Back in January, Apple announced an iPhone Macro Challenge as its latest ‘Shot on iPhone‘ competition. iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max users were asked to share their best photos taken in macro (close-up) mode, and the company has today announced the winners.

Nature themes dominate, with flower and other plant photos accounting for six of the ten winning shots…

Apple of course wanted to use the contest to highlight the macro photography capabilities of its flagship iPhones.

The iPhone 13 Pro lineup features the most advanced camera system ever in an iPhone, and for the first time, users can capture sharp, stunning macro images on the device they carry with them wherever they go — opening up a photographic technique previously reserved for those with specialized camera equipment, to even more people.

The winning images demonstrate that the beauty of macro photography is its ability to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, and capture the little things in a big way. Photos include incredible nature shots that might be overlooked by the naked eye, like dewdrops on a spiderweb, snowflakes on a dog’s hair, a cavernous hibiscus flower, and a strawberry engulfed in tiny soda water bubbles.

Apple opens with Sea Glass, shot by Argentine photographer Guido Cassanelli. Here’s what the photographer had to say about it:

Sea glass is eroded by thousands of miles traveling 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 center — it looks like amber. I really love that texture.

And comments from two of the ten judges:

“Photography at its best transports you. Guido Cassanelli’s beautiful image is ethereal, otherworldly, and mysterious. Clearly shot with the iPhone macro lens, but the resulting image has limitless expanse and scale. The psychedelic color range is simply gorgeous.” – Billy Sorrentino

“When we make use of the macro function, the tiny world becomes magnified, and this is a perfect example of that. To be honest, I do not even know what this substance is exactly, but the fact that there is symmetry in the chaos, paired with multiple vibrant colors, makes it super intriguing.” – Yik Keat Lee

You can see all ten winning images in Apple’s press release. Personally, I most loved the photos above.

It’s, of course, too late to enter the competition, but if you want to try your own macro shots, check out our guide – as well as how to avoid accidentally enabling the mode!

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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