Stunning Underwater Photographs of Colorful Bobtail Squids

bottom of bobtail squid

Todd Bretl’s underwater photography captures rarely observed creatures that dwell in the ocean. This is a collection entitled Bobtail Squid, which documents these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The amazing thing about these shots is how they were taken rather spontaneously.

bobtail squid

Most photographers undertake months of preparation before embarking on a shoot of images underwater. Not Todd Bretl though. Spurred by an impulse to try something new, Bretl purchased some underwater photography gear and started shooting on his dives, producing stunning photos of colorful bobtail squids at a shipping pier in the Philippines.

luminous bobtail squid

Bretl literally grew up on a boat in Bermuda and has always been lured by the ocean. Beginning at the age of 12 and till the present, he has been diving to investigate what is beneath the sea. Ultimately, he thought to bring an underwater camera on a dive, since he realized that he became “utterly addicted to the unique balance of art, science, technology, and adventure provided by the pursuit of underwater photography.”

bobtail squid luminous

With that mindset, Bretl took spectacular images of numerous sea creatures. Among those are these images from Bobtail Squids. They are tiny cephalopods which can be found in the shallow waters of the Pacific Ocean. They are particularly stunning with the gorgeous colored markings on their bodies that seem to glow. Bretl came across these creatures when he went on a night shoot in Anilao, Batangas, Philippines. He intended to locate the more familiar reef squid, but instead, found bobtail squid swimming around.

bobtail squid underwater

“As it got closer, it began making these beautiful poses – likely some form of defensive/aggressive posturing,” said Bretl during an interview with “The port of my underwater camera housing is very reflective, and it’s possible he was reacting to his reflection…These were taken in very shallow water, about 10 feet deep, in a sheltered harbor so there wasn’t much current, wind, or anything to worry about. It was mostly a matter of maintain neutral buoyancy so I could float level with the squid in the water column.”

underwater bobtail squid

See the amazing images and creatures here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.