Getting shots at Alberni’s Canada Day Parade

North Island College photography teacher Norman Silverstone recounts a day of taking pics at Alberni's Canada Day parade.

Navy League cadets wave from their float in the Canada Day Parade on July 1.

I have been in a photographic blue funk since November.

My best friend died in Mexico in November followed by my brother passing on a few months later.

They were both heavily into photography and we would talk photography on the phone until the cows came home. Occasionally we would work our third eye by going out and shooting everyday objects differently.

McLean Mill and Harbour Quay were two of our favourite stomping grounds. I have not really picked up a camera since Nov. 14 nor have I the inclination to create any photographs.

An exception to this was Canada Day and the Canada Day Parade.

Rain was in the forecast so it was very grey everywhere which means that the lighting would be the same all around me. No harsh shadows, no over-exposed whites.

I grabbed my Nikon and put on my trusty Nikon 70–210mm f4.0 lens. I usually shoot very close-up to things with a wide angle to slight telephoto zoom lens, but today I was going to shoot from the bleachers on 10th Avenue and take telephoto shots of faces around 300mm at f4.0 if necessary.

So I bumped up my ISO to 800, made sure that I was on RAW format, a clean 16 GB SD card, for a possible 800 photos. Taking an imaginary light reading at 800 ISO, I adjusted the camera  and lens to 1/300 of a second at f5.6.

I did not have a tripod with me so I had to have the shutter speed match the size of the lens, which would eliminate the movement of a human breathing. We sat on the top bleacher, I scouted out territory, making sure that there was nothing that would impede my photographic view.

Here they come, everybody starts cheering. I picked up my ’ol Nikon and started shooting.

Checked to make sure that I was on 1/300 of a second and the VR vibration reduction was on. I looked for facial expressions, light against dark, bright colour against a muted colour, children, animals, and anything that caught my eye. I took 37 photographs, most of them winners.

Any questions? E-mail me at


Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and Eldercollege.

Just Posted

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

ARTS AROUND: Artists invited to exhibit work at Port Alberni gallery

The Rollin Art Centre is now accepting applications for the 2020 calendar year

Port Alberni millwright brings Beatles’ iconic yellow submarine to life for ice show

Beatlemania is set to take the ice on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Missing Surrey showshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Police dog tracks suspect through wintry Vancouver Island backcountry

Assault suspect arrested after two-hour track by Nanaimo RCMP police dog Jager

Most Read