Much fuss has been made by professional photographers displeased with the democratization of their medium. Instagram has ruined photography, some have said. A camera in every pocket is less a blessing than a curse.

Into this hubbub come winners of the eighth annual iPhone Photography Awards — apparently determined to prove the haters wrong. IPPA is an informal effort to recognize the best in amateur iPhone photography; with a $3 entrance fee and only two requirements — that the photos be taken on an iPhone, iPod or iPad and that they not be Photoshopped — it’s truly a photo contest for the everyman.

That said, the winners have consistently been stunning: fields of glaciers, half-lit still lives, Technicolor sunsets. This year’s winners came from 17 countries; the first-place photographer of the year, Julio Lucas, is a Florida-based art director and digital strategist … who incidentally happens to have a pretty cool Instagram. You can see his winning images and several of the others below; all of the winning images, in all 17 categories, are also available on IPPA’s Web site.

Photographer of the year

Architecture

Landscape

Flowers

Sunsets

Panorama

Animals