Photographer Captures Serene Portraits of Siamese Fighting Fish

Curators’ Corner

Photographer Captures Serene Portraits of Siamese Fighting Fish

For Thai photographer Visarute Angkatavanich, watching Siamese fighting fish drift and dart for hours on end is a tranquil escape from the structure of commercial photography.

“Every element in the photo has to have reasoning – why this color, why use a girl or boy in the ad,” Angkatavanich told Raw File. “But when it comes to a hobby or fine art, I have my own right to do anything I want with no explanations, just do what I like to see.”

Angkatavanich uses a macro lens and a Nikon D800 to capture time-frozen portraits of bettas in motion. After carefully tending to the water and glass until both are crystal clear and dust-free for macro shooting, Angkatavanich “finds a good seat” and clears his mind as he patiently composes his images.

“If you think about other things, you’ll miss the moment,” Angkatavanich said.

Obviously, a big part of Angkatavanich’s process is going to the pet store, which he likens to going to a modeling agency. He says he’s not always star-struck by the most expensive fish and instead looks for the most photogenic. Once a photo shoot is wrapped up, he adds the fish to his collection.

Angkatavanich’s images are undeniably dazzling; a hyper-focused macro series like this is rarely a dud. There’s a lot to be said for the patience, concentration and creativity this type of project requires.

Do you have an ongoing macro series you’d like to share? Tweet us at @DuggalNYC.

All images © Visarute Angkatavanich