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for people who care about the West

Photos: Underwater wilderness in the Pacific Northwest

A review of David Hall’s “Beneath Cold Seas”


In 1995, seasoned underwater photographer David Hall made his first dive in British Columbia, at Browning Passage. That was the day he fell in love with the chilly seawaters of the Pacific Northwest and the astonishing color and diversity of life in the depths. Beneath Cold Seas, which won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2012 and was republished in 2015, showcases Hall’s intricate, vivid photographs of the marine plants, mammals, fish and invertebrates — everything from harbor seals and salmon to sea stars, octopus and luminous jellyfish — that live along the Pacific Coast, from Northern California all the way to Canada and Alaska. As marine biologist Sarika Cullis-Suzuki writes in the introduction, “David’s photographs help us zoom in, focus, and see with clarity the exquisiteness of what lies below the waves.”

Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest
By David Hall
160 pages, softcover; $35.
University of Washington Press, 2011.