Q. I like to fish, so I go to the shore as often as I can. Is there a camera that's waterproof enough for me to keep in my tackle box most of the time? I'd like to keep it handy so that I could take pictures of a good catch before I put it back. A. There are a goodly number of cameras of this kind. I've only been involved with prints from one or two, so I dropped by My Favorite Camera Store and chatted with some people who know the real answers.
Here's a list of some of the cameras we talked about.
*The Minolta Weathermatic-A. This is a 110 format camera, submersible to 10 to 15 feet. It has a built-in flash with a low-light warning. It sells for about $80.
*The Canon Snappy AS. A 35-mm camera that is submersible to 30 to 35 feet. It has a sports finder for use with a diving face mask. It is an auto exposure camera with a built-in flash. It sells for $130.
*The Olympus Infinity. This 35-mm camera is not submersible but comes highly recommended. I'm told it is very tight and highly water resistant. It is autofocus, and has a built-in flash. It sells for about $160.
*The Nikon Action Touch. This 35-mm format is submersible to 10 feet. It has automatic exposure, autofocus and a built-in flash. It sells for about $200.
*The Nikonos V. This 35-mm remains a standard-setter for underwater photography. It is submersible to 160 feet, the shutter can be used as autofocus, manual, mechanical or bulb, with TTL flash available. It sells for $440.
There are others, so I suggest you go to your camera store and examine some of these and any others they might have on hand. I'll bet you find someone there who has done some extensive testing. BIRD'S-EYE VIEW Q. Do you have any advice about how to take pictures from an airplane? I mean the commercial flights that I'm on from time to time. It's really a great angle and you see so much. A. Yes it is a great angle. Part of the problem, however, is that those magnificent vistas you see from the plane window at 28,000 feet aren't very attractive on a 3x5 color print. Most of the time we don't realize how high up we are and how small things will look to our camera, set up with normal or wide-angle lenses.
The thing to do is take some pictures while you are ascending and descending.
That's when you can best get a shot of the city or, if you're near the water, a shot of the coastline and maybe even some small boats. Mountains are successful subjects while you're at the lower altitudes, and be sure to look for rivers snaking through the countryside -- look especially for river deltas.
Remember, even 4,000 feet is pretty high. If you have a telephoto, put it on the camera. If you're using a zoom lens, zoom to your longest focal length. Keep the lens close to the plane window, but don't rest on it. You may get some vibration problems if you do.
Cloud formations are also great to shoot from a plane. It's not all that easy, and you have to have a good chunk of luck to go with your efforts.
First, before you take off, have your camera unpacked and ready. If you have a zoom, use it. If you have a small telephoto (100mm, 135mm) use it. If you don't, just use your standard 50mm and try anyway.
Remember, your pilot will fly as far away from heavy clouds or thunderheads as possible. This means you'll see some towering stuff far away. Try shooting a few frames with as long a focal length lens as you can.
The main things to watch for are sunrises and sunsets. Sunsets can turn clouds golden and dramatic. This works especially well if you are going from east to west. If you're flying at night, and you fly over heavy clouds, the moon, particularly when full, gives a great and eerie light and makes a great shot. NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY
We all can have a look at nature through the lens of a naturalist's camera on Thursday, July 31.
Fairfax County Park Authority naturalist Leon Nawojchik will present a slide show and offer tips on nature photography, such as how to take pictures of wildlife, handle close-ups of plants, and get the most out of scenic pictures.
The program will be held at Lake Fairfax Park outdoor amphitheater in Reston. For more information, call Riverbend Nature Center at 759-3211.
Carl Kramer, former director of photography for The Washington Post, will try to answer your photography questions in his column, but cannot reply individually. Send your questions to: Carl Kramer, c/o Weekend, The Washington Post, 1150 15th Street NW, Washington DC 20071.