... with Tom Vierus
Q: Where have you lived so far?
A: I am currently living in Suva in the Fiji Islands.
In Germany, I lived in Dresden, Berlin, Trier, Mainz, Aachen & Bremen. In South Africa, I lived in Belhar (Cape Town) for almost 18 months and in Egypt, I lived for 10 months in Dahab.
Q:What do you love most?
A: Photography and videography, diving, all kinds of outdoor stuff, writing, animals, music, travel, good discussions, humble people.
Q: What do you enjoy shooting the most?
A: My passion lies in wildlife photography/conservation storytelling/photojournalism- above and beneath the surface. Observing animals and capturing their natural behavior is just so enriching. I witnessed so many times how animals share the same basic needs and feelings like we do.
Q: What your life advice?
A: Live the 1love strategy!
Q: What are you shooting with?
A: Currently I own a Nikon D850, D810,
Nikon D7100, a Nikon D90, a Tamron 70-300, a Nikon 18-105mm f/4.0-5.6, Nikon 24-120mm f/4, Sigma 50mm f/1.8, Nikon 105mm f/2.8, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, Nikon 85mm f/1.8, Nikon 16-35mm f/4, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, a Nikon 40mm f/2.8, Tamron 150-600mm f/5.6-6.3, GoPros and loads of other accessories.
Q: When did you start photography?
A: Pretty much 15 years back in 2005 in South Africa with my first Sony compact camera.
Q: Where did you learn how to take photos & videos?
A: Lots of shooting, tutorials and more shooting and still learning all the time.
Q: What dive equipment do you use?
A: I use an Aquatica housing for the Nikon D850 the
Dahna housing by BS Kinetics along with two Inon Z240 strobes, a Sola 800 dive light, a dome, as well as a macro port.
Q: What’s your education?
A: South African Matric (=High School degree)
Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (Thesis: “Recording, digitalization, and analysis of the courtship song of Drosophila melanogaster”) and a
Master of Science in Tropical Marine Ecology (ISATEC Master Program)from the University of Bremen and the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research finished in 2016 with a thesis on shark nurseries in Fiji titled “A potential multi-species shark nursery in a tropical estuary at Ba, Fiji – Environmental drivers of juvenile shark distribution”. A scientific publication about my thesis is available here.
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 that each one of us can practice and advocate in everyday life. 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? No. 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 even if it might mean a (small) sacrifice to you. Start with one thing!
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 in it.
Spread love for our mother earth and encourage people to make a positive change in their lives.
Spread awareness on animal cruelty with my vegan lifestyle.
I think I should stop here or it will get too boring.
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.
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.
I was one of those people who lived
sensibly and meticulously every minute of their life.
Of course, I have had moments of happiness.
But if I could go back in time, I would try to
have good moments only,
and not waste precious time. I was someone never went
anywhere without a thermometer, a
hot water bag, an umbrella
and a parachute.
If I could live again,
I would travel more frivolously.
If I could live again, I would begin
to walk barefoot at the beginning of the spring
and I would continue to do so until the end of autumn.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would contemplate more evenings and I would play
with more children.
If I could have another life ahead.
But I am 85 years old you see, and I know that I am dying.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)
If I could live my life again.
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.