Seth Casteel is an award-winning animal photographer who has been featured in the largest magazines such as the New York Times and National Geographic. His series of photos entitled ‘Underwater Dogs’ went viral overnight and made him famous worldwide. Seth managed to capture the man’s best friend in the most unusual environment – underwater.
The idea came up quite unexpectedly. The dog he was photographing at that moment, Buster the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (below), decided to turn their “on-land” photo shoot into an “in-the-pool” shoot when he started jumping in over and over again in pursuit of his favorite tennis ball.
Without much thinking, Seth left, bought a little point-and-shoot underwater camera, zipped back and jumped in. The resulting photos were the beginning of his well known series which later turned into a best-seller “Underwater Dogs”.
Why dogs may you ask? Casteel has always been a great dog lover. He has always admired their kind, playful nature. They don’t care who you are, what you’ve been doing, where you’re going, they just want to love you and they just want to be your friend.
It’s no secret that dogs have a whole specter of emotions, just like humans do. It just so happened that his pursuit of the emotion of dogs led him under the water. The water gives dogs the opportunity to explore their wild instincts and they totally love it. This is why you see such a variety of emotions shining through in the photos.
The main goal of this photo series was to raise awareness of rescue and adoption as well as water safety for pets. Most of the dogs featured in this photo shoot hadn’t been underwater until they met Seth, and some had never even been swimming. He trained each dog individually.
He could spend hours in the pool fetching balls deeper and deeper into the water until the dog becomes confident enough to plunge its entire body into the pool. It’s also important that you teach your dog where the exit of the pool is so they know how to get out in case they fall in.
The book of “Underwater Dogs” features more than 80 different dogs, dozens of different cities and swimming pools. The series is so exciting because each dog chooses to participate in its own way. That’s what makes the book even more inspiring.
And here is how Seth Casteel gets it done: