Norman Silverstone captures the beauty of Miracle Beach.

Life’s a beach with a camera

Photographer Norman Silverstone captures the hidden beauty that no one else notices at Miracle Beach Provincial Park.

It was so sunny and hot here in town that we couldn’t take it anymore. “Let’s go to the beach,” I said.

At that moment I realized that to get to any sandy beach on salt water we would have to travel a distance. Should I use a quarter of a tank or one half tank of gas to get to the beach and return, I thought. Gas is always an issue now.

Decision made, off we went to Miracle Beach Provincial Park, somewhere past Courtenay. The walk from the parking lot to the beach was like a shot back in time; we walked through lush vegetation and giant trees, their tops ablaze with the hot sun. If you squinted you could just imagine the area unspoiled, pre-contact.

I was sporting my Nikon D300s with a Sigma 10-20mm fisheye lens, all ready to be amazed by that incredible lens. As backup for different angles of view I had my 18-70mm lens as well as a 2x teleconverter.

I started shooting almost right away, holding onto the dog leash with one hand and the camera with the other so that I could compose the image through the viewfinder. I have to take off my glasses to see through the viewfinder. I have a diopter knob beside my eyepiece that lets me adjust the viewfinder to the strength of my glasses.

Les came back from the pit-toilets and took the dog leash so that I could shoot. We walked out of the woods to a view of miles of beach. We were on the very rocky dog beach. Right beside us in plain view is the human beach that is sandy from the grass to the water.

That didn’t stop me; I find photographs everywhere. Checking out the driftwood and logs through the viewfinder, I got sucked right in to the entire image, with seemingly unending depth of field.

I wanted to see the depth for myself so I pressed the depth of field button on my camera and closed the lens down until I had everything sharp from the front edge of the image to infinity. This is the combination that I used for the log shot:

• File format–RAW

• Size of image–20.6 MB

• ISO–250

• 10–20mm zoom lens set at 10mm

• Aperture–f20

• Shutter speed– 1/160 of a second.

Walking through the minefield of stones, rocks, and pebbles we came to the water’s edge and looked in. Nope, no sand. We looked over at the human beach with its sand, kids making sandcastles and people frolicking in the water. C’est la vie.

I got bored with the limitations of the fisheye lens and switched to the 18-70mm lens. Not an easy feat switching lens at any time, especially at a windy, sandy beach. Of course I was very careful to protect the camera and lens in my jacket. Then I  took the new lens and placed it on the log bayonet side up, took off the lens cap, pointed my camera to the ground, took off the old lens and quickly snapped the new lens on. After switching lenses I did shoot one incredible shot.

Any questions?  E-mail me at nsilverstone@telus.net or see me online at www.silverstonephotos.com.

 

* Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and Eldercollege.

Just Posted

Thanksgiving Food Drive returns to Port Alberni

Volunteers will go door-to-door to collect non-perishable items

Tyee Club celebrates 80 years in Port Alberni

James Clark wins Fisherman of the Year award

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs rally for the win with five goals in third period

Port Alberni team has won two games in a row at home

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

Most Read