Streams

Best of 2012: Your Cell Phone Pictures

There are plenty of roundups of the year's best photography, but we want to gather 2012's best photos -- that are sitting on your cell phone. James Estrin, New York Times Lens blogger, will look at your photographs a announce his favorites on Wednesday, December 26th.

Got a favorite? Vote it up, or leave a comment!

Update: See Jim Estrin's favorite photographs here.

Note: The slideshow below only displays the most recent submissions. Look below for the full archive of photos.

Charles Maraia
Pilings in the Hudson River on the west side as the flooding from Sandy.
Brian LaRossa
Taken in Park Slope the day Sandy hit; before she had done any damage.
Irene Gallo
Times Square
Casey
Month or so ago, I was in my parents' backyard as the family cat, Bandit, napped. I placed my phone on a table and zoomed in. He woke up and crept toward me. Very friendly cat that unfortunately had a stroke, so he's much sweeter than he looks these days. I know it's a pet photo, breaks the rules, but I was just impressed that this was not touched-up, looks terrifying.
Sarah Pachelli
...because summer sunsets in NYC are pretty much the most magical thing ever. (taken on the Staten Island ferry)
Kevin Kehler
What is left of the board walk in far Rockawy
Brandon Emerick
This was indicative of what my entire 25 year record collection looked like after my apartment was submerged by Sandy.
Margaret DeVico
I took this photo on Thursday, November 1st, which was the first day I was able to leave my Hoboken apartment after Sandy. It's inside Saint Peter and Paul's Church on Hudson Street at about 9:00AM. I charged my phone and my laptop for the first time since the storm hit, and while I was there I was given hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich by a random stranger. I left around 10:00AM, and by then there was a large group of people waiting for an open outlet.
Kaylah pantaleon
Gas shortage in Yonkers, NY! 2012.
Brandon Emerick
This is what it looked like in Red Hook during the Sandy blackout snowstorm.
Michael Davidson
Took while in the PATH to Newark NJ. Love to shoot people sleeping on train. I love that this young man is dressed for success head to toe :)
martin bretzin
Taken off the coast of ft lauderdale, florida. Just graduated college and started my career in the yachting industry. Not necessarily a journalistic topic but proud to show that even in my demographic (age under 25) I can find a great job in todays economy.
Blaze Nowara
A few days after Sandy I took this photo in Long Branch, NJ (Monmouth County). I like the composition and the simplicity of the photograph regardless of the devastating story it tells.
Kevin kehler
Taking a subway ride with a Pigeon. Sometimes pigeons don't fly everywhere
Allegra
When/Where: Immediately post-Sandy on Riverside Drive. Why: Using my 11 month old puppy Tango for scale, I wanted to show my friends how Sandy impacted my neighborhood, the Upper West Side: wind more than water. I like it because the photo tells that story AND more personally, I was pretty psyched about this sit-stay - he would usually come and lick the camera. And the photo also speaks to my puppy's love of sticks, but that's not so universally newsworthy!
Dennis Lee
This photo was taken in Columbus, OH where I was visiting an old friend this summer. We spotted a praying mantis on a bush in front of his apartment and as I tried to take a picture of it, it leaped onto my iPhone. The actual photo was taken by my friend at that moment. It came out really well, I believe it didn't even need cropping. We'd joked that Apple would would buy this image. Thanks!
Jo-Ellen Trilling
This photo was taken at home of Christmas tree ornaments ( repainted) with an added caption. The monkeys were purchased at the Union Square Christmas Market. I took it because I am an editorial artist. The objects are a gift for my son-in-law Jeremiah Goulka who writes political commentary. I like it because it's funny but a necessary sentiment.
Kevin Turner
I took this photo at New York Road Runners' official kick off to the doomed 2012 ING NYC Marathon. I was registered to run the race for the first time and on that day, I remember feeling so much excitement.
Paul Brozo
