These Images Of Dogs Diving Underwater Are Terrifying And Bewitching

dogs under water

Photo: Seth Casteel / Tandem Stock (with permission)

UPDATE: A new set of original film prints of dogs diving under water, from 1997, was recently uncovered by Business Insider.EARLIER: You think you know what a dog looks like when it dives into a swimming pool to fetch a ball. And then you see these astonishing underwater images by photographer Seth Casteel: It’s a startling frenzy of teeth, jowls, eyes and claws.

The near-weightless conditions, coupled with the drag of the water, do odd things to a dog. Lips go flying. Fur and ears lie flat. Eyelids are peeled back.

Most of all, they reveal the intense determination that dogs bring to having fun.

Casteel—a commercial photographer who has worked for dog toy company Kong, JW Pet Co., Animal Planet, and Nintendo—first started shooting dogs underwater about 18 months ago when he was asked to do a portrait of a King Charles spaniel who wouldn’t stay out of his owner’s pool.

Last week, a selection of the Californian’s images went viral (as they say) and now he’s getting calls from all over the world to do underwater pet portraits.

The dogs all dive in voluntarily, Casteel says.

Casteel initially tested the idea with a simple point-and-shoot camera.

It worked.

Casteel holds his breath for up to 90 seconds while he sits in the pool.

He wears a snorkel mask while shooting.

He's taken photos of more than 60 dogs in a range of different U.S. states.

Casteel has flown to Australia to do diving dog portraits.

His pictures are so popular he's gotten calls from 25 different countries.

Casteel uses toys that sink at different rates in order to get the shots he needs.

Last Thursday, someone posted the images to Reddit and Google+ ...

... and now Casteel's phone is ringing off the hook.

When we talked to him, he was interrupted by an interview request from CNN.

(He put CNN on hold while he finished talking to us, heh heh.)

Casteel got the idea for underwater pictures when he was asked to take a portrait of a dog named Buster.

Buster was a King Charles spaniel (like this one) who would not stay out of his owners' pool.

Casteel only shoots dogs who love the water.

And he never shoots pets in a studio.

This is what Casteel and his dogs look like on dry land.

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