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Chocolate Fish Photos

About Chocolate Fish Photos

Here you can find out more about ...
New York

<> Chocolate Fish Photos as a Web Portal

Maori, New Zealand
Maori, New Zealand
Waiotapu, New Zealand
Waiotapu, New Zealand

Welcome to Chocolate Fish Photos, the independent and exclusive image library for travel photographer Oliver Ross. This website exists since the year 2000 and the name was inspired from the time when the photographer lived in New Zealand where cafés sometimes serve their hot drinks accompanied by a chocolate coated marshmallow fish, just like the one above.

Since its humble beginnings, the website has seen major changes. In March 2004 the entire site was rewritten in PhP and MySQL (based on coppermine). Over the years, functions have been added that facilitate the more efficient handling of customer orders, both for fine art prints and downloading digital copies for commercial licensing. It is possible to leave comments on individual pictures, or send them as electronic greeting cards. There is also a multilingual search function which speeds up the process of locating an image on a particular topic or from a particular location.

The pictures are available for sale, either as fine art prints or for commercial image licensing. See the order info page for more information or check out my portolfio.

<> The Photographer behind Chocolate Fish Photos

Oliver Ross

To be a travel photographer means to hike, climb, walk and experience some of the most beautiful and remote corners of the earth. It means trekking across icy mountain passes, through insect infested swamps, or along tranquil tropical beaches. It means sleeping cosily suspended in your hammock, restlessly in a flea infested makeshift bed, or not at all while travelling on some dilapidated bus. It means listening to the soothing sounds of a mature old forest, the whispering silence of an endlessly stretching desert, or the commotion

Nelson Lakes, New Zealand
Nelson Lakes, New Zealand

of a bustling bazaar. It means meeting the friendly local who offers you food and shelter, the Buddhist monk who offers just a friendly conversation, or the con artist who offers you the free ride of your life. While all these experiences may appear very different, they all share the same invigorating simplicity and teach us an appreciation of beauty, a sense of feeling connected and close to the world, its liveliness and chaotic order.

The decisive moment!
The decisive moment!

I began with photography out of a fascination for nature and the desire to capture the inherent natural beauty of a place as faithfully as possible. Today, the natural environment is often a remote or even non-existent element in many modern city lifestyles. As a result, human activity and economic profiteering have made the truly unspoilt places increasingly rare on this planet. One of the aims of my work is therefore to try and overcome this alienation by re-establishing a sense of proximity to nature. I try to convey through my photographs these same feelings of passion and awe to the viewers that originally inspired me to take the photograph. To achieve this, I carefully select and analyse a subject until its essence is revealed and can be distilled into a single image.

It was Pablo Picasso who once said: "I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn." I wouldn't give up so readily because there are still the different styles of photography to explore. More recently, for instance, I have become interested in a style which is

Oliver Ross

often referred to as photographic realism as it depicts scenes of everyday life and local culture. It is all about 'The Decisive Moment', the virtual point where eyes, heart and brain meet (the words of Henry Cartier-Bresson). So you are bound to see a bit more of this in the time to come.

Born in Germany, with a German mother and a French father, I originally trained as a scientist (MSc in Physics, PhD in Oceanography) working in the fields of optical remote sensing and bio-physical interactions in the ocean (turbulence and plankton). Through science I was not only able to gain deeper insights into the natural world but it also gave me the opportunity to live and work - or at least spend considerable amounts of time - in many of the countries that I have photographed.

Please also visit my portolfio. If you like my work, I am also available for hire to do commissions and contract work. Please contact me for details.

<> Equipment

These are the main items in my camera bag ...

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
  • Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM
  • Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • Tamron SP 90mm F2.8 1:1 Macro
  • Sigma 15mm F2.8 EX Fisheye
  • B&W filters (UV, Cir. Pol., 81b)
  • 2 tripods
  • Canon EOS 5 + VG10
  • 2x Canon Speedlight 430EZ
  • Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED

In 2012 I retired my EOS 5D and upgraded to the 5D Mark III. My standard travel kit now contains the EOS 5D Mk III with either the 28-135 IS or the 24-105L plus the 17-40L and 70-300 IS lenses. Both the 24-105L and 28-135 are great all-rounders and their image stabiliser allows for hand held shots down to 1/10s like in this example. While the L lens is a little sharper, it is also bigger and heavier so the choice on which lens to pack typically depends on the situation. If it is essential to pack light, I tend to use the 28-135 which has the added bonus of a slightly longer tele end which can come in handy as you don't need to change lenses that often. The 17-40L is of course ideal for capturing sweeping panoramas or large interiors but it can also be used to create


unusual perspectives. The 90mm macro is one of the sharpest lenses I ever used and delivers beautiful portraits and macro images. With the 70-300 tele it is possible to take pictures far from the subject or to simply obtain a compressed perspective. The Canon EF 50mm delivers very sharp images and its large maximum aperture of 1.4 delivers images with an extremely shallow depth of field. With the 180° field of view of the Sigma fish-eye, it is possible to produce visually stunning photographs.

Almost all images that appeared on Chocolate Fish Photos before 2007 were scanned from film with the Nikon 5000ED film scanner. The scanning can be quite tedious and time consuming, however, especially if you have to scan hundreds or thousands of images. As a consequence, in 2007 I started to use the Canon EOS 5D with its full frame sensor. Almost all images in the Montenegro Gallery were taken with this camera. Due to its large ISO range it is also well suited for interiors like in this gallery featuring Istanbul Mosques.

<> Film

Images that appeared on Chocolate Fish Photos before 2007 were taken on one of these films:

  • Fuji Velvia 50
  • Fuji Velvia 100F
  • Fuji Provia 400F
  • Kodachrome 64
  • Kodak Professional Elite 100
  • Ilford 100 delta
  • Ilford 400 delta
Before switching to digital in 2007, the standard travel films for me were the Fuji Velvia and the Fuji Velvia 100F but I also occasionally used Kodachrome and Kodak Elite which tend to give slightly warmer images. The Provia 400F can be used for darker environments like forests. For the black & white photography I prefer to use Ilford's 100 and 400 Delta which I develop and print myself.

<> Selected Publications

Selected clients and recent publications featuring images from Chocolate Fish Photos:

Selected Publications

  • Blogwerk AG - ebookers.ch ch
  • Rebel Communication ch
  • Festspielhaus Baden-Baden de
  • DBB Vilnius lt
  • Capital Swiss ch
  • Labirinto Viaggi it
  • CITY ZEN - "How to drive a roundabout" CD Cover pt
  • Ebner Stolz Mönning Bachem - law firm de
  • Deutsche Bank - London uk
  • Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers USA
  • Baum & Garten, agentur für kommunikation de
  • wordshop uk
  • Ferrytells Verlags- und Beratungs GmbH at
  • Steigenberger Hotels at
  • AAA Northern California, Nevada, & Utah usa
  • Chenelière Éducation Canada
Notable Publications:
  • "Architect: The Pritzker Prize Laureates in their own Words", Ruth Peltason and Grace Ong-Yan (eds.), Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2010.
  • Past &: Present Magazine, 2010.
  • "Rapport Schuman sur l`europe 2011" Editions Lignes de Repères, 2011.
  • "Hundertwasser in Wien". Ferrytells, 2011.


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