When Apple launched the iPhone 13 family, one of the features that made the Pro models standout was the addition of a macro photography mode which lets you take close up photos of small subjects. Macro photos have a up-close point-of-view which can transform a mundane subject like a strawberry floating in soda into something dramatic and ethereal.
To celebrate the new camera feature, Apple made its latest Shot on iPhone photo contest all about macro photography. Over the past several weeks Apple received macro photos taken with the iPhone 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max from all over the world. A panel of judges which included a mix of Apple employees and photographers Anand Varma, Apeksha Maker, Peter McKinnon, Paddy Chao, Yik Keat Lee selected 10 winning photos to be featured on Apple’s website, Instagram page and on billboards in cities around the world.
A surfer, a graphic designer, college students, several engineers and professional photographers took the winning photos. They reside in the US, China, Hungary, India, Italy, Spain, Thailand and Argentina.
Ashley Lee is a freelance photographer based in San Francisco. Her photo, Strawberry in Soda, is one of 10 winning photos from Apple’s Shot on iPhone: macro photography contest. You can see it above.
“I chose a strawberry as the subject because I liked how the bright red popped against the black background. The stark contrast focuses your attention on the strawberry and its bubbles, and makes it seem as if the strawberry is floating in space,” said Lee.
Take a look at the rest of the winning macro photos below. If you feel inspired to take your own macro photos be sure to read our story about how to take gorgeous close-up shots with your iPhone.
Marco Colleta is a college student studying mechanical engineering in Italy who took the photo The Cave. “The enveloping shape of the petals, accentuated by intense shadows, made me think of a deep cave, ready to be explored,” said Colleta. “By keeping the point of view inside the flower, I wanted the hibiscus’ natural framing to make us feel fully part of its beauty.”
Daniel Olah is a photographer and photo retoucher from Budapest. His photo is titled A Drop of Freedom. “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,” said Olah.
Jirasak Panpiansin is a well-known photographer from Thailand. His photo, named Hidden Gem, is of a drop of water on a leaf. “This tiny, shimmering liquid jewel is delicately nestled at the base of a leaf after a tropical storm, almost imperceptible to the human eye,” said Panpiansin. “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.”
Prajwal Chougule is a software engineer in India. Photography has been a passion of his since college. His photo, Art in Nature, shows dew drops on a spiderweb. “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,” said Chougule.
Guido Cassanelli is a photographer and surfer based in Argentina. He took the photo titled Sea Glass. “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 the iPhone 13 Pro Max a try,” said Cassanelli. “It looks like something strange is happening inside the one placed in the center — it looks like amber. I really love that texture.”
Trevor Collins is a graphic designer from Boston who took the photo titled Leaf Illumination. “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,” said Collins.
Abhik Mondal is a computer engineer in New Jersey. His photo, Volcanic Lava, is of a sunflower. “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 colors from the center toward the edge of the petals. I immediately decided to take the bouquet home and capture the beauty of it,” said Mondal.
Tom Reeves is a grad student studying information science in New York. His photo, Honeycomb, features his dog. “This image was taken along the edge of Riverside Park in Manhattan while on a morning walk with our puppy this winter. As she marveled 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-colored curls,” said Reeves.
Hojisan is a professional photographer based in Chongqing, China. His photo, The Final Bloom, is of a tulip. “The photo was taken when my 3-year-old son discovered the blossom of the tulip at home. I then appreciated the flower with my son together and took out my iPhone trying to capture the moment when the sun kissed the flower, which created a perfect shadow at the petals,” said Hojisan.