This post is also available in: Dutch.
In his or her quest for the perfect picture, a wildlife photographer will always search for the eyes of the moving wonders in front of the lens. Plants will ‘wow’ us with their reproductive attractions, which can be found in myriads of shapes, colors and smells. But when it comes to animals, the eyes are what draws us towards them. Some animals, like spiders, have more than two, which tends to awaken a sense of alarm in many people. Maybe it is our constant urge to anthropomorphize everything around us, that is, the wish to turn everything around us into something that looks and acts comfortably human (poor chihuahuas in those pink dresses!), that tends to instill a sense of horror while observing beautiful ‘alien’ lifeforms. A pity!
Anyway, the eyes are what a catchy picture is all about. At least one eye of the organism should be as sharp as can be, otherwise the file will be dumped in the digital trashcan right away. For us, the eyes are the windows to the soul. We will distrust a person right away if he or she diverts his or her eyes constantly. Clearly we also like to perform our soul-searching tricks on animals. No eye – lousy picture. I’m sure, though, that animals would like to do some soul-searching in return. I’m afraid the question they would like an answer to has nothing to do with an urge to mentally transform us into one of them. They are not particularly interested in humans. We are more of a huge pest to them. Their question will be simple: why?