MARINE PHOTOGRAPHY The first supposed successful instantaneous photograph is of a marine subject—New York Harbour, taken in the 'fifties. In the same year Baron Gros, of Athens, made some daguerreo types of breaking waves on the shores of Greece —in Phalerum Bay. Marine work in general resembles other hand camera work, but the exposures are short owing to the usually excessive brightness of the sea and sky. Backed plates should be used, and there is no necessity to have extra rapid plates ; the consensus of opinion is in favour of isochromatic plates and the use of a pale yellow screen, but many workers prefer ordinary plates. The isochromatic plate should have the advantage on a bright day, and in the case of a blue sky. Should clouds be present (and these often make a seascape a success) there should be no difficulty in photo graphing them, inasmuch as sea and sky require about the same exposure, whereas in landscape work the foreground requires much longer exposure than the sky. Breaking waves, and seascapes with rocky or other dark foregrounds, are more difficult subjects because of the great differences in the correct exposures for the dark foreground and comparatively brilliant sea and sky. A foreground shutter—that is, a shutter allowing of the foreground receiving a longer exposure than the sky—should be an ideal accessory for such work ; but when photo graphing breaking waves, the operator may not know whether the rocks in the foreground will remain in their natural state or be covered with a seething mass of white foam, a foam which would be whiter, and require less exposure than any other part of the picture. The shutter
should work at such a speed as to give a naturalistic effect to the sea and waves. If a shutter works too fast the water will appear too sharp and have a frozen appearance, whereas an exposure that is too long will show movement and the sea will be blurred. One-hundredth of a second is a good average speed, and if this is found to be correct the exposures may be otherwise corrected with larger or smaller stops. F/16 is a good average stop, and with a medium plate and good diffused light (not bright sun) the exposure above mentioned will be about right. In brighter weather a smaller stop may be used and vice versa, and if the waves are comparatively quiet a longer exposure may be given.
Hand cameras of any kind are best for this work, and a good view-finder is essential ; stand cameras are next to useless. Sea air affects leather and metal fittings considerably, and the camera should be protected as much as possible, especially from sea spray. Seascapes, particularly those with dark foregrounds, need careful development because of the great con trasts in the subject. A soft working and well diluted developer should be used ; adurol is good, while metal, with or without a little hydro quinone, has its advocates. If the dark parts lag behind, local development may be resorted to or the lagging parts helped by breathing upon them.