X-Ray Mag #99

Andrey Bizyukin
81 spreads (double pages)
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Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

On 24 June 2020, I woke up to the news that after 84 years, Olympus was selling off its camera division. As an underwater photographer and long-time user of Olympus camera gear, my feelings were that of betrayal, again. Here is some history on my experience with Olympus, and my thoughts about the future.

Rico Besserdich   Rico Besserdich
Photo by Rico Besserdich

A color cast is a tint of a particular color, usually unwanted, which affects the whole photographic image evenly.

Robert Williams   Roger Williams , Cave photo by S.J. Alice Bennet

I like sidemount. I will frequent­ly, jokingly, disparage the configuration, but I do like it. It can be comfortable and streamlined. It can be very flexible. There is an argument to be made for completely isolated redundancy. Mostly, it is good for moving through places no bigger than the space below your coffee table.

Simon Pridmore   Andrey Bizyukin

“Wait, wait,” you may say when you read the title of this column, “What are you talking about? Aren’t those two things the same? Isn’t a dive instructor by definition a scuba professional? And what do you mean by ‘Road’?”

Brent Durand   Brent Durand

Cool sunlight slowly crept down from the horizon to the kelp beds off La Jolla in southern California. I took another sip of coffee. Sea lions barked on occasion as small groups of pelicans flew up the coast to start their day.

X-Ray Mag Contributors   X-Ray Mag Contributors
North Atlantic humpback whale calf. Photo by Matthew Meier

We asked our contributors what their favorite wide-angle dive was and they came back with stories and photos from some of the most unique and exhilarating dive sites on earth, many of them relaying interactions with large marine life from Steller sea lions in Kamchatka and giant manta rays in Komodo to tiger sharks in the Bahamas and humpback whales in the Dominican Republic.

Larry Cohen & Olga Torrey   Larry Cohen & Olga Torrey

Diving with giant manta rays is always an exhilarating experience. Being in the water with these large intelligent animals is always humbling. They are also spectacular subjects for photography and video. Kona Hawaii in the United States is famous for night diving and snorkeling with the local mantas. This can produce stunning images, but it does take some special techniques.

Edited by G. Symes   Rudolf Farkas

Hungarian artist Rudolf Farkas, who lives in Buda­pest, creates dynamic and intricately composed illustrations of a wide variety of marine life as well as the unique marine ecosystems in which they live. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to learn more about his artwork and his creative process.

Don Silcock   Don Silcock

The southern coast of the large island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea is a truly remote location isolated from the northern coast by high, rugged mountain ranges with no real roads through them. There are no commercial airports here—only landing strips and old WWII airfields used for small-scale charter flights. Practically, the only way to get to the southern coast is by boat from Rabaul, on the eastern tip of New Britain.

Matt Jevon  

For most of us in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, being away from diving in itself is enough to cause withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, factors such as work, weather and lifestyle can mean that we take longish breaks, although I do not think anyone has taken such a long break before—certainly not one that left no choice and one that required significant lifestyle changes and restrictions. It has caused many of us to re-examine our approach.

Melissa R. Price   Melissa R. Price , Florida Department of State

While Florida’s eastern coast certainly offers countless popular wreck dives, the Panhandle is an often-overlooked gem. The Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail provides an enjoyable mechanism for divers to experience the history and heritage the Gulf of Mexico has to offer within the realm of wreck diving.

Melissa R. Price   Melissa R. Price , Florida Department of State

While Florida’s eastern coast certainly offers countless popular wreck dives, the Panhandle is an often-overlooked gem. The Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail provides an enjoyable mechanism for divers to experience the history and heritage the Gulf of Mexico has to offer within the realm of wreck diving.

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