Winners in Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge Showcase Camera’s Capabilities

Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge, “The Cave” (hibiscus) by Marco Colletta (@marcolletta.1)

One of the key additions to the iPhone 13 Pro lineup is arguably the macro photography capability. Apple challenged the global community of iPhone photographers to show off what the new macro camera mode was capable of. Many rose to the challenge. Wednesday, the Cupertino-based company announced the winners of its Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge.

A Global Response, and Global Judging

Beginning in late January, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max owners from all over the world took up the challenge to share their best macro photos. For the first time, they could capture the tiniest details stunning and sharp macro images using only their iPhone. In the past, this sort of feat required at least a specialized camera lens, but no longer.

The whole world got involved, with both finalists and judges hailing from all around the globe. The 10 winners came from China, Hungary, India, Italy, Spain, Thailand, and the U.S. The international panel of expert judges included the likes of Anand Varma, Apeksha Maker, Peter McKinnon, Paddy Chao, Yik Keat Lee, Arem Duplessis, Billy Sorrentino, Della Huff, Kaiann Drance, and Pamela Chen.

Winners of Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge Highlight Nature

Almost all of the winning photos highlight nature’s beauty up close. From a gorgeous composition of myriad pieces of sea glass to the intricate details of the illuminated veins of a fiddle-leaf fig, these macro photographs show nature’s beauty in a way we rarely see.

sea glass and leaf detail
“Sea Glass” by Guido Cassanelli (@laion.ph) and “Leaf Illumination” by Trevor Collins

Some winners, such as Ashley Lee from San Francisco, combined the natural with the manmade. Her “Strawberry in Soda” entry used two commonplace items she found in her refrigerator. Lee combined a strawberry and a can of clear soda to compose her shot.

“Strawberry in Soda” by Ashley Lee (@ashley.photo)
“Strawberry in Soda” by Ashley Lee (@ashley.photo)

I placed a clear vase on my kitchen counter, poured the soda into the vase, and used a piece of black paper as the background. I then dropped the strawberry in the vase of soda and waited. Slowly, bubbles began to form on the surface of the strawberry, and its texture was completely transformed.

The judges were equally amazed. Kaiann France praised how well the photograph depicted the “clarity with motion and the brightness of the strawberry.” Meanwhile, Pamela Chen said she loved “the energy of the air bubbles, captured at peak fizziness.”

The Next Step in Macro Photography: Your Own Art

The latest Shot on iPhone challenge may be over, but the overall challenge doesn’t have to stop. Apple will highlight the winning photographs throughout its own website, as well as on Cupertino’s Instagram account and billboards in select cities.

The iPhone maker urges the rest of us to see what macro photography can accomplish. Billy Sorrentino, Della Huff, and Pamela Chen will join customers at Apple Fifth Avenue in New York City to help introduce folks to macro photography on the iPhone. Other Apple Stores will also offer local sessions on iPhone photography through the Today at Apple program.

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