Story behind the Shot: My first water shot.

Settings<br />
1/4000<br />
F/4.5<br />
ISO 400

ISO 400

          This was one of the first water shots I have ever taken. It was taken on November 30, 2011 in Seaside Park, just a few blocks from my house. I had been shooting surfing for just about a year at that point and was very anxious to get in the water with my camera. I didn’t own a water housing (or at least a real one) at this time and was still shooting with a Canon Rebel XS with the stock 18-55 Lens. I did not want to get a water housing for that camera at the time because it was an entry level camera that I had already out grown and pushed to its limits. I remember I had already ordered a Canon 60d that was supposed to be coming in a few days, so my current camera would become my back up. I decided that I would start using my Rebel in a Dicapac housing which was basically a glorified plastic back with straps and a slot for the lens. I figured if it leaked I already had already bought a new camera so it was worth it to try to get water shots.

          I remember it was my cousin’s birthday and him and his brother were going surfing up my street and asked if I wanted to come. At the time I had never been in the water that late in the season and I was armed with a 4:3 and 3mm boots. I think I had borrowed a hood from my friend that was way too small for me because the water was starting to get pretty cold as it was almost December. I didn’t even own a pair of fins, and ended up using my brother’s old Churchills that were probably at least 20 years old at that point. We got to the beach and it was firing, just a bunch of A-Frames and no one out. Looking at it now it was probably only like chest to shoulder high but being completely new to cold water and shooting from the water it felt like it was much bigger. It was a nightmare trying to get the old fins to try to fit over 3mm boots and my feet were killing me. I started to swim out and it was super awkward trying to swim with the housing as it had no leash and I had no choice but to hold it like a shopping bag as I swam out. I got smoked trying to get out and it took me way longer to get out into the lineup than I thought it would. When I finally got out I found out just how awkward it is trying to swim and shoot at the same time especially with a plastic back for a water housing. The sleeve for the lens was too long and I had to pull it back and press it against the lens so it would end up in my shots. Armed with my rebel that shot at a whopping 3 frames per second I lucked out and was able to move the lens sleeve out of the way to get this perfect peak that came through. I remember seeing it pop up on my screen and being stoked about it. Shortly after I got caught inside and washed all the way into the beach despite fighting against the waves and trying to swim back out. When I was on the beach I took the fins off to soothe my aching feet and take a rest. When I went to put them back on the rubber snapped on one of them and that was the end of my first water shooting experience. I am still stoked on this shot and I think it had aged quite well despite being shot on a 10 megapixel camera in plastic bag. The saying really does ring true, “The best camera is the camera you have with you.”

 All Photos Copyright of Dave NIlsen Photography 

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