Instagram Photo Chosen as Winner of UK Contest From Among 5,700 Entries


We can no longer ignore smartphones as legitimate photography gear. As smartphone cameras have gotten better we’ve seen everything from hipstamatic war photography to iPhone fashion shoots, and here comes yet another first.

Of 5,700 entries, Laura Elliot of County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland won first place at a recent National Trust photography competition with her photo taken using only an iPhone 4 and (what else?) Instagram.

Laura, a dental student who pursues photography as a hobby, took the winning shot in her parents’ garden, and was shocked as anybody to find out that she had won. The competition was centered around photographing and celebrating the “green spaces” in people’s lives, something she believes her stunning photo does very well:

I feel this photo represents my space, reflects my love for nature, photography and captures the spirit of the competition.

There’s no denying it, the composition really is phenomenal — and she wasn’t even using the newest generation iPhone camera. As a prize for claiming the top spot, she’ll receive a day of instruction with landscape photographer Charlie Waite, a free copy of one of his prints, and two nights accommodation in a National Trust holiday cottage. As for the rest of us, stories like this just make it that much harder to ignore the power of a smartphone camera and, of course, almighty Instagram.

(via National Trust via The Belfast Telegraph)

Thanks for sending in the tip, Sam!

Image credits: Photograph by Laura Elliot

  • Dominik

    Congrats, Laura!

  • Dave Wilson

    As many photographers will state, it’s not the gear, it’s the artist! I for one am very impressed the contest judges didn’t let the camera used influence their decision!

  • John Milleker

    It’s a good photo, no gaudy filters. But is it really an Instagram? It’s a photo taken with the camera of her phone and shared through the Instagram service. To me, it’s more of a ‘Cell Phone Photograph’ as Instagram had nothing to do with the creation of it.

  • ennuipoet

    It’s a nice photo…but I don’t see why it was chosen over the other entries features in the link. There are two truly stellar entries (Bellinger and Bennett) which far exceed a rather banal flower shot.

  • Duke Shin

    No filters? Good for Laura. You go, girl.

  • Vasy Nechay

    good photo, but really, the best out of more than 5000 entries?….

  • Missy4513

    It is so hard to capture a bee with my DSLR… I think it’s amazing that she got such a nice shot of one with her phone.

  • Matt Damon

    Calling a cell phone a camera is like calling a stick a paint brush. A photograph is never more compelling than in its printed form and is an area in which these devices still fall flat on their face.

  • Cammy Camera

    The people who want to use cell phones for high end photography are the same morons who tell their parents how rich an MP3 sounds.

  • Lincoln Log

    I have heard these cameras are creating an overwhelming demand for 3 inch wide square frames.

  • DamianM

    Makes you wonder right?

  • DamianM

    Out of 5,700 entries? Really?

    a bee and a flower?

    wow, that must have been uninspired competition.

    I don’t care what she used to photograph, but was this really the best photograph of 5,700?

  • Camera Ho

    A cell phone is a tool that I use to research places to use my real camera.

  • Jake

    So what do you think makes “an Instagram?” The contest is just open to photos submitted using Instagram’s service; it says nothing about requiring filters or effects. Those are just their rules.

  • Jake

    From the contest results page:

    “Charlie Waite, one of the judges and founder of Light and Land photography, said: ‘The standard of photography suggests to me that photographers are no longer seeing the camera as just a recording device but as a wonderfully creative tool to aid the individual in expressing their own particular response to their world around them.'”

    Now how can I take this contest seriously if the judges are astonished to discover this “new” trend in photography aesthetic that’s been around longer than they have?

  • Mark Astle

    ‘No filters’? There certainly looks like there’s been a filter applied to me – the colours aren’t what you’d get from a natural shot. It’s a decent shot though, perfect for a competition for hobbyists. No idea why people are getting so het up.

  • floydsolo

    The dumbing down of Photography as begun!

  • bob cooley

    “We can no longer ignore smartphones as legitimate photography gear…”

    Sure we can. Just watch.

  • Zigmars Zilgalvis

    Couldn’t agree more. Redefines meaning of boring.

  • thebestestever

    Maybe the judges saw the struggle of a bee as he heads to get pollen before dusk falls (shrugs). The picture is underwhelming

  • DamianM

    I wonder about all the other 5,666 entries.

    Where they all so bad that this generic image won?

    I mean sure, its a nice picture that will fit right in your grandma’s calender. But its not an inspiring Photograph.

  • Samcornwell

    There are nicer photos, but this fits the criteria/topic title better.