Mark Fitz is often behind the lens shooting incredible scenes of the beautiful Great Barrier Reef from both above and below, leaving his footprints in the sand of some of North Queensland’s most beautiful beaches and meeting friendly furry locals in the wild. He lives a life of adventure and excitement and has the chance to photograph scenes and locations others often only dream of.
We’ve brought Mark out from behind the camera and placed him in front of the microphone for a friendly Q&A, where we get to talk about him, his photography and his love for Australia.
Who is Mark Fitz?
I’m a social influencer and photographer that specializes in promoting travel and outdoor experiences.
How did you get into the world of travel photography?
It started as a hobby and grew quickly from there. My girlfriend was given a camera for Christmas and I began using it more than her!
I started out mainly photographing storms here in Queensland during the summer months but once storm season finished I wanted to start shooting other subjects and that’s when I started shooting more from our holidays and adventures underwater.
How do you capture the perfect underwater shot?
There are a few things that need to go right to capture the perfect underwater shot. Before you even get in the water you need to have the weather and conditions on your side.
A nice sunny day with good visibility underwater is very important and then you need the marine life to put on a show. My favourite underwater subjects are turtles and sometimes they can be a bit camera shy, so a lot of patience is required too!
What equipment do you use to capture your shots?
I shoot with an Olympus E-M1 Mark II with 12-100mm and 7-14mm Olympus lens’ and an Olympus underwater housing with a dome port. The E-M1 Mark II can shoot at up to 18 frames per second, which is amazing for capturing fast moving sea life underwater.
What is it about Tropical North Queensland, the coast and the ocean that appeals to you most?
I love being outdoors and in the water, it’s so relaxing and the weather and coastline here are perfect for those activities. Winter pretty much doesn’t exist here so you can be in the water all year round.
Having the Great Barrier Reef in our backyard is also amazing and opens up so many unique photography opportunities as well.
What is your favourite hidden location in Australia?
We recently found a hidden little gem of a beach on a shoot we were doing in the Mackay region. We nicknamed it ‘Secret Beach’ and spent a few hours photographing it.
The beach had beautiful white sand, there were vines draping down from the trees behind us and the most unique shells I’ve ever seen on a single beach.
I’m keen to get back there and do some snorkelling as well, the reef looked incredible from the beach. Where exactly is it? You’ll have to visit to find out!
What is one destination in Australia you dream of visiting?
The top of my bucket list here in Australia at the moment is to visit Ningaloo in Western Australia. From all reports, the coastline and snorkelling are amazing and I love swimming with whale sharks – so I’d love to do that too.
What has been your most memorable Australian experience to date?
My top experience in Australia has been visiting Lady Elliot Island. The turtles there are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met, the water in the lagoon is crystal clear and the coral gardens on the other side of the island are absolutely stunning.
How do you decide your next adventure?
I love the ocean, so generally, the biggest drawcard to a destination for me is being able to spend time by the ocean and hopefully in it. If there are good snorkelling or water based activities then that’s a big plus.
What do you love about Australia?
We have such a diverse country and landscapes that very few other places have. From the Great Barrier Reef to the rainforests and the outback there really is something for everyone.
List your top three Australian bucket list experiences.
My top 3 Australian experiences so far include:
Swimming with turtles at Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef
Sunrise and sunset at Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge in the Northern Territory
Exploring Christmas Island. It has incredible snorkelling and diving, amazing wildlife and stunning landscapes from jungle to jagged cliffs, through to beautiful white sandy beaches.
Who inspires you?
My favourite photographer is Chris Burkard. His ability to capture a wide range of incredible photos from above and below the water is very inspiring.
Instagram is also a fantastic resource for inspiration, there are so many amazing photos being posted every day that inspires me to try different styles and visit new locations.
Describe your photography style in three words
Bright. Colourful. Happy.
What does the future look like for Mark Fitz?
Lots of travel to new and unique locations, getting up close with nature and spending as much time in the water as possible!
All photos courtesy of Mark Fitz
If you’re eager to photograph and experience Australia for yourself, you can browse thousands of experiences around the country online here.