X-Ray Mag #103

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Christopher Drew   Mark Beattie-Edwards , Christopher Drew , Maureen Langevin , Raymond LeFrense

On opposite sides of the planet from each another, two historic shipwrecks sit in a constant state of change. Both bear historical witness to the story of their day, yet they are very different: One is a Mediterranean cargo vessel from over 2,300 years ago, the other a Norwegian tanker that sank off the coast of New Jersey in 1964. Although they differ in nearly every way, the one key thing they share today is how divers and researchers across the globe uncover and honor their stories: the intersection of mission, art, skills and technology in a modern expedition.

Pierre Constant   Pierre Constant

Five hundred and twenty-five kilometres from Recife on the northeastern coast of South America (or 350km from Natal as the crow flies), the minuscule specks of land of Fernando de Noronha are to Brazil what the Galapagos Islands are to Ecuador—but on the other side of the continent. In a way, the two archipelagoes are very similar, both of them are volcanic hot spots born out of fracture zones in the ocean, slightly south of the Equator and a prolific refuge for seabirds.

Andrea "Murdock" Alpini   Andrea "Murdock" Alpini

The more time passes, the less the distance is that separates one from the object of one’s desire—in this case, it was a place. With time spent seeking, observing, studying, writing and pinning drafts of questions, all waiting for an answer, I decided to follow a line of inquiry into diving an old German slate mine in Schmallenberg (east of Düsseldorf) to understand its feasibility, aesthetic beauty and historical meaning.

Edited by G. Symes   Courtesy of JNTO

From October to Novem­ber of 2020, the Japan National Tourism Organ­ization (JNTO) held its second annual Japan Underwater Photo Contest, seeking photos taken by divers that showcase the undiscovered beauty and artistry of diving in Japan to the world.

X-Ray Mag Contributors   X-Ray Mag Contributors
Humpback mother and calf in Tonga. Photo by Don Silcock

We asked our contributors what their favorite marine mammal dive was and they sent us tales and images of magnificent whales, playful seals, endearing sea cows and curious dolphins. X-Ray Mag contributors reveal the intriguing behaviors of marine mammals underwater—from Crystal River in Florida to the tropical waters of Tonga, Dominica, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the Red Sea, to the subtropical waters off Florida, Southern California and Baha in Mexico—where they captured their favorite images.

X-Ray Mag Contributors   X-Ray Mag Contributors
Humpback mother and calf in Tonga. Photo by Don Silcock

We asked our contributors what their favorite marine mammal dive was and they sent us tales and images of magnificent whales, playful seals, endearing sea cows and curious dolphins. X-Ray Mag contributors reveal the intriguing behaviors of marine mammals underwater—from Crystal River in Florida to the tropical waters of Tonga, Dominica, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the Red Sea, to the subtropical waters off Florida, Southern California and Baha in Mexico—where they captured their favorite images.

Rico Besserdich   Rico Besserdich

In this series of articles on postproduction of underwater images, we have worked a lot on white balance settings, basic and advanced exposure corrections, contrast and curves, advanced techniques of removing colour casts, basic and advanced retouching, final colour boost, cropping and sharpening. Finally, our image is ready! And now, we arrive at the question: What do I do with it? How do I save it for further editing, or how do I create final files for Facebook, websites and printing?

Cesare Balzi   Alberto Dabalà, IANTD S.r.l.

Today, the wreck of the Italian Regia Marina submarine Scirè lies at a depth of 33m in Haifa Bay and four IANTD expeditions were necessary to survey the wreck, collect measurements for a 3D reconstruction and accomplish historical, cultural and scientific research.

Simon Pridmore   Andrey Bizyukin

Today, technical diving is well into its fourth decade. We now have better tools, technology and systems than we did in the past and we know far more about which methods, decompression strategies and gear configurations work well and which do not.

Jordi Chias   Rafa Fernande

We were in Addu, the second largest “city” in the Maldives and capital of the southernmost atoll. Located 45 miles below the equator, and 540km south of Malé, this is the most remote of the 26 atolls that, scattered along almost 900km of the Indian Ocean, make up the archipelago of the Maldives. This piece of land, with a very unique history, was the starting point for our ship, the Maldives Blue Force One, on the route through the best Maldivian reefs in the Southern Hemisphere.

Ila France Porcher  
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Often on dives in the tropics, the divemaster will caress one of the big Javanese moray eels (Gymnothorax javanicus) looking out from the coral surroundings, until the animal undulates from his hole and wriggles around him, apparently because it enjoys being stroked. This provides evidence that there is more going on in the minds of these mysterious animals than most sources let on.

Edited by G. Symes   Vanessa Barragão

Portuguese textile artist Vanessa Barragão creates beautiful, exquisite artworks inspired by the textures, shapes and forms of corals and invertebrate life found on ocean reefs. Employing handmade ancestral crafts, she uses only sustainably sourced upcycled materials. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to learn more about her creative process and perspectives on sustainability in the textiles we use as well as eco-conscious consumption in our daily lives, as she aims to raise awareness of how these affect the planet’s fragile ecosystems.

Edited by G. Symes   Sheryl Checkman , Anita George-Ares , John Ares

Back in 2020, we challenged underwater photographers—many of whom found themselves stuck inside or unable to go diving during the pandemic—to search through their image archives and match a topside shot with one of their own underwater shots, in a side-by-side comparison. Featured here are the eye-catching and sublime image comparisons of three photographers, from the New York Underwater Photographic Society (NYUPS) at the NYC Sea Gypsies dive club, who rose to the challenge.

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