This is a shot of Hoboken looking down from the Heights of Jersey City the morning after Hurricane Sandy hit. The water came all the way up to the hill we live on, about a mile from the Hudson's western banks. Notice the two semi trucks trying to drive through, water reaching halfway up their sides. We also found out that by zooming in, you can see a man trapped inside the black SUV. We were shocked at the depth of the water so far inland against the eerie backdrop of a dark Freedom Tower. (Pic #2 in subsequent post.)
Taylor Roig
This is a non edited picture from my terrace in east Harlem, my view from the 30th floor. I love the contrast of the snow with the sunset... I just get a feeling of warmth and comfort from the picture. I can't explain it...
Matthew Yanchuk
It's a haunting shot taken from Smith St in Brooklyn.
Rachael Zur
Homeless man in Midtown
susan w
D.C. just before the election. Commodifying man of the year!
George
This is a photo of my favorite bridge in NY and the one that has the least exposure. I guess cause its a train bridge. Its even got a great name. Hell Gate Bridge. It was taken from Astoria Park during sunset. 2 bridges, one ship one river and a sunset.
Matt L
Zucotti Park, 10/14. 'Nuff said.
Dorian
I took this in Greenwich Village, on W. 10th St., a few days after power was restored there. It with a touch of ironic humor and a (likely) knowing reference to a horror show of yore, talked of Sandy.
susan w.
Sandy, inland. Anthropomorphism among killer trees run rampant: this one just lay down for 20 winks.
Carol Davis
After losing power for 10 days after Sandy, I took this photo of my husband just seconds after the lights came on. He found a way to keep warm. Count the cats!
Kevin Turner
This is a screenshot that I took as the announcements from the Supreme Court regarding the Affordable Care Act came rolling in. There was a lot of confusion that morning as news outlets scrambled to analyze the ruling.
Gary Eckstein
My wife and I rode our bikes to Red Hook the day after Sandy. I took this shot of the still flooded Beard Street on my iPhone. The high water mark is still visible on the warehouse where receding water from inside the Fairway apparently damaged the bottom of the security gate.
Kayan Lam
We had to throw away my sister's piano had to thrown out post storm sandy.
Yolande
This is one of the window displays at the 2012 Macy's Flower Show taken from the sidewalk. All the displays were beautiful, made up of bright flowers, plants and Brazilian samba costumes. This was my first time seeing the Macy's flower showed. Loved it.
Edward E. Crouse
Monroe St between Wabash Ave and Michigan Ave, Chicago, Ill. May 21, 2012. I was marching with National Lawyers' Guild legal observers to get their view of things. The faces, however blurry, render the shapes of the municipal (and in this case international) control of protests and first amendment rights.
Paul Brozo
This is a shot of Hoboken the morning after Hurricane Sandy hit. You can see the City of Hoboken sign in the center along with other badly damaged and immersed signs. This is at the innermost edge of the city, about a mile from the Hudson. Prior to this shot being taken, a man was trapped inside the black SUV. We were shocked at the depth of the water so far inland. More pictures upon request.
Jeff Pappas
Album release " A Viberatto B ". Jimmy Goodman plays Kingston NY
Conor McDonough
Super storm Sandy overflows the Gowanus Canal at 2nd Street in Brooklyn.
Jeff Pappas
Holiday Decorations and old brick , Albany NY
Edward E. Crouse
130 E Randolph St, Chicago, Ill., September 4, 2012. Near the close of a muddled election season in which America's wars were scarcely mentioned, groups such as Veterans for Peace, the Gay Liberation Front, and Occupy Chicago reminded citizens of the stakes of drone strikes and other military actions. After a march through downtown, these coffins were left in front of the president's campaign headquarters. The crowd scattered slowly without publicly announcing that the coffins would stay until the police or building security took them away. Not nearly as packed as the NATO protests, but important nonetheless.
Emily Allen
Fort Tilden, Brooklyn.
Rachael Zur
Taken in Chennai, India from a car

December 26, 2012 12:19:41 AM
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Bonnie Elbaum

