Nikon Ambassador George Karbus is no stranger to the underwater world, having spent 15 years travelling the globe documenting the life aquatic.
In his new series, produced exclusively for Nikon Europe, George hopes to educate the public on the importance of protecting and preserving our ever-changing world through powerful imagery telling the story of ocean and marine life.
"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."
The importance of going back to nature
“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.
“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 with my photography.”
Gaining a new perspective
George learnt how to snorkel from a young age and spent a lot of time freediving in Mallorca. But it was a move to Ireland and an encounter with its underwater wildlife that cemented his passion and gave him a whole new perspective.
“Using my Nikon D70 and D200, I spent time photographing a bottlenose dolphin and its movements. I gradually learnt how to read the body language of sea mammals, and how to behave around them with respect and care.
“This genuinely gave me a new perspective on how I saw the world and what I wanted to photograph. I managed to develop the skills, content and inspiration to photograph ocean wildlife all over the world.”
Building a connection
“The greatest pictures come from having a connection with the animal subject, when it’s relaxed and comfortable in your presence.
“With fifteen years of freediving and thousands of hours in the water, I’ve learnt to read the body language of sea mammals – this is vital for the kind of photography I shoot.
“I have to react to any given situation immediately, and instantly adjust my position to get a great angle and composition – all while making sure I’m completely considerate of the creatures I’m photographing.”
The photography kit
George also favours the FISHEYE NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED lens for capturing underwater photography, along with the NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, FISHEYE NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D and NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lenses.
“The Nikon D850 together with the FISHEYE NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED lens is a great set-up for most of my underwater photographs. I need the D850’s autofocus and high resolution, and its speed and low-light capabilities make it an amazing all-round camera. I’ve also enjoyed shooting with Nikon’s mirrorless Z 7 camera – the silent mode is so useful when shooting in such close proximity to animals.”
o Z 7