Arts and Entertainment

Sea spectacles

The underwater world of Whidbey
The underwater world of Whidbey's coast as seen through the lens of Todd Graves.
— image credit: Todd Graves photo

The mysteries of the sea are as elusive as the moon to most people.

But one advantage of wanting to explore the ocean is its certain accessibility. You don’t have to be a Cirque du Soleil tycoon and pay NASA thousands of dollars to get there.

Todd Graves began diving six years ago. Shortly after that he began photographing his underwater adventures. What started as an innocent hobby eventually became an obsession.

His favorite spots to dive and shoot are anywhere and everywhere, he said.

Using a Cannon EOS XSI Rebel, Graves’ underwater photos reveal a Puget Sound glittering with colorful sea creatures and a world ever enigmatic and awe-inspiring.

Now Graves is showing his work to the public.

Open Door Gallery + Coffee introduces Graves and his photos in an exhibition that features two other Whidbey photographers, Sharon Shoemaker and Skip Smith, from Thursday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 18 in the Bayview Cash Store.

“I was really flattered that Shoe and Skip invited me to bring my photographs to the show,” Graves said.

Getting the photos of underwater life is the reason he keeps diving. He said there is so much to see even beyond the world-class diving at Deception Pass where divers go to see lots of color and fish.

“There are places we’ve been that nobody’s found before. We’ve found a glacial erratic (a boulder that was deposited from a glacier) on the south end of Camano Island that is four times the size of the rock in Coupeville,” Graves said.

Graves has also discovered a sunken barge and has seen octopi floating in the middle of nowhere.

“Essentially what I do is try to get as much light as I can by shooting up at the subject,” Graves said.

“But that’s not always possible, so I’ll use a low aperture. But the water is very green up here. Not like the clear waters of places like the Mediterranean. When it’s clear, it makes for a fantastic photo.”

An artist’s reception is 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.

The gallery’s number is 321-3020. For the Web site click here.

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