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Eye Spy

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Published Oct 4, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 21 Contributors

    63 photos selected by

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Sometimes you feel like you are only watching you life through a keyhole, Depression, negativit...

    #spy #eye #eyespy

    This visual journey began with an unconventional request: Submit a visual story comprised of three images told from the perspective of the subject, effectively removing any bias and rendering the photographer a silent observer.

    When I laid out the assignment, I wanted three images, submitted individually to tell a united and sequential story: an eye open, the same eye closed, and the view upon which that eye is gazing. I just assumed everyone would submit animal or human eyes, open and closed, with an obvious eye-witness account, but so many of you not only challenged the parameters of this project, but you also actually expanded its vision!

    I believe there is an eye behind each system that is shaping this world, whether it is the eye of a tropical storm or a blind spot that results in an accident. I was eager to see eyes from around the world and what each eye was respectively experiencing or expressing. The submissions you entered were positively overwhelming, because not only did most of you really get what was expected and what it meant to create a narrative as an unseen storyteller, but you each also redefined what constitutes an "eye."

    And some times you just have to close your eye and swallow your pride, and ask for help if you ne...

    #eye

    So you can walk away and start fresh....

    #eye

    What can we read in the eyes of this vervet monkey? Can we read sorrow, bitterness or boredom? Do...

    #tanzania #chlorocebus #safari #vervet #africa #pygerythrus #tarangire #eyespy #monkey

    I’m not sure if this vervet monkey is still thinking (as we humans) or just relaxing when it clos...

    #tanzania #safari #vervet #africa #blackandwhite #tarangire #eyespy #monkey

    One thing the vervet monkey could be worrying about is the dry river bed of Tarangire River in Ta...

    #tanzania #safari #africa #blackandwhite #river #tarangire #eyespy #assignment

    Came across this interesting live art next to The Bean in Chicago

    #chicago #millennium_park #eye_spy

    Pat II - Eye over Millennium Park

    #chicago #millennium_park #eye_spy

    The eyes are overlooking The Bean in Millennium Park

    #bean #chicago #millennium_park #eye_spy

    Cuanto nos permitimos observar el entorno y ver la realidad de nuestra vida podemos empezar a gen...

    #amazing #bw #window #eye

    Editor's Note

    This eye looks widened by hope, the bird at the end of the series expresses wild abandon and a sense of boundless freedom to me... Clearly evidences where Icarus got his inspiration from. To see fl... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Siendo ya conscientes de nuestro entorno podemos hacer realidad nuestro mas grandes sueños aun c...

    #bw #fly #dreams #nature

    Cuando disponemos de cerrar nuestros ojos podemos conceptualizar un yo interior y como desearíamo...

    #inside #discover #interior #eye #people

    monarch chrysalis

    #monarch #chrysalis

    Monarch just emerged from chrysalis

    #monarch

    Monarch view of food available

    #sunflowers #landscape #prairie

    A new born swan sleeping under mom's wing - Sweet dream.

    #eyespyassignment #swan

    A new born swan sleeping under mom's wing - It's the most comfortable and safe place in the earth.

    #eyespyassignment #swan

    Mom, I love you!

    #eyespyassignment #swan

    My daughter found so many wonderful finds while exploring the garden with the magnifying glass. ...

    Editor's Note

    Thoroughly enjoyed viewing this series, this narrative kindles a deep sense of curiosity in anyone who encounters it, reminds me of Curious George. It reconnects us to our childhood, and makes youn... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    My daughter found so many wonderful finds while exploring the garden with the magnifying glass. ...

    My daughter found so many wonderful finds while exploring the garden with the magnifying glass. ...

    We live in a world run by electronics and gadgets. While advancements in technology have changed ...

    #power #technology #plug #watt #eye #electricity #energy #portrait #outlet #eye_spy

    We live in a world run by electronics and gadgets. While advancements in technology have changed ...

    #power #technology #plug #watt #eye #electricity #outlet #eye_spy

    We live in a world run by electronics and gadgets. While advancements in technology have changed ...

    #power #plug #watt #eye #electricity #outlet

    This eye represents our conscience when it comes to littering and recycling. I made my eye from ...

    #litter #colours #createit #junk #eye #eyespy #recycle

    Editor's Note

    Such a wonderfully conceptual and thought provoking submission. Really enjoyed how you brought art and photography together, to tell a single story involving the eye. Love it!

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Some people close their eyes to the reality of litter and drop it anywhere they wish with no rega...

    #createit #eye #eyespy

    Eyesore..I found this bottle on the beach when I was going for a walk and it gave me an idea for ...

    #pollution #litter #beach #eyespy #h1 #recycle #tellyourpollutionstory

    The first thing you notice is their eyes: deep, dark, soulful…sentient. Some are curious, a few...

    #rwanda #eyespy1 #gorilla #eyes

    State of Grace

    #rwanda #gorilla #eyespy2

    For one hour every day, these gorillas watch as eight human tourists watch them. For the humans,...

    #eyespy3

    I am my mind's eye. When closed, I have no ideas.

    #eyespyassignment #blackandwhite #eyespy

    I am my mind's eye. When open, I start seeing ideas.

    #eyespyassignment #blackandwhite #eyespy

    I am my mind's eye. I see ideas!

    #eyespyassignment #blackandwhite #eyespy

    A young girl’s face is painted for a festival honoring the guardian deity Angalamman. The festiva...

    #angararubam #tamilnadu #kaveripattinam #mayanasoorathiruvizha #eyespy #india #angalamman

    Editor's Note

    The angle at which, the searing gaze of, this pair of eyes has been captured makes the viewer accountable to the moment at hand. It bridges the distance between where this image was captured and wh... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Angalamman Festival is held every year in the village of Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu, Thousands+...

