Immersed in the Pacific Ocean on a tropical day with a Nikonos is photography thick in the salt. I use the old 35mm camera to photograph surf and playtime with my kids. I find it relaxing. A slow methodic way of shooting in a dynamic environment. I easily drift in the current and dive beneath large waves to stay out of the impact zone. Shooting the Nikonos in surf takes time to learn – it requires manual operation with a zone focusing lens for distance, another knob for aperture, and a dial on the body for shutter selection. Adjusting camera controls while treading water in breaking waves can be challenging; the camera has no meter and exposure must be calculated in the head. The most difficult part of using a Nikonos is shooting instead of surfing! I solved that problem by strapping it around my chest while I surf. Now I can surf and adjust all the camera settings while riding a wave to capture surfers in front of me.
Having this camera around my neck in the ocean adds to the enjoyment of every swim and surf. It gives additional purpose to recreation, a type of recreational artistic mission. Shooting on the water is only a small part of photography I am interested in. I love all aspects of photography – by land or sea or foam!
However, it’s gotta be film.