How To Succeed In Smartphone Photography Competitions


There are a wide variety of photography contests that can easily be found both online and in your local community. Increasingly, some competitions are aimed solely at smartphone photographers such as the iPhone Photography Awards and the Mobile Photography Awards. Less formal and more frequent are social media competitions like those run by @mobiography.

While entering a competition may offer a chance to scoop prizes and gain recognition, the process can also provide the inspiration to improve your photography skills. Pushing yourself to compete against fellow photographers will help you find clarity in your subject choice and objectivity towards your portfolio. The success of winning a photographic competition may fade in time, however the lessons that you learn in competition will continue to benefit your photography long into the future.

I’ve organised, managed, judged and competed in numerous photo contests over many years, I’d like to share this experience with you and offer some photo competition tips that will hopefully help you increase your chances of winning.

Read the Guidelines Thoroughly

OK, I know this can be the boring part, but it’s really important to read the competitions’ guidelines, terms, and conditions thoroughly. Understand exactly what is required from your submission, it can make the difference between winning and losing.

The rules of the competition will govern how many shots to submit, entry deadline, the required format and size. Are there any rules regarding the camera that can be used? - no point entering an iPhone contest with DSLR shots! Some competitions also have strict rules regarding how an image can be edited and modified.

If the competition has a specific theme or categories, ensure that your shot(s) fit the brief. Whilst there will generally be an acceptance of creativity and interpretation of a theme, there will be a limit to the extent that a judge will accept an image to stray from the given subject.

Understand how your images will be used. Each competition will use images differently, consider the implications of how and where your images will be reproduced. I personally favour competitions that limit the reuse to the contest, ie. winners gallery, future promotion etc. Some photographers have been unhappy in recent years as their images have been ‘farmed-out’ for wider use. You should ensure that your copyright of the images remain intact and that you are always credited by name wherever they appear.

Do Your Research

Some simple research can be invaluable; be willing to learn from others. If the competition has been run before, check out previous winning entries to see what the judges are looking for. Look up similar themed contests and learn from those successful entrants. There is no harm in familiarising yourself with the judge’s work. Look at their website and try to learn what type of image they may appreciate and what competitions they have judged in the past.

After you have completed your research, you will still need to trust your instinct, do not sacrifice your creativity to what you think a judge may like.

Choose Your Submission Carefully

Choosing your image(s) can the hardest part of entering a photo contest. You will want to submit your best photo but it must comply with the competitions’ nominated theme. Avoid the predictable, judges will be viewing lots of images in a condensed time-span, if your image is similar to the majority of entrants then it is unlikely to have an impression. Be prepared to take shots specifically for the contest if you are having doubts about the suitability of your existing images.

Attempt to stand out from the crowd, choose compelling subjects with distinctive, strong composition. The judges will be looking for visual impact not mediocrity!

Aim for Technical Excellence

Whilst a dynamic and strong composition can counteract technical flaws, the success of your submission may ultimately depend on image quality. This should go without saying, but If your image isn’t focused and exposed correctly, then it has less chance of being chosen by the judge. Displaying detail in highlights (bright) and shadow (dark) areas of an image is crucial and though modern day devices do a great job at capturing and balancing detail, you can still be caught out in extreme lighting conditions.

Choose Devise Features Wisely

With every smartphone release, manufacturers raise the bar for mobile photography excellence. The feature sets on the top-of-the-range phones are nothing short of amazing, making capturing stunning photos easier for all. With all this technology at your fingertips it becomes tempting to concentrate only on the new features. Concentrate on the basics of composition and exposure first, then make decisions on depth-of-field, long exposure etc. Don’t get drawn into using features jut because you can.

Prepare For Disappointment

Ultimately, you enter a competition to win, when you don’t win, you can feel dejected. The harsh fact is that there are more losers than winners in any competition. Failure doesn’t mean you aren’t a good photographer or that your images are poor. Do not let your passion or enjoyment of photography be curtailed by the choice of a judge. I’ve had images panned by judging panels in one competition only to be awarded first prize in another. Learn from the experience, grow a thicker skin and continue to have confidence in your shots.

Gain Experience and Confidence in A Club

Joining a local camera club is a great way to gain competition experience. Choose a club who have a supportive and learning environment, who encourage participation, and have a regular competition schedule. Almost all photographic clubs and societies will run frequent competitions and have photo battles with other clubs.

Don’t Give Up

Never give up on your work. You will have success and failures on your photographic journey. If you don’t succeed in one contest, try another, never lose confidence in your shots. Don’t let competitions diminish your enjoyment. Take a picture to please yourself first and then decide what happens next.

If you’re thinking of entering a competition then I wish you every success and I hope you found these tips helpful.




You can create fantastic shots of moving water with an iPhone. From capturing dramatic torrents to blurring and softening a waterfall into a dreamy cascade. Id like to share my 10 best tips for creating amazing waterfall shots with an iPhone.

I'm fortunate to live just a short drive from the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. The area contains some of the most magnificent and dramatic scenery in the UK. Amid mountains, hills, streams and lakes there are numerous opportunities to photograph waterfalls, from gentle trickles to awesome cascades.

There are no right and wrong ways to shoot a waterfall as long as you follow the basics. Some of us prefer the soft, milky shots whilst others prefer to capture the raw power of the water in the landscape. Try capturing different images and then compare later for the best results.

I'd like to share some tips and techniques on photographing waterfalls with an iPhone camera.

Avoid shooting in harsh sunlight.

Avoid shooting in harsh sunlight.

1. The most difficult part of photographing water is to avoid 'burning out highlights', in other words, creating bright white areas of the water that contain no detail. Try to avoid photographing water in harsh sunlight. Early morning, late afternoon, cloudy or even rainy days will produce a softer, less intrusive, light.

Overcast conditions help keep details in water but pay attention to maintaining cloud detail when including skies.

Overcast conditions help keep details in water but pay attention to maintaining cloud detail when including skies.


In the image above, I have photographed the waterfall with my native iPhone camera app on an overcast day, which has enabled me to capture all the details in the water. When including skies in your composition, keep in mind that you will want to also capture interesting cloud detail in addition to the water. Experiment with your phone’s HDR setting to capture more detail in the highlight (and shadow) areas.

2. Long exposure, or slow-shutter photography involves using a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the static elements of a scene whilst blurring motion. To capture these kind of images on a DSLR camera can actually be trickier than shooting with an iPhone. A DSLR captures continuous light whereas the iPhone 'stacks' multiple images. Therefore the the skill of the DSLR photographer is required to calculate the amount of light captured over a given period. The use of various graduated or polarising filters will more than likely be required to control the light.

If you want to create soft, milky, long exposure images of water on your iPhone, Live Photos is a good starting point. The Live Photos feature of iOS 11 and beyond, records 1.5 seconds before and after you take a picture. Your iPhone captures the still image you shot along with 3 seconds of video. Once you have captured a Live Photo, you have options to create effects, including long exposure. The effect is achieved by layering individual frames captured during the 3 seconds of video. You take a Live Photo just like you do a traditional photo and it does a reasonable job at creating a Long Exposure effect without the need of a tripod. See my tutorial on How To Master Live Photos here.

A huge step-up from Live Photos long exposure is the newly released Spectre Camera by Chroma Noir; a third-party camera app for iPhone. Spectre’s intelligent computational shutter takes hundreds of shots over the span of a few seconds and merges them together. Shots can be of 3, 5 or 9 seconds duration. With just a little practice, sharp, image-stabilised images can be produced hand-held.

A 3 second hand-held long exposure, captured with Spectre Camera app.

A 3 second hand-held long exposure, captured with Spectre Camera app.

3. Traditionally, long exposures require the use of a tripod or a steady method of supporting your device to eliminate camera-shake. I’ve found that even though Live Photos and Spectre produce remarkable hand-held shots, using a tripod is a more dependable method to produce sharp images.

I use a Manfrotto Compact Light Aluminium Tripod - compact and light, you can take it anywhere. You will also need to purchase a mount to connect your iPhone to the tripod. I use a ShoulderPod S1 which doubles as a hand held grip.

Steady your shots with a tripod.

Steady your shots with a tripod.


