A Tokyo photographer offers tips on taking pro shots with an iPhone 3GS

All images by Koichi Mitsui

Koichi Mitsui is a professional photographer in Japan. When he's not on the job shooting for magazines and ads, he wanders around Tokyo taking pictures with his iPhone 3GS. "The iPhone has a single-focus lens with no zoom, and this simplicity keeps me devoted to only composition and the perfect photo opp," Mitsui says. Keep reading for a selection of his work with tips on how you can take amazing photos with your iPhone, too.


I like to take photos of casual, unintentional scenes. That, or snapshots with an element of surprise. Always be on the lookout for change, whether that's lighting, or the movement of people, or just a slight difference in something ordinary.


Walk a lot. The iPhone camera has a fixed focal length. Whether you enliven or kill this feature is up to your footwork. If you need a close up, get real close. If you need distance, you exaggerate that distance. You use your feet to find angles. It's also important to venture far away from your comfort zone to find good subjects to shoot.


Don't just default to vertical shots; take some horizontal ones too. Change the composition little by little by finger-tapping to change the focal point.


Take advantage of your favorite apps. New iPhone apps are being released all the time, but find the ones that fit your taste and learn to create pictures that look just the way you imagine. I snapped this photo of my friends picnicking at the Tama River right when the setting sun and the light from their lantern were in perfect balance, also using Photo fx and CameraKit.

snow bug.jpg

You can see more of his work on his web site, Sasurau.