X-Ray Mag #42

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

It’s been almost 15 years since my first visit to the Azores. I was studying law then and was on my first diving trip, with all of eight dives written down in my brand new logbook. Six years later, I was living in the Azores. I had traveled and dived in many remote locations by then, Africa, Australia, Asia… but one place never left my mind—those nine small islands that stood alone in the middle of the Atlantic.

American textile artist, Betty Busby, has captured underwater scenes in a unique and remarkable way on visually stunning quilts exquisitely crafted by hand, bringing fresh contemporary concepts to a centuries old traditional art form. In addition to brilliant, colorful reef scenes, Busby has delved into the microscopic world taking inspiration from the super macro perspective informed by molecular biology of ecosystems above and below the waves. X-RAY MAG’s Gunild Symes asked the artist to share her insights into art and ecology and how her work speaks to the magic of the underwater world.

Bill Hamilton, PhD  

Some of the most experienced leaders in the scuba world are dead set against releasing information—let alone encouragement—on the diving methods under discussion here.

Matt Weiss and Joe Tepper   Matt Weiss and Joe Tepper

What is Composition? In its most basic definition, composition is the arrangement of elements and their relationship to one another within an image. It is composition—as well as lighting—that is the primary tool with which photographers put themselves into an image and emphasize the subject(s) in the frame.

Once or twice in a rare Blue Moon, opportunity sometimes comes along and hits you on the head—or in my case, I was hit on the head—by a juvenile sperm whale.

Once or twice in a rare Blue Moon, opportunity sometimes comes along and hits you on the head—or in my case, I was hit on the head—by a juvenile sperm whale.

Kelly LaClaire   Kate Clark
Grenada. Photo by Kate Clark

The island of Grenada is affectionately known as the Spice Isle for its exotic spices of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Indeed, as we stepped off the plane, its warm, fragrant breezes welcomed us. Just a few hours earlier we were shivering in the drizzle and cold, wrapped in several layers of clothing dreaming of this exact moment. Kate, my cousin and photographer on this trip, laughed, “Oh my gosh, I think I’ll tear up my return ticket and violate my visa. I’m not leaving!”

Mandarinfish pair, Yap. Photo by Scott Johnson

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are intelligent, communicative, aerobatic, social, curious, playful and sometimes devious mammals that can grow to 16 meters in length, weigh 41tonnes (41,000 kg) and live over 50 years.

—Diving in the French river Rhône with European catfish

The Rhône is a large French river, which is 545km long. It flows from the Alps, across Lake Geneva and joins the Mediterranean Sea. Cloudy in appearance, as if to preserve her secrets, it is difficult to have strong views about this type of river

Christian Skauge   Christian Skauge

At the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) where astronauts train for ESA’s manned space missions, trainee astronauts undergo a 16-month basic training program, and an integral part of this is to dive. Astronauts need to be underwater to practice spacewalks, also known as Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA). Diver and underwater photographer, Christian Skauge, paid ESA’s Neutral Buoyancy Facility a visit.


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