Visarute Angkatavanich

A blue Siamese fighting fish by Visarute Angkatavanich.

These stunning images of Siamese fighting fish as they dance in the water are the works of Bangkok-based Thai photographer Visarute Angkatavanich. Their quick, elegant movement in the water is a mesmerising scene, captured perfectly by Angkatavanich – their unique sense of motion frozen in time through his brilliant photographs.

The currently unnamed and ongoing series of pesca-portraits is captured through the lens of a Nikon D800, with only a simple strobe light to emphasise the spectacular colouration and flamboyant fins of the beautiful fish. Angkatavanich’s series transforms the common misconception that Siamese fighting fish are disposable – by using them as weightless and isolated subjects, their incredible colouration and elegant movement.

Siamese fighting fish, also known as bettas, have an impressive name to go with their rep, but they are ubiquitous and, unfortunately, often seen as disposable. It’s therefore refreshing to see Visarute Angkatavanich’s photos of the beauty and boldness commanded by these common pets and their tragic peers, goldfish.The Siamese fighting fish, known simply as the betta in the West, is a small fish that originates from the rice paddies of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. They have been bred since the 19th century (and possibly sooner) for their flamboyant appearance and for their territorial aggression. Bets would be placed on fights between male fish, which almost always resulted in a death for one of the contenders. When not fighting, the fish are prized for their extravagant colors and fins. Breeders have managed to isolate a wide range of colors and fin varieties, and can even breed metallic-looking fish and fish with marbled patterns.

Angkatavanich’s affinity for fish came from his childhood, when a small aquarium provoked his intense interest in the colours, contours and grace of motion of the fish inside. We’re just pleased that we’re able to peruse his photographs and see these beautiful creatures through his eyes.


A red and a blue Siamese fighting fish by Visarute Angkatavanich.

A white, blue and red Siamese fighting fish by Visarute Angkatavanich.

A white Siamese fighting fish by Visarute Angkatavanich.

Words by Hannah Lees. Images property of Visarute Angkatavanich.

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert