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Martin Falklind

When I was a kid, I was always late for dinner since I forgot time and place watching the fish down by the lake, the stream or the sea. That is still the case.

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Featured Photographer

Martin Falklind

About

I was seven years old when I caught my first fish, and ever since that day, my life has revolved around fish. I soon started to fantasize about travelling the world in order to fish the waters of my dreams. But how? My family was not made up of wealthy oil sheiks, and what employer would hire a young boy to fish his way around the globe?
After an education in water biology and a job at a television production company, a plan began to form in my head. Why not make films about eco-fishing and eco-tourism? One step at a time I began to realize my plans, and today I live my dream, as angler, filmmaker, writer, photographer and editor-in-chief for the Swedish sport fishing magazine Fiskejournalen.

Websites: www.fiskejournalen.se and www.ecofilm.se

Interview

Why nature photography?
Apart from anglers and other outdoor types, rather few people care about or understand what goes on underneath the surface of water. Making films and taking photos of the underwater world is a perfect way of making the fish alive and real for those having its future in their hands, i.e. ordinary people like you and I. That is inspiring to me!

What's best about it?
Every day is an adventure! Apart from getting to see amazing places and surroundings the road is lined with marvellous people who love their jobs.

What's worst about it?
Knowing about the great damage us human beings have done to the earth is sometimes a heavy burden to carry. As I see a seabed destroyed by trawling or yet another river destroyed by a hydroelectric power station… It would be so much easier being blissfully unaware of what is going on.

Favourite species and places in Europe?
At home, outside of Gothenburg, the zander is my favourite. It is a really nice fish to eat and it’s exciting to fish for during warm summer nights. However, my European travel mate has to be the trout. I am fascinated by its unbelievable ability to adapt to different environments, which are often the most beautiful parts of the coasts, rivers and lakes. Just imagine that the small brown trout and the big sea trout are the same species – salmo trutta – yet so different. It is as fantastic as if the offspring of a brown bear would run off to the North Pole and turn into a polar bear

What's in the bag?
Since I am a filmmaker as well as a photographer – and fish and dive as well – I always have too many things in my bag. I find it hard to focus on one thing only, and hard to choose between rods, photo equipment and film cameras.

Your specialities / skills?
I was lucky enough to be born with great patience and I never get bored. Without those qualities I would not be able to work with fish. Often, a lot of time passes without any action whatsoever and, on top of that, when something finally happens it is pretty hard to actually see it.

What will you do in your next life?
Then I will pay a greater interest in sports and suchlike ”ordinary” things that normal people do, so that my kids won’t have to ask:
– Dad, do you know about anything at all but fish and fishing?

3 tips for beginners
1) Don’t listen to people saying: ”When will you find a real job?”
2) Listen carefully to people saying: ”Start off by finding a real job!” (At least until you’ve got things going.)
3) Enjoy every minute by the water!

Mission

Migrating Trout
When autumn comes, the sea trout leave the sea and head for the streams to spawn. At the Danish island of Bornholm the streams are small and consequently very vulnerable to human influence. But there is also an anglers’ club whose members have devoted their lives to protecting the fish’ spawning-ground against power plants, net fishing and pollution.
My intention with the film (see the web film with clips from the film) is to portray the fish and their guardian angels, and to try to catch the rare moments when the fish shows itself above the surface of moments with my camera. In order to succeed you have to time exactly when the fish climbs, and lie in wait in a drysuit in the water.

Trout eats mayfly
A small number of intensive spring days constitute the hatching period of Sweden’s largest mayfly, the Danica, which may tempt even the largest trout to leave its diet of fish and head for the surface in search of mayflies. I chose a small stream in the flatlands of southern Sweden for this project, a stream that the members of the local anglers’ club through hard work have managed to revive. For 25 years, they have restored the biotope, prevented pollution and encouraged local farmers to care about the life of the small stream. Today, insects, trout and birds once again thrive in the area.
This rather rare positive example of human impact is something that we wanted to show in our film (see the web film with clips from the film). In addition to that, the photographer in me also wanted to try to catch the magical moment when the trout takes the mayfly on the surface of the water. To succeed, one has to tiptoe like an Indian since the trout is unbelievably shy and can see you only too well from under water. Very exciting!

Best Picture

Best Picture
Brown Trout, Götene, Sweden.

What's cool about it?
What you see is a trout that is closing its jaws over a newly hatched mayfly, just as it is about to leave the surface of the water and head for the open air. A scenario that makes you think of a larger predator rather than a tiny fish.
I find the angle/perspective in which you see the fish’s belly rather unusual and cool, and the black water adds a sense of mystery. And the best of it all – the fish makes unique eye contact with its observer.

Could it be better?
The picture would be even better with a little more light, which would bring out the yellow hue of the fish in a better way. And imagine the same picture, but taken just before the fish closes its gap, so that you can still see its prey. That’s the picture I am looking for next spring!

Behind the Scene
After a day of fruitless sneaking in the company of my fish searching friends Morgan and Clas, we finally found a small pool in the stream where mayflies were hatching – and one trout rushing about like a maniac.
The fish was so preoccupied with its hunt, that it was possible for us to get quite close. It was one of the most skilled mayfly hunters we had ever seen and to watch it hunt the flying mayflies from underneath the surface and then suddenly leap and catch them in the air was amazing. I did not manage to get the perfect picture this time, but I have a new goal!

Date: 2009-06-08
Location: Västgötaslätten, Sweden
Gear: Canon EOS-1 Mark lll, Canon 70-200/2,8

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