You may have seen Steven's incredible images posted on Instagram and Facebook as @finripplemedia. Timed to perfection, his astounding images of leaping trout freeze time and clearly demonstrate to us that yes, trout do indeed track insects on the wing and take them in flight.
Steven's magical images astound, delight and leave us in wonder.
Steven has been bending a couple of Epic fly rods for a season or so now and we are delighted and hugely privileged to welcome him to the Epic family as a Brand Ambassador.
Here's a Bio on the man and his 3 top tips for better trout photography - stay tuned…
Steve Ooi fly fisher, photographer
Tell us a little about your background?
The outdoors has pretty much been in my life since an early age, my parents had the travel bug and pretty much took me on a 13-year long journey around Australia, all those early camping and fishing adventures as a child set me up with a passion for the outdoors that has continued in my life. I feel most at home when I’m kind of actually not at home, give me a sleeping bag a tent, and a billion stars under the Milkyway and that where you will find my heart, throw in my fly rod and camera and that’s all I ever need and maybe an acoustic guitar. Based in Tasmania I’m pretty lucky to be surrounded by some amazingly beautiful scenery but also spectacular fly fishing opportunities right on my doorstep.
Why did you get into photography?
Life is about the journey and not the destination, its all those things we experience along the way that make it amazing , quite often I find that same rule applies in fly fishing, There are so many interesting and beautiful moments that happen on the river while fishing and I wanted to capture those special emotive moments that get us excited or inspire us or causes us frustration and sometimes grief, you know that whole rollercoaster of life and fly fishing in general that connects us to the surroundings .
To me it’s the small things, it quite easy to overlook the small things but in reality, it’s the small details that make the big picture. Small things really do matter, and when you start to appreciate those little details then its easy to find something each day that makes you smile and think, wow that’s pretty cool. That principle applies in my life to family, friends, fishing and photography never take the small things for granted.
What’s your one word of advice?
Respect... Respect the river the surroundings and that environment you’re fishing in. If you can, leave it in a better state than you found it. Respect the fish and show them the care they deserve. Respect the other users of that environment, it doesn’t matter if they are beginner fly fishers, or if they are lure fishers or bait fishers or whoever is on the water still show them respect and courtesy the same as anyone else, even those canoeist that may come down your creek and spook every fish along the way. I know it annoying but getting annoyed is only going to ruin your own day, I’m still working on that one not being so annoyed about the canoeist. This leads me to one final piece of advice, realise and accept you have room for improvement in yourself. Life is not a competition to impress, its a learning journey of experiences. When you accept you have plenty of room to improve and learn then you open the door to making changes that will make your own life experiences better.
Where is the journey taking you?
The more I get into the photography the more I realise how important the sharing aspect is. Sharing the experience is one of the most rewarding parts of fly fishing, that’s why in the future I hope to be fishing with more people on a river, lake or creek somewhere sharing those experiences instead of fishing by myself so often. Honestly, I get just as excited watching other people catch a fish, sometimes even more excited than if I had caught it. Quite often it’s not the biggest fish that make the moment memorable, but it’s the people you shared the experience with that makes it special. Who shares wins is my future the motto to live by, share the journey.
Steven’s top 3 tips for better Fly Fishing Photography
- Always have your camera setup ready for fast action shots before you step on the water, it too late to change lens and settings once the action starts.
- Double check your background for anything that may look distracting and out of place but also look for a nice compositions with leading lines.
- Take pictures that tell stories , fishing is a journey and photos can be amazing way to take people on that journey, include the small details that make the trip memorable it much more than just the fish that make it special.