I want to show that nature is here for us. I believe in order to save our world, we must love it – that’s what I want to inspire in people.
Nikon Ambassador, George Karbus, shares a glimpse of what life is like below the surface of our vast oceans, travelling the globe and capturing the unique beauty of the underwater world and its remarkable species.
Q: Where did your photography journey begin? What inspired you to photograph underwater sealife?
When I was little, my father taught me how to snorkel in the Black sea and I always spent a lot of time freediving in Mallorca. I later moved to the west coast of Ireland, and everything came together. I found this incredible solitary bottlenose dolphin off the coast, and using my Nikon D70 and D200, spent time photographing it and its movements..
Q: What challenges do you face when shooting animals underwater?
I mainly work with large and fast mammals such as whales and dolphins, so being prepared to move quickly is the biggest challenge.
Q: When freediving with ocean wildlife, how do you ensure you do not disturb these animals in their natural environment?
I had the best teachers! Fifteen years of freediving and thousands of hours in the water, respecting sea creatures as I’ve learnt to swim alongside them.
These experiences taught me how to dive down without any effort and glide through the water. I’ve learnt to read the body language of sea mammals, a skill which I use in every single location I visit around the world.
I believe the greatest pictures come from having a connection with the animal subject, when it is relaxed and comfortable in your presence.
Q: How does your Nikon equipment help you shoot ocean and landscape photography, as well as underwater?
The Nikon D850 together with the AF-S FISHEYE NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED lens is a great set-up for most of my underwater photographs. I love the D850’s autofocus and high resolution, and its speed and low-light capabilities make it an amazing all-round camera.
Q: What message do you want to convey with your Special Project?
With my story, I want to show that nature is here for us. I want to inspire people to go back to nature and connect with it.
We are constantly wiping away food sources from animals in the ocean, which will have serious implications for natural ecosystems, while the impact of climate change on our natural world and its species is now impossible to ignore.
Thanks to the internet and social media, we have greater access to information and content about our planet and how we can help restore it. I believe in order to save our world, we must love it – that’s what I want to inspire in people.