Updated: Sep 17, 2021
“The eyes are the window to your soul.” ~ William Shakespeare. Everything living creature has a soul, let there be no argument. And, I could not say this unless I believed it. It is faith, I guess. Does an animal have a soul? I do not know, empirically. I believe so. Does a human have a soul? I cannot say, empirically. I believe so. That is the thing about faith.
But I can go one step further. I know that I have a soul because I have experienced what I call God there. So too I know that an animal has a soul because I have experienced it. In wildlife photography you must be where the animals are before the light. Light is everything, and the morning light is just right. It is bright light, low, illuminating the animals’ eyes where in midday light the eyes are in shadow. I want to look deep into an animal’s eyes.
A grizzly bear does not rely upon eyesight. Her eyes are small, but I want to see them. I want to look into those eyes. Or a fox. An eagle. Every time I look through the lens I am looking for something - eyes. I want to see eyes, not in shadow, but in full light. Jesus spoke of the eye allowing in full light. Matthew 6:22-23. It is light that illuminates the soul.
If you believe as I do that all things are connected, all creatures great and small, you and I, the land, God, Creator, HP or whomever . . . than there is a connection. I strive to participate in that connection with a camera. Thomas Merton once said that a camera is a tool of contemplation, and in that spirit, I offer the results.