Lately I have been taking a few photos on my iPhone. It's always in my pocket and its very easy to use when my real camera is bulky and/or unavailable, but there's more to it than that. I find myself using the iPhone by choice. It has quite a sharp lens, and the contrast is very good, and images are comparatively free of noise and distortion. But, the camera is small (2 megapixels) and has no flash and no control over aperture, shutter speed or focus. There is no zoom. It is, in short, very limited as an optical instrument. And that's precisely why it is interesting.
Today I went to First Church. This historic Presbyterian landmark is not my favourite ecclesiastical building, but it is visually interesting, and to wander round it trying to capture its feel with a small unsophisticated camera was an intriguing challenge. Using the iPhone I find myself thinking about the pictures in a way I haven't done since I was using a Practika without an exposure meter and developing the black and white prints in a rubbish tin in my study. As I mentioned once before, limitation is a boon to the creative process; if you want to think laterally give yourself less rather than more. You can't rely on your fancy gear to deliver the goods, it's all down to you. And as for these shots, sure the focus is a bit off in some of them, but I like them. Here in the Diocese of Dunedin, where we don't have a lot of resources, I am expecing the wonderful benefits of limitation to be as true of churches as it is of photographs.