4. The soft, dream-like effect of long exposure is the result of an increased amount of time that the picture has been taken. For capturing long exposure images with greater control, consider purchasing Slow Shutter Cam by Cogitap Software. This app allows setting a timed exposure of your image up to 60 seconds. The longer you expose your photo, the more blur you will create.

This image was taken with an iPhone 6 Plus, on a tripod, with an 8 second exposure in the Slow Shutter Cam app.

This image was taken with an iPhone 6 Plus, on a tripod, with an 8 second exposure in the Slow Shutter Cam app.


5. When taking long exposure shots it is essential to ensure camera stability. Camera shake is when movement of the camera results in an image that is blurry or out of focus. The iPhone Camera native app and Slow Shutter Cam have timer options that can be set with up to 10 seconds delay before the shutter automatically fires; eliminating any movement when touching the screen. Likewise, wireless remote shutter releases that connect to your device via Bluetooth are perfect for remote shutter management.

6. For all their beauty, it has to be said that a lot of waterfall photography can look very similar. It's easy to channel your attention solely on the water and forget to find a more interesting overall composition. A great way to overcome this is to include other elements that add interest to the scene, photograph from different angles and search for a more unusual and creative viewpoint to convey more about the surrounding area and character of the waterfall's setting.

Photograph from different angles for a more unusual and creative viewpoint.

Photograph from different angles for a more unusual and creative viewpoint.


7. In contrast to the previous point, you may prefer to concentrate on a smaller area of a waterfall rather than trying to fit the entire scene into your frame. This can create an abstract photo that becomes a study of motion and colour and leaves room for the viewer's imagination. Take multiple shots and decide later on which you think is the best.

Create an abstract scene of natural beauty.

Create an abstract scene of natural beauty.


8. Consider including references for scale. The largest waterfall may look less impressive in a photograph if the viewer can’t easily appreciate its scale. Don't be afraid to include buildings, sign posts, fences and people.

Considering including references for scale comparison.

Considering including references for scale comparison.


9. Although the use of lens filters is not mandatory in the capture of moving water when shooting on an iPhone, there may be times, such as in very bright conditions, when the use of a filter may help exposure. There are many options for attaching lens filters to smartphones with more coming onto the market all the time. A polarizing filter improves the dynamic range in your iPhone photos, resulting in skies with deeper blues and whiter clouds. Neutral density filters block out light to varying degrees, bringing the highlights down to a manageable level. Recovering detail in highlighted areas gives your photos more depth and visual impact.

10. Be aware that you’ll most likely be working in wet conditions, spray from the falls will make the surrounding area slippery. Be careful when stepping or climbing over rocks. Protect your equipment and keep your hands free when moving around. Wipe the lens of your device regularly if working up close to a waterfall to ensure it is clean and free of any moisture.

I hope this short tutorial inspires and helps you to get out into the landscape and create stunning waterfall shots. Enjoy your photography, most of all remember - it's your camera, your picture, your rules!

All images and content ©Adrian McGarry 2018-2019


Elizabeth Gaskell's House Workshop


Following the sell-out success of my 2018 iPhone Photography Workshop, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester have invited me back to lead another workshop for 2019.


Don't miss this exciting opportunity to improve your smartphone photography skills in a unique, historical and inspirational venue. Full Details Here


Northern Quarter Workshop


BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, my Manchester Northern Quarter iPhone photography workshop on Saturday June 22nd is now open for bookings.


The 1 day (4 hours), mobile photography workshop will introduce techniques to take and edit shots that will instantly advance your photography skills and take your photos to the next level. If you aspire to create images of a professional standard, now is the time to explore the potential of your smartphone camera. The workshop is suitable for beginners and experienced photographers.

I will be working with you on a one-to-one basis and as a group. The course will be limited to a small number of participants to ensure quality time is spent with you and allowing you to work at your own pace.

My workshop covers:

•iPhone camera basics •Composition •Exposure •Focus •iOS Photography apps •Practical and creative editing •Overcoming common problems and anything else you care to ask!

The Northern Quarter, famous for its abundance of bars, cafes, fashion and music shops has become a popular destination as Manchester’s centre of alternative and bohemian culture. A network of narrow streets and alleys are adorned with constantly evolving street art that includes spectacular large-scale murals created by internationally-renowned artists. There is no shortage of creative inspiration here.

