Photograph by Guido Casanelli

iPhone 13 Pro photographers taking everyday images to the next level

To celebrate the iPhone 13 Pro's 'Macro' feature, Apple invited users from all over the globe to share captivating images #ShotoniPhone.

by Ashley Tyner
|
13 April 2022, 5:29pm

Photograph by Guido Casanelli

Everyone is an artist — it’s an idea famously proposed by German artist, activist, and art theorist Joseph Beuys. Given the right tools and space to express their point of view, he believed, we are all capable of making a meaningful creative contribution to the culture. 

This is also a core belief driving the philosophy at Apple, a company known for tools and products that have shifted and democratized the process of creation. Their latest innovation, released this past September, is the iPhone 13 Pro’s Ultra Wide camera, which boasts a macro photography feature that seamlessly elevates everyday photographs to a professional level. To celebrate, Apple welcomed iPhone users to share their favorite macro images using the hashtag #ShotoniPhone, and assembled a panel of expert judges from diverse corners of the photography industry to select the winners. 

“Response from the community of iPhone photographers for this challenge was simply remarkable, with submissions from tens of thousands of users across the globe,” says judge Kaiann Drance, who leads product marketing at Apple. “Having access to such a powerful camera within a device that’s right in people’s pockets unlocks infinite possibilities — whether that’s as simple as capturing life’s everyday moments, tapping into a newly discovered passion, or mastering an artist’s craft.”

We spoke to some of the winners — a mix of seasoned photographers and photography enthusiasts who hail from places like Italy, Argentina, India, China, Boston, San Fransisco, and New York City — about the power of self-expression, their personal definitions of what truly makes an artist, and how photography has helped them navigate the challenges of the past two years. 

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Guido Cassanelli

How long have you been interested in photography?
I was first interested in photography when I started surfing, about 15 years ago, after my father gifted me a surfboard before starting college. When you practice a sport in nature, you learn to appreciate the beauty of the world — for me, it was the calmness of the beach and watching the sunset or sunrise. Around the same time, my mother also gifted me a small digital camera with about 8.1 megapixels for my 18th birthday. Later on in my life, I fell in love with photography as a creative art because it allowed me to express myself and nowadays it is more than entertainment to me and has become a spiritual practice.

What do you enjoy most, or what interests you most, about taking photographs?
For me, the ocean is my happy place, and the waves are my favorite models. I am passionate about taking photos near the ocean because I love hearing the waves and watching the sunrise. Two weeks ago, I was traveling in Brazil, and staying next to a beach they call “Pe Na Areia”, which means feet in the sand. Every morning, for the 20 days I was there, I would walk with my Argentinian beverage ‘mate’ and bring my beach chair to watch and capture the sunrise behind the Atlantic Ocean between some islands. It became my favorite way to start the day, watching the orange and yellow palettes in the sky, with a hint of lilac and pink in the clouds. Sometimes, I even got to see the full moon setting and the sun rising, reflecting the perfect synchronization of the universe. I felt so balanced, mentally and physically — the serenity and peace I felt was like never before.

How does taking pictures help you to express yourself?
Photography helps me express myself in a lot of ways, especially because I’m completely in charge of everything. Placing my eye behind the camera is a magical experience because I get to make all of the decisions — from lighting, color, white balance to shutter speed and the aperture of the lens. I get to capture my perspective, and the camera helps me tell my story — what I’ve lived, where I’ve traveled, and what I love. To me, taking photos is powerful because you can capture a moment in time and space that would otherwise disappear. It is important to me that others can see what I’m capturing from my personal lens and transmit my emotions, experiences, thoughts, and ideas to them.

In your mind, what is the definition of an artist?
I define an artist as someone who inspires people, whether it be through music, art, acting, photography, poetry, teaching, cooking, design, and more. If something comes from one’s heart and soul, made with love, and is able to make someone feel an emotion that inspires them, that’s an artist to me.  

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Marco Colleta

How long have you been interested in photography?
I’ve been interested in photography since when I was a child. In the beginning it was just a hobby, but then it became a true passion for me.

Has photography played a role in helping you to navigate the challenges of the past two years?
Photography has certainly been valuable to me in many ways. To take a good photo, it’s important to be curious and to look for beauty everywhere. This approach reminds me to live life always looking for something positive.

In the last two years, more than ever, photography has helped me to focus on what is beautiful.

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Daniel Olah

What do you enjoy most, or what interests you most, about taking photographs?
What interests me the most is showing my vision to the others.

How does taking pictures help you to express yourself?
It makes me happy to be able to create. Photography is how I can tell a story without words.

In your mind, what is the definition of an artist?
I think an artist is someone who, in their profession, after a certain amount of time, develops a recognizable style and can play with it.

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Trevor Collins

How long have you been interested in photography?
I’ve been interested in photography for a very long time. I started carrying around a small point-and-shoot camera at the end of elementary school and all throughout middle school. It was at the end of middle school, when I got my first DSLR, that my excitement for photography really skyrocketed. I was so curious to find out how popular pictures were taken and how to operate the camera as a whole. Now, almost all my photos come from my iPhone. Having a great camera in my pocket enables so many new images I previously would have missed.

What do you enjoy most, or what interests you most, about taking photographs?
Something I love about photography is its ability to freeze time and keep a memory forever.

How does taking pictures help you to express yourself?
As a graphic designer, I love vivid colors and simple compositions. Exploring around the city, or anywhere for that matter, and trying to find these saturated and delightful subjects really helps me express myself. When I capture these moments and share it around it’s like I’m opening up and showing others the things that bring me joy in everyday life. 

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Hojisan

How does taking pictures help you to express yourself?
Photography is the photographer's cropping and embellishing of the world.

Has photography played a role in helping you to navigate the challenges of the past two years?
After planning to start a family, I went back to my hometown. Followed by the birth of my child and the pandemic, photography has helped me maintain my passion for creativity and income despite travel restrictions.

In your mind, what is the definition of an artist?
Based on my observations while taking pictures of my child, I realized that everyone is born to be an artist. They have limitless thoughts, and they just don't have enough skills and insight to produce the work. As we grow up, many of us learn abilities and knowledge, but consciously or unconsciously overlook those thoughts, which are valuable for self-awareness, self-esteem and self-realization. If art is to use exceptional skills to express unique opinions, then an artist is someone who can do both well.

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Jirasak Panpiansin

How long have you been interested in photography?
Over 10 years. I started to pay more attention to photography and took more photos with the iPhone 4.

What do you enjoy most, or what interests you most, about taking photographs?
I love the shooting moment and the excitement when I’m going out for shooting.

How does taking pictures help you to express yourself?
Taking pictures helps to express my love [for] nature and I love to share beautiful scenery of my small and quiet hometown. 

Has photography played a role in helping you to navigate the challenges of the past two years?
Photography is a simple thing in life [that enhances] imagination.

In your mind, what is the definition of an artist?
To me, an artist has no definition.

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