FootageHub Brand Spotlight Q & A

Interview with Steve Fish of Fish Tales


Q: When did you begin shooting? Or how long have you been shooting stock footage?
A: I started shooting underwater still photos and 16mm motion film in the mid 1970’s while I was a student at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. After I graduated, I spent 15 years doing commercial photography, mostly studio work of high tech products. In the early 1990’s I got back into shooting underwater video and in 1993 I switched over to shooting underwater full time. I spent a couple years in the Caribbean, but have been in the IndoPacific for the last 15 years.

Q: What are some of the difficulties you face when shooting underwater footage?
A: Shooting underwater is nothing like shooting on land. Even if you are an experienced topside shooter, as soon as you go underwater, everything you know is wrong. You have to deal with a different spectrum and quality of light, you frequently have limited visibility, and you have very limited time to get your work done. Strong currents can make shooting a real challenge, but sometimes that’s where the interesting marine life is. You also have all of the challenges of shooting wildlife that you would have topside, but you have to do it with a wide angle lens instead of relying on a telephoto. This all has to be done in an alien environment without gravity and your life support strapped to your back. It’s a little like working in space, but you have to contend with pressure instead of vacuum.

Q: Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?
A: I shoot mostly with Sony Z1U and Z7U cameras, but in the last year I have been shooting quite a bit of video with a Canon 5D MK II which also allows me to shoot stills at the same time.

Q: What's your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?
A: That’s a tough question. I like all the macro and close-up scenes because I love rare colorful little creatures, but I also like wide angle scenes like SF-FH102-43 and SF-FH101-92 that show the rich diversity of a pristine coral reef.

Q: What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the under- water stock footage industry?
A: You need to spend a lot of time underwater. Shooting any sort of nature or wildlife depends on you being in the right place at the right time. The more time you spend underwater, the more opportunity you have to be in that right place, and the more comfortable you will be so you can get the shot when the time comes.

View all of Fish Tales footage

About Steve Fish:

Steve Fish is a professional underwater photographer, filmmaker and author with over 37 years of diving experience. Since 1993 he has worked full time at dive resorts and on liveaboard dive boats around the world as underwater Photo/Video Pro in residence. His photos have appeared in magazines and books around the world. His underwater video footage has been frequently used in broadcast projects on 3 continents. He is the author of four recent books; two on underwater Video and Editing techniques and two on Underwater Digital Photography. Steve teaches a variety of courses on Underwater Photography and Underwater Videography.