I remember a moment, many years ago as a baby diver, when my buddy grabbed me, signalling frantically at something on a rock. I was clutching a borrowed Nikonos camera with the smallest macro frame attached – this would photograph things that were a couple of inches across, nothing bigger. I peered at the rock but couldn’t see anything special. There were a few frilly things that might have been hydroids. There was a stripy bit which could have been a worm but didn’t quite fit. There was something black and round. I gave my buddy a puzzled glance and looked again. Then suddenly my mental search area shifted from the camera frame dimensions to the whole rock ledge and I gasped. I was looking at an enormous angler fish. At its eye, to be more precise.
These fish might be masters of camouflage but they can’t hide their eyes. And I do think it’s imperative in fish portraits to have the eyes looking at you. Well, OK, there are exceptions. Anyhow, the fish above is a Norwegian topknot and there’ll be a few more fish below. And here, from the depths of my filing cabinet, is a truly awful picture of that angler fish eye. No animal ever enjoyed being poked in the eye by a Nikonos frame.
This is a post for this week’s Gallery: Eyes