No 5 “Edgy & Extreme” September 15 2015
Cover by Scott Tuason
FROM THE EDITORS
Getting “Edgy & Extreme” means understanding and seeing beyond accepted limits. But this can be tricky. Of course, some things are finite, and, especially in diving, setting parameters for safety means sticking to certain boundaries.
But it’s also true that we are often capable of far more than we realise, and that much of the time the most exhilarating experiences we can have are those that involve pushing ourselves beyond our limits. And it’s only as a result of people doing just this, pushing the boundaries of what is considered possible, that diving evolves. Intrepid explorers continue to dive, map and catalogue extreme environments, and, in the process, are opening some of them up to the possibility of being dived by recreational divers. Cave-diving courses take nerves of steel but are no longer the preserve of tekkies. And you can even take dive trips to the Arctic Circle.
As a result of visionaries pushing the envelope, we are constantly learning more about diving with the oceans’ big predators. Only because experienced people have refused to be bound by the limits of accepted wisdom, these days people dive with crocodiles, sperm whales and orcas, having the kinds of extreme, face-to-face encounters that a few decades ago seemed impossible.
But some limits cannot, and should not, be exceeded: We’ve reached the limits of what the oceans can produce, and it won’t be long before we reach the point of no return. According to a study published in the journal Science, we are looking at a total collapse of all fisheries by 2050. Possibly sooner. Thankfully, some reporters are willing to put their personal safety on the line, getting into some extreme situations to bring back the truth about the challenges our oceans are facing.
This issue we are exploring the ocean from its extreme edges, from remote destinations to those at the edges of continents, from encounters with big animals to techniques that scrape the boundary where rec meets tek. Welcome to recreational diving’s bleeding edge.
Alice Grainger (Editor)
Underwater photographers love to push boundaries, often motivated by the urge to be the first – the first to try a new technique, to use new gear, or to capture an image of a new species.
Bill Macdonald, a veteran cameraman, tells us about his recent opportunity to do just that, to show the underwater world to people in an entirely new way. Becky Schott demonstrates that it’s not only camera gear that can improve our images, but advanced diving technology too, while Tim Ho takes us in an entirely different direction, and reveals how shedding ourselves of everything but the essentials can help us achieve incredibly impressive results. Richard Smith reminds us that cutting-edge images aren’t always about the gear or technique, but can also be accomplished by photographing species never captured before.
What all these cutting-edge image-makers have in common is that they are driven by discovery. They have an idea, and then figure out the tools to get it done. We hope this issue of TTL helps you do the same.
Matt Weiss (Editor)