I am a member of the Royal Photographic Society and I am privileged to hold an ARPS distinction. I am an accomplished public speaker, software demonstrator and workshop leader. I regularly present and run presentations to camera clubs and photographic societies. You can be sure of friendly, jargon-busting guidance dedicated to delivering an informative and enjoyable learning experience.

Places are limited and demand will be high, to make sure you don't miss this exciting opportunity book your place now and secure with a small deposit.

Many thanks for putting on such a well-presented and useful workshop, I’m also impressed with the very helpful and professional follow-up email recapping on key info and links.
— Workshop Participant
All in all, Adrian’s 1-1 workshops are great opportunities to learn smartphone photography and also fantastic value. I would recommend them to photographers and picture takers whatever your level of experience.
— Workshop Participant

The full cost of my Northern Quarter Workshop is £60 per person. Secure your workshop now with a £20 deposit. The remaining balance is due on the day.

June 22nd 2019, 10.30am


iPhone Photography Workshop in North Wales


I am excited to announce my first series of iPhone photography workshops in North Wales. These one-to-one or small group sessions are designed to be tailored around your specific interests and requirements. You will learn to capture and edit stunning photos with your smartphone camera that you never thought possible! Low on jargon, high on content, my workshops are designed to get the most from your device, in a relaxed and informal way.

Conwy 900px.jpg

I have chosen the beautiful town of Conwy, in North Wales, as the base for these workshops. There are endless opportunities to discover and inspire your creativity here. Stunning coastal scenery, a backdrop of mountains, historical architecture, bustling high streets, a picture-postcard quay and marina, the smallest house in Britain and of course the magnificent medieval castle and town walls.

Our three-hour workshop begins with a relaxed introduction to the apps, shooting techniques and principles of composition that we will be exploring throughout the day. We then embark (weather permitting) on a guided photo-walk around the areas of the town that are appropriate to your particular photographic interests. We can concentrate your time to capturing street, landscape, long exposure, sunsets or a combination of all these photographic genres.

My workshops are guaranteed to increase your understanding of the photographic features of the iPhone, iOS operating system and associated apps. Our session concludes with a review of your photos from the day, then using a host of powerful editing apps and techniques we will explore how to enhance your images and create a visual masterpiece.

I sincerely want you to enjoy the time we spend together and leave feeling that you have learnt practical and creative skills to take fabulous smartphone photos. We will schedule the workshop for a date and time that best suits you and agree a detailed itinerary in advance of your visit. There really isn’t a better way to improve your photography than by 'getting out there and doing it'.

The workshops are suitable for beginner or advanced photographers alike.


“All in all, Adrian’s 1-1 workshops are great opportunities to learn smartphone photography and also fantastic value. I would recommend them to photographers and picture takers whatever your level of experience.” — Workshop Participant

“Many thanks for putting on such a well-presented and useful workshop, I’m also impressed with the very helpful and professional follow-up email recapping on key info and links.” — Workshop Participant

This is an independent event and has not been authorised, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.


The price for person is £60, single bookings or groups of up to four are available.

A £20 deposit secures your place with the balance payable on the day.

Conwy Workshop Deposit
Add to Cart

Guest Speaking and Workshops


I frequently present a popular series of talks for camera clubs, photographic societies exhibitions, trade shows and corporate events. My presentations are designed to encourage and inspire the audience to express their creativity. Motivating others to take the next steps on their image-making journey has become my passion. Using my award winning artwork or stunning iPhone photography as a visual narrative, I engage with audiences of any size. 

Presentations can be tailored to fit your needs, usually lasting from one hour up to three hours. When you book me to present to your group or event, you can be confident that you are engaging a professional, accomplished lecturer with many years of public speaking experience.

Audience feedback and questions are encouraged both during and long after my events via my website and email. The comments that I receive are extremely positive and supportive.

