Masquerade birthday

I volunteered to take photos at the gala 50th birthday celebration of Damjan’s boss. I love taking photos at events, especially when I don’t know many people. Being designated photographer gives me an excuse not to be awkward when I have no one to talk to but also gives me an opening to strike up conversation with people.

The only trick at this party was that the birthday man wanted me to use his camera, the Nikon D300. I’m sure it is an excellent camera (and it must be, costing £1000). It also had a rather magnificent zoom lens.

However, I’ve never used a Nikon SLR before. As soon as I arrived at the party, I had to frantically flick through the camera quick guide to get myself up to speed. I felt the pressure to do a credible job as the photographer for this milestone event.

It wasn’t until I had to do this did I appreciate just how much I had accustomed myself to my Olympus E-300. I’ve had it for 4.5 years. It is a dinosaur digital SLR. There’s no need for me to upgrade, though. I think I’m probably still limited by my skill more than my equipment.

Here are some photos. That’s me in the middle. I found a beautiful mask of red and black velvet with black tassells. It has a headband rather than a elastic that goes around the back of my head. The headband makes it comfortable and also avoids squishing hair to the sides of my head.

Masquerade party
Masquerade party


  1. Daniel says:

    How did you find the D300? What lens did he have on it? I shoot with a D700 and found it very easy and quick to get used to after having used Canon DSLRs for just over a year.

    I LOVE being the designated photographer for pretty much the same reasons you do. In addition, at big events, being “the photographer” often allows you to move around when everyone else has to sit down and listen to a lecture/watch a race.

  2. joanium says:

    The D300 and the lens (a long one, went up to 300 mm equivalent, I think) was pretty sharp. I wasn’t impressed with the colour. I think the Olympus produces beautiful colour. I also didn’t quite get the hang of low light performance. It didn’t spot changes in contrast but that’s probably because I hadn’t managed the exposure compensation and the metering.

    It took me half an hour to feel comfortable with it. That’s pretty fast, I guess. I haven’t changed SLR camera brands before so I don’t know how easy or difficult it can be.

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