Europe with a phone.

The most common thought that crosses the mind of most photographers is often – what’s my next camera, lens, or piece of kit? It’s an entirely fair question – to a certain extent, we need tools to do what we do. The analogy that springs to mind is being like a painter without the right brush, or palette. You might be still be able to create art, but it makes the task significantly harder. And let’s be honest – sometimes we just want new toys.

But is being limited by your tools necessarily a bad thing? I took a trip to Europe a couple of years ago, and halfway through, my little travel camera (then an Olympus EPL-3) stopped working thanks to a critical oversight on my part – I’d left the charger behind. That meant I was left to work with the only camera I had on me, the less-than-ideal little camera on my Galaxy S2.

In some ways, it was liberating – not having to think about white balance, what aperture to pick, or what AF mode to use. Free to think only about composition, and to worry about the value of light before the tiny sensor produces unusably noisy images. Here are the results.

tokyo-1 tokyo-2-2 tokyo-2 tokyo-3 tokyo-4 tokyo-5 tokyo-6-2 tokyo-6 tokyo-9 tokyo-10 tokyo-11 tokyo-12 tokyo-13 tokyo-14 tokyo-15

Now that’s all said and done, I now plan for redundancy after redundancy – I can’t travel without at least 3 batteries and multiple SD cards. I guess I like my depth of field control and complexity after all!

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