What a superb evening we had with Adrian McGarry ARPS. I’m sure many of our audience were impressed with what can be achieved by a smartphone camera and editing software, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon see some competition entries from those who’ve previously thought their gear wasn’t “good enough”. As Adrian rightly said - the best camera in the world is the one you have with you!
— Ruthin Camera Club

I'm both thrilled and proud that my current presentations ‘Ultimate iPhone Photography' and 'Pixel Painted Art' are in high demand and many organisations book a return visit. I cover the technical and conceptual aspects of my work, sharing the inspirations and influences that shape my creative approach. My talks constantly evolve to include new methods, demonstrations and images.

iPhone Photography by Adrian McGarry

Ultimate iPhone Photography Talk

Within my iPhone photography presentations I demonstrate the potential to capture incredible photos that take mobile photography from ordinary to extraordinary both onscreen and in print.

If you don’t own an iPhone, you’ll certainly want one after Adrian’s convincing talk. You’ll be putting your DSLRs away in a cupboard!
— Chapel Camera Club
His inspiring enthusiasm and impassioned advice that we should let our creative juices flow and take photographs for ourselves and not for others will stay in the minds of members, inform their work, and increase their enjoyment of photography. The dialogue on Facebook into the early hours, by those who couldn’t wait to get home to experiment, spoke volumes about the impact of this memorable presentation in our current season of speaker evenings.
— Lancaster Photographic Society
Puffin Perch by Adrian McGarry.jpg

Pixel Painted Photo Art Talk

Created using brushstrokes and textures with software such as Corel Painter on the desktop and various apps on the iOS platform. Attendees are inspired to create photo art as gifts, greeting cards or submissions in competition.

We’ve had excellent speakers recently, without doubt yours was one of the best.
— Knutsford Photographic Society
Adrian’s work, shakes the very foundation, that many of us regard as the rock which our photography skills are based upon. A super nights’ viewing from an equally super presentation and photographer.
— South Liverpool Photographic Society

I host numerous workshops and live demonstrations; sharing my images, workflows, techniques and knowledge. I never tire of presenting inspirational workshops to groups and as individual one-to-one sessions. I believe that my enthusiasm and love for creative photography is one of the reasons why my events are so well received and always in demand.

Photography Workshops by Adrian McGarry


iPhone photography and creative photo art workshops can be created to meet a group or individual’s requirements. Learn essential photo skills, experiment with the latest apps and techniques and create your next creative masterpiece. Recommended for all skill levels.

Adrian was extremely accommodating and easy to work with right from the point of making an enquiry and everything about the day itself was well organised, relaxed and friendly. I really got the sense that Adrian wanted me to get as much as I could out of the day. All in all, this is a great 1-1 workshop opportunity and it is also fantastic value. I would recommend it to photographers and picture takers whatever your level of experience.”
— Workshop Participant

Use the form below to enquire about organising my presentations or workshops for your club, company or event.

Name *

The Art of Texture


I’ve always enjoyed creating textured photo art; blending textures to add depth, atmosphere and a surreal quality to my images. This powerful, creative enhancement is not something new, back in the days of the traditional darkroom, long before desktop or mobile editing, photographers would blend multiple images together, adding scratches and stains to the final print.

In today’s world of computerised editing, similar techniques are quicker, easier and more accessible. These digital techniques have been around a long time through desktop software such as Photoshop and Lightroom but there are serious alternatives on the mobile platform to create unique art from your photos. Professional-level editing that takes advantage of the speed and graphical rendering on iPhone and iPad offer solid management when it comes to creative editing. There are unlimited possibilities for adding texture to your iPhone photography using some amazing apps and in this article I have listed the top three iOS apps (in my view) to get you started.

Texture is added to an image by adding a layers on top of your photo. Those layers can be merged into the original scene using opacity and blending modes. There are plenty of dedicated apps that have adjustable pre-set layers and filters to transform your images combined with plenty of adjustment tools to fine-tune your art. Alternatively, you can create your own texture, photos of rust and scratched metal work just great, and ‘manually’ merge these elements within an app that supports added layers and blending modes. For more advanced work you can combine both methods to create something that is a truly unique piece of photo art.


Photographer, artist and texture designer Cheryl Tarrant is the co-creator of texture editing app Distressed FX. There are currently two versions available on the App Store. The original Distressed FX is sold at just 49 pence with in app purchases of texture packs. New to purchase however is the Distressed FX Plus version which is billed as a special edition of the highly acclaimed original. For £9.99 you get access to ALL current and future filters, plus extra features including the ability to rotate filter effects.

