Monday, November 26, 2012

It's All in the Eyes

Last week I went to the zoo with a friend and we had a great day of walking, talking and taking pictures.  I was telling my husband later that it's funny how my zoo photos have changed since I was a kid.  I used to come home with a camera full of shots that showed the enclosures and if you looked carefully enough, you'd see the animal in the space, but they were always pretty small.  I guess that's partly due to the equipment, but I know I was always trying to get the whole animal in any shot I took.  
These days, I love focusing on certain aspects of the animal.  Close ups of faces, the hands and feet of gorillas, and in the case of these shots, the eyes...

They say that we can tell so much from someone's eyes.  I would love to know what some of these animals were thinking when I took these shots...











Now that you've been stared at for a while, let me leave you with this young male lion and his wonderful expression.  I caught him at the end of a yawn, but he looks likes he's having a great laugh, doesn't he?

50 comments:

  1. I had quite an emotional reaction to the eyes. I was almost in tears. The eyes seemed so life like and I could see the intelligence behind them. I wish there was some way to keep all the animals safe from harm.
    Thanks for posting these photos. I will bookmark this post and look at it again and again.

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    1. Wow! That's quite a compliment. Thanks so much. I'm glad that these photos moved you. I too see the intelligence behind those fascinating eyes which is why I find them so captivating.

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  2. These are fantastic. As a nature photographer I am always drawn to the eyes...my archives are full of eyes and no bodies ;)...especially our shore birds. Wonderful job with these beautiful creatures. The last shot would make for a great inspirational poster.

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    1. Thanks Danielle. I'd love to see your archives! And yes, I think you're right about that last shot. Perhaps I'll have to play with it some more once I find a perfect motivational quote to use with it.

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  3. Well, what great shots!!!! And the 'eyes' have it!!!

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  4. Perspectives change as we grow. Great portraits.

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  5. I was similar in that I used to take in the whole scene in photographs now I look for the eyes in animals and the hands and faces in people.

    Great photographs. I really like the elephant's eyes. They always look so sad.

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    1. Thanks. And yes, some of these eyes do look sad...

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  6. Excellent shots. They look sad though - to be locked behind bars...

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    1. Thanks and yes, I see sadness in some of them too. In others I think there may be curiosity too.

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  7. your photos of their eyes moved me. there is sadness in their eyes--or maybe i'm just imagining it. make me sad that these magnificent creatures are caged in order to survive.

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    1. Yes, it is sad and I see the sadness in their eyes too. The 'ghost lions' as they are called are apparently only still alive in captivity. It's such a shame that they have to be in a zoo to be safe from humans who hunt them and poach them because of their rare beauty. How ironic!

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  8. Shelly said that ``eyes are the gateway to the soul``. I think he was right. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  9. What a stunning selection. The gorilla eyes really stand out, they have such a human quality to them.

    Mollyxxx

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    1. Thanks Molly. Yes, they are very captivating. I felt that the polar bear was really looking at me too!

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  10. I just love your post. These are such wonderful shots. I had to smile at the last one. He does look like he's laughing.

    Hugs~

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  11. These photos are great - you must have used a zoom lens, huh? I haven't been to the zoo in ages...

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    1. Thanks Pat and yes, I used a zoom lens. Sadly, the silly orangutans weren't on display because of some roof repairs so I'll have to go back again just to see them!

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  12. It's all in the eyes... What a great collection!

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  13. what a glorious collection, Linda!! oh, just gorgeous!! I just am so moved by these wondrous captivating eyes. BEautimous and Splendiferous!!

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    1. Thanks Currie! These were so much fun to shoot. I must make time for more such days, simply dedicated to being outside and taking pictures. It had literally been years since I had gone to the zoo, but now I'm thinking I need to start visiting zoos in other places too. San Diago comes to mind...

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  14. Love these photos! My silly answer is that they were watching you, thinking, "My, doesn't she look like a tasty morsel..." :o)

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    1. Thanks Jean, you're too funny! I do hope that they're well enough fed that they wouldn't be interested in this tough old body. LOL

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  15. Close ups are so much more fun - you can see all their wrinkles. :)

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    1. Thanks Beverly. I know what you mean...it was the wrinkly skin around the elephant's eye that so intrigued me!

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  16. Wow, is there anything you can't do ....now you have some of the best nature photos I have ever seen....I love how you isolate certain parts and focus on that. From fibre art to this.

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    1. Thank you so much. I'm blushing! I do enjoy a variety of arts.

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  17. inspiring set! congratulations :) keep up the good work. xxo
    Ana @ wonderland

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  18. Oh, I love these! You're right -- these are so much more moving that photos of the enclosures with the animal so small. My favorite is the tiger -- reminds of the Tiger, tiger burning bright in the forests of the night poem. These are all amazing photos!

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    1. Thanks Sharon. I certainly enjoyed taking them.

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  19. Amazing images! Such wonderful eyes.

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  20. With the exception of the lion its hard not to read sadness in the eyes of these animals - I really like taking my kids to the zoo, but a little voice in my head always asks "How do these animals really feel?"

    Great pictures, and if they provoke thought that has to be a good thing.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. So true Stewart, and yet I know that without zoos some of these animals would be extinct. It's a tough call. They do seem sad, and yet the work that zoos do, and the education they provide is so important. Thanks for stopping by...as you say, the thought and discussion is always good.

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  21. What a great idea! Love the gorilla, tiger, and elephant! :)

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  22. A beautiful set of pictures. The eyes reveal the souls of these animals.

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    1. Thanks Pat. Eyes certainly tell the tale...

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  23. Lindos olhares!
    cada um com seus segredos!

    Zizi

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    1. Agradeça-lhe Zizi! Espero que eu dissesse isto corretamente. Usei um tradutor online. :o)

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  24. I think the elephant moved me the most, although you can't see his eye under those amazing lashes! But there seems to be such a wisdom about these giants. I've always been drawn to them, even as a child. Controlled power, profoundly emotional. Great shots, Linda! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks June. Yes, there is something intriguing about elephants. I've always liked them too.

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Linda

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