Nestled deep inside layers of cheap plastic reinforcements, disposable underwater cameras are almost completely unresponsive to touch. You press down on the pillow of the shutter actuator, listen hard for some kind of clunk and then hopefully wind onto the next frame. My little Cub Yellow camera has held together despite its age and throwaway make. It’s quirkiness exchanges control for a little bit of tension and unpredictability.
Swimming at the South Coast somewhere, the teeth of this roll split and let go of the sprocket twenty or so shots in. The action of winding-on remained steady and stiff, though the system that regulates the distance between individual frames had failed. I decided to estimate the difference and continue on.
Sometime later, the developed reel revealed a window of film made up of at least 5 or 6 exposures. Each shutter actuation had blended together to record the median color of the sea that morning.