Photographer Norman Silverstone discovers a piece of ‘ravine sculpture’ on a walk with a friend.

DIGI-PIXELS: Keep your camera—and your environment— clean

Do you notice spots on your digital prints, always in the same place? Then chances are that you have a dirty DSLR camera sensor.

Do you notice spots on your digital prints, always in the same place? Then chances are that you have a dirty DSLR camera sensor.

Some DSLR cameras clean the sensor when you turn the camera on or off, some cameras have  “clean sensor” listed in the menu, some DSLRs you have to clean the sensor manually.

One of the ways to manually clean a sensor on a DSLR is to put the camera timer on “B” for bulb, remove the lens with the camera pointed towards the ground (so you won’t have dust falling on the exposed mirror/sensor), press and hold down the shutter release while you gently use a blower to blow away the dust. DO NOT use canned compressed air, you will do serious damage to the sensor.

Speaking of cleaning sensors, I have to go the eye doc and have my right eye “demembraneised”. Having someone touching or operating on my eye strikes ice-cold fear and shivers down my spine. I would rather lose a limb then an eye. When was the last time that you saw a blind photographer?

I went shooting (camera, not gun) with a partner last month. He introduced me to a trail behind the fairgrounds leading down to the ravine. So off we went. He had an older Nikon manual SLR that was loaded with black and white film and I had my old Nikon digital camera with a 10mm ~ 20mm f3.8 lens (15mm ~ 30mm on a full frame camera) extra wide lens.

We saw old speedometers, stoves, bicycle wheels, oil drums, and all sorts of trash that was just thrown down from somewhere above. We walked on, noticing ferns as far as the eye could see—I felt as if I was in a tropical forest in paradise. It was amazing to think that we were in the middle of wilderness, although if you crossed the stream and climbed the hill you would be at Tebo Avenue.

When I got home I processed my shooter friend’s 35mm black and white film and then burnt it onto a high res DVD.


Michael at the library had a discussion and we both agreed that it is time for another free mini-seminar. As a result I will be putting on a new revised “ COMPUTERS AND SECURITY –  what you need to know”. Pencil in January 13 2015, Tuesday, 4:30 – 5:30pm Please – please phone the library to reserve a space, yes I know that it is free but there is only room for 30 people….last time that I  presented this seminar it was sold out and there was a fifteen person wait list. I will e-mail you the handouts after the seminar.

Any questions?  E-mail me at or see me online at


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

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