It is said that the eyes express everything. And the eyes of animals? Of the hundreds of encounters I have had with animals large and small, the ones I hold most warmly in my memory are those in which the emotion flowed directly from the eyes of the creature being photographed. In the gaze. It seems that the photographs created at that time remember these emotions even better. Thanks to them, I can recall those moments at will and get excited about them. Because there is also some magical power in the animal’s gaze, something difficult to describe. Each time, behind each unconsciously posed animal character, there is a different emotion in his or her eyes: curiosity, wonder, surprise, insight, concern, fear, amok, and finally wildness. However, all these imperfect categories come from within the human world.
Although I myself am against anthropomorphisation – the cheap humanisation of animals – I think that, for lack of a better, more animal-like set of terms, we sometimes have no choice but to use some of the terms appropriate to us. For two reasons. First, psychology is increasingly proving the common roots of our and animals’ behaviour. Secondly, by using our terms judiciously and without overinterpretation, we have a chance to understand the living being looking at us, a chance to see the individual in him. However, both heart and reason must go hand in hand here. And empathy!
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