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Mobile Photographer Interview – A Day In The Life of Keisuke Takahashi/TokyoGyango – A Creative Genius From Japan

Welcome to our very exciting interview column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled “A Day in the Life of…” is where we take a look at some hugely influential, interesting and accomplished individuals in the mobile photography and art world… people that we think you will love to learn more about. This is our 100th installment of the series! If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here.

Today we are featuring Keisuke Takahashi; Keisuke was born in 1968 (The year which Koudelka took the photo of “Invasion”!) and grew up in Sapporo (a town in the north of Japan), he moved to Tokyo when he was 32 years of age and has been living there for 13 years.

Until Keisuke started photography, he describes himself as ‘just a regular guy really without creativity’. The only camera that he owned was an old 3.2 mp Sony Cybershot to take photographs of his two daughters. He never ever dreamed that he could create something with it. Then he felt something spark within him when he purchased an iPhone 4s and installed Pixlro-matic (his first camera app), He came to enjoy the art of photography. Keisuke is a huge fan of music of Rock, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Techno… everything and believes that his photography would come from the artwork of the music. Currently, he’s still working for a small company as a white-collar worker, and squeezes in time for taking pictures everyday However, he is aiming, in the future, to be a story-teller photographer, to take photographs that have stories like good music or good movies.

We couldn’t wait to find out more about Keisuke and invited him to take part in this interview. We think you will all enjoy this a lot, it’s full of fabulous insight, images and words.

You can find all the links to the apps used or mentioned at the end of this article. (If you would like to be interviewed for our new ‘A Day in the Life of…’ section, send an email to [email protected], and we’ll get back to you.)

Keisuke Takahashi


‘Self Portrait’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – Hueless


‘A Pond and An Old Man’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – PhotoPower, Snapseed

Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?

I wake up to 6 am usually. Leave home on 7 am. I go to the nearest station by bicycle, ride a train for 80 minutes to work. While on the train I’m listening to music, checking several SNS, and editing my photos even though it’s in heavy rush hour. Haha. It’s not elegant at all but I like these times.


‘Sunshine Reflection’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Kitcam, Snapseed

How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop? (Pardon the pun).

Like many people who became involved with mobile photography, I’m a mobile native photographer. I have never ever been interested in photography until I bought an iPhone 4s 2 years ago. It opened my eyes to creativity and gave me a chance to communicate with people all around the world.


‘Life Forecast’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – 645 PRO, Snapseed, Afterlight

Do you like to download new mobile photography apps regularly?

Yes I do. I try every kind of Camera/Photo editing App. It’s always fun for me to try something new.


‘Lake Tama’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – 645 PRO, Snapseed

What is your preferred platform, Apple iOS, Android, Windows?



‘Daydreaming’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – Hueless

Would you consider changing platforms and why?

As I said above, the iPhone 4s was my first Camera and now I have also bought a Fuji X20 – Point and shoot camera with Optical viewfinder. It gives me a different experience from the iPhone. But I still edit all of my photos with iPhone. Probably I love it this way but, to be honest I should get an iPad for the bigger screen.


‘The Winter Beach’ –©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – 645 PRO, Snapseed

How often do you update your existing apps?

If the update included new features, I want to try it as soon as possible, so most of the time I quickly update it.


‘I’be got something I want to tell you’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – Hueless, Snapseed

What are your favourite photography apps and why, what features do you look for in a new photo app?

Hueless by Curious Satellite, 645 Pro by Jag.gr, Snapseed, and more and more. I was really get excited when Hueless was released with the Slider exposure control. If it’s possible, I really need Slider Focus Control. It would be fun if I could control the focus manually with my iPhone.


‘Two in the tunnel’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – KitCam

Where’s your favourite place to shoot and why?

Since I started my photography, I began to prefer to visit the places where I have never been. So, I love everywhere but love waterside especially, Ponds, Rivers, Sea and even puddles.


‘A Bad Habit’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – KitCam, Luminance

What are your favorite photographic subjects and why?

For me, subject does not matter, probably because I just love to capture the whole shape of the scene. I want to express something with it, but I have to learn more!


‘Let’s get TOUGH’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – Huemore, Snapseed

Where do you like to upload your photographs to – Flickr, Instagram etc?

Flickr. and I also have an account on Jux.com and I use it as my portfolio site, All photo on there are linked from Flickr.


‘Metropolitan’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – Mattebox, Snapseed

Do you use your mobile phone everyday to take images?

Yes. I believe if I don’t take photos everyday, I’ll get rusty.


‘Walking on the old side of Tokyo’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – Hueless, Snapseed

Do you like to use external hardware products with your mobile device for image and video capturing, such as lenses, tripods, external storage and battery packs? Please elaborate as much as possible.

Not so much because I’m a huge minimalists but a battery pack is a necessity when you go for a photowalk the whole day!


‘The man who has a lot of stories’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – 6×7, Snapseed

Do you edit images on your mobile devices or do you prefer to use a desktop or laptop computer?

iPhone. I do everything with this small device. It’s the invention of the century. I’m grateful to Apple, Thank you Steve!


‘Snowy Wednesday Morning in Tokyo’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – 6×7

Where do you envisage your mobile photography passion will take you? Have you been involved with exhibitions etc? Please elaborate if you can.

Okay, Shortly after starting photography, I made up a 3-year plan, 1st year – Get featured on Flickr Explore, 2nd year – Get featured in an article with my name, 3rd year – Be a famous photographer in the world. First one and second one could be archived last year. Third one is, I know it seems ridiculous, but I suppose it’s not such a bad thing to Live Life with Hope and Passion, It’s the meaning of life isn’t it? Anyway I really enjoy my life with photography (like everyone else who read this article!).


‘A Happy Day’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – 645 PRO, Snapseed

Do you also enjoy shooting videos with your mobile phone? If so, what do you do with them? Have you considered uploading them to our Mobile Movies Flickr group?

Not yet but it’s always one of my interests.


‘Watching the horizon’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – ProCamera7, Snapseed

Where do you see the future of mobile photography?

The spec of mobile devices are getting better and better. In the near future w can create a lot more thing with this small device. So I can’t figure out the future of mobile photography because It’s same as I think about the future of photography.

I think mobile photography has changed the flow of digital photo editing drastically. Previously, We had to master Photoshop with a thick tutorial book. Mobile photography has brought it to us in a more free way, It’s the merit of mobile photography.


‘Wall Pt.3’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – KitCam, Snapseed

What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?

I strongly believe nothing is impossible to make real art stuff with mobile photography. At the same time, this is the
most casual camera device. We can see the wide range of work in the showcase of TheAppWhisperer already, So I don’t
think it is a limited area.


‘Shades of a tree’ – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – 645 PRO, CoolFX

Do you think it’s country specific, are some nations more clued up?

I don’t think it depends on country, it’s international and we can see the various styles of Art in this category. Fantastic!


‘The edge of the world’ –©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps used – KitCam

If you could select a specification for a mobile smartphone, what features would you select, photographically speaking?

Number and varieties of Apps. Those give us many possibility.


Image – From the series ‘Explore Tokyo with 6×12 bw” – ©Keisuke Takahashi – Apps Used – 645 PRO, Snapseed

What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?

I really appreciate Joanne, previously, I had a time when I was frustrated with my photography. Then Joanne picked
up my photo for TheAppWhisperer’s Weekly showcase, it brought me much confidence. Thank you very much.

TheAppWhisperer is definitely one of the best mobile art sites. I’m so glad that I am still involved with it. I want to continue to create good pictures, such as those featured in the showcase.

Thank you very much!

Links To All Apps and Devices Mentioned In This Interview

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]