Eye-to-Eye With a Whale in the Ocean
What Does It See?
In his new book about his process, out next week, Beautiful Whale, he describes a moment where he came eye-to-eye with a sperm whale named Scar. “I lowered the camera so that our eyes could meet once again, I noticed his eye moving along the length of my body before returning to meet my gaze,” Austin wrote. “As I reflect upon that moment and reconsider the question, ‘What does it feel like [to be so close to whales]?’ the only word that comes to mind is ‘disturbing.’”
Why is it disturbing? Because, as Austin puts it, the whale challenges him “to reevaluate our perceptions of intelligent, conscious life on this planet.” This mammal’s eye — lens, cornea, pupil, retina, photoreceptors and ganglion nerve cells — is a direct passageway into its brain. And when we look at it, Austin can’t help but see an intelligence there, a connection to a brain that, perhaps, works enough like ours for us to understand each other.
Read more. [Images: Bryant Austin/studio/True Blue Films]
(Source: theatlantic, via memali)