2013 iPhone Photography Awards Winners

Mobile or smartphone photography has made great strides in the past few years. Smartphone manufacturers are building in better cameras and sensors and some camera manufacturers, such as Sony, are beginning to develop snap-on accessories to further enhance the images that users can capture with their smartphones. App developers are improving as well and mobile photography has begun to enter its own. That’s why the images from the 2013 iPhone Photography Awards are so impressive.

The rules of this competition are fairly straightforward. All photos must be captured with an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod). They cannot be edited with any computer desktop software such as Photoshop. They can, however, be altered with apps such as Instagram, Hipstamatic, and CameraBag but the photographers are urged to keep the original image at hand, unaltered, in case the judges want to ensure that no other apps or devices were used. With a bit of talent, patience, and understanding the limits of a smartphone camera, savvy mobile photographers have captured some really great images this year. Some of these images might have been well-nigh on impossible to capture with the same kind of equipment and limitations on editing just a few short years ago.

I think my three favorite images from this year’s winners are these three:

Just a few years ago, I doubt any mobile photographer could have captured such clear, crisp images on a smartphone camera. Especially the images from Brolin Roney and Kim Hanskamp. The use of filters from an iOS app in Maegan Moore’s photo is very well done, making that landscape look almost like a painting.

As mobile photography continues to mature as a discipline, we look forward to seeing fledgling photographers test their skills in this field. If the results are as astounding as these images, then it is a discipline well worth embracing and will act as a gateway to trying out more advanced cameras.

— da Bird