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Prize iPhone Photos: Changing The Way We See The World

A boy with his hunting bird in Bayan Ulgi province, Mongolia.
Mona Jumaan - IPPAWARDS

The winners of this year'siPhone Photography Awardscall to mind the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You'll Go. With a compact device in hand, world travelers are sharing intimate images from the far corners of the globe.

When the competition began 12 years ago, founder Kenan Aktulun says, the first submissions showed iPhone users in an experimentation phase. "They were just kind of discovering the tool they'd gotten their hands on," he says. "Now I think people understand the tool, are comfortable with it and realize it's a new storytelling language. It is very easy to use and you don't need to know anything about technology."

"I feel like we are getting an insight into people's lives, what triggers an emotion, what they care about," Aktulun adds.

Participants submitted unaltered iPhone or iPad photos to one of 18 categories after acknowledging they obtained permission from third parties to snap photos. This year, there were thousands of entries from amateur and professional photographers in 140 countries. The winners were announced in late July, with prizes that include a minted gold bar for the big winner and an array of iPad products.

At Goats and Soda, we were especially interested in scenes from the countries we cover in the developing world — pictures of beauty, sorrow, bliss and serenity that reveal sides of life that can be captured in an instant with a phone. Here are some of the winning entries from that part of the globe.

Luisa Torres is an AAAS Mass Media Fellow on NPR's science desk. She's on Twitter @luisatorresduq.

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An astronomical observatory in Jaipur, India.
/ Kuanglong Zhang/IPPAwards
Kuanglong Zhang/IPPAwards
Taken in Tamil Nadu, India, the picture is part of a series that the photographer titled: "We Run, You Fly."
/ Dimpy Bhalotia/IPPAwards
Dimpy Bhalotia/IPPAwards
A room in an abandoned house in Aleppo, Syria.
/ Yanan Li / IPPAwards
Yanan Li / IPPAwards
Four neighbors play dominoes at a residential building known as Solar de Aguilar in Havana, Cuba.
/ Christine L. Mace/IPPAwards
Christine L. Mace/IPPAwards
Guests at a religious wedding in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
/ Gabriel Ribeiro/IPPAwards
Gabriel Ribeiro/IPPAwards
Palenquera is the word used to identify women from San Basilio de Palenque village in Colombia, which was founded by runaway African slaves in 1691. The palenquera above, wearing traditional garb, was photographed in the city of Cartagena.
/ Alfonso Ordosgoitia/IPPAwards
Alfonso Ordosgoitia/IPPAwards

Luisa Torres