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Picture perfect: Stunning phone shots destined for global billboards

THESE stunning and unexpected pictures are set to appear on billboards across the world — despite being taken by mobile phones.

Tech giant Apple enlisted its army of snap-happy fans to submit photos from around the globe to an expert panel of judges.

A colourful housing estate, surreal reflections off street puddles and a stark close-up of a tennis court were among ten winners who came from the US, Singapore, Belarus, Israel and Germany.

Many of the shots which were submitted from January 22 to February 7 were taken on social media and included more traditional black and white entries as well as rural landscapes.

Pete Souza, former chief official White House photographer for US president Obama, was among the competition’s international judges.

One winner depicted a colourful block of flats overlooking a basketball court, taken in the US by Alex Jiang with an iPhone XS Max.

Judge Chen Man, a contemporary visual artist who revolutionised fashion photography in her native China, said: ‘This is a photo filled with lovely colour and sense of story in the composition.

‘Zooming in, you can see details of each family and their unique touch. The basketball hoop is placed right in the middle of the photo, adding more stories behind the image.’

Fellow judge Annet de Graaf added: ‘The narrative in architecture. There is actually life behind the surface of an average apartment building in an unknown city.

‘Vivid colours and a perfect composition with the basketball board right in the middle! Great eye.’

Singaporean Darren Soh wowed judges with his surreal reflection of a building off a street puddle.

Judge Phil Schiller said: ‘A reflection that looks like a painting, two worlds have collided.

‘You are compelled to think about where and how this photo was taken, the bird flying in the corner provides the single sign of life in an otherwise surreal composition.’

And Chen Man said: ‘Distortion and reflection at a strange angle — this photo creates a fantastic feeling.’

Perhaps the most unusual winner was of a stark close up of a tennis court by Nikita Yarosh from Belarus.

Judge Austin Mann said: ‘I love how accessible this image is: you don’t have to travel to Iceland to capture something beautiful, it’s right under your nose.

‘The way the lines intersect, the vibrant colour, the sense of old and new — this is just a great image.’

Luísa Dörr added: ‘I like the simplicity of this image, the composition, light, details, everything looks good.

‘Then you see one small line that looks wrong and makes me think what happened, where is this place, who was there.

‘For me a good image is not only one that is strong or beautiful, but makes you think about it — and keep thinking.’

An Apple spokesman said the winning snaps would be featured on billboards in selected cities, in its retail stores and online.

He said: ‘These photos capture colourful city scenery, curious animals, creative reflections, the beauty of the ordinary and more.’