Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 3rd February 2020  – Award-winning wildlife photographer and Nikon Ambassador, George Karbus, has released a stunning ocean-based image series, inspired by over 15 years of travelling the globe capturing the beauty of the underwater world and its species.

The images take us beneath the surface of our world’s vast oceans, to encourage audiences to connect with a natural environment often hidden from sight. Equipped with the D850, D5, Z 7 and NIKKOR lenses, George hopes his images will give a glimpse as to what life is like for our marine life, showing that in order to protect and preserve our world, we must go back to nature and appreciate it.

Having spent his youth snorkeling and freediving, George’s photography journey began when he moved to Lahinch, a small town located off the west coast of Ireland. After weeks of exploring the Atlantic waters, it was here he encountered a solitary bottlenose dolphin. George began photographing the dolphin and observing its movements, learning how to swim alongside such ocean mammals with care and respect, building his understanding and ability to best to document them.

An extraoridnary moment with a wild bottlenose dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean

Playing the classic game of hide and seek

George comments: “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 with my photography.”

Since he first began exploring life beneath the oceans’ surface, George has encountered many types of marine wildlife, such as orcas in the Norwegian Sea, and dolphins in the Pacific Ocean – all of which present a variety of photographic challenges. According to George, “There are several challenges. I mainly work with large and fast mammals, so being prepared to move quickly is one of the biggest. I have to react to any given situation immediately, as well as adjust my position to get a great angle and composition – all while making sure I approach with caution to avoid disturbing these creatures.”

Orcas working on a huge baitball of herring in the Norwegian Atlantic

Orca penetrating big ball of herring from below

To document these wild animals, George used the D850, renowned for its speed and resolution, D5 for its ultimate precision, and the award-winning Z 7. George also favours the AF-S FISHEYE NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED lens for capturing underwater photography, along with the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, AF FISHEYE NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D and AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lenses.

George adds: “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 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.”

Humpback Whales catching a breath in the Norwegian Arctic

A large pod of vocal Hawaiian Spinners produce an underwater concert

The Nikon Europe Special Project Programme

The Nikon Europe Special Project Programme offers the opportunity for Nikon Ambassadors - consisting of talented and influential photographers from across Europe - to realise their dream projects. The programme forms part of Nikon’s ongoing mission to support inspiring photographers, giving them a platform to undertake projects they are passionate about while creating a community of visual artists who aspire to do things differently.

For more information about George’s project please visit his Special Project page. 

The kit

During his project, George used the following equipment:

● Cameras:
   ⚬ Z 7 
   ⚬ D850  
   ⚬ D5

● Lenses: 
   ⚬ AF-S FISHEYE NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED
   ⚬ AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR
   ⚬ AF FISHEYE NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D 
   ⚬ AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR