Niagara Gazette

Features

February 12, 2013

Wet and wild

Niagara Gazette — Animal lovers will likely agree there is something primitive and beautiful in watching a water-loving dog race towards a lake or leap into a pool. 

Beneath the surface of the water, dogs eyes get wide, their fur ripples in the current and they look like other-worldly creatures in flight, as shown in images captured by a California photographer whose work is touching dog lovers around the planet.

Animal photographer Seth Casteel’s new book, “Underwater Dogs,”  has spent several weeks on the New York Times best seller list and is gathering fans in Australia, England and Germany. Soon, it will be available in Russia and Japan.   

The California photographer — who also runs a nonprofit organization called Second Chance Photos.Org and teaches animal shelters how to use photos to increase adoption — is in the region this weekend, photographing local dogs at a doggy swim center called Canine Splash on Vulcan Street in Buffalo.  While all photo slots are filled this weekend and the event is closed to the public, those with dogs who love to swim can visit the pools during regular hours. For more information they can visit the website at www.caninesplash.com or call 551-0868.

Meantime, the photographer took some time out recently to answer a few questions about his wet and wild experiences. 

QUESTION: How did you get started taking pictures of the dogs under water?

ANSWER:  It all started with a little dog called Buster, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who jumped into a pool one day.  We were doing an on-land photo shoot in California, and he decided he would rather do it in the pool. He kept jumping into the pool over and over again. Obviously, he loved swimming more than anything else. I went out and bought a little point-and-shoot disposable underwater camera and came back and shot him. That was the beginning of the series.

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