Matthew Meier

Silver Bank: Swimming with Humpback Whales in the Dominican Republic

September 24, 2020 - 13:15
The story is found: 
on page 18

Slipping softly into the water, I had a straight path to the mother and calf that were resting near the surface only a short distance away. We closed the gap as quietly as a group of excited first-time whale watchers could manage and were rewarded with an initial glimpse of humpback whales from under the water. The newborn stayed close to its mother and swam up and over her rostrum as we looked on.

We stayed that way, frozen in the gaze of one another, for what felt like several minutes before mom slowly turned and gently guided the calf away. Her giant pectoral fin passed in front of my lens, and soon after, a massive tail came into view before gradually fading off into the distance.

Indonesia's Banda Sea

July 19, 2020 - 17:14
The story is found: 
on page 12

Five minutes into my first dive in the Banda Sea, I came face-to-face with a scalloped hammerhead shark, gliding effortlessly in its underwater realm as it emerged from the depths to investigate the alien visitors descending from above. A second hammerhead swam past a moment later but was less bold in its approach and quickly disappeared back into the abyss.

The Banda Sea is a region within the Indonesian archipelago, located in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is situated south of the Maluku Islands, east of the island of Sulawesi and north of Timor Island.

Socorro: Big Animals at Mexico’s Revillagigedo Islands

July 29, 2019 - 12:22
The story is found: 
on page 21

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.

This was definitely one of the more exhilarating surface intervals I have ever experienced and an incredible bonus animal sighting on top of all of the manta rays, sharks, dolphins and huge schools of fish we had already encountered while diving. Welcome to big-animal paradise!

The Bahamas' Tiger Beach

July 29, 2019 - 12:20
The story is found: 
on page 21

Standing on the swim step, trying to time my entry with a gap in the dozen or more lemon sharks circling directly below me was a bit daunting the first go around. Of course, the sharks knew this routine well and skillfully avoided my clumsy splash into the water. The reward waiting beneath the surface was an assemblage of sharks that cannot be collectively encountered anywhere else in the world.

As I settled onto the sandy bottom, a mere 20ft below the boat, a curious and very pregnant 13ft tiger shark came over to welcome me to her neighborhood.

French Polynesia’s Tuamotu Archipelago

November 24, 2017 - 13:47
The story is found: 
on page 35

Situated east of the more widely recognized Society Islands such as Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, the Tuamotu Archipelago comprises around 80 islands and atolls stretching northwest to southeast across the South Pacific Ocean, creating the longest chain of atolls in the world.

After two days of waiting and several failed attempts, Mother Nature finally rewarded divers on the liveaboard with an incoming current at the famed Tiputa Pass on Rangiroa Atoll.

The Philippines' Southeast Bohol: Diverse Diving at Anda

August 24, 2017 - 14:57
The story is found: 
on page 49

Tap, tap, tap! Our dive guide was rapping on his tank with such enthusiasm that I knew he had found something truly special. I had been searching in the muck for over an hour in hopes of finding octopus, but so far, had come up empty. As I swam over to where he was hovering, you could see the broad smile on his face as he pointed to his slate.

I had never seen a blue-ringed octopus before, and as I tried to control my excitement and ready my camera, the guide pointed with his reef stick at a lump in the sand.

Solomon Islands – 75 Years after World War II

July 07, 2017 - 22:41
The story is found: 
on page 10

My journey to the Solomon Islands began with an exciting dive experience and an unforgettable taste of history. Passing 100ft (30m) on my way down to 170ft (52m), I began to question the intelligence of this decision. I was in a very remote corner of the globe, with minimal surface support, dropping to a very deep depth and all on a single tank of air.

The plan was simple, descend down the sloping coral reef until we hit the seabed, spend six to seven minutes on the bottom and then begin the slow ascent back to the surface, punctuated by 25 plus minutes of decompression stops.

Guadalupe Island: Great White Shark Adventure

September 05, 2016 - 15:45
The story is found: 
on page 40

Rising out of the depths, a shape emerges from the shadows, methodically swimming in a wide arc. The outline is unmistakable, as it continues to climb and inch closer at every turn. With one last pass, seemingly in slow motion, I am struck by the sheer enormity of the creature in front of me. Visions of Martin Brody voicing his famous line, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” play through my head.

There is no way to truly put into words the exhilaration of seeing a great white shark swim past you, only a few feet away.

Maldives: The Southern Atolls

January 06, 2015 - 23:13
The story is found: 
on page 22

The subtle knock on the door roused me from my slumber. It was 2 a.m. and the wake-up call could only mean one thing. A whale shark had finally appeared to feed on the large aggregation of plankton attracted to the light set out behind the boat. I scrambled out of bed and raced upstairs to get my camera.

For the next hour and a half, I snorkeled alongside the largest fish in the ocean, as it gulped down mouthfuls of seawater and krill, essentially ignoring my presence as it enjoyed a free midnight snack. Almost everyone had gone back to bed by the time I emerged from the water.

An Overview of Photo Editing Software

May 01, 2014 - 15:52
The story is found: 
on page 85

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?

Adobe Photoshop