Features by our regulars

Mirrorless Cameras & Wide-Angle

February 17, 2014 - 19:01
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The story is found: 
on page 87

In this article, the final one in the series, I will explain my personal experience with wide-angle underwater photography using the Olympus OM-D EM-5 camera.

With macro photography, the dynamic range is rarely very wide, as there are typically no extreme highlights if an image has been properly exposed, so virtually all modern digital cameras are eminently capable of doing a good job of macro with the right lenses and in the right hands.

Washington State's Hood Canal

February 17, 2014 - 17:30
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The story is found: 
on page 60

Over ten years have past since my last dive in Hood Canal. I’m not sure why, probably because I’ve been so focused on exploring the pristine waters of British Columbia that the extra effort of driving so far south has always deterred me. But when Adventures Down Under, a dive shop in Bellingham, invited me to join their group for a Hood Canal dive charter, I was too curious to say anything but yes.

But for this trip our group of seven met up with Don Coleman, owner and operator of Pacific Adventure at the Pleasant Harbor Marina on the west side of Hood Canal, off Highway 101. It was a typical chilly January day where air temperatures may have climbed to a balmy 30°F (-1°C).

South Africa: Sardine Run & Cage Diving

February 17, 2014 - 17:20
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The story is found: 
on page 16

The world in one country is an oft-used quote to describe South Africa and is not unwarranted. Along with dramatic scenery and a rich cultural heritage, it is a nation renowned for its diversity of ecosystems and wildlife.

However, its undersea environs rival the terrestrial abundance. From northern subtropical reefs to the chilly waters of the cape, South Africa offers a wealth of marine life few nations can rival.

I had a brief introduction several years earlier, visiting Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks in KwaZulu-Natal and the Kruger National Park [see X-RAY MAG issue –ed].

Solomon Islands: Diving New Georgia

January 02, 2014 - 15:55
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The story is found: 
on page 50

Like a series of random punctuation marks, the many islands of the Solomons archipelago lay along the southern section of the Pacific Ring of Fire, in between the countries of Papua New Guinea to the north, and Vanuatu to the south.

Underwater, there are rich reef systems and an amazing variety of marine life together with one of the highest concentrations of WWII wrecks in the Pacific.

Frankenwald - A World-Class Wreck Dive

January 02, 2014 - 15:15
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The story is found: 
on page 8

On 6 January 1940, the German freighter Frankenwald was caught in a treacherous current on the Norwegian west coast. With a deafening noise, German steel met Norwegian rock, and ship and cargo was lost. All that's left now is a world-class wreck dive.

Perhaps the captain takes a moment to think about his homeland, which just a few months earlier was plunged into war. He is safe here inside the Norwegian fjords; but, in international waters just off the coast, the Royal Navy is looming.

Churchill

December 09, 2013 - 09:23
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The story is found: 
on page 74

Trekking Canada’s Sub-Arctic Region in Manitoba

Rob entered with a splash and we descended to 16 meters (55 feet) at the top of a flat pinnacle in Button Bay not far from the town of Churchill. Visibility gradually increased with depth, unlike the water temperature, which decreased to 2.7°C (37°F).

San Juan Islands

October 28, 2013 - 15:08
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The story is found: 
on page 47

Every now and then I get an assignment close to home, which means my dive buddy and I can usually load up the car with dive and photography gear, and maybe a kayak or two, and head out for a full weekend of adventurous exploring. If the location is exceptional, like an assignment to dive in Washington State’s San Juan Islands, we often allocate several days to experience all that’s available.

This would be great if we wanted to do some shore diving, since the ferries haul automobiles, but boat diving was on our agenda. To accommodate, we hooked up with a group of divers leaving from Anacortes on the dive charter boat, Lu Jac’s Quest, run by Phil Jensen.

Indonesia's Raja Ampat

August 13, 2013 - 14:36
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The story is found: 
on page 41

Incredibly rich waters

Arus kencang are the words you need to listen out for—you will hear them in the rapid interchange between the dive guides and the boat boys, as they discuss the practicalities of safely immersing a group of “bule” (slang for foreigners) in the waters of Raja Ampat.

The incredible reefs and tremendous biodiversity of the Raja Ampat area have made this remote part of the Indonesian archipelago one of the hottest dive locations in the world, and those currents are the very lifeblood of the area.

Mirrorless and Macro

April 23, 2013 - 16:29
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The story is found: 
on page 60

In this article, the fourth in the series on mirrorless cameras, we will look at the potential of these cameras for macro underwater photography. In this article, the fifth in the series, we will take a close look at how the Olympus OMD-EM5 mirrorless camera performs underwater, but first a quick refresher on the story so far and why the OMD.

Most underwater photographers start their personal journey with some form of macro set-up because it offers the cheapest and easiest way to achieve consistent results that are both sharp and properly exposed with vibrant eye-catching colors— which is usually when the bug really starts to bite.

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