Joakim Odelberg: We can’t survive without nature

We can’t survive without nature


(August, 2017) - Joakim Odelberg is a prominent Swedish wildlife and underwater photographer and conservation filmmaker who has covered many stories on marine pollution and other important environmental issues. His images reveal the beauty and splendour of our marine life and the natural world. As a professional LUMIX user, Joakim was among the first to use the new LUMIX G9 camera in the field. We talk with the acclaimed wildlife photographer about his work and ask him about his first impressions of the LUMIX G9 camera.

Joakim, what is the main reason you became a photographer? The only reason I became a photographer is to raise awareness of environmental and animal welfare issues. It began with marine-related issues I encountered as a scuba diving instructor. I wanted people to be able to experience what I witnessed. With my photography I can reach out to people. I hope that when they see my photographs that not only will they see my portrayal of a problem but will also care for and acknowledge the value and importance of nature. We have to realise that we cannot survive without nature and biodiversity; however, nature can survive without us.

LUMIX GH4 with Leica 100-400mm f/4.0-6.3 shot at ISO 1600 1/250 sec f/5.4

What makes wildlife photography essential and what are the challenges? It’s very hard to relate to anything that isn’t in one’s immediate surroundings. Wild-life conservation photography presents a broader thought-provoking perspective. It’s a window into another place or another creature’s perspective. It’s a way for us to empathise with wildlife and try to under-stand its plight. The challenge is that while we can make compromises for wildlife, will wildlife ever make compromises for us? Being out in the wild is always on nature’s terms. One can be well prepared. Everything can be planned down to the finest detail but in nature everything can change in an instant. These are the obstacles we face but regardless of how challenging it can be, nature can also be very rewarding.

Shark LUMIX GH4 with LUMIX 7-14mm f/4.0 shot at ISO 200 1/250 sec f/7.1

Where does your passion for nature and wildlife come from? It comes from my upbringing on the west coast of Sweden. We used to sail around the coast every summer and my relationship with the ocean grew by the year. I was given my first diving mask before I could swim. It was a window into an exciting and wonderful world. I got my first free diving certificate when I was 10 years old and I’ve been diving ever since. It didn’t take long for me to realise that everything was connected, and my love for marine life soon extended to all wildlife.

Black Bear LUMIX GM1 with LUMIX 7-14mm f/4.0 shot at ISO 800 1/250 sec f/6.3

You have been shooting with the LUMIX G9, what is your impression? When I held the camera for the first time I noticed just how ergonomic it felt. The grip is easy to hold and since I have to carry it over long distances and for long periods this is incredibly important for me. All the buttons are well placed and I especially love the enhanced focus button, a totally new feature. With one easy press I can magnify the focus area and make absolutely sure that the focus is where I want it. This is great when working with telephoto lenses in the jungle and having to focus through trees or leaves. Having worked with different LUMIX cameras before I believe this new camera will be very much appreciated by travellers and photographers who also work outdoors. It has all the important outdoor features like weather sealing, but now combined with high performance burst speeds or studio-like resolution shots in full RAW. This makes the camera extremely versatile and flexible to use in any situation. A perfect travelling companion...•

Mountain Gorilla LUMIX GX8 with LUMIX 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 shot at ISO 800 1/160 sec f/4.7

Joakim Odelberg is passionate about using photography to create awareness of and respect for the incredible species around the world. It all started when he had his first diving experience with a manta ray in Thailand, ‘It was one of the best experience, I’ve ever had,’ he said.

[instagram] @joakimodelberg