“Honeycomb.” (Tom Reeves)

These are the winners of Apple’s macro photography contest

On a walk in New York’s Riverside Park, amateur photographer Tom Reeves captured the snowflakes that fell on his dog’s fur using his phone’s macro mode. “This photo was completely spontaneous,” Reeves told In Sight. “The snowflake is suspended in the hair of our mini goldendoodle puppy.”

The photo is one of 10 images selected as winners in Apple’s macro photography competition. The judges, who included photographers Anand Varma, Apeksha Maker, Peter McKinnon, Paddy Chao and Yik Keat Lee as well as members of Apple’s marketing, design and photo teams, looked at tens of thousands of images to select their favorites.

See some of the beautiful winning images of this year’s Nikon Small World photography contest

Pamela Chen, a member of Apple’s camera and photos software team, and a former National Geographic photo editor, commended Reeves’s snowflake photo. "You can practically feel the brisk winter wind that swept these snowflakes here, well seen in their most candid and unmelted beauty.”

A majority of the winning photos offer a macro view of plants, which is often expected for this form of photography. But Reeves’s photograph jumps out more for its difference and originality, offering more texture and storytelling. Another photo that stood out is Ashley Lee’s strawberry in soda.

During the pandemic, the photographer was forced to stay home. “I had to become more creative with my photography by making use of things I have around my house,” she said. “When I first heard about Apple’s macro challenge, I was trying to come up with ideas of objects around the house that I could photograph that would look interesting up close. I walked around my house and decided to open up my kitchen fridge, and saw that I had strawberries and sodas in my fridge.”

Using a clear vase and a piece of black paper as background, Lee poured the soda into the vase and dropped the strawberry in. As bubbles began to form on the fruit’s surface, she pressed her phone up to the glass and shot her winning image.

Lee’s photo and the nine others selected will end up on billboards around the world as part of Apple’s next marketing campaign. The company was quick to say the photographers will be compensated with a licensing fee for the usage.

In Sight is The Washington Post’s photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff members and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.