Over the course of several weeks earlier this year, iPhone photographers from around the world shared their best macro photos for the Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge, making even the smallest details seem epic in images taken with their iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Today, Apple is announcing the 10 winners who highlight the global and diverse community of iPhone photographers, with finalists from China, Hungary, India, Italy, Spain, Thailand, and the US. Their stunning images will be featured on apple.com, on Apple’s Instagram (@apple), and on billboards in select cities.
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 specialised 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.
An international panel of expert judges — Anand Varma, Apeksha Maker, Peter McKinnon, Paddy Chao, Yik Keat Lee, Arem Duplessis, Billy Sorrentino, Della Huff, Kaiann Drance, and Pamela Chen — selected the winning images and shared some insight on why they love these shots.

“Sea Glass” by Guido Cassanelli
Buenos Aires, Argentina

From the photographer: “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.”
“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 colour 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 colours, makes it super intriguing.” — Yik Keat Lee

“The Cave” by Marco Colletta
Taranto, Italy

From the photographer: “The enveloping shape of the petals, accentuated by intense shadows, made me think of a deep cave, ready to be explored; by keeping the point of view inside the flower, I wanted the hibiscus’s natural framing to make us feel fully part of its beauty. When I first learned about macro mode, I thought it was one more cool new feature I was excited to get with my new iPhone 13 Pro. But when I started exploring its possibilities, I really started loving it. I discovered it gives me the possibility to turn nearly everything I see into an abstract subject, different from what it is in reality. This feature really did unlock my imagination.”
“The rich textures and colours of this image make it stand out, and the soft focus of the foreground is a wonderful compositional element that draws the viewer in.” — Della Huff
“Shooting from the side in macro is not an easy task because you have to consider whether the background will clutter the picture. I like the composition of this image with the buds surrounded by the petals, like it’s being held and cherished. The light and shadow bring a sense of serenity.” — Paddy Chao

“Art in Nature” by Prajwal Chougule
Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India

From the photographer: “I am a nature lover and love going on early morning walks with my iPhone 13 Pro. The ‘golden hour’ brings the best out of nature and is a photographer’s delight. Dewdrops on a spiderweb caught my attention, and I was fascinated by the way the dry spider silk formed a necklace on which the dew glistened like pearls. It felt like a piece of art on nature’s canvas.”
“A true example of a simple, graphic, yet beautiful image. The water droplets create these gorgeous little pearls that take on the intricate shape of the spiderweb. Simply stunning.” — Arem Duplessis
“This image is so perfect that it looks like an illustration. The well-arranged dewdrops on the spiderweb are captured with great detail. It’s something that most people would miss around them. There is some sort of harmony in the drops; at first glance, the viewer could be deceived on what the subject is. The iPhone does a fantastic job at focusing on such a fine detail, with close to almost no definitive background.” — Apeksha Maker

“A Drop of Freedom” by Daniel Olah
Budapest, Hungary

From the photographer: “My intention was to highlight the tiny drop of water in comparison with the lily. I’ve used a spot studio light on the lily with a dark background. I adore the shape of the flower; the lower petal helps keep the focus on the middle part, highlighting not just the drop, but the stamen, too. Nonetheless, the picture has a rhythm that is building toward the euphoria of the composition.”
“This image is reminiscent of a flower painting done by a Dutch master. The background frames the flower beautifully, and allows those gorgeous reds, greens, and blues to come forward against the rich black. The reflecting water droplet at the center could very well be a tear, as this image seduces the viewer’s emotions.” — Arem Duplessis
“I really like how clean this is. The water droplet in the centre is an obvious focal point; however, I really like how clean the edges of the plant seem to come out. Very little fringe and artifacting for getting so close. The black background again gives this a very high-end fine art feel, which, let’s be honest, people pay a lot of money for.” — Peter McKinnon