Congratulations to our Top Pic of the Week Lauren Keim! She captured these calm coastal seas using her Nikonos V underwater camera (in orange, of course!) and 35 mm lens. Check out how she captured these photos taken in Clearwater Beach, FL and the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, VA.
Clearwater Beach, Florida – Cal
This was the first shot I ever took with the Nikonos. I’d studied so much about the best aperture to use and was super worried about zone focusing since I’m really, really lousy at estimating distance. We were on spring break with my son by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and it was so pretty, so blue, and warm enough to really submerge. When I got this shot developed, I was hooked. It hangs over our mantle now.
I’ve been a digital photographer and digital instructor for a long time, but after months of dissatisfaction and working my way through various presets, I made the leap to film in the fall of 2014 and now aside from my phone here and there, it’s the only way I shoot.
Chesapeake Bay- Summer Sun
I’d been seeing some shots of lens flare on water, and I thought it would be fun to try with the Nikonos. We live by the Chesapeake Bay, and the water in our beach is super shallow and warm, making for easy experimenting. Usually, I’m at least waist-deep in the water when I shoot, but for these shots, I lay down on my stomach and just let the small waves wash over me as the sun went down. I tried to shoot right into the sun and just play. The lower the sun went down, the lower I pushed my shutter speed. I shot a whole roll as the sand crawled up my suit!
I generally shoot at f/8 and 1/250. A lot of my shots are at the beach or lake in bright sun, so this set up works for me. I like being able to set my aperture and shutter and stop thinking. I usually use Fuji 400h or Fuji Superia, and I always have Richard Photo Lab develop it at +2 for more contrast.
I got some super helpful advice for shooting the Nikonos early on. Because you focus in a zone, f/8 is your friend! This gives me a wider focus “zone” in terms of distance, and because I generally shoot this camera outside in the bright sun, I can afford a tighter aperture and higher shutter speed. I prefer the shots that are half in and half out of the water, but if you go all the way down, slow your shutter or open up your aperture. Anything to add light. You’ll lose stops the deeper you go.
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