Shot on iPhone: The winners of Apple’s macro photography contest

Ashley Lee’s photo, Strawberry in Soda, is one of the 10 winning photos.

Ashley Lee

When Apple launched the iPhone 13 Familyone of the features that made the Pro models stand out was the addition of a macro mode which allows you to take close-up shots of small subjects. Macro photos have a close-up point of view that can turn a mundane subject like a strawberry floating in a soda into something dramatic and ethereal.

To celebrate the new camera feature, Apple has launched its latest Shot on iPhone photo contest on macro photography. Over the past few weeks, Apple has received macro photos taken with the iPhone 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max from around the world. A panel of judges including a mix of Apple employees and photographers Anand Varma, Apeksha Maker, Peter McKinnon, Paddy Chao, Yik Keat Lee selected 10 winning photos to feature on Apple’s website, Instagram page and on billboards in cities around the world.

A surfer, a graphic designer, students, several engineers and professional photographers took the winning photos. They reside in the United States, China, Hungary, India, Italy, Spain, Thailand, and Argentina.

Ashley Lee is a freelance photographer based in San Francisco. Her photo, Strawberry in Soda, was one of the 10 winning photos in Apple’s Shot on iPhone: Macro photography contest. You can see it above.

“I chose a strawberry as the subject because I loved how the bright red popped against the black background. The stark contrast focuses your attention on the strawberry and its bubbles, and makes the strawberry appear to be floating in the air. ‘space,” Lee said. .

Take a look at the rest of the winning macro photos below. If you’re feeling inspired to take your own macro shots, be sure to read our story on how to take great close-up shots with your iPhone.

The red interior of a flower's petals, curved to look like a cave.

Photo by Marco Colleta, The Grotto.

Marco Colletta

Marco Colleta is a student studying mechanical engineering in Italy who took the photo of 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 perspective inside the flower, I wanted the natural framing of the hibiscus to make us feel a full part of its beauty.”

A drop of water on the leaf of a lily.

A drop of freedom by Daniel Olah.

Daniel Olah

Daniel Olah is a photographer and photo retoucher from Budapest. Her photo is titled A Drop of Freedom. “My intention was to highlight the small water drop against the lily. I used spot studio light on the lily with a dark background. I love the shape of the flower; the lower petal helps to keep the focus on the middle lily, emphasizing not only the drop, but also the stamen,” Olah said.

A drop of water on a leaf.

Hidden gem of Jirasak Panpiansin.

Jirasak Panpiansin

Jirasak Panpiansin is a well-known Thai photographer. His photo, named Hidden Gem, depicts a drop of water on a leaf. “This shimmering liquid gem is delicately nestled at the base of a leaf after a tropical storm, almost imperceptible to the human eye,” Panpiansin said. “However, its true brilliance shines through the iPhone lens – up close it shimmers with intense clarity, capturing the emerging sunlight and magnifying the complex organic geometry of the leaf veins below.”

Dewdrops captured on a spider web.

Art in Nature by Prajwal Chougule

Prajwal Chougule

Prajwal Chougule is a software engineer in India. Photography has been one of his passions since college. His photo, Art in Nature, shows dewdrops on a spider’s web. “The ‘golden hour’ brings the best of nature and makes photographers happy. Dewdrops on a spider web caught my eye, and I was fascinated by the way spider silk dries formed a necklace on which the dew shimmered like pearls, like a work of art on nature’s canvas,” Chougule said.

A macro shot of colored sea glass.

Sea Glass by Guido Cassanelli

Guido Cassanelli

Guido Cassanelli is a photographer and surfer based in Argentina. He took the picture titled Sea Glass. “I was walking on the beach enjoying a beautiful sunset and decided to collect some of these little pieces of sea glass to give some macro photography on the iPhone 13 Pro Max a try,” Cassanelli said. “It looks like something strange is going on inside the one placed in the center – it looks like amber. I really like this texture.”

The veins of a leaf.

Leaf illumination by Trevor Collins.

Trevor Collins

Trevor Collins is a graphic designer from Boston who took the photo titled Leaf Illumination. “This single example occurred during the golden hour slice when the sun shines directly into my window, illuminating all the tiny cells of each leaf. The leaf pictured is from a fiddle leaf fig that sits on my office, where I get to see everything throughout the day,” Collins said.

A detailed photo of the seeds of a sunflower.

The volcanic lava of Abhik Mondal.

Abhik Mondal

Abhik Mondal is a computer engineer from New Jersey. His photo, Volcanic Lava, is that of a sunflower. “One day, while on a regular nighttime walk, I went to a grocery store, where I noticed a bouquet of flowers. This beautiful sunflower caught my eye with its intricate detailing, including the presence of contrasting colors from the center to the edge of the petals. I immediately decided to take the bouquet home and capture the beauty of it,” Mondal said.

Snowflakes in a dog's fur.

Honeycomb by Tom Reeves.

Tom Reeves

Tom Reeves is a graduate student in information science in New York. Her photo, Honeycomb, depicts her dog. “This image was taken along the edge of Riverside Park in Manhattan during a morning walk with our pup this winter. As she marveled at her first snow, I was able to capture the fleeting trellis of this tiny snowflake as he landed among the threads of her many honey-colored curls,” Reeves said.

Close up of the petals of a tulip.

The final flowering of Hojisan.


Hojisan is a professional photographer based in Chongqing, China. Her photo, The Final Bloom, depicts a tulip. “The photo was taken when my 3 year old son discovered the tulip flower at home. I then enjoyed 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,” Hojisan said.

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