Says Cheryl, "There is freedom and creativity in the app. You can be sitting in a boring doctor's office and, within seconds, make art: creating painterly images from ordinary photos. I like the idea of leaving our creative footprints in the world, and with the app, it's possible for those of us who don't consider ourselves to be creative, to feel and be creative."

Who better to talk us through this Distressed FX tutorial (above) than creator Cheryl Tarrant.


Merek Davis is a commercial photographer living in Arizona. He created Mextures, one of the leading apps for making texture based edits to photos. The app launched in 2013 and was an instant hit, it has gone from strength-to-strength since.

“I wanted to create an iPhone editing app using textures that I had created for my personal/commercial photography. Working with a small team, we built and launched Mextures for the iPhone in May of 2013. The iPad version launched a year later. We ended up winning an app of the year from Apple.” Says Merek on his website.

Mextures allows the effortless creation of unique looks for your images with textures, film filters, and professional-grade adjustments on an unlimited number of layers. Simple editing tools allow the addition of beautiful hand-crafted presets with a single tap.

You can save your edits for future use and evolve a style that’s completely yours.

Mextures app overview movie (above) from creator Merek Davis.


Superimpose X is an ideal app for blending multiple images together. If you want to create and blend your own custom textures into your photographic source, then the ability to apply multiple layers and blends is crucial to your workflow. Superimpose X users can easily superimpose photos on top of another, and adjustments can be made on the fly without advanced knowledge of masks or image blending. Smooth edges with smooth tools, add masks or mask out different portions of an image, and adjust the colour, exposure, contrast or saturation. Tools includes move, scale, resize, rotate and flip tools in addition to blending tools. A classic version Superimpose of the app is still available.



Gianluca Ricoveri - iPhone Painterly Landscapes

Gianluca Ricoveri was born in 1950 he has always been devoted to the art of painting and photography experiencing the interaction of one genre with another one. In 2012 he discovered the Iphoneography which allows him to blend the different means of expression.

Jamie Heiden Creates An Unique Style Of Art Photography And Its Phenomenal

A story starts like this for Jamie Heiden, hailing from the most beautiful West Wisconsin, Jamie creates such elegant and simplistic compositions with her art for photography approach. In this fine interview with, Jamie shares some unique things about art and her vision towards photography.

Spectre - A New AI-powered App For Long Exposure


The brains behind leading RAW manual photography app Halide have launched their second app, a companion camera called Spectre that focuses on intelligent long exposure photography.

Halide creators launch Spectre, an AI-powered long exposure camera app for iPhone

Nearly two years ago former Twitter for iOS tech lead Ben Sandofsky and ex-Apple designer Sebastiaan de With launched Halide, the beautiful pro camera app for iPhone that's proven both popular and powerful. Today the duo is launching their second app, a companion camera called Spectre that focuses on intelligent long exposure photography.


John Bozinov's Awesome iPhone Photos From Antarctica


While most wildlife photographers capture their images using large telephoto lenses, the fixed lens of the iPhone works just fine for New Zealand born photographer John Bozinov. Spending two months down in the Antarctic Peninsula at the end of 2016, he knew it would be a great opportunity to shoot a photography project to capture the polar region landscape in a unique way. “I enjoy the simplicity of shooting on a relatively ‘basic’ camera and not thinking too much while I’m in the field taking photos, focusing and connecting solely on my subject in front of me; in some ways it helps to keep me in the moment,” Bozinov told Digital Trends.

Bozinov’s awe-inspiring images from Antartica drew praise from Apple chief executive Tim Cook on 2018’s World Photography Day. Taking to Twitter, Cook acknowledged amazing photographers around the world, singling out the work of John Bozinov.

Bozinov used no additional equipment when shooting with his iPhone. “I wanted everything to be shot on the iPhone 7 plus using the native camera app, and everything had to be edited in its entirely on the iPhone too.” he told Daily Mail Australia in 2017.

Photographing in a cold environment can be troublesome for any device’s battery life, the iPhone is no different in this respect. The compactness of the iPhone allowed Bozinov to overcome the problem by simply keeping it snug in an internal pocket between shots.


