What you lookin' at?
Updated: May 24, 2020
"I see you . . . you see me . . ." we really are one big family aren't we? Some of my favorite shots are when what I am photographing is staring back at me. There's something about the recognition between us, the connection, the acknowledgment of presence that always gets me. For me when I'm rifling off a burst of shots in that spilt moment I know when it happens between frames.
It can be a challenging perspective however. When I think of most visuals of animal that I have seen in books, publications, artwork and online the majority of them are not looking straight at the viewer. Most of the time it's action, or an angled profile of some sort. The straight on shot can be confusing to the eyes at first, particularly with birds, the foreshortening of the beak does not seem natural. However what it does do for me is give the subject a personality.
Each one of the images below tell a story in expression. Which is hard because expression is something identifiably human. Is it we want to humanize things we see? Is it the true expressive nature coming out? I believe it's both. I want to feel connected to nature, I want nature to feel connected to me. I also recognize the instinctual behavior happen here as well. That can be protection, alertness, defensive or even just hey I see you, "what you lookin' at?