Rhinopias Revisited

Right after the Night Safari group left Ambon, a bunch of Rhinopias showed up.

Yup, we didn't manage to find any of the enigmatic scorpionfish while there were a bunch of snap-happy shooters around, but as soon as everyone left, at least three yellow ones and a purple-grapish coloured one popped up. Go figure.

I'm certain that the yellow ones were weedy scorpionfish (Rhinopias frondosa), because I contacted my friend Richard Smith to ask. He says he's a marine biologist, so he's supposed to know stuff like this. I think the grape-hued one was a frondosa as well.

I've seen a lot of Rhinopias in Ambon, so it's always a challenge to find a different way to photograph them. They are, after all, not inherently attractive per se, and they have the inconsiderate tendency to blend-in with surrounding stuff.

Coming away with a standard portrait like this one is a straightforward proposition, not much of a challenge for experienced photographers:

Normal pose for a Rhinopias frondosa photograph

On an earlier visit to Ambon in April 2009, I played around with my strobes to show this type of fish in a different light (ouch, bad pun!):


...which helped to separate the fish from the surrounding clutter.

In this instance, I watched the fish for a long time (while other divers photographed it) before deciding what to do.

In the end, I settled upon the angle below. I could almost sense the overwhelming ennui (I think that's the first time I've ever used that word!) emanating from the fish, which was, no doubt, bored of photographers.

Rhinopias looking down on me

Having the fish look down upon the camera lens just seemed appropriate for the occasion.