23 September – 4 October 2009

An insanely fantastic artist friend of ours by the name of Robert Strachan has, for years, barked out an order everytime we went on a dive journey. “Will you photograph fish faces for me? Not side view. Not quarter view. I want full frontal in-your-face fish faces!” Robert speaks in either bold or ALL CAPS – nothing less.

So this entry is dedicated to you, Robert. This time the fishes stared back unflinchingly. We hope these Lembeh Strait muck characters will inspire an amazing painting or two or three . . .

Stargazer - A face only its mother could love

Stargazer – so weird and beautiful.  Often a night dive highlight, we found this during the day

Triggerfish - we usually take these fish for granted until we closely see their amazing colors and patterns. There's so much art in nature!

Triggerfish – we often take this fish for granted until we closely see their amazing colors and patterns. There’s so much art in nature!

A not so common lionfish beauty.

A not so common lionfish beauty.

A tiny dragonet ready for her close-up

A tiny dragonet ready for her close-up

Lionfish unusually still and unbothered by strong strobes flashing. These guys must have a modeling agency that trains them to the MO of Lembeh. Keep still for the photographers!

Lionfish unusually still and unbothered by strong strobes flashing. These guys must have a modeling agency that trains them to the MO of Lembeh. Keep still for the photographers!

The horribly difficult to photograph mandarin fish that comes out everyday at twilight for mating

The horribly difficult to photograph mandarin fish that comes out everyday at twilight for mating

Another type of lacy scorpionfish looking very stern and curious

Another cryptic type of lacy scorpionfish looking very stern and curious