Apple unveils the winning images from its Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge

Apple has announced the winners of the Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge which invited customers from around the world to get up close and personal with their photography with the iPhone 13 Pro.

Ten winning photos were chosen from tens of thousands of images and will be featured on and on Apple’s Instagram account (which has 27 million followers) as well as on billboards in select cities around the world.

The iPhone 13 Pro includes an advanced camera system and, for the first time, users can take impressive macro images on the device that’s always in their pocket and opening up a photographic technique normally achievable with a specialised camera.

The 10 winners are from China, Hungary, India, Italy, Spain, Thailand and the US.

For those who want to get out and capture their own macro shots, here are some tips for iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max users:

– Make sure to get close to your subject — you can get as close as 2cm away.

– Place the primary point of focus near the centre of the frame, as that’s where the sharpest focus is when shooting in macro on iPhone.

– In needed, tap an area in the viewfinder to set a specific focus point.

– Shoot at .5x to capture an Ultra-Wide field of view or try shooting at 1x for tighter framing – iPhone will automatically switch cameras as you get close while maintaining the 1x framing.

Here are the winning images:

“Sea Glass” by Guido Cassanelli, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 “Sea glass is eroded by thousands of miles travelling around the oceans to the shores of the world. I was walking on the beach enjoying a beautiful sunset, and decided to collect some of these small pieces of sea glass to give macro photography on iPhone 13 Pro Max a try. It looks like something strange is happening inside the one placed in the centre — it looks like amber. I really love that texture.”

“The Cave” by Marco Colletta, Taranto, Italy

 “The enveloping shape of the petals, accentuated by intense shadows, made me think of a deep cave, ready to be explored; by keeping the point of view inside the flower, I wanted the hibiscus’s natural framing to make us feel fully part of its beauty.”

“Art in Nature” by Prajwal Chougule, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India

“I am a nature lover and love going on early morning walks with my iPhone 13 Pro. The ‘golden hour’ brings the best out of nature and is a photographer’s delight. Dewdrops on a spiderweb caught my attention, and I was fascinated by the way the dry spider silk formed a necklace on which the dew glistened like pearls. It felt like a piece of art on nature’s canvas.”

“A Drop of Freedom” by Daniel Olah, Budapest, Hungary

 “My intention was to highlight the tiny drop of water in comparison with the lily. I’ve used a spot studio light on the lily with a dark background. I adore the shape of the flower; the lower petal helps keep the focus on the middle part, highlighting not just the drop, but the stamen too. Nonetheless, the picture has a rhythm that is building toward the euphoria of the composition.”

“Leaf Illumination” by Trevor Collins, Boston, USA

“This one instance was during the sliver of golden hour when the sun is shining directly into my window, illuminating all of the tiny cells in each leaf. The leaf depicted is from a fiddle-leaf fig that sits on my desk, where I get to see it all throughout the day.”

“Strawberry in Soda” by Ashley Lee, San Francisco, USA

“Using photography to transform everyday items into something more extraordinary is always a fun puzzle that brings out my creativity. For this photo, I used two items that I found in my kitchen fridge: a strawberry and a can of soda. 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.”

“Volcanic Lava” by Abhik Mondal, New Milford, New Jersey, USA

 “After buying the new iPhone 13 Pro in December, I was amazed with its macro feature and started capturing different objects, including flowers, insects, plants and more. One day, during a regular evening walk, I went to a grocery store, where I noticed a bouquet of flowers. This beautiful sunflower caught my attention with its intricate details, including the presence of contrasting colours from the centre toward the edge of the petals. I immediately decided to take the bouquet home and capture the beauty of it.”

“Honeycomb” by Tom Reeves, New York City, USA

“This image was taken along the edge of Riverside Park in Manhattan while on a morning walk with our puppy this winter. As she marvelled at her first snow, I was able to capture the ephemeral latticework of this tiny snowflake as it landed among the threads of her many honey-coloured curls.”

“Hidden Gem” by Jirasak Panpiansin, Chaiyaphum City, Thailand

 “This tiny, shimmering liquid jewel is delicately nestled at the base of a leaf after a tropical storm, almost imperceptible to the human eye. However, its true brilliance shines through the lens of iPhone — up close, it sparkles with intense clarity, capturing light from the emerging sun and magnifying the intricate, organic geometry of the leaf’s veins underneath. This is nature encapsulated: a world of beauty and wonder made minuscule.”

“The Final Bloom” by Hojisan, Chongqing, China

“The photo was taken when my three-year-old son discovered the blossom of the tulip at home. I then appreciated the flower with my son and took out my iPhone, trying to capture the moment when the sun kissed the flower, which created a perfect shadow at the petals. As I moved my iPhone closer to the flower, it automatically turned on macro mode, and the details of the petals were brought into the fullest. A few moments later, wind came and blew the petals away. Even though the blossom was short, I still captured the highest moment of a tulip’s life, which is a gift from nature.”

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