Trying and failing to use a new professional camera

I have recently been looking through my thousands of unpublished images and realised how much I have learned these past few years. The pictures below were taken with a new (to me) D300. Marketed as a professional grade cropped-sensor camera when it was released in 2007 I was excited to get to grips with a “pro” piece of kit.

My first DSLR was a Nikon D3100 with kit-lens I had purchased from a Cash Converters in Brisbane for a measly $100. I obviously fell in love with my first Nikon as it never left my hand after I had bought it. Together with my $100 skateboard I thought I was hot-shit skating around taking shots of the streets of Melbourne and Queensland.

Having got familiar with the concepts of apature-priority and shutter-priority I came home wanting more from my camera. I didn’t know what it was, but I wanted it.

I decided to do very little research and took my D3100 (with kit-lens) to the local camera shop in Manchester to exchange it for a more expensive Nikon. What I ended up with was a “professional” camera that was actually a much older model than the D3100 I had traded in. For whatever reason (my complete lack of camera knowledge probably) this resulted in me having no idea on how to operate the fucker.

I can’t distinctly remember what was so different between the models but what I do remember is never being able to get the kind of pictures I was expecting.

Looking back now at these images, I actually love the aesthetic that came out of my efforts to get the thing to work. Having looked at some of the properties I can see that I was shooting at a really small appature at around 1/30s. In laymens terms this was allowing a lot of light into the camera but for moving subjects, the images weren’t crisp and had a slight glow to them.

Looking at them now I love that they remind me of stills from a movie. Films typicall move at 30 frames per second (the same speed I was shooting at), so despite looking crisp when Brad Pit is pouting in motion, the individual frames would look similar to the darker images below.

Having got frustrated with my inability to rein in the D300 I saved up and traded it in for a full-framed D600 not long after and I used that camera until it died.

Featured below are some friends I unfortunately don’t see anymore (except Birdy… and myself).

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