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While in China this summer, our family traveled to a mountainous area outside of Beijing called Fangshan for what was supposed to be a one-night stay and got trapped there after a freak flood brought 18 inches of rain in one night, bursting a dam, washing away cars and buildings, and breaking all bridges out of the region. We were stranded with our 3 small children with no power, cell phone service or running water, and dwindling food supplies and dicey sanitary conditions. We finally ended up leaving our van behind and "escaping" with the help of locals. This picture shows our group being helped up a ladder that the locals rigged up the side of a broken bridge so we could leave the village. We had to be helped down planks that they rigged to the other side of the bridge and do the same thing at the next broken bridge we got to. We found rides in between the broken bridges and finally made it back to Beijing (only about 50 miles away) about 8 hours later!

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December 26, 2012 12:09:36 AM
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Bonnie Elbaum

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I know it's past the deadline for the contest but I thought I'd share anyway. Our family spent 3 1/2 months in China this summer. We traveled to an area outside of Beijing called Fangshan for what was supposed to be a one-night stay and got trapped there after a freak flood brought 18 inches of rain in one night, bursting a dam, washing away cars and buildings, and breaking all bridges out of the region. We were stranded with our 3 small children with no power, cell phone service or running water, and dwindling food supplies and dicey sanitary conditions. We finally ended up leaving our van behind and walking/climbing out with the help of locals, and after an 8-hr journey (transported by various locals and government buses between all the broken bridges) finally made it back to Beijing! I'm not sure if many in the U.S. heard of this flood but it completely devastated the area we were in and we were very lucky to make it through the experience with no harm. This picture shows people walking around the side of a broken bridge to find transportation out of the region on the other side.

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December 25, 2012 11:03:33 PM
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BRIDGET GIBBONS

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This image is of the tree in my next door neighbor's front yard. It is 75 feed tall - only 5 fee shorter than the one in Rockefeller Center. It illuminates the entire neighborhood. This year we had a neighborhood-wide "Tree lighting ceremony" which was so beautiful and brought this already close neighborhood even closer together. It is stunning. FYI, in case you don't get the scale, those little golden lights at the bottom cover the hedges, and standing to the right are people. Quite awesome. Must be seen to be believed. Thanks for collecting these images.

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December 25, 2012 06:23:02 PM
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Jessica Zannetti

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This photo was taken in Newtown CT on December 22 through my car window as I drove from the funeral of 6 year old Olivia Engel. The image is of gifts, signs, flowers and other items left for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As I drove home in solitude and overcome by sadness that my friends had just buried their daughter, seeing these items gave me a sense of hope that things from that point on will be different.

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December 25, 2012 05:39:10 PM
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anita culp

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Park Slope, not all gentrified.

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December 25, 2012 05:37:45 PM
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anita culp

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Riding my bike through Prospect Park South.

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December 25, 2012 05:34:22 PM
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Joe Bruey

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This was taken on Inle Lake in Myanmar on December1, 2012 with my iPhone5. I liked the stillness of the local men working on their shallow skiffs on the mirror-like lake. I like the thick clouds, the dark images of the men and their reflections in the water.

Comments(1)
December 25, 2012 05:12:25 PM
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Joe Bruey

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Taken November 26th, 2012 at Dhammayangyi Temple in Bagan, Myanmar with my iPhone5. I took this shot because I liked the perspective and light. I like the photo for the texture, light and contrast of the various hard interior surfaces with the tree outside. I'm not certain why there's a purple glow at the top but this was not added to the photo during editing.

Comments(2)
December 25, 2012 04:36:18 PM
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Michele LoManto

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Spring Lake, NJ after Hurricane Sandy. This building and boardwalk were destroyed. Bucket loaders were bringing sand back to the beach from blocks away.

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December 25, 2012 04:19:08 PM
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Mary Lockhart

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I captured this a few months before Sandy in Seaside Heights, NJ. It may be a long time before the pier is repaired, but I'll always have at least this and many more memories.

