Columnist Norman Silverstone’s wife Lesley captures her peach clafouti using her new Nikon Coolpix P7100. She used the P program mode (fully automatic)

Columnist goes with the flow to take photos

Why would someone buy a 10 mb camera and then shoot images in a 2 mb size? Ace photographer Norman Silverstone knows.

In December I had to go to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to have a cancer operation. I knew that there are only two ways out of the hospital: dead or alive. Well guess what: I made it, because here I am in the flesh writing this column in my PJ’s and bathrobe, typing away while listening to the soundtrack from the movie The Beach.

After the operation I was told to not lift anything for about a month, then only 10 pounds for at least three months. All of the burden of running a house, hauling wood, garbage and so on, has fallen on my patient, loving wife, Lesley.

Worried that I would not be able to manage the stairs to the upstairs bedroom, the “library” on the main floor became my temporary room. The first thing that I did was to haul my camera, then the lens, timer and tripod from my working area downstairs …verrry slowly.

I set up the Nikon with my 70–210mm f2.8 lens on the tripod facing outside. The 70–210mm f2.8 lens is so big and heavy that it has its own tripod mounting screw hole. The reason being that if the tripod was screwed into the Nikon body instead of the lens, the weight of the lens would put undue pressure on the bayonet camera mount and could cause the mount to bend or buckle.

I attached the MC 20 electronic timer and release, et voila, I was ready for any kind of street action.

Well, that was great for outside stabilized action shots, but what to do about shooting in the house? I would need a very light camera with no lag time, fast flash recycle and that could balance the existing light alongside the electronic flash light.

Aha! Remember that Nikon camera that I purchased in Montreal for Lesley’s birthday,—the camera that had to have an optical viewfinder as well as a digital display? I asked Les if I could borrow it to take candid shots that were happening around me, and she said yes.

I then looked up the things that I didn’t understand about Lesley’s Nikon Coolpix P7100 and found out a few interesting things. I discovered that the optical viewfinder has a diopter so that I am able to shoot without my glasses on: I just dial in my naked left eye while I am looking through the viewfinder.

When I use the optical viewfinder in macro mode at very close distances, I have a parallax problem. This occurs when the lens views one portion of the subject while the viewfinder window is higher than the lens, so the final image will start lower than seen in the viewfinder.

I set up the camera to shoot in the highest JPEG file format possible. That was Fine on the quality JPEG scale. Normal is the default JPEG, and there is also Basic JPEG. The difference?

Fine = the highest quality JPEG, possibility of blowing up to large sizes, 10 megapixels per image, four times compression, 770 images on a four-megabyte card.

Normal = medium quality, the camera’s default, five megapixels per image, eight times compression, 1540 images on a 4 mb card.

Basic = The lowest quality, suitable for e-mailing or very small sizes, two megapixels per image, 16 times compression, 3010 images on a 4 mb card.

Why would someone buy a 10 mb camera and then shoot  images in a 2 mb size?

Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and Eldercollege in Port Alberni.

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s West Coast Rangers hold rendezvous

Three-day event featured historical re-enactment

Port Alberni Port Authority talks logistics for cruise ship visit

Some restrictions for pedestrians, boaters will be in place

Port Alberni’s ‘Army of Problem Solvers’ to the rescue

Facebook group gathers people who just want to help their neighbours

Hurricane Katrina inspires Alberni author’s new novel

Jacqueline Swann brings message of climate change to life with story of fictional journalist

Port Alberni RCMP searching for missing teenage girl

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home on May 9

Trudeau touts economic record at Liberal fundraiser in Vancouver

The Prime Minister was in B.C. for much of this week

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the Okanagan

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Most Read