X-Ray Mag #60

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Creating photos in this digital age requires postproduction computer work to get the most out of your images. In days of old, post processing meant time in the darkroom developing film and then perhaps hours spent massaging the final print under an enlarger. The techniques may have changed but the concept is the same. The real question is where do you start?

Yoland Bosinger   Yoland Bosinger, Jerry Sutton, , Erin McFadden and Chris Thrall

On our journey north of the polar circle, my fellow adventurers and I were greeted by an astonishing spectacle. Over 20 orca were hunting an animal so rare that few people have seen them in the wild, let alone had the chance to study them. Using immense strength, agility and cunning intelligence, the orca worked as a team to hold the Arnoux’s beaked whale under water to drown it. This was a story of nature at its most raw, untouched and unforgiving—a story that encapsulated wild Antarctica.

First visited by Christopher Columbus in 1503, his reports tell of incredible numbers of fish, turtles and crocodiles hence their original name of Caimen or The Cayman Islands.

Ila France Porcher   Ila France Porcher , Wolfgang Leander

A difficulty in obtaining information about wild animal behaviour is that detailed observations of different individuals is necessary over long periods of time, and this is especially hard to achieve with sharks. But in the shallow lagoons of French Polynesia, such observation was possible without the encumbrance of scuba gear, and without the problem of the shark disappearing into the depths.

Millis Keegan   Swedish Maritime Museums

The Baltic Sea offers some very treacherous waters even under the best of circumstances. The price to pay for sailing the Baltic through the millenniums has been high, and traces of those costs are scattered over the bottom.

A few weeks ago, a dive centre chartered a boat to take five divers and two instructors out to some islands off the south coast of Bali. It was rainy season and, behind the rainclouds, there would be a full moon that night in an area where currents are notoriously strong and unpredictable. However, water conditions seemed manageable, there were other dive boats out on the water and having done one dive without encountering any difficulties, the divers entered the water again for a second dive that was to be a drift dive.

Edited by Gunild Symes   Erika Pochybova-Johnson

Originally from Slavakia, self-taught artist Erika Pochybova-Johnson creates brilliant, spell-binding, intricate paintings inspired by nature, the sea and its creatures. Now based in Lubbock, Texas, the artist shared with X-RAY MAG her artistic vision and connection to the underwater world.

Michel Braunstein   Michel Braunstein

If I were to tell you about a special place where no one locks their doors at night, where crime is virtually nonexistent, where the number of tourists is intentionally restricted to preserve the ecological balance, and where each visitor must pay a daily fee of 15 Euros (approximately US$20) to protect the environment, would you think about Brazil? Probably not!

Kathalyn Gaither   A. Emtiaz, Bill Horn, and Keith Mille

Miles of white sandy beaches, family vacation destinations, infamous spring break festivities and outstanding state parks attract millions of visitors to Florida annually from around the world. But there is so much more to see—especially for those who like to take their sightseeing down below the ocean and gulf waters—like the beauty and magic of thousands of artificial reefs that lie beneath the surface along Florida’s coastlines.

Kathalyn Gaither   A. Emtiaz, Bill Horn, and Keith Mille

Miles of white sandy beaches, family vacation destinations, infamous spring break festivities and outstanding state parks attract millions of visitors to Florida annually from around the world. But there is so much more to see—especially for those who like to take their sightseeing down below the ocean and gulf waters—like the beauty and magic of thousands of artificial reefs that lie beneath the surface along Florida’s coastlines.

Barely beaten tracks are an increasingly rare find for travellers in this ever more accessible world. Yet on the shores of Tomini Bay on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi, one such place still exists.

Mike Bartick   Mike Bartick

Ask any photographer the one thing they would like to improve in their underwater images and most will likely say, “The lighting.” Lighting in photography is everything and shooting underwater often requires the photographer to read the ambient light and to create durable images on the fly.

In August 2012, I wrote an article which discussed just culture and what this meant in the context of recreational and technical scuba diving, and using this concept, how we can improve diving safety.

Peter Symes   Peter Symes

The nascence of recreational rebreathers was just waiting to happen. Spurred on by rapid advances in technical diving, new materials and technology, coupled with cost reductions, the allure of long and quiet dives, with vastly improved non-deco times, had to seep from the technical communities to recreational diving, leading to the design of a new generation of closed circuit rebreathers aimed primarily at recreational divers. But how far have we come to making closed circuit rebreathers a common sight along our shorelines?

Pascal Bernabe   François Brun

Rebreather diving is currently one of the fastest growing activities in the diving universe. Divers’ motivations for getting a rebreather vary. Some derive enjoyment from “piloting” a sophisticated machine like a cosmonaut journeying through (inner) space. Others find pleasure in possessing a powerful tool for exploring caves, wrecks, canyons and reef walls, and being able to silently approach and photograph marine life without any bubbles.

Steve Lewis   Steve Lewis

Being swept along on this technical diving thing, has been a long, somewhat twisted, but definitely entertaining journey. If you and I had met when the whole affair started, we could not possibly have envisioned how directly and pervasively, what were then radical activities, like cave diving, trimix diving and rebreather diving, would influence the mainstream dive community.

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