Above image taken on iPhone during the 2019 WCWS
If you’re competing this weekend, chances are you’ll be taking photos and making memories. Here are our top four phone photography tips to help you snap the perfect picture.
1. Clean off your lens
Have you ever taken a photo that had a weird haze to it? It’s likely your camera is dirty. Make sure to give it a quick clean often and especially right before you go to take a photo. Ideally, carry a microfiber cloth you can use. If you don’t have one, use soft materials like cotton to gently clean the lens. Do not use rough or textured fabrics as you could leave scratches. You should see a huge improvement to the clarity of your phone photos after cleaning the lens.
2. Not all “zooms” are created equal
Whenever possible, physically move your body toward your subject instead of zooming in on your phone. Most phone cameras use “digital zoom” which is basically glorified enlargement. The camera lens itself does not get any close to the subject, the photo is simply being digitally enlarged. This is why there is such a drastic loss in quality.
When a camera lens moves and physically gets closer to the subject it’s called “optical zoom”. Companies are implementing optical zoom into devices and it’s becoming more common but if you have an older model device it is likely you’re still using digital zoom.
*Bonus note: make sure to leave some empty space around the subjects in the photo! It helps the image look a bit better as well as provides padding for natural cropping that occurs if the photo is ever printed.
3. Make team photos more efficient
No tournament is complete without a group shot! To make sure everyone gets the best picture, line up in one or two lines, depending on how many people want photos, and cycle through. This helps keep everyone’s eyes looking in the same direction, gives the group a natural moment to blink and rest their smiles, and allows everyone the best angle for the shot.
4. Stabilize yourself when taking the photo
There are simple steps you can take to stabilize your body while taking photos to eliminate shaking and blurred images.
– Spread your legs apart slightly to create a strong base.
– Don’t over extend your arms. Keep your elbows bent a bit, it’s more stable.
– Don’t forget to breathe! You may be surprised to find you hold your breathe when you take a photo, especially if you’re focused on getting the shot sent. Make sure you’re breathing, it will help you keep the camera still.
Good luck out there and happy snapping!