The Best of the Best: Your 2013 Cell Phone Photos

Monday, December 30, 2013

Some of the photos selected as the best of 2013 user-submitted cell-phone pictures

We asked you to submit the best photo of 2013 -- that was sitting on your cell phone. Almost 500 of you did. Now, guest judge Olivier Laurent, associate editor at the British Journal of Photography and editor at FLTR, a new journal devoted to phone photography, discusses his favorites.

Below: A Slideshow of Olivier Laurent's 10 Favorite Submissions

See the full archive of photos (almost 500!) here.

Photo by Tamar Ashdot-Bari

I took this photograph of my college-bound friend Zoya this summer at Kelders Farm in Hudson Valley, NY. She was posing for the picture when a nearby cow made a dive for her bouquet of flowers. Zoya is an NYU freshman now. The photograph captures the essence of Zoya, a Manhattan girl who loves the country.

MORE: Tamar's Website

Photo by Holly Faison

Misfits. I took this at a NJ Goodwill store. It's across the street from a strip mall of popular retail stores. Aside from being colorful I noticed that many of the same toys were at the retail stores across the street and ended up here at the Goodwill a few months later. I love capturing all of these absurdities of daily life especially around rural suburbia. It's all out there and it's often bittersweet.

More: Holly's Website | Instagram

by Lizzie Ford-Madrid

I took the picture because I found myself wondering what that man thought of the mayor's statement and if he was affected by stop and frisk in anyway.

I took it on the 6 train in the Bronx.

More: Lizzie's Website | Instagram

Photo by Will Adamy

I took this photo during a music video shoot for a friend of mine Ming Kurray (aka Jack Pizzo). While doing some time-lapse of my two good friends, I snapped this photo perfectly when the sun was setting between the two of them. This was in Burbank, we kind of just winged it driving around and exploring a good place on the hill to view the sunset. I love how spontaneous it was to run across this beautiful lookout point. Couldn't have asked for a better shoot!

MORE: Will's Instagram

Photo by Shauni Kirby

This photo was taken in Burlington, Vermont. I stopped and took this because I noticed the red volvo in front of the red and pink house - which is pretty perfect. 

I like it because it is truly a one of a kind image, I've walked past that house a thousand times since - and the volvo is gone.

More: Shauni's Website | Facebook Page

Photo by Micah V

Nobody wants to get into a big white essentially windowless van.

More: Micah's Tumblr

Photo by Jay Cagney

Fall group motorcycle ride, about to go over Dingman's Ferry Bridge, one of the few privately owned toll bridges in the US.

More: Jay Cagney's Instagram

Photo by Anja

Yoga in Prospect Park. Always a funny sight but one of the great things about summer!

photo by Jordana Baldwin

An unseasonably warm day at the Pier 6 Playground.

The angle of the sun and the overall coordinated palette of the playground and the child's sneaker sole, put me on alert that a good image was possibly afoot. Then I got lucky that my iPhone lens fired about as quickly as I hoped it would.

This shot captures the distinct joy of freedom after a long day in the 3rd grade.

photo by Tracy Gill

Duane Street, Manhattan. 4 p.m., September 18th, 2013. I liked how peaceful the man looked spooning with his dinosaur, nobody bothered him; and the next day, the pink dinosaur was back hanging at the corner Balloon Saloon with his inflatable buddies.

MORE: Tracy's Website | Facebook


Olivier Laurent

Comments [14]

Siddharth Krishnan from New York, New York

These photos are great, but too journalistic.. but are very mediocre in terms of composition and beauty and symmetry.

Jan. 05 2014 11:10 AM
Perla from NYC

Yesterday I was listening in my car as these photos were described. Really interesting to compare the images in my mind with the photos. The couple at sunset and the sneaker sole were so vividly described on air that they perfectly matched the real thing.

Dec. 31 2013 12:09 PM

Having fun poking around in the archive - but the thumbs-op (or down) feature isn't working. I hope somebody at WNYC notices the glitch.

Dec. 31 2013 11:07 AM
Pizzaparty16 from NYC

I love the photo by Micah V. Great composition!

Dec. 30 2013 03:06 PM

I think it's important to remember that this contest relied on people willing to make submissions, and the criteria for submissions were photos that were "sitting on your cell phone."

Dec. 30 2013 02:14 PM
gene from NYC

Well, maybe we're being too harsh here. Looking over the 41 other pics, some nice, I have to say, well, this is no professional group. So, ok, barring some of the pics that seem setups, maybe these are indeed the best of the meh.

Dec. 30 2013 01:29 PM

These photos are great. Especually the Micah van one. Anyone who thinks otherwise is silly.

Dec. 30 2013 01:21 PM

Most of these are vapid and mediocre. The sunset one is atrochious. It's hard to believe anyone actually set it up and had a camera on a tripod and took a lot of shots to get the "perfect" one. Have they never seen a Hallmark card from the past twenty years? They are better.

A few are cool compositions and colors or come close to having meaning. The Goodwill one is almost saved by the zigzag of the yellow rack (but sadly, not).

Dec. 30 2013 12:39 PM
gene from NYC

Got to agree with Miscellaneous. Very lame.

Who judged these as "best," Reader's Digest?

Dec. 30 2013 11:56 AM

The photo of the pink house and the red car looks like a frame from a Wes Anderson film.

Dec. 30 2013 11:54 AM

Last commenter, I meant. ;-*

Dec. 30 2013 11:00 AM

I would love to see the first commenter's photography! Sounds like it must be great stuff!

Dec. 30 2013 10:55 AM
Miscellaneous from NYC

As much as I hate to say it, none of these photos is worth a damn. It is truly amazing, with as many cameras as are out there, that so few people learn the art of photography; composition is as important as timing and subject matter and exposure. These are the kind of photos I'd delete from my phone as soon as I reviewed them.

Dec. 30 2013 10:40 AM

Funny and wonderful, thanks for the smiles, photogs!

Dec. 30 2013 07:53 AM

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