X-Ray Mag #95

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Rico Besserdich   Rico Besserdich
Photo of octopus after postproduction adjustments for exposure, contrast and curves. Photo by Rico Besserdich.

As always, the best thing to do is to get the proper exposure of your underwater images while shooting them. But sometimes this is easier said than done, and there are shots with insufficient exposure, which we, for whatever reasons, simply want to keep and “rescue.”

Michael Menduno   Marissa Eckert
Marissa Eckert is a full-time cave and technical diving instructor who co-owns Hidden Worlds Diving in Fort White, Florida, USA, with her partner, James Draker.

Thirty-four-year-old Marissa Eckert is a passionate full-time cave and technical diving instructor who co-owns Hidden Worlds Diving in Fort White, Florida, USA, with her partner, James Draker. When she is not teaching, Eckert enjoys traveling all over the world, exploring new places, hiking through the jungle and doing challenging new dives that help her grow and learn as a diver.

X-Ray Mag caught up with Eckert this fall at the beginning of Cave Camp in Tulum, Mexico, where she was one of the featured instructors.

Simon Pridmore  

In his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, historian Yuval Noah Harari traces the path left by Homo sapiens as our species spread over the world, causing the extinction of other human species and sub-species, and half of the planet’s big beasts. He describes the extinctions as happening in three waves.

Martin Voeller   Martin Voeller , Masayuki Agawa (Hammerheads)
Hammerhead sharks at Mikomoto, Izu, Japan. Photo by Masayuki Agawa

In just five years, Japan has seen its number of tourists grow by 20 million, and most of them visit the country to see the ancient temples, to experience the onsen hot springs, or to walk through the labyrinth of neon skyscrapers in its urban cities.

Japan is an island country surrounded by the ocean, and it should be no surprise that the country offers excellent scuba diving opportunities along its vast coastlines—it is an archipelagic country with islands spanning over 3,000km. And not far away from Tokyo lies Izu, which is Tokyo’s backyard of diving, accessible by car in just two to three hours from the city.

Edited by G. Symes   Kim & Kay Vaudin
Mewstone Ledges by Kim Vaudin, acrylic on canvas, 23 x 16 inches

Mother-and-daughter team, Kay and Kim Vaudin, who are both divers and fine artists, often work together on canvases at their studio, Deep Impressions in the United Kingdom, to capture the dynamic effervescence and minute details of marine life as well as the sublime light and delicate ecosystems of the underwater world. X-Ray Mag interviewed Kim Vaudin to learn more about their artwork and their perspectives.

Andreas Klocker and Steve Lambert   Adam Haydock and Teddy Garlock

What a resurgence! I first saw this amazing resurgence in 2017. Fellow explorer Zeb Lilly and I had organized an expedition to the Huautla Resurgence that year, and, after we finished our expedition, drove towards the town of Huautla to help out on the American PESH (Proyecto Espeleológico Sistema Huautla) expedition, which focused on exploring the upper dry parts of Sistema Huautla that were the source of water emerging at the Huautla Resurgence.

Brandi Mueller   Brandi Mueller

Being an avid wreck diver, Coron in the Philippines has been on my bucket list for ages. Having followed the underwater remains of the Pacific Theater World War II battles, I have found myself in some of the most beautiful places on earth, from the Solomon Islands to Truk Lagoon and many others. Coron is no exception. Arriving on the island of Busuanga after a short, one-hour flight from Manila, I was picked up and escorted by van and boat to Sangat Island. As we departed the dock, there were dense mangroves on either side, green foliage encroaching on the small waterway, hardly big enough for two boats to pass in some areas.

Matt Jevon  

We (humans, psychologists and divers) love to be able to put things into neat and tidy boxes. Even if we have a “freeform” mind and emotions, we still like to have something upon which we can ground ourselves—a base, if you like, that gives us just enough stability to cope with the stresses life throws at us.

Ila France Porcher   Peter Symes

With the loss of at least 90 percent of sharks worldwide, it would seem to be urgent to protect the ones that remain. Every global study of their status has reported a more dire situation than the last, and that the targeted hunt for the shark fin trade is responsible for their catastrophic depletion.

Matthew Meier   Matthew Meier
Vortex

Go, go, go! At our skiff driver’s urging, we slipped into the water as quickly and quietly as possible, in hopes of snorkeling with the pod of false killer whales that was hunting in the bay. Again and again, we attempted to intersect their path, but our timing or positioning resulted in views of them in the fleeting distance or not at all. Finally, I was fortunate to have a member of the pod swim past just close enough to capture a few photos with my fisheye lens. At the end of our exhausting excursion, everyone on the dive boat had seen the false killer whales and a few lucky guests had the privilege of swimming alongside a mother and her newborn.

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