Finalist Adventure Photographer of the Year
Karim Iliya Tonga
A freediver swims amongst a school of fish in a cave in Tonga. "Many fish school in large groups to increase their chances of survival and confuse predators with their movements," says photographer Karim Iliya. "Here in this cave, they are also protected from many of the larger animals that might eat them in the open ocean. No matter how many times I come here, I always find a new way to look at it. It is one of my favourite places on Earth, a place where I can find peace in a world beneath the water."
BEHIND THE LENS
Karim Iliya United States (US)
ABOUT THE IMAGE
- Sunny, calm day
- Taken while freediving
- Excellent visibility
Karim Iliya is an underwater photographer, drone pilot, and filmmaker based in Maui, Hawaii. He grew up in the Middle East and Asia and developed a curiosity for the natural world which has taken him into the midst of battling whales, exploding volcanoes, ice worlds of the Arctic, and many of the fascinating places that humans and animals make their home. Karim aims to use photography and video to show a unique perspective and uncover new worlds underwater that few have the opportunity to see, and to tell stories about people, places, and animals in order to better our world. He has worked in over 40 countries though his passion is in documenting whales, big cats, and other threatened animals in an effort to protect our delicate ecosystems on Earth. Karim has been published in National Geographic Magazine for his humpback whale photography.
MORE IMAGES BY Karim Iliya
Human Connection Award: People & Planet Ocean
ExplorationPhotographer of the Year
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