... with Tom Vierus
Q: Where have you lived so far?
A: Germany: Dresden, Berlin, Trier, Mainz, Aachen, Bremen, South Africa: Belhar (Cape Town), Egypt: Dahab, Fiji: Suva
Q: What is your life advice?
A: Stay positive, work hard (and enjoy hard), experiences over things, maintain your friendships, be kind to animals
Q: What do you enjoy shooting the most?
A: My passion lies in environmental photography and filmmaking – above and beneath the surface. I love immersing myself in nature and capturing the positive and negative aspects of the interaction between the environment and human beings.
Q: What gear are you shooting with?
A: Currently, I own a Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro G2,
Nikon D90, Nikon D850, Nikon D810 and D7100, a 18-105mm f/4.0-5.6, a Tamron 70-300mm 4.0-5.6, Sigma 18/35mm f/1.8, Nikon 16-35mm f/4, Nikkor 105mm f/2.8, a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, a Nikon 40mm f/2.8, a Tamron 150-600mm f/5.6-6.3, Nikon 85mm f/1.8, Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8, TC II, GoPro Black 3+ , GoPro 8, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 3, and loads of small stuff.
Q: When did you start photography?
A: When I moved to South Africa in 2005 as part of a cultural exchange program, I took a 4Mp Sony compact camera with me. This is how my passion started.
Q: Where did you learn how to take photos & videos?
A: I am totally self-taught in photography and video through practice, dedication, lots of shooting, youtube tutorials and even more shooting. And still learning all the time. My education as a marine ecologist (M.Sc.) didn’t really help me in this regard (but it did in so many other ways).
Q: What dive photography equipment do you use?
A: I use a Nikon D850 in an Aquatica housing
I use my Nikon D810 in a Dahna housing by BS Kinetics, and use two Inon Z240 strobes, Sola 800, a nd two 2000 lumen lights, and two Kraken Hydra 15000 lights.
Q: What is your education?
A: South African Matric, B.Sc. Biology (Johannes-Gutenberg Universit, Mainz, Germany), M.Sc. Tropical Marine Ecology (University of Bremen, Germany).
Q: What does Conservation mean to you?
A: Conservation is not a boring, peace-love-happy attitude of smoking hippies (well, maybe it is) but something much larger and important. Something that each one of us can practice and advocate in everyday life in one shape or form. Lawyers, doctors, construction workers, office guys, developed and developing world people, young and old, happy and sad, you name it. It’s about small decisions in life – plastic bag? No. Plastic whatever? No. Endangered fish? No. Trophy hunting? Cheap meat? No. Throwing trash in nature? No. And this list goes on. We all have to power to make a change. Let’s make it for the next generations.
As a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), it is especially important to me to utilise the visuals I am creating to drive positive change, create awareness and have them seen by as many people as possible. Conservation Storytelling means what is done with the photographs or films after you have taken them. That’s what conservation means to me.
Q: What’s your aim in life?
A: I have a few:
First and foremost: Leave the world a bit better than when I came into it.
Spread love for our majestic home, planet earth, and encourage people to make a positive change in their lives.
Spread awareness on animal cruelty, and be a voice for the voiceless. I want to help as many animals as I can in my life.
And quite a few more things.. Meet me and we have a chat over a drink 🙂
Q: Anything else?
A: Life is too short. Live your dreams!
If I could live my life again.
Next time, I would try to make more mistakes.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be sillier than I have been.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would be less fastidious. Accept more risks, I would take more trips,
Contemplate more evenings,
Climb more mountains, and swim more rivers…
I would go to more places where I have not been,
Eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
Tom Vierus is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist based in Suva, Fiji Islands. This blog is dedicated to his assignments and to sharing some behind-the-scenes footage.