Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ winners revealed – these are the best photographs of the year

Apple’s famous Shot on iPhone challenge has returned this year but this time around it comes with a dark twist. For the very first time, the US technology firm wanted users to snap their best images using the clever new Night mode found on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. This automatic camera setting allows these latest flagship devices to shoot stunning photographs at night without the need for a flash.

Thousands of Night mode images were submitted to Apple with the panel of top judges picking their favourite six which will now be featured in a gallery on on Apple’s Instagram along with being super-sized to appear on giant billboards across the world.

Making the tough choice were Apple’s team of experts which included Malin Fezehai (US), Tyler Mitchell (US), Sarah Lee (UK), Alexvi Li (China), Darren Soh (Singapore), Phil Schiller, Kaiann Drance, Brooks Kraft, Jon McCormack and Arem Duplessis.

With so many images to choose from there were some tough choices to make but here are all the winning images and why each one impressed the judges.

Konstantin Chalabov (Moscow, Russia), iPhone 11 Pro

Speaking about the image, above, from Konstantin Chalabov, Phil Schiller said: “Konstantin’s photo is a super-dramatic image shot with Night mode. It could be the opening shot of a great Cold War spy movie. It challenges us with intriguing questions — ‘Where is the driver? Where are they going? Why stop out here?’ A cool mist permeates the blue Russian hillside and snow-covered ground, framing the lonely vehicle with bright red lights that hint at an unknown danger.”

Andrei Manuilov
(Moscow, Russia), iPhone 11 Pro Max

Speaking about the image from Andrei Manuilov, above, Darren Soh said: “An amazingly well-balanced composition that throws so many questions back at the viewer — ‘Where is this? Who lives here?’ — and perhaps the most important — ‘Why is laundry hanging out to dry at night?’ As an architectural photographer, I am drawn by the image’s one point perspective that leads the viewer into the frame, right smack into the hanging pieces of clothing.“

Mitsui Soni
(Mumbai, Maharashtra, India), iPhone 11 Pro

Speaking about the image shot by Mitsun Soni, above, judge Arem Duplessis said: “The rich red color of the tree and ground gives this picture an otherworldly quality. Paired with the night sky, it feels like a still from a sci-fi film.”

Rubén P. Bescós
(Pamplona, Navarra, Spain), iPhone 11 Pro Max

Speaking about Rubén P. Bescós, above,  Apple’s Phil Schiller said: “Photography is the art of light, and Rubén’s photo magically uses light to bring this art installation in Spain to life. The color in this Night mode image is a captivating orange, beautifully framing the band of pilgrims in sharp silhouette. The crackly details on the foreground rocks add to the story of the long and difficult journey ahead for these pilgrims before they reach their holy site.”

Rustam Shagimordanov
(Moscow, Russia), iPhone 11

Speaking about the image from Rustam Shagimordanov, above, Kaiann Drance said: “A captivating shot of a winter village by the sea, which must feel cold, yet looks warm with the glow against the rocks and lights inside the red cabins, inviting a story about the people inside.”

Yu “Eric” Zhang (Beijing, China), iPhone 11 Pro Max

Jon McCormack said about the photo from Yu “Eric” Zhang: “This image represents iPhone at its best. Capturing life as it happens, no matter what the light is! The sense of moment, intimacy and place in this image is very good. It really transports the viewer to being right there.”

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