Robot Rock at Le Royale

Wednesday Jul 30

I walked into B&H and bought a new (technically used) Nikon D80 camera. I've had some excellent fun with the Canon PowerShot A640 but it was time I moved on. I shoot in dimly lit places: clubs, New York at night, local bands, burlesque. I had grown increasingly frustrated with my results. There's a lot of photos you haven't seen because I wasn't happy with them. You can't control light with a point and shoot as well as you can with a DSLR.

In a way I'm starting over; there is a lot I don't know about this camera. At the same time it grants me a creative freedom I've never had before. When I was comparing brands (Canon vs. Nikon) it seemed to me that Nikon had more to offer. My first point & shoot was a Canon and I've been loyal ever since but time had come to say goodbye. See, unless you're rich, the first DSLR you buy locks you into that brand for a long time. But I'm happy with my decision. If it wasn't for my need to shoot in dark places I would've probably stayed with the Canon.

Friday Aug 01

Going from point & shoot to DSLR is intimidating, exciting and scary. Gosh, this thing has more buttons than my TV remote. I didn't have enough time between Wednesday and Friday to learn how to use it—and it shows. (Ha ha!) I still wasn't familiar with those buttons when I got to Le Royale. I often stole myself to the restroom to change the settings; I couldn't see the button glyphs in the dark. A few of those buttons don't even have glyphs and only a third of them make any sense to me. I was shooting blind—and loving it!

The final shots did not turn out as dramatic as I would have liked but I wasn't expecting to be be a pro on my first outing. Staying home on a Friday night to read a camera manual because I wasn't yet familiar with the Nikon would have been criminal. I needed to get out there as soon as possible: there's no substitute for field experience. Besides, I have plenty of time to read manuals and guides on my commute to the office.

I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that missed the Canon. I was out of my comfort zone with the Nikon; at least with the Canon I could tell the buttons apart! I know for a fact that I'd have taken a higher ratio of good pictures with the Canon, but I also know that with the Nikon I have the potential to take exceptional pictures. In short: the reward is worth the risk. Strange as it may sound, it feels damn good to blame myself for poor performance and not the camera.

Saturday Aug 02

At 2:00am I felt I had made my point and left. My night wasn't over: TRASH! was next on my itinerary. The pictures I took at TRASH! turned out so much better than the ones I took at Robot Rock that I still can't believe they were shot on the same night. I have a few theories but I'll save those for when I post the pictures. Trust me: they're gorgeous.

New York photographer, party mammal, and Internet troll for hire. Alain-Christian is an OG who’s been blogging for over 20 years dating back to the early days of AOL. He loves sharing his offbeat opinions on pop culture, bestowing his tech knowledge, and making arts.