The winners of this year's iPhone Photography Awards call to mind the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You'll Go. With a compact device in hand, world travelers are sharing intimate images from the far corners of the globe.
When the competition began 12 years ago, founder Kenan Aktulun says, the first submissions showed iPhone users in an experimentation phase. "They were just kind of discovering the tool they'd gotten their hands on," he says. "Now I think people understand the tool, are comfortable with it and realize it's a new storytelling language. It is very easy to use and you don't need to know anything about technology."
"I feel like we are getting an insight into people's lives, what triggers an emotion, what they care about," Aktulun adds.
Participants submitted unaltered iPhone or iPad photos to one of 18 categories after acknowledging they obtained permission from third parties to snap photos. This year, there were thousands of entries from amateur and professional photographers in 140 countries. The winners were announced in late July, with prizes that include a minted gold bar for the big winner and an array of iPad products.