An Interview with Tom Fisk

An Interview with Tom Fisk

Hello, I am Tom Fisk.  A long-time photographer, but not my career.  I’m mostly a landscape photographer, but you’ll find that I shoot lots of different styles.  When I’m out taking photos I’m always looking for inspiration, something interesting to shoot.  Much of my work is aerial, but I also do underwater (scuba) as well as regular photography.  Land, Sea, and Air.  Currently based in Indonesia. 

I’ve spent most of my career helping others, so working with Our Paper Promises, and the organizations they support, really appeals to me.  If you want specific information on a photo available here, feel free to contact me, and even follow, my Instagram account, @fisk.tom.

Q. What words, sayings, or key phrases do you learn when traveling to a new country - especially if that country speaks a foreign language?
A. "Left, Right, Straight, LOOK OUT!", All the relevant food words, "Hi", "Thank you", "I'm a photographer", "I have no money", "Can I fly a drone here?"

...but seriously, I use Google translate.  It makes interacting with people so much easier and even humorous because Google translate isn't always right.

Q. What kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid? Why do you avoid it or them?
A. I shoot all types of pictures....mostly "landscapes" but the subject of the landscape can be anything beautiful (pristine rural areas), or not so beautiful (massive landfills).  I don't do "formal" photography, portraits, weddings, commercial, food, and the like.

Q. Where is your favorite travel destination? What was the best and worst thing you saw there?
A. My favorite destination is where I currently live.  Now, that is Indonesia.  Like many third-world countries, it is a country of extremes.  Extreme beauty, extreme environmental destruction, extreme wealth, and extreme poverty.

Q. What is your process for selecting a shot to capture? What is the most important thing to consider while capturing? why?
A. Basically, I look at Google maps for an overview of where I want to go.  Look at Street View to see if there are cars there (really makes a difference when going to a rural, remote location...the roads get pretty gnarly in Indonesia) and a place to park that looks quiet.  If I need to walk/hike to the location, what does that look like.  I also get a lot of recommendations from friends and co-workers.  I like to shoot locations that most people wouldn't think are interesting because that means I'm going to capture something unique.

Q. What would you say your eye is looking for when you are out and about? Do you know you have captured something special immediately or only during/after the editing process?
A. When my eye sees it, it'll know.  If I'm out to go to a specific location to shoot something I think will be interesting, but find something else along the way, then I'll stop right there and shoot that instead or maybe in addition. I usually know that I'm capturing something good...just how good is determined during the editing process.

Q. In your travels, have you come across a non-profit charity/cause worth highlighting? If so, what was it called? If not, what cause is worthy of support in your opinion?
A. Obviously there is a lot of need around the world, especially in these trying times of Covid.  I'm a supporter of the World Wildlife Foundation and the Nature Conservancy.

Check out Tom's work(s) here