Gawking Gurnard

I like this photo. A lot.

Not because this is a particularly rare or unusual animal, but because it's a unique image of a fish that divers come across quite often…a flying gurnard (Dactyloptena orientalis).

Close-up portrait of a flying gurnard, taken with the Totomega lens

The fish was big, probably just under 35cm (about a foot) or so, and it wasn't particularly shy.

Normally, gurnards turn and show you their rear ends as they scurry across the sea floor (which is why you mostly see butt-shots of gurnards), so capturing an image of this fish staring directly at me was a pretty thrilling experience (...sad what I find exciting, isn't it?).

I wouldn't have been able to take this photo without (a) an exceptionally docile subject and (b) the Totomega lens, which allowed me to get really close while achieving a wide-angle perspective that exaggerates the fish's bulbous eye and bird-like snout.

The end result? Proof that even fish can have dorky expressions.