Apple Announces #shotoniPhone Winners

You can see all the winning shots on the  Apple Newsroom  with quotes from the judging panel as to why they liked the photo.

You can see all the winning shots on the Apple Newsroom with quotes from the judging panel as to why they liked the photo.

iPhone photographers from around the world shared their best photos for the Apple Shot on iPhone Challenge. The company asked for iPhone only submissions with the prize of featuring in Apple advertising on social media, in-store, and in the company's internal exhibitions. The photographers will receive a licensing fee for their work.

The winners were selected by a judging panel made up of many prominent photographers, including the chief official White House photographer for President Obama Pete Souza, photographer Austin Mann and Apple’s own Phil Schiller. The top 10 winners came from countries including Singapore, Germany, Belarus, Israel and the US, capturing colorful city scenery, curious animals, creative reflections, the beauty of the ordinary and more. The winning submissions were taken by Alex Jiang, Blake Marvin, Darren Soh, Nikita Yarosh, Dina Alfasi, Elizabeth Scarrott, Andrew Griswold, Bernard Antolin, LieAdi Darmawan, and Robert Glaser.

Apple highlights best photos shot on iPhone around the world

iPhone photographers around the world shared their best photos for the Shot on iPhone Challenge, capturing remarkable moments with the world's most popular camera. The 10 selected winners will be featured on billboards in select cities, in Apple retail stores and online.


How to Hide Photos on iPhone and iPad


If you’re anything like me, you probably enjoy showing off the stunning photos that you’ve taken with your iPhone using the native Photos app. There may be times however that you wish to keep certain images secret and not readily in view of others. Hiding pictures on your iPhone or iPad within the Photos app is really simple but does not keep them truly private. I’ll cover how to hide photos with the built-in 'Hidden' photo album but also provide links to third-party apps that lock photos away behind a passcode.

Hiding photos on your iPhone and iPad is quick and easy. For devices running iOS 10 or earlier, hiding a photo on your iPhone means the photo is hidden from ‘Years’, ‘Collections’, and ‘Moments’. but will still be visible in ‘All Photos’. Fortunately, from iOS 11 onwards, hidden photos are removed from ‘All Photos’ too. Hidden photos are placed in an album named ‘Hidden’. You can view hidden photos by opening the ‘Hidden’ album, there is no additional security which means anyone with access to your Photos app can scroll to the ‘Hidden’ album and open it.

iOS Hide Photos Step 1.jpg
  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone and select the photo(s) you wish to hide.

  2. Tap the share icon in the lower left corner of the app.

Hide iOS Photos Step 2

3. Select Hide.

Hide iOS Photos Step 3

4. Confirm Hide Photo.

Hide iOS Photos Step 4

5. Your photo is can now be found in the ‘Hidden” album.

To view your hidden photos, scroll to the album named ‘Hidden’ listed under Other Albums and tap on it.


The method described above is the easiest way to hide photos on your device, but it isn’t the most secure. There are a number of apps that can also hide your photos and videos with additional security measures, making them harder to access. Check out these three apps below.

‎Private Photo Vault - Pic Safe

‎The Best and Most Private Photo and Video App for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. Millions of people trust Private Photo Vault® to keep their photos hidden.

‎Secret Photo Vault - Keepsafe

‎Download Keepsafe to join the millions of people who have entrusted over a billion pictures to Keepsafe: the most popular photo locker and album vault app. Keepsafe secures personal photos and videos by locking them down with PIN protection, fingerprint touch ID, and military-grade encryption.

‎Best Secret Folder

Secretly Hide Your Most Private Videos and Photos From Other People! Protect safely and securely your most private videos/photos with Best Secret Folder.


The Future of Smartphone Photography


Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that our smartphone cameras are truly amazing. The evolution of mobile photography has brought us to a point where levels of function, performance and quality rival those of longer-standing dedicated camera systems.

The “Smartphone vs DSLR vs Mirrorless” arguments will no doubt rumble on into the future. For the committed smartphone photographer however there is a more relevant debate. Manufacturer innovations in smartphone photography have progressed rapidly beyond megapixel count and physical form. The battleground to be crowned best smartphone camera is being fought with advanced performance and features from software running on the phone's chip that processes and combines multiple frames into one photo offering quality of focus, better perspective, and controlled depth of field. Computational photography, as it is known, is already here and will extend the capabilities of smartphone cameras to new levels of quality and possibility.

