Indonesia - North Sulawesi | Honduras - Utila Island | Sharks - Sandtigers | Amazon - Pink Dolphins | Ecology - Cephalopods | Portfolio - Caelum Mero
Main features in this issue include:
Underwater fashion photographer, Caelum Mero of Australia, has developed a unique personal style that is fun, fabulous and poetic. He invites us into an underwater realm of mystery, magic and grace. X-RAY MAG’ s Gunild Symes caught up with him to find out the story behind his inspiration.
"The most inspiring aspect of the underwater world is its dynamic nature. Everything is constantly in motion and changing. To capture this on film is such a brilliant challenge."
-- Caelum Mero
Most cephalopods—the group in which scientists classify octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautiluses—can change color faster than a chameleon. They can also change texture and body shape, and if those camouflage techniques don’t work, they can still “disappear” in a cloud of ink, which they use as a smoke-screen or decoy.
Cephalopods have inspired legends and stories throughout history and are thought to be the most intelligent of the invertebrates. Some can squeeze through the tiniest of cracks. They have eyes and other senses that rival those of humans.
Now, we have our camera and all of its ancillary added on bits. We have checked that everything works. We have our chosen format decided. We have our laptop and portable hard drive all packed up and ready to go on location, but where are we going and why go there in the first place?
Getting to know your subject is perhaps easier than you think, however, we really do not have a whole lot of spare time underwater collecting knowledge on our subject matter.
For centuries, the Diamond Shoals off North Carolina have been collecting shipwrecks. Hundreds of crumpled merchant vessels swamped by Mother Nature’s fury and scores of battle scarred war machines torn apart by enemy shells loom above the otherwise featureless substrate.
Initially, planktonic life forms looking for a permanent home attach themselves to every available inch of real estate. Larger invertebrates like snails and small crabs soon follow and begin grazing on the newly seeded decks.
Sulawesi is one of those places on nearly every diver’s bucket list. If not, it ought to be. A dozen years ago, people would have thought you daft to go diving there, much less build a dive resort in an area dominated by dark volcanic sand. Yet in Sulawesi there are nearly two dozen resorts vying for divers’ dollars, yen and euros.
Sulewesi came on my radar when I first set eyes on Roger Steene’s book, Coral Seas, published in 1998. At the time, the last thing on my wish list was another coffee table book. I had been diving nearly 40 years and thought I’d seen just about everything I wanted to see underwater.
“If you’ve been to South East Asia, don’t bother with the Caribbean” is a phrase I’ve encountered many times over the last decade. Having done virtually all of my diving in Asia-Pacific, the region’s legendary diversity tends to leave one a tad spoilt. When you’ve dived exclusively in the world’s biodiversity hotspot, it’s all-too-easy to assume that other areas will suffer by comparison.
Getting there proved somewhat easier than anticipated. I discovered a non-stop service to Roatan from my home in Toronto on Sunwing, a charter airline that just started flights this past winter.