
Every year since it was founded in 2007, the IPPAWARDS has selected the very best shots among thousands submitted by iPhone photographers from more than 140 countries around the world.
This year’s grand prize went to Gabriella Cigliano for a mesmerising image shot on an iPhone X of two young girls in Tanzania.
For some of the girls she shot there, it was the first time that they’d seen their own faces.
Scroll down to see our pick of some of these year’s jaw-dropping efforts.
This shot earned Gabriella Cigliano the Grand Prize. She said: ‘Last year I spent a month in Wasa, Tanzania, teaching a class of young, curious and amazing guys. Before heading back to Italy we stopped in Zanzibar, where this photo was taken. I still wonder how could I captured that exact moment in all its beauty. I was just observing, a few meters from them, but they were probably more curious about me than I was about them, and that’s probably why the girl was looking at me. We couldn’t talk much, except for a few words in Swahili I had learned in the previous weeks, but those kids could definitely talk with their eyes. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life, and I’ll keep it in my memories forever. The best part was showing them and their mums the photos, for some it was the first time they were seeing their faces, and their excitement was unexplainable, unfortunately my iPhone was in their hands and I couldn’t capture that!’
Diogo Lage won first place in the Animals category for this picture of a peacock in Porto, Portugal. He said: ‘What made me take this photo was the unexpected balance of the composition that reinforces the sense of pride, place and charisma of this peacock. In this public garden, seeing these wild peacocks is one of the most exquisite experiences people can have, they are truly the lords of the garden’
This picture of Annapurna mountain in the Himalayas in Nepal came second in the Nature category
Overall third prize went to Peng Hao for this picture taken at the Burning Man festival in Nevada. He said: ‘I stood on a bridge and saw two people lost in a sand storm, but after a while, something very special came along – a huge silver ball’
Second place in the landscape category went to Erik Burdett for this photo taken in Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas
Third place in the landscape category went to Guoxi Chen for this picture of a frozen Lake Baikal in Russia
Third place in the animals category went to American Deena Berton for this picture taken in the Bahamas. The photographer said: ‘I was captivated by the giant fish tanks at a resort in the Bahamas where the fish seemed to be observing people, mirroring the people observing the fish’
Chuangcheng Jin said of this image: ‘During a trip to Shenzhen, China, I was captivated by these volcanic rock steps hidden in a secluded corner, embraced by strikingly red flowers on both sides.’ It won third place in the floral category
First prize in the news and events category went to Lianyu Lu for this image. The photographer said: ‘This photo was taken at the Lantern Festival in Buzhai Town. It is the tradition of this small southern town to hold a dragon dance performance for the Lantern Festival that dates back to the Qing Dynasty. It is a spectacular scene with the fire dragon being lifted by more than 30 adults while it dances and fireworks are set off from its body’
Third place in the architecture category went to Shuo Chen for this stunning picture. The photographer said: ‘This image was taken in the Xiamen international shipping center. I was trying to create a futuristic battle scene of Star Wars (I’m a huge fan). When a friend told me about this location, I thought it would be very good to shoot something like this with a light saber and two characters fighting. The lighting that afternoon was great, and we waited for the best natural light to light up the place’
First place in the nature category went to Huei Jiuan Wang for this image, taken in Iceland. The photographer called this shot The Womb
Second place in the animals category went to Yoichi Sato for this picture of an owl, taken in Japan
First place in the trees category went to Christian Helwig for this image of a frosty wood on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea
Neil Bennett snagged second prize in the trees category for this image of trees in Italy. He said of the image: ‘An early morning walk as the late summer fog weaves its way through old olive trees in Puglia. As the sun rose I went for a walk through the olive grove, hunting for an early morning coffee in the photographer’s golden hour’
First place in the panorama category was awarded to Vincent Chen for this stunner of Senja Island in Norway
This picture was taken in Bangalore, India, and earned the snapper first place in the sunset category
Dimpy Bhalotia was awarded second place in the series category. This was one of the photographer’s offerings
First place in the landscape category went to Hsueh Isan for this hypnotic image taken in Jordan
Second prize in the people category went to Christine L Mace for this picture, taken in Havana using an iPhone SE