The Illume Effect: George Karbus Czech photographer George Karbus is a host of contradictions; he’s an underwater photographer who doesn’t scuba dive; he’s from landlocked Czech Republic but lives by the sea. Oh, and he had four finalist images in the last Red Bull Illume. He tells us why shooting for the love will always bring the best results. 03/29/2016 © George Karbus / Red Bull Illume So how was Red Bull Illume last time for you? When I entered three years ago I didn’t even know about it – or any competitions. My friend sent me a link, I submitted a few pictures and I was happy with my success! I got good feedback from Red Bull Illume and I didn’t expect that. Lots of people see this competition and it helped me to get my name out there.What was the best part? That’s just being part of the largest action sports photography contest. You put your work out there and see how it does among the best in the world. I was in Photokina [for the Red Bull Illume exhibition]. To see my pictures lit up at night beside the river in Cologne? It was beautiful.This time around? This year I bet the competition will be even tougher because more people know about it, there are more talented photographers. If I make the Top 50 this year I will be delighted.Did it boost your social media presence? I’m not crazy about social media. Instagram I’m totally inactive – I only started in September! I’m more like a soul photographer. I don’t think the amount of fans on social media can measure the quality of your work. A lot of people keep shooting and shooting. I’m the opposite; I prefer to focus on the quality instead of quantity. If I produce eight wow images a year that’s good for me. That’s what I’m striving for. What are you working on? I’m mainly doing my own projects. I don’t get any money from that – it’s pure love. If it works for me then I can produce quality work. I can produce what I see and feel and what my vision is. That’s what I want the most. Sometimes I do commercial work. It’s all good. What inspires you?Wild ocean photography. I’m fascinated by the power and beauty of the sea and the animals that live inside. I live on the west coast of Ireland, and it’s one of the best places on the planet to be. We have a beautiful coastline. We have enough dolphins, whales, sharks, seals to photograph during the summer. We have perfect waves too and I love the elements of heavy breaking waves; I love to surf and photograph these things. All these subjects wrapped together – that’s what I do. You’re an underwater photographer and you don’t scuba dive. How so? I don’t like scuba diving! I freedive. I’m not a great deep diver. I can’t handle anything more than 20m but that’s still enough for me to capture what I want. The animals which I follow like sharks and dolphins I’m capturing within a 15m depth. I train to be able to swim in difficult conditions, whether that’s inside a big surf or freediving to 20m, and produce extreme angles that other photographers cannot provide because they’re maybe not fit enough or they don’t know the sea. But when you’re holding your breath, you have no time?When I work with animals, I try to predict what they do and time my dive perfectly. With freediving, you can be very quick compared to scuba. It’s the same when I photograph waves; you have to be quick, strong and agile to be in position to shoot unique angles. That’s what it’s about. Any tips for submitting an image? You can go out and shoot for a competition but it’s not going to work. That’s not art anymore, it would be like just taking penalty shots to train for soccer. The only way to succeed in such a competition is to shoot all the time, from your heart, constantly, striving for the best. Just go for it.Head to George’s website for more of his images.Submissions for the world's greatest action and adventure sports photography contest closes in only 2 days. So get your submissions in NOW! Download the Ultimate Guide to Red Bull Illume here and mark March 31, 2016 on your calendars.Visit the Red Bull Illume Facebook page or Instagram for regular updates.