The hawkfishes are well-known amongst underwater photographers as being very useful fish. You’re trying to get a suite of images that best represent a diving location, you need to get some close-up shots of fish with a macro lens and… great, there’s a hawkfish posing on a coral head and even better… it is trusting in its camouflage and letting you get close.
Depending where you are in the world, the Long Nose Hawkish (Oxycirrhites typus) is a useful subject, with its characterful snout and bold markings.
I’ve shot this animal in the Indian Ocean, but my favorite location to find them is in the Red Sea, amongst large gorgonians. These are often fairly deep and usually growing in high current areas, so they call for good diving skills. They’re quite brittle as well, so you need to be careful not to cause damage.
You can see in these shots how the net-like markings on the fish really match up with the gorgonians’ structure.
On a few occasions, juvenile Hogfish (Bodianus anthioides) can be found amongst the gorgonians. This shot was quite hard to get; the fish is tiny, it was deep, and everything was moving as I had to deal with current.