By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans

EXPLORE the submerged animal world through this photographer’s stunning underwater portraits

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An orange cuttlefish swims through the ocean

Australian photographer Brett Lobwein specialises in underwater photography and captures extraordinary portraits of marine life all over the world.

The art form comes with a host of challenges and some pretty intense animal experiences - Brett once ended up with a two and a half metre crocodile between his legs while trying to capture it on film.

A white spotted jellyfish floats just beneath the surface

The Sydney-based photographer said: “You are dealing with wild animals inc osqntantly changing conditions. It isn’t like shooting in a s studio where you can control the environment and ask the model to change positions.

A sneaky croc is hidden beneath the water

“Getting ‘the shot’ takes plenty of patience and attempts.”

The photographer’s images include a scary snap of a salt water crocodile’s teeth and a cephalopod taking a graceful swim through the bright blue waters of Shellharbour, Australia.

A grey reef shark eyes up the camera

While Lobwein has captured countless species of animal on film, his favourite animal to photograph remains to be sharks.

It's a whole other world under the sea

The 35-year-old said: “There is something about their movements and curious nature that really connects with me.

“They definitely aren’t the mindless killing machines they are made out to be.”

A whale shark opens its giant mouth to feed

Brett began exploring underrated photography in 2010 and following a trip to Tonga to swim with humpback whales, he was hooked.

A whale shark can weigh up to 20,000kg

He added: “I played around with a simple point and shoot camera make years ago as a keen diver. Around seven years ago, I decided to invest in a DSLR setup for underwater.

The photographer's favourite animal to film is sharks
Many strange and unique species live within the sea

“The challenge first drew me to it and then the ability to express my art through photography really kicked in.

“Using my images to change people perceptions of animals that call the ocean home is really what drives me now.”