By Amanda

LifeBuzz Staff

One-Of-A-Kind Aquatic Photos That Look Photoshopped, But They Are Absolutely Real.

Matthew Smith was born in Britain, but he immigrated to Australia after realizing he had a deep and unrelenting love for the spoils of the Pacific coastline and ocean. There, he began photographing the ocean from a unique perspective: Half above the water, and half under.

Because of the nature of his shots, Smith is able to capture the ocean and aquatic life in a unusual and and sometimes terrifying ways. Take, for example, his shot of the American crocodile, which he snapped after hours of patience and a healthy dose of bravery.

“I think it’s the suspense of the unknown of what lies beneath, the transitional part of moving from one element to the next that feels so magical, and the thought of what alien creatures I might encounter," Smith said. "That is what draws me to taking half-over-half underwater images.”

Smith's work is currently on display at the Australian Museum in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. You can check out his compelling photographs, along with the artist's words, below.

Smiling Assassin

American Crocodile, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba. I wanted to make an image that had both strong eye contact and visible teeth to bring out the character and personality of this animal.

A Shock of Blue

Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia. Despite their potentially dangerous sting, the bluebottle cnidaria is an amazingly beautiful creature. I wanted to demonstrate this with careful lighting and composition.

Ocean Rose

Bass Point, NSW, Australia. A beautiful crimson red Waratah anemone, the rose of the seabed, in a rock-pool at Bass Point, NSW

Your Move

American Crocodile, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba. So for this shot I'm deep in a Cuban saltwater mangrove snorkelling in about two feet of murky water and looking at this through the viewfinder, the business end of a wild two and a half meter American saltwater crocodile (not an alligator). Now my photography has led me into a few interesting situations in the past, but this takes the cake.

A Silky Encounter 1

Jardines de la Reina, Cuba. Shooting these silky sharks off the coast of Cuba was actually an incredibly difficult task. Not because they were hard to find, on the contrary, there were often too many and they move really fast in these open and rough seas!

Physalia Physalis

Bushrangers Bay, NSW, Australia. Lighting was the most critical component of this image, I needed to retain the desired darkness of water yet pick out the detail of the animal.

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