Sebastiaan de With, is at the cutting-edge of harnessing this new power of computational photography in the latest iPhone models. Designer of the award-winning camera app Halide, Sebastiaan has published a detailed explanation of computational photography on the iPhone XS and XS Max.

The article can be read in full by following the link below.

iPhone XS A Whole New Camera.jpg

iPhone XS: Why It’s A Whole New Camera

Sebastiaan de With

Freelance designer, photographer, motorcycle traveler. Designer of Halide.


Further Reading From The Web

This is the future of iPhone photography | Cult of Mac

The iPhone camera is hands-down amazing, thanks almost entirely to the fact that it is hooked up to a pocket-size supercomputer. Initially, the iPhone used its computer smarts to overcome the limitations of phone cameras - the tiny sensor, for example.

Brace yourself, because digital photography will change more in the next 10 years than in the last 10

Digital photography has changed a lot over the past two decades, with clunky DSLRs giving way to sleek smartphones. Over the next 10 years, expect a similar evolution as the science behind the art changes. Much of the technology in use today represents the breakthroughs of the first generation of digital cameras.

Future locked iPhones could open camera app automatically when held up to take a photo

Photographers who are irritated about missing the perfect shot because it took too long to access their iPhone's camera could benefit from one potential feature Apple has considered, where the iPhone automatically enters the camera application when raised for a shot, even if it is still locked.


Mobile Photography Awards Winners


The 8th annual Mobile Photography Awards attracted over 7,000 entries from smartphone photographers in more than 65 countries. Images entered into one of 20 different themed categories must have been entirely created on a smartphone or tablet. Editing or post-production on an entered image can only be undertaken using apps on a mobile device. The competition categories include landscapes, portraits, black and white, photojournalism, nature and wildlife.

The Mobile Photography Awards were founded in 2011 to recognise and celebrate the talent and imagery of the mobile photo & art communities. Alongside an annual competition there are themed exhibits with international open calls throughout the year.

This year's winning photos demonstrate just how far smartphone photography has evolved, with a stunning array of world class images. Cult of Mac report that approximately 75 percent of all entries were created on an iPhone with 10 first-place winners recorded their winning image on Apple devices.

The grand prize winner was Dominika Koszowska, a graphic designer and fine art photographer from Poland.

8th Annual MPA Grand Prize - Mobile Photography Awards

The Mobile Photography Awards is pleased to announce Dominika Koszowska as our Grand Prize Winner and the 8th annual MPA Photographer of the year, as chosen by the members of the MPA jury. .

Further Reading From Around The Web

Mobile Photo Awards

The Mobile Photography Awards is pleased to announce Dominika Koszowska as our Grand Prize Winner and the 8th annual MPA Photographer of the year, as chosen by the members of the MPA jury. As in all...

Mobile Photo Awards (@mobilephotoawards) * Instagram photos and videos

5,226 Followers, 376 Following, 139 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Mobile Photo Awards (@mobilephotoawards)


Award-winning iPhone Photographer Dina Alfasi


Dina Alfasi turns lengthy commutes into works of art

Dina Alfasi is like most commuters. As soon as she finds a seat on the train or bus, she pulls out her iPhone. Alfasi may look like she is catching up with emails, streaming music or reading the news. Instead, Alfasi is making a discreet photograph of the person across from her.

Dina Alfasi’s photographic inspiration is all around and waiting for you to find those magic moments.

Dina’s recent work studies strangers on her daily commute. Her daily photographs capture something inherently familiar in each of the strangers, lost in thought on their way somewhere.

 “I shoot mostly street scenes and portraits, trying to capture intimate moments. Every day I get to work by train and bus. For two hours every day I’m in a place with different people. At first, to pass the time, I was just observing them and trying to guess where they’re going, what they are dealing with, or what their story may be. Along with this observation, I noticed intimate moments and so I started to take photos, and I was surprised with the result.”

I first noticed Dina’s work when she was announced as a winner in the 2017 IPPA awards. Alfasi won the People category of the prestigious iPhone Photography Awards, the first and longest-running mobile photography competition.