A Lionfish Makes Love to the Camera

 In Best of, Marine Life, Photography, Prose Poetry, Reflections, Renee's Journal

A lionfish, unquestionably one of the most photogenic fish in the sea, with an eccentric, gaudy profile, elaborate, vibrant stripes and a cantankerous, unhurried demeanor, glides along the reef like an underwater kite. He’s beautiful, he’s dangerous and he knows it – approaching my camera with his spiny dorsal fins fully outstretched, ready to show who’s boss. I can tell he’s curious, as he wonders around me in a stalking manner, slowly undulating the soft rays of his fins as I deftly capture them within the frames.

I try to earn a winsome smile but am greeted instead by bony cheeks with a devilish grin and a furrowed brow. Warily, I allow the spiked fish to get closer, and notice the fleshy tentacles above the eyes and below the mouth, the intricately dotted tail fins and subtle tie-die-like splashes of color on the pectoral fins, and seduce my chance to capture every detail – all while attempting to steer clear of the fan-like venomous spines that come within inches.

He gazes at me fondly, with button like eyes that the camera claims, then eventually retreats to a crevice among the rocks and coral, fed up with all the fuss. The moment is gone but the experience remains, frozen in frames.

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