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The best iPhone photos of 2016 prove you don’t need a DSLR to make art

The winners of the 2016 International iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, with the grand prize going to Man and the Eagle from Chinese photographer Siyuan Niu. The awards mark an end to the 2016 competition, the ninth year of the IPPA, which accepts image entries from 139 countries all over the world, with the only caveat being that the images be captured with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

Man and the Eagle features a Khalka Mongol, who are famous for their long history of highly trained eagle companions, together with his eagle. Taken in the Xinjiang province of China, the image is a beautiful representation of what can be done with an iPhone these days.

“It is truly amazing to have so many people from around the world share their experiences,” said IPPA Awards creator Kenan Aktulun, “ the beauty they see and their personal moments with us.”

Following the Grand Prize to Mr. Niu, first prize went to Polish photographer Patryk Kuleta, with the second and third place prizes going to America entries from Robin Robertis of California, and Carolyn Mara Borlenghu of Florida. There were winners for each of the 18 other categories as well; Abstract, Animals, Architecture, Children, Floral, Landscape, Lifestyle, Nature, News and Events, Panorama, People, Portrait, Series, Still Life, Sunset, Travel, Trees, Other. Each category winner received a solid bar of gold (seriously?!) as their prize.

The images you see are what you could expect to see out of any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch camera, with the use of Photoshop being disallowed — though iOS editing apps were allowed, so VSCO and other popular editing suites, even Photoshop or Lightroom Mobile, were permitted so long as the processing was done through the iPad.

If you are interested in checking out some of the IPPA award winners you may find them over on the IPPA award website, here.