Columnist Norman Silverstone escapes an encounter with black ice on Josephine Street with aplomb.

RAW talk about photos

Raw images are the closest to film that one can get from a camera. RAW images are non compressed and not processed in the camera.

Rain, rain, and more rain, it makes me wonder why the valley doesn’t just fill up with rain and then we could sail our house down the water-logged streets a la Monty Python.

We did have a few days that were sunny enough to take out the Vespa and cruise around taking photographs. My travels took me down to Harbour Quay, to Canal Beach, Clutesi Haven Marina and up Beaver Creek Road to Josephine.

While travelling on Beaver Creek Road at the spot where the trees overhang the road, I hit black ice. Black ice is bad enough with a four-wheel vehicle but with a two-wheel vehicle it is suicide. I could feel the tires slipping and trying to go sideways so what did I do….absolutely nothing. I  did not touch the gas or the brakes and did not try to turn the Vespa. As a result I am here today tapping out this article.

I had my trusty Nikon with me equipped with the incredible 10~20mm wide angle lens— this is the lens that when I take a photograph I have to step backwards otherwise my toes would be in every photo. The Clutesi Marina photographs were shot with the 10~20 mm lens set at 13mm, the ISO was 400, the aperture was f14, the speed was 1/200 of a second, and I shot in RAW format, which I prefer.

RAW images are 12 bit with 4,096 shades of red, green, and blue. Raw images are the closest to film that one can get from a camera (digital positives). RAW images are non compressed (non-lossy) and not processed in the camera.

My camera gives me a 21 MB file for a raw image (to compare, JPEG images are eight bit with 256 shades of red, green, and blue). JPEG images are processed in the camera and are a lossy format, in other words the image is compressed and some information is discarded (colour).

The size of the JPEG image on your memory card is about half of the size of the RAW image or about 10 MB. Now are you confused enough?


I did mention this seminar in last month’s article but I will mention it again, just to be sure. I will be putting on a new revised “ COMPUTERS AND SECURITY – what you need to know” seminar. Admission is free; you only have to sit there for one hour so please pencil in Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 from 4:30–5:30 p.m. Please phone the library to reserve a space; there is only room for 30 people.

The last time that I  presented this seminar it was sold out and there was a 15-person waiting list. I will e-mail the handouts after the seminar.

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


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

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