Ricardo Castillo an adventurous photographer from Mexico certainly got some holiday photos with a difference. Castillo, 39, was snorkeling in the sea off Cuba hoping to capture underwater photographs of sharks but in its place came across another deadly predator in the shape of crocodiles. And he had nothing to look after him from the 12ft long reptiles apart from his camera and years of experience of swimming with treacherous creatures. With his experience as a result he was able to get to within a few inches of the Cuban crocodile and get fabulous shots of one of the world’s most fearsome animals in its natural environment. However, at one point the reptile even touched the lens of Ricardo’s waterproof camera, permitting him to get a photograph of the inside of its huge and lethal jaws.

Ricardo, actually he was snorkeling in the mangroves of the Gardens of the Queen marine park in Cuba. I was there to take shark photographs and the crocodiles abruptly happened to be there. I was in the water to get these photographs it is normal to snorkel with crocodiles in this place. Well, few of the crocodiles come by when they listen to the boats because some fisherman cleans their fish close to the mangrove where the crocs live. When you realize the crocs and the size of them you just need to stay all the time in the front or the back of it never to the side because it is very easy for the croc to bite someone then. I was very close to it. I use a 14mm lens and the croc touched the lens dome of the camera. When people view the pictures the first thing they say is “you are crazy” but people are scared by the unidentified. I always say that diving with sharks or crocs is not about bravery or gallantry; it is about experience and knowledge you have. No doubt the risk is always there, but they’re wildlife but if you learn to observe their behavior you can envisage what is happening. The thing is to know the time to get out to the water safe. Source: Dailymail

A crocodile partially hidden in underwater plant life keeps a beady eye on Ricardo

A crocodile partially hidden in underwater plant life keeps a beady eye on Ricardo

Although he had ventured into the water to take pictures of sharks, the crocodiles just happened to be there

Although he had ventured into the water to take pictures of sharks, the crocodiles just happened to be there

At one point, one of the large reptiles even touched the lens of Castillo's camera with its teeth, providing a rare photographic opportunity

At one point, one of the large reptiles even touched the lens of Castillo’s camera with its teeth, providing a rare photographic opportunity

Castillo had nothing to protect him from the 12ft long reptiles - apart from his camera and years of experience with dangerous animals

Castillo had nothing to protect him from the 12ft long reptiles – apart from his camera and years of experience with dangerous animals

Ricardo Castillo, who is originally from Mexico, was snorkelling in the mangroves of the Gardens of the Queen marine park in Cuba

Ricardo Castillo, who is originally from Mexico, was snorkelling in the mangroves of the Gardens of the Queen marine park in Cuba

Ricardo pictured in his full scuba gear. The photographer's bravery and skill has led to quite stunning images of crocodiles

Ricardo pictured in his full scuba gear. The photographer’s bravery and skill has led to quite stunning images of crocodiles

Ricardo says that he's able to predict if he's in any sort of danger - by studying the animals' body language

Ricardo says that he’s able to predict if he’s in any sort of danger – by studying the animals’ body language

Ricardo says that when people see these photos, they usually think he's crazy - but that's just because they're frightened of the unknown

Ricardo says that when people see these photos, they usually think he’s crazy – but that’s just because they’re frightened of the unknown

Ricardo was able to get within inches of the fearsome animals and snap these photographs, including one with its jaws open

Ricardo was able to get within inches of the fearsome animals and snap these photographs, including one with its jaws open

Snorkeller and photographer Ricardo Castillo captured incredible underwater images of crocodiles off the coast of Cuba

Snorkeller and photographer Ricardo Castillo captured incredible underwater images of crocodiles off the coast of Cuba

The crocodiles share territory with sharks, so these are water that need to be negotiated with care

The crocodiles share territory with sharks, so these are water that need to be negotiated with care

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