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These photos could be the best images shot with an iPhone this year

The iPhone is now a decade old — and the iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS) continue to prove that small cameras can still pack a pretty big punch. This week, the IPPAWARDS announced the winners for the tenth annual global competition.

Brooklyn-based photographer Sebastiano Tomada took the grand prize as the iPhone Photographer of the Year with a photo of two children playing in Qayyarah, Iraq, as an oil well burns in the distance. The vertical shot utilizes leading lines and a punch of contrast to add artistic interest to the photojournalist’s shot.

The contest continues this global focus — with over 140 countries represented this year — and awards Branda O Se of Cork, Ireland, first place for the shot of a dock worker in Jakarta, Indonesia. The image, shot with an iPhone 6S is striking for the same reason that compelled the photographer to snap the shot — the texture created by the layers of dirt and grime on the worker’s hands.

The second-place photographer, Yeow-Kwang Yeo of Singapore, earned a slot in the honors for a behind-the-scenes shot of a performer in the Chinese Street Opera, a tradition that is quickly disappearing due to a lack of interest from younger generations. The photographer was struck by the light coming through a plastic curtain and the performer’s calm expression.

Kuanglong Zhang snagged the third-place title for a shot of a worker gazing out the window of a colorful Udaipur city palace in India. Zhang, a China native, took the shot with an iPhone 7.

The contest also hosted a special category for the tenth annual competition, The America I Know. Winners for the special category include Juan Carlos Castañeda of New York, Davis Bell of California, and Maria K. Pianu of Italy.

Along with the grand prize winners and special category, the contest also awarded the top three photographers in 19 different categories.

“We are amazed to see how IPPAWARDS has  grown from a small circle of people and friends of friends into a truly global audience with thousands of participants,” said Kenan Aktulun, the contest’s creator. “In this time of political upheaval we feel very thankful to host such a truly diverse group of people and their view of the world.”

The IPPAWARDS is now both the first and longest-running iPhone competition in the world, launched shortly after the first iPhone was released.

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