It’s widely rumored that Jacques Cousteau deemed the Pacific Northwest his second-favorite place to scuba dive. (The Red Sea was his best beloved, but we’re going to assume that was merely because the water temps there are significantly less chilly.)
Cousteau’s high praise may seem surprising at first, given the cold, gray facades of local water bodies—so often indistinguishable from our skies—but that’s only until you peek within.
It helps if you have a fancy underwater camera, which is what New York–based photographer David Hall used to capture the truly stunning images in his new book, Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest (University of Washington Press, $45).
Hall’s images—which, at times, appear to be photographs of life on another planet—reflect not just the amazing diversity of sea life in local waters, but also the spectacular carnival of colors hidden just below that steely surface.