Fine photography used to be an exclusively pricey art form, but no longer is that the case. Beautiful pictures can now be captured with mobile devices such as iPhones, iPods and iPads.
Without question, traditional photo equipment gives photo-seekers the best chance of high quality pictures, but mobile devices are continuing to rise in sophistication, and each year they further level the playing field. If photography is not already anybody’s game, it will be in the very near future.
On Monday, IPPAWARDS announced the winners of their eighth annual award competition. There were thousands of entries from 120 different countries, which included Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Israel, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Three individuals took home the Photographer of the Year Award: Michal Koralewski of Poland, David Craik of the UK and Yvonne Lu of the U.S. Each of these winners were awarded the grand prize, an Apple Watch Sport.
The first-place winners from Apple’s 20 photo categories were awarded a gold bar from a private gold mint.
The competition had a few rules:
- Photos must have been taken on an iPhone, iPod or iPad.
- Photos must not have been altered using desktop programs like Photoshop.
- Photos are solely examined on “artistic merit, originality, subject and style”.
Below are this year’s 20 winning photos from the competition; each of the following photos are the first-place winners in their respective categories.
Photographer of the Year: Michal Koralewski, Poland Koralewski
“His face was the first thing I noticed, so expressive and beautiful in its own way. It was like an open book. You could almost read his life story from the wrinkles.”
“Children who are waiting to be seen were peeking through the window curious to get a glimpse of the foreign doctor teams [at a clinic in Haiti]. I had been playing with them through the window most of the day and decided to take a picture. I pointed the camera which was at waist-level and snapped. Although it took little planning, I think it is a beautiful image of these inquisitive kids.”
“These are proteas, which is our national flower and a type of fynbos that has adapted to fire over millions of years. It’s embraced fire as part of its ecology and many of these species would become extinct without it.”
Food: Xu Lin, Qing Dao City, China Xu Lin
“This photo was taken in the middle of Yangtze River where people dry the fish they catch and transform them into delicious cuisine. Taking pictures is a daily routine to me — like a diary. I hope my pictures can let people see a different world.”
“The photo was taken on one of my daily morning dog walks on Snee Oosh beach last October. It was a moody Pacific Northwest day with a thick fog lingering on the beach. There had been heavy dew overnight so the spiderwebs which covered rocks, logs and bushes shone like strands of diamonds.”
People: Song Han, Chengdu, China Song Han
“What inspires me most is the whole context of a city rather than a single scene. Taking photos with the iPhone makes it more convenient and flexible to observe and create.”
“Over 12 feet of snow for the season and Lake Michigan iced over all the way across to Chicago. I spent a lot of time riding along the frozen shores of Lake MI in the brutal cold to admire the beauty of it all.The Grand Haven pier is one of my stops along the shore.”
Still Life: Cindy Buske, Lynnwood, Washington Cindy Buske
“In December 2014, a friend and I spent a few days in Aswan’s Nubian village Gharb Sehel. It’s a beautiful place with colorful houses, kind warm people and mesmerizing views of the Nile. We were exploring the outskirts of the village when I stumbled upon this one of so many beautiful houses.”
Check out a full list of the winners here.