Apple reveals the 10 BEST photos taken on an iPhone from around the world – and they’re stunning


APPLE has revealed the winners of its Shot on iPhone challenge, where gadget fans were tasked with taking amazing smartphone snaps.

The tech giant has shared the 10 best photos uploaded during the challenge – and they’re all incredible.

best iPhone photos
This colourful snap was taken on an iPhone XS, and was praised for the colour, composition and detail
Apple / Alex Jiang
best iPhone photos
This well-timed monochrome shot was snapped on an iPhone XS Max, and expertly captures a racoon
Apple / Blake Marvin
best iPhone photos
Another excellent iPhone XS Max shot of a reflection “that looks like a painting”
Apple / Darren Soh

Last month, Apple offered to pay iPhone owners for taking great photos and posting them to Instagram.

Winners get their prized snaps plastered on billboards and in Apple Stores around the world, with some cash on offer to sweeten the deal.

The competition ran from January 22 to February 8, and anyone who shared their photos on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ShotOniPhone was entered.

Alternatively, you could enter by submitting your photo to

best iPhone photos
This shot was taken on a years-old iPhone 7, and was lauded by judges for its “vibrant colour and simplicity”
Apple / Nikita Yarosh
best iPhone photos
An iPhone X photographer captured this shot of a heart-shaped puddle
Apple / Dina Alfasi
best iPhone photos
This truly stunning photograph was caught by an iPhone 8 Plus, and has incredible composition and detail
Apple / Elizabeth Scarrott

Submissions were reviewed by a panel of expert judges with experience in photography.

Apple’s own marketing chief (and amateur photographer) Phil Schiller was on the panel, as well as Pete Souza, the chief official White House photographer for President Obama.

Also judging was Luísa Dörr, a Brazil-based photographer who photographed TIME’s Firsts issue with an iPhone exclusively.

You can read about all of the judges on the panel here.

There wasn’t much in the way of criteria for photos, other than that they had to be “outstanding”.

best iPhone photos
An amazing iPhone XS shot with “unique composition and colour palette”
Apple / Andrew Griswold
best iPhone photos
Another excellent black-and-white shot taken on an iPhone XS Max, with impressive contrast in “the clouds and surrounding landscape
Apple / Bernard Antolin

iPhone Portrait Mode – what you need to know

Here's how to capture great snaps with iPhone Portrait Mode…

  • Portrait Mode is an iPhone camera feature that keeps your subject in sharp focus – but blurs the background.
  • This is called the “bokeh” effect, and was previously only possible using proper cameras.
  • If you’ve got an iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max, you can create awesome close-up Portrait Mode shots.
  • And if you’ve got an iPhone XR, you’ll be able to take wide-angle Portrait Mode snaps that capture loads of detail.
  • First, launch the Camera app on your iPhone. Then drag your finger from right to left once, which should switch you from Photo to Portrait.
  • On most new iPhones, you’ll simply point the phone at an object and it will take a stunning Portrait snap.
  • However, you may need to move farther away to get Portrait Mode to work properly – it’ll warn you on-screen if you’re too close.
  • And sometimes Portrait Mode will fail to work correctly in very poor light, so don’t try snapping any selfies in the dark.
  • The iPhone XR works slightly differently, but Portrait Mode is accessed in the exact same way.
  • With the iPhone XS, the two rear cameras work together to sense depth, making it easy to blur the background.
  • But the iPhone XR only has one rear wide-angle camera, so it has to use clever software to work out where the background is.
  • That means the iPhone XR is (for now) only able to snap human faces in Portrait Mode – rather than your dog, or an attractive vase.
  • But the benefit is that you get really cool wide-angle shots. So committed snappers (with very large bank accounts) might want to invest in both an iPhone XR and iPhone XS, for maximum Portrait Mode potential.

Apple didn’t confirm exactly how much the reward was worth, but The Sun understands that it will be similar to previous licensing fees paid to Shot on iPhone photographers.

One user replying to former White House photographer Pete Souza about the challenge on Twitter said: “I received $1,000 a couple years ago when my photo was selected.”

However, The Sun is unable to verify whether that figure is accurate.

best iPhone photos
This iPhone XS landscape was praised for being “treated like an old portrait”
Apple / LieAdi Darmawan
best iPhone photos
An impressively detailed (and well-exposed) snap of meadows taken on an iPhone 7
Apple / Robert Glaser

Got an Apple handset and want to get stuck in? Check out our guide to taking the ultimate selfies with the iPhone Portrait Mode.

And if you want to boost your chances of winning, try upgrading to the iPhone XR and iPhone XS and make use of their top-notch cameras.

But be careful using your mobile in the chilly winter weather, because it can cause iPhone battery life issues.

Have you ever taken a truly amazing photo with your iPhone? Let us know in the comments!

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