Todd Bretl's captivating underwater photography
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Todd Bretl's captivating underwater photography

Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, 2012. Photo by Todd Bretl

Are there particular creatures you're drawn to photographing? What sorts of things do you look for?

The best experiences I've had underwater were with marine mammals, probably because of their intelligence. For example, having a humpback whale calf swim up to me and make prolonged eye contact was incredibly special.

Another time I was photographing dolphins at night. I inadvertently started helping them hunt when my camera lights would show them the way to a squid or other prey. Before I knew it I had several of them swimming right next to me and looking at me just waiting for me to light up another squid for them (and that's how I was able to get the shot of the dolphin about to eat a squid). Long story short I'd like to photograph more marine mammals – I'd really love to photograph leopard seals in the Antarctic.