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December 25, 2012 03:52:24 PM
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Mendy

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This photo was taken in Williamsburg Brooklyn, on September 23, 2012. A truck was delivering live chickens for the yearly ‘swinging chicken ritual’ as this innocent chicken tried to make a run for it. Judging on the look in his eyes he was saying; Opss, now I’m neither here or there.

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December 25, 2012 03:33:44 PM
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Mendy

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This was taken on May 20, 2012 at the Citi Field sports stadium in Queens NY, we have all seen a stadium with the bleachers packed to capacity, but never before where they were all dressed the same, all 42,000 of them, in orthodox Hasidic black & hat attire, as they gathered from all over NY to discuss the internet-era challenges. As I was exiting the arena after the event, a security guard asked me; sir, with all the respect to the all-alike black dress-code, are you all eating the same food as well? I told him, yap, gefilte-fish with radish in the morning, and corned-beef with sour-pickles for dinner, a little bit more color there….

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December 25, 2012 02:46:21 PM
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Frank Algarin

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This is No.1 in a series of two photos submitted. I mistakenly uploaded the No.2 first

This photo's story.: In Humacao, Puerto Rico During the night of the "Super Moon" May 5 2012 at twilight Two male cats with headlights stalk a coy out of frame female It was one of those unexpected moments I saw the cats perched There was something mysterious about it the cats were perfectly posed I whipped out my Iphone and shot My point of view from below and the glowing eyes gave it an other worldly and even ghostly quality The final result was a surprise The glowing eyes were the icing on the cake

Comments(1)
December 25, 2012 02:38:23 PM
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Frank Algarin

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In Humacao, Puerto Rico
During the night of the "Super Moon"
May 5 2012
at twilight
Two male cats
with headlights
stalk
a coy out of frame
female

It was one of those unexpected moments
I saw the cats perched
There was something mysterious
about it
the cats
were perfectly posed
I whipped out my Iphone and shot

My point of view from below
and the glowing eyes
gave it an
other worldly
and even ghostly quality

The final result
was a surprise
The glowing eyes
were the icing
on the cake

Leave a comment
December 25, 2012 11:55:56 AM
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Rosalie Albarado

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NYC Dyke March June 2012
Fifth Avenue and the 30s
I took it because it was a very accurate presentation of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in this City. This was a moment of "peaceful" confrontation - nothing bad happened afterwards, but something bad were to happen, NYPD was going to be on it....

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December 25, 2012 11:05:21 AM
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Stephanie Dinkins

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This image was taken at the Walmart in Westbury, Long Island at the height of the presidential campaign. I was compelled to take the image. The sight of President Obama trapped inside a grab box with a host of stuffed toys was too loaded to walk by.

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December 25, 2012 10:47:27 AM
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Rich Devir

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President Street, Brooklyn after Sandy and after a touch of whimsy.

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December 25, 2012 10:45:21 AM
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daniela bertol

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Riverside Park at 73rd Street, December 13, 4:04pm. The sun is setting on the Hudson river, in one of the shortest days of the year, approaching the winter solstice. This is the first of the sunset photo series I am taking with a cell phone. In a time of personal and collective turmoil, healing may come in finding beauty in nature and finding nature in the city.

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December 25, 2012 06:06:10 AM
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daniela bertol

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The photo was taken on December 23, at Riverside Park and 75th Street. The hawk had been sitting in the tree for several minutes. Taking long walk is part of my daily routine as well as my art practice. I am interested in finding nature in urban environment; although the presence of hawks in NYC has not been unusual in the latest few years, the big rapture lit by the dramatic low sunset light was quite beautiful and special.

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December 25, 2012 01:17:02 AM
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Mary Parker

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In Washington Square Park - "Hare Krishna" Musical group that plays there fairly regularly in the nice weather. Only this time with a devotee on a skateboard playing a trumpet. I like it because it combines two park activities - playing music and riding skateboards.

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