15 Photos That Show the Power of the iPhone's Camera

The iPhone has changed the world of digital photography. Not only are more images than ever shared around the world, but photographers from amateurs to pros are using iPhones to capture the moment in creative new ways.

iPhone camera photos

The iPhone camera has changed the way we look at and record our world. Professional photographers, such as Damon Winter at the New York Times, rely on the always-within-hand's-reach iPhone to take some of the most amazing photos. Optrix offers an array of iPhone cases and lenses designed to take the iPhone camera to new heights, literally and figuratively. Optrix recently ran a competition for best iPhone photos in five categories: action, selfie, artistic, macro and underwater. The following slides show the winners and honorable mentions, as well as Optrix's take. (You can find more Optrix iPhone photos on Instagram here.)

Best Action: Winner
@kriswoo

Best Action: Winner

Judge's Take: "This photo is a great juxtaposition of stunning beauty and utter terror for anyone afraid of heights. Somehow the old ratty tennis shoes make it just a little more uneasy."

Casing: XD5
Phone: iPhone 5
Lens: 165° Lens

Best Action:  Honorable Mention
@lautaberto

Best Action: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "This photo has all the elements of a great action shot. It is a beautiful location, great athlete and a frozen moment of time during what was clearly a wide ride."

Casing: XD5
Phone: iPhone 5
Lens: 0° Lens

Best Action:  Honorable Mention
@willguad

Best Action: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "There is an ominous look about this photo. The storm clouds, the colors, the isolation. It all makes for a very compelling image."

Casing: PhotoProX
Phone: iPhone 5s
Lens: Telephoto

Best Selfie: Winner
@street_bike_tommy

Best Selfie: Winner

Judge's Take: "We love a good 'extreme selfie,' and Street Bike Tommy of MTV's Nitro Circus knows how to do just that. While 30 feet in the air on a set of water jets, Tommy has the cool nerves to snap this selfie. Love it!"

Casing: PhotoProX
Phone: iPhone 5s
Lens: Fisheye

Best Selfie: Honorable Mention
@Joey_digital

Best Selfie: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "Although it isn't technically a selfie, we loved this close up image from @Joey_digital. Great composition and colors add to this fun shot."

Casing: PhotoX
Phone: iPhone 5
Lens: 0° Lens

Best Selfie: Honorable Mention
@ayanx234

Best Selfie: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "Dog, underwater, selfie, 'nuff said."

Casing: XD4
Phone: iPhone 4
Lens: Fisheye

Best Artistic: Winner
@alijardine

Best Artistic: Winner

Judge's Take: "Even though this image was shot underwater, we loved the light airy feel. We had never seen anything like it and loved it."

Casing: PhotoProX
Phone: iPhone 5
Lens: 0° lens

Best Artistic: Honorable Mention
@Hawaiincrawler

Best Artistic: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "This great use of black and white, and Optrix macro brings new life to an object as simple as an egg."

Casing: PhotoProx
Phone: iPhone 5
Lens: Macro

Best Artistic: Honorable Mention
@_wesbrooks

Best Artistic: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "When you envision artistic images, golf through a fisheye lens is probably not the first subject to come to mind. That didn't stop @wesbrooks from capturing this great view from the inside of a bucket of golf balls."

Casing: XD5
Phone: iPhone 5
Lens: Fisheye

Best Macro: Winner
@kdkuiper

Best Macro: Winner

Judge's Take: "With tens of thousands of likes on social media, this was one of our most liked images of 2013. At this magnification, the water almost looks like jewelry adorning the spider web."

Casing: XD4
Phone: iPhone 4
Lens: Macro

Best Macro: Honorable Mention
@rhett_alan

Best Macro: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "This is one of our staff favorite images. Stunning color and such amazing detail, it is easy to forget this was taken with an iPhone."

Casing: PhotoProX
Phone: iPhone 5
Lens: Macro

Best Macro: Honorable Mention
@_thewanderluster

Best Macro: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "This was shot by one of our staffers' young sons the first time he used an Optrix case. We loved the idea that a non- photographer could get this stunning an image with just an iPhone."

Casing: XD4
Phone: iPhone 4
Lens: Macro

Best Underwater: Winner
@lautaberto

Best Underwater: Winner

Judge's Take: "An incredible image of a surfer from inside the barrel of a wave. At Optrix, we want to enable users to push the limits of iPhone photography, and this image encapsulates that perfectly."

Casing: XD5
Phone: iPhone 5
Lens: 165 ̊ Lens

Best Underwater:  Honorable Mention
@cambrie_a

Best Underwater: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "The simplicity and clarity of this image is what drew us in."

Casing: PhotoX
Phone: iPhone 5s
Lens: 0 ̊ Lens

Best Underwater:  Honorable Mention
@courtneystewy

Best Underwater: Honorable Mention

Judge's Take: "Great light, colors and a child at play make this photo interesting. There is something that makes the photo feel suspended in time."

Casing: Optrix
Phone: iPhone 4
Lens: 165° Lens