Not too long ago, photography was a serious hobby requiring expensive equipment and plenty of technical know-how. These days, though, the camera on the iPhone – and to a lesser extent, the iPad – is so good it accounts for the vast majority of photos taken around the world. And some of them are seriously good.

Social photo-sharing platform Instagram is arguably the best place to find these shots, and while many accounts are overflowing with self-interested junk, dig around a little and there are some absolutely stunning images to be found.

We’ve rounded up some of our recent favorites in an attempt to inspire you to get out there and snap some of your own masterpieces. We’ll include brief notes on each photo to give you an idea of the kind of tools and settings that could help you snap something similar.

Without further ado, scroll down for a few of this week’s top shots. You can tap the username above any image to see the photographer’s full photo feed.

Our favorite photos

This first one from the founder of iPhone Photography Academy shows off how a simple feature of iOS 11 can take stunning long exposure shots without the need for a tripod. You can try it with any Live Photo!

This next one from the same photographer is a stunning shot of Glacier Point. Images like this one usually need some tweaking to really pop – most editing apps have a “clarity” or “detail” function you can crank up to really focus in on the mountain.

Next we have a shot from an Italian photographer whose feed is full of low-key architectural delights. It shows the importance of adjusting the perspective and alignment of your shot so it looks perfectly square. You can achieve this with an app like SKRWT.

If you need a reminder of the power of black and white images, look no further than the action shot below. Remember, burst mode is great for capturing moving subjects – and this kind of high-contrast monochrome effect is best achieved using an app that lets you play with the “curves” of the shot.

Finally, this last fantastic shot captures a huge Chinese vista in a single image. This type of photo is much easier to take if you have a wide-angle lens, but equally important are the contrast adjustments made here.

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#china

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All the photos featured above were taken with iPhones

If these shots inspire you to up your own photography game, make sure to familiarize yourself with all the tips in the Camera and Photos chapters of Tips & Tricks.

Once you’ve got the basics down, consider moving on to the iPhone Photography Academy for advanced techniques and tuition. There’s a paid course for those wanting to dive straight in, plus some very useful freebies if you’d rather keep your wallet in your pocket.