The 2019 iPhone Photography Awards have been run and won. And the wonderful photos that took out the awards only serve to fuel the debate about gear, technique, and vision.
As the name of the competition suggests, all images must be taken with an Apple iPhone or iPad. And this year's finalists and winners have served up some glorious images in a range of categories including landscape, portrait, travel, abstract, and more. You can check out all the winners here, including every category if you scroll to the bottom of the page. What I found most interesting, aside from the images themselves in terms of thought, composition, and quality, was the instant reaction of my brain when I saw them. My first thought wasn't about the images in front of me; it was drawn to the never-ending debate about gear and your needs. For when the light is right and conditions are optimal, the quality of iPhone images these days is outstanding. Indeed, when my wife got her iPhone 8 after it was released, I was quite stunned at the crispness and clarity of her photos. I'm not joking when I say that some of them rivaled my DSLR shots, and it's only gotten better since the release of the iPhone X.
I teach a photography class here at university in Japan, and we only use smartphones because of costs and practicalities. So, I'm always interested in how far the technology will take us with smartphones and if we might ever reach a stage where DSLRs or MILCs are completely overrun by smartphone cameras, not just in terms of pure numbers, but also going as far as including those who make a living from photography. Looking at this year's award-winners only strengthens my belief that the gap is ever closing. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.