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Photography wunderkind Yik Keat on judging the "Shot on iPhone Challenge" and macro photography

By Kenny Yeo - 16 May 2022

Photography wunderkind Yik Keat on judging the "Shot on iPhone Challenge" and macro photography

Note: This feature was first published on 14 April 2022.

(Image source: Lee Yik Keat)

Yik Keat may only be 26 years old, but he has already worked with global brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Adidas, and Porsche, to create stunning photos. He is also the one of the youngest judges of this year’s “Shot on iPhone” challenge. 

Announced in January earlier this year, this year’s contest is all about macro photography – a new feature that's only found on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Thanks to the phones’ new ultra wide camera, users can take photos from as close as 2cm, opening up all sorts of possibilities for new perspectives.

We spoke to Yik Keat to find out his thoughts about this year’s contest and also asked him for some tips on how to improve our macro photography.


1. Firstly, how do you feel about being asked to be a judge for this year’s Shot on iPhone Challenge?

I'm super honoured and also very excited about being a judge this year especially since there is such a unique focus on macro photography where the world is literally your oyster!


2. What are your general thoughts on this year’s entries?

I was genuinely very surprised by how detailed the photos were, there were many images where I had to get closer to the screen to take a look at exactly what it is. The submissions had so much variety and it shows macro photography can be done literally anywhere in the world. Overall the entries were super great, most of them will work as a conversation starter too, can you imagine showing a macro of spikes but it's actually a durian!


3. Which photo is your favourite and why?

I absolutely love Abhik Mondal’s Sunflower macro shot, it’s amazing the detail that is captured in the image and the light is just stunning. I like the different textures between the petals and the inside of the flower, plus the colours are so vivid. The composition is spot on too!

"Volcanic Lava" / Abhik Mondal / iPhone 13 Pro


4. In your opinion, what makes a good macro photo?

In my opinion, a good macro photo should be sharp to a certain extent, and should show the details of what the photographer is shooting. It's a bonus if the macro photo has good composition and a story to tell.


5. What has your experience been like using the iPhone’s Macro photography feature?

It has been so interesting and amazing, there were so many occasions where I was genuinely amazed by how close the lens can get to an item and how different it can look on the camera versus what I see with my naked eye. With the macro feature, I've also been consciously trying to take ultra close-ups of anything I see, just to post on my social media and generate engagement by asking my audience to guess what the subject of the image actually is.


6. Can you give us a couple of tips for users who want to improve their macro photography?

  • I believe light is still very important in all sorts of photography, including macro. When you take a close up photo, make sure you have ample light to be able to see all the different textures and details!
  • When you are close to the item, lock in the focus by tapping and holding onto the image, a box with a brightness slider will appear and feel free to slide it up and down to adjust the exposure of the image to make sure it's all nice and evenly lit up!

You can see the winners of this year's "Shot on iPhone" challenge here

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