Last December, when the Bay Area had one of its rare rainy days, Cielo de la Paz took her kids out to play. She's an avid photographer, "willing to wake up at five in the morning and hike 10 miles to get that shot of the sunrise," and when she saw the reflection of her red umbrella on the wet concrete, she knew she had a good one.
"It took a few shots," she said, "this was the last one I took, I was finally happy with how the wind arranged the leaves for me."
She edited the shot with Filterstorm Neue, uploaded the picture to Flickr (she was taking part in the photo365 challenge), where Apple found it.
Then, they put it on a billboard.
Apple's latest ad campaign, Shot on iPhone 6, is crowdsourced using iPhone photography from around the world. It is taking photos found online, typically seen in a browser window, and plastering them up in massive sizes out in the real world.
The message is simple: it's hard to believe that photos this good can come from the device in your pocket.
Apple found them by scouring online communities for photos that were tagged as having been taken with its newest iPhones.
"I suppose they found the picture on Instagram," said Frederic Kauffmann, "I was surprised to get the call."
Kauffmann lives in Barcelona, and the shot above was taken in Pamplona. "I shot it in the winter. Usually you see plenty of people dressed in white and red, music and crowds. I wanted to have a different picture."
Kauffmann is one of many international photographers tapped for the campaign and, at just 778 followers on Instagram, an example of how good hobbyists are getting at photography.
Photographs like these are just one example of smartphones unifying everything you might use into one device. The gap between phones and cameras has been shrinking for years now, and every year it gets closer to being eliminated entirely. This ad seems like Apple's way of saying it is already gone.
"I have the 6 Plus, and the photos rival some of my pictures from my DSLR," says de la Paz.
The ad campaign is showing off the features Apple has packed into the phone, but it also lends credence to the idea that you might only need one device on you at any given time.
Brendan Klinkenberg is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Brendan Klinkenberg at email@example.com.
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