Friday, February 25, 2011

Steven Frischling's Disaster on Ice

Olympic hockey arena in Lake Placid, site of Steven Frischling's finest hour
Here is yet another FishTale that has changed over time, and as he moved his online persona to a new forum.

First he mentions that he worked for Harvard University for one year, which included photographing the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) hockey championships, which was held at the Olympic hockey arena in Lake Placid from 1993 to 2002.

3/20/03 on SportsShooter
"In 93-94 I shot for Harvard's S.I.D. Fun gig to get at 18, considering Harvard won the Bean Pot, the ECAC and went to MN to NCAA Div 1 Finals where they kicked @$$. "
Four years later and the story is dramatically different, as he is now shooting the ECAC for an unnamed wire service! Not only that, he claims this unnamed wire service shipped him a brand new $5,000 lens just for the event! Our photographer readers say this is ridiculous. A professional might loan a newcomer such a valuable lens in person, but no way would a wire service ship a brand new one to an 18 year old!

In this story, he claims he was in the catwalks above the arena (where the lights are installed) and another photographer bumped him, causing his camera and the $5,000 lens to go crashing to the ice below!

May 3, 2007 Digital Wedding Forum
"My Nikon F3hp w/MD-4 once fell from the top of the catwalks high above the Olympic Hockey Arena in Lake Placid, New York. The 4 day old Nikkor 300f2.8 AF-I (the wire service I worked for had it delivered 4 days before what I am about to describe) with F3hp were being secured to the railing of the catwalk facing the goal. I had just begun securing the rig when another photog bumped into me, crossing behind me (a direct violation of working in the catwalks in Lake Placid) and my F3hp with the 300f2.8 AF-I fell more than 100 feet to the ice below.

The 300f2.8 AF-I was totally destroyed. It was a $5,000+ loss (it was insured, but I was 18 years old and terrified to make the phone call) . The F3hp had a totaled prisim (which you can pop off and replace) but despite it no longer working in aperture priority and the meter not being accurate, the body works perfectly. I managed to get a prisim shipped overnight and shot away for three days of NCAA Division 1 hockey (without the 300f2.8).

Is there any body besides a Nikon F3hp you can drop 100+ feet and still use 14 years later?

Luckily this was 7 or 8 hours before game time and no one was on the ice. The whole wreck caused a major crack and pot hole in the ice that needed to be repaired. The photog who bumped me had his credentials removed by the NCAA."
He claims that the lens was destroyed, and though it was insured, he was "too terrified to make the phone call." What does that mean? He paid to replace it himself? It was a gift from the wire service so he just shrugged it off to bad luck? Which wire service is this?

Additionally, he claims he told off a Harvard student who was giving him trouble:

January 23, 2008 SportsShooter
"I spent a year working as a photog for Harvard University's Sports Information Department. At some point during a conversation a grad student remarked to me, rather snottily "Well you know I go to Harvard." I smiled and snapped back " I got to Harvard 4 days a week and they pay me to do it!""
How very clever!

Thank you photographers who are filling our inbox with these catches. Even if we read these stories back to back we would not have caught it was the same event.

Happy Lying!


  1. The NCAA takes away a photographer's credentials for bumping into an 18 year old photographer who dropped his rig to the ground? Is that what he's saying? That's insane. More likely I'd be questioning what an 18 year old was doing up on the catwalk without someone there supervising him.

  2. Too funny. You are prolific with these posts...or should I say fish is prolific with his lies! Keep them coming.

  3. what's Fish up to? his Twitter is pretty much dead this week. Is he fleeing in shame? no doubt he'll return with a story of being in the hospital and performing surgery on himself!

  4. This guy is the biggest tard on the planet. What kind of moron would make up so many unbelievable stories while claiming to be a PHOTOGRAPHER? Did he not understand he is supposed to have photos to back up all these stories? He is bat-shit insane.

  5. Fish hasn't had anything new on his blog in awhile either. Wonder if he's feeling the heat?

  6. In 1994 there would have been only two wire services that would have conceivably been shooting college hockey: AP or UPI. AFP and Reuters, being foreign wire services, love hockey, even perhaps more than their American counterparts. But not American collegiate hockey and not back in 1994. With room for exceptions, mainstream coverage by wire services of college hockey back then would have pretty much been reserved for the championship game or Frozen Four.

    But local papers often want coverage of their hometown teams in big games, either as "specials," photos sent directly to that paper, or as pictures on the main wire, usually in late, non-prime time hours. So let's assume that there was a voracious appetite by papers for pictures from the ECAC championship that year. The Boston Globe may not have sent a staffer to Lake Placid to cover Harvard. (I don't know.) So which wire service staffed it?

    Well, by 1994, UPI was pretty much finished. There was nothing left--no clients, hardly any staffers, bouncing paychecks. By 1992, for instance, UPI's credentials to things like the Academy Awards and the NBA Finals were being pulled (and restored) for lack of clients. So the notion that UPI would be shipping a 300 2.8 to a stringer to cover a collegiate hockey conference championship in Lake Placid is a bit of a reach. They didn't have any 300 2.8s to cover the Yankees.

    AP, on the other hand, was a tightly run ship. It's conceivable they had New England papers clamoring for coverage of the ECAC. But it's doubtful they were shipping long glass to a kid stringer, especially given that Lake Placid was the fiefdom of a very talented photographer, someone who would have been the go-to person for anything going on up there ever since the Olympics.

    I'd put my bet on Steven shooting the event for the university, then offering a picture to a photo editor at the dying UPI, then claiming that he was sent there by said wire. (Everyone can fudge association with UPI during that era, because literally no one was in charge. It's much harder to claim employment by AP as there were, like, actual records.)

    Steven does make one claim that is 100% true: the Nikon F3HP was a brick of a camera, one many of us miss using all these decades later. Curiously, few folks were still shooting F3HP's by 1994, but there we go again....

  7. also worth noting that if the alleged photographer who walked behind him and bumped him so hard that he lost control of his camera was stripped of his ncaa credential for his breaking of the rules, then wouldn't frischling have lost his credential for not having his rig secured with a safety cable? I know when I hang a remote camera, the safety cable is the first thing that I attach, especially when working that high up.

  8. Here is something that the fish himself would love - did you know that the daily visitors to Fishfraud are enough to fill two A380 aircraft?

  9. ^Amusing! But statistics aren't too accurate. For example it says 100% of our audience comes from USA). We're sure Fish will enjoy the airplane metaphor.

  10. 1000 daily visitors is pretty significant traffic for such a specialized topic. Fish certainly has a lot of fans.

  11. This must be an average from the very beginning. It's significantly more lately, especially over the past week since his paranoid meltdown on Twitter.

  12. I have enjoyed reading this blog, having found out about it three months after it started, so to spread the joy I did some fact checking myself.
    I have worked at Lake Placid covering several events and dropped a note to my fine friends at ORDA (Olympic Regional Development Authority) and asked them to help me research this claim.
    Well it turns out that the 'incident' did happen, but is remembered to have happened in the late 80's, that would make him younger than 18 for sure.
    When I get more concrete info from them, I will update....