I was having a chat with someone about photography the other day when I made the comment “It’s all about the eyes”, and while that’s common wisdom with people photography, it’s just as true with birds and wildlife. The eyes become an immediate and important focal point in an image — if you let them. Your viewers will connect with the image through the eyes, and they draw them into your image.

When I’m shooting and evaluating images, I am always looking for interesting eyes that can act as a focal point. With many species, the eyes are black, and with some, like many terns or the Black Skimmers, the black eyes are surrounded by black feathers, making them even harder to recognize and use as a focal point. The best way to pull eyes out in this case is with a catchlight, which means the direction of light becomes critical.

I decided to use this topic as another experiment building an image video, which you can see below. I continue to figure out how best to use the software that builds these, and I’m getting comfortable with the concept and how to take advantage of it. I’m curious what you think, and how you think I can improve it.