Fish on a Surface Interval

Fish on a Surface Interval

P-Center front counter 2Who is Steve Fish? Yes, his last name really is Fish! If you are a frequent traveler to Indonesia you may have heard of Steve. Although Steve has worked throughout South East Asia he has been a part of the Indonesian dive scene for years. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Steve earned his BA in Professional Photography at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California. In 1974 he took up underwater photography, expanded into underwater videography in 1985 and since then from Posada del Sol to Sorong, from sea to shore, with many dive site in-between Steve has had an opportunity to dive with and film many of our oceans most unbelievable marine life.

Steve was Critters@Lembeh and Lembeh Resorts first Photo Pro. He started the Photo Center, now called Cameras@Lembeh, in 2010. Steve was the author of 300 Strait Days, a video you may have seen, chronicling (you guessed it) 300 straight days of diving in Lembeh Strait. Steve himself dived every day filming, taking 1 special clip from each day.

Currently living in Bali, Steve was finally able to edit and produce his latest spectacular 4k digital video. Shot with a RED Scarlet-X, Small Wonders was also filmed at Lembeh Strait. At the time of filming there was no equipment available in Lembeh capable of editing the video, so Steve “canned” it until he had the proper equipment. Given a sneak peak on a recent visit to Bali, I was blown away, the quality is unbelievable!

Steve was generous enough to share the Small Wonders  video with Critters@Lembeh, allowing us to share this treasure with you. I caught up with Steve and asked him about the filming of 300 Strait Days and Small Wonders:










Q: Steve you were in the water 300 straight days, do you have any fun facts to share?
A: Since the idea was to pick just one single scene from each day, you can imagine that a lot of great action just didn’t make the cut.  There were days that I ignored scenes like Mimic Octos or Blue Rings to get a scene of hatching Flamboyant Cuttlefish eggs in.

Q: What was your set up for 300 and what did you use for Small Wonders?
A: Everything I was shooting from October 2010 until about February 2013 was shot with a DSLR; first with a Canon 5D MkII, and then the last 9 months with a Nikon D800.  Since February 2013 I have been shooting everything with a RED Scarlet-X 4K digital cinema camera in an Amphibico Rouge housing.

Q: Challenges with your new set up?
A: Well, in my case, not too much.  Since I was shooting full manual on a DSLR for so long, it wasn’t that big a change for me.  Also, the Rouge housing is very similar in feel to the Amphibico Phenom that I used for a number of years.  It’s a bit heavier, 55 lbs.  But that’s more of a challenge getting it to and from the boat more than anything else.  For someone using a small video camera, stepping up to a RED would be daunting to say the least.

55 lbs!?! 25 kg!?!

Q: Since Small Wonders was shot on 4K what would you suggest this be watched on for maximum viewing experience?
A: The best thing to do for most people would be to watch it directly on my Vimeo channel I’m taking 4K versions of everything back to the US with me this month so that they can be uploaded to Vimeo.  I can’t upload them from Indonesia, I don’t have nearly the bandwidth necessary.  The 4K version of Small Wonders is 43 GB.  That would take days to upload.  Even when I get them uploaded, only a small percentage of viewers will be able to take advantage of it because you need equally good bandwidth to download it, and a 4K display to watch it on.  It’s really worth it though, the 4K versions are really incredible quality.

Q: With over 8000 dives (1700 in Lembeh Strait) what is your favorite UW Location:
A: That’s a tricky question too.  Lembeh is obviously my favorite Macro destination.  I have a fond spot in my heart for Komodo because of the general high quality and variety in a small area.

Aw schucks! We have to agree with that first statement ;). Lol, there are other dive destinations in the world?

Q: Favorite site in Lembeh? Site Map & descriptions
A: Aer Bajo, TK, Jahir, Nudi Falls, hard to pick just one!

Q: What is the most difficult thing for an UW videographer to learn, any advice?
A: For Macro, not getting close enough is the most common problem.  For Wide Angle, don’t be too casual about getting color right while underwater.  Get it right on the dive, don’t try to fix it in post-production.

Q: So where is your next UW adventure?
A: Not sure at this point, I have a lot of topside projects in the pipeline.  I’ll probably spend 6 months in Africa next year shooting wildlife.

As you can imagine Steve has seen and experienced quite a lot; if you meet up with him on a dive boat or at a resort and have a chance to sit down with him for a chat he has some interesting “Fish Tales”.  I’ve seen a sneak peek of Steve’s last topside “project” from Africa and it was so vivid I thought the animals were going to walk out of the screen into the living room! Critters@Lembeh and Lembeh Resort thank you Steve, wish you all the best and say “keep the video’s coming”!

Steve is the author of numerous videos and creator of online apps for Mac products, you can find all these and information on his ibooks and hard copied books at