    #mahashivratri #tamilnadu #angalammanfestival #kaveripattinam #eyespy #india

    A young girl’s face is painted for a festival honoring the guardian deity Angalamman. The festiva...

    #angararubam #tamilnadu #kaveripattinam #mayanasoorathiruvizha #eyespy #india #angalamman

    Looking out. Seeing her daughter. There's no greater love than a mother's love for her child....

    #bengal #close_up #macro #bigcat #tiger #bigcats #eyes #face #animal #cat #nature

    Her daughter, Thor. Along with Thor's sister Grace, Raja and Thor were rescued from terrible co...

    #daughter #thor #tiger #nose #sanctuary #eyes

    Looking in. Feeling the love for her daughter.

    #mama #raja #tiger #sanctuary #eyes

    When my children were in grade school, we collected a lot of marbles. Just as I had done when I w...

    #createit #abstract #eyeshut #eye #eyespy #marble

    When my children were in grade school, we collected a lot of marbles. Just as I had done when I w...

    #blue #macro #createit #abstract #eye #eyeopen #eyespy #marble

    When my children were in grade school, we collected a lot of marbles. Just as I had done when I w...

    #abstract #eye #whattheeyesees #marbles #eyespy #glass

    A mechanical glass eye is probably the most reliable one. Techincal notes: Basic manipulations...

    #lens #aperture #woods #mamiya645 #shutter #nature

    It will let you witness the beauties of this world. Techincal notes: Basic manipulations to th...

    #lens #aperture #woods #mamiya645 #shutter #nature

    Take care of it and treat it well. Techincal notes: Basic manipulations to the whole image, sq...

    #lens #aperture #woods #mamiya645 #shutter #nature

    Here the Giraffe gazes at another and wonder how many will be left in the world. Numbers of Giraf...

    #wildlife #eye #animal #eyespy #giraffe #nature

    This is a Giraffe eye closing.

    #wildlife #africa #animal #eyespy #giraffe

    This is a giraffe with eye open as it gazes back to the world. Giraffe population is dwindling an...

    #wildlife #africa #animal #eyespy #giraffe #nature

    It is what makes us (humans) happy: cozy lights, family gathering and holiday dinner. On another ...

    #mounains #night #blue #lights #canada #rural #snow #darkness #ranch #orange #eyespy

    Editor's Note

    Never know if the hand that feeds you, is going to be the hand that ends your life.... this tension is beautifully extended across your series. The color palette is cohesive, and I love the iterati... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Here is the second image for Eye Spy assignment with turkey's eye closed. His eye is closed, but ...

    #tradition #texture #bird #eyeclosed #christmas #eye #look #eyespy #turkey #color #thankgiving

    It seems like this guy is not very happy about people's attitude toward his relatives. He definit...

    #blue #tradition #bird #colors #emotions #red #black #eye #portrait #look #turkey

    I created this image by using a ceramic baking pan, a fry pan and knifes.

    #kitchenware #eye #abstract2015 #abstract2015_1 #eyespy2

    I created this image by using a fry pan and a lid.

    #kitchenware #eyespy1 #eye #abstract2015 #abstract2015_1 #eye_art

    I created this image by using a ceramic baking pan, a fry pan, forks, fruits, vegetables, and I h...

    #vegetabeles #fruits #abstracteye #kitchenware #food2015 #eye #eyespy3

    Yes, playing with tennis ball is my favorite sport. I not only love playing with tennis ball, but...

    #eyespy #animals

    I love taking naps, lots of them... whenever I can...wherever I can...

    #eyespy #animals

    I take a lot of naps, so I have enough energy to enjoy doing my favorite sport...

    #eyespy #animals

    Well I was trying to put a self portrait together for an assignment and this is the result of ove...

    #lights #aurora_boeralis #northern #portrait #self #green #aurora

    This is a self eye shot using the reverse lens macro technique. The shot was a nightmare as there...

    #blue #macro #eye #self__portrait #iris #green

    A stack shot I put together of 95 shots i used for a timelapse. I am very pleased with the result...

    #landscape #northern_light #star #dailydozen #aurora_boeralis #startrail #daily_dozen #aurora

    Editor's Note

    Love that you brought the eye to life in an omnipresent, omnipotent manner by choosing the Aurora Borealis as your ocular window. It is both otherworldly and tangibly terrestrial. Reminds me of som... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    "Metaphorically Nature has many sets of eyes through which she perceives the world around her. Th...

    #eyespy01 #eyespy1of3

    "Fully opened this is what the sunflower sees as it stands tall amongst the many of its kind in t...

    #eyespy03 #eyespy3of3

    Once this sunflower fully opened its eye, the beauty of what the closed eye contained is in full ...

    #eyespy02 #eyespy2of3

    I cannot underscore how difficult you all made it for me to come to a final edit of images for this essay, because each series was compelling for its own inimitable reasons. From tree rings and macro shots of dewdrops and nectar to doorknobs, windows, and blinds, your Eye Spy anecdotes managed to conceptually broaden and introspectively deepen my very understanding of the eye.

    I am so grateful for your creative process and dynamic engagement throughout the course of this undertaking, both on Your Shot and social media. It was tremendous, and I feel privileged to have been able to brainstorm with this community. I now see eyes everywhere thanks to you all—in caves and undulating landscapes, amid clouds, as pinwheels of light in the sky, and as bioluminescent beings in the deep ocean. I spy eyes of all sizes, shapes, and colors. I practically feel a song coming on: "Snails in pink petals, banisters on stairways, shattered glass mirrors, wheels on old cycles, peep holes and key holes, stove tops with lashes, a kid sliding down, lentils that see—these are a few of my favorite scenes."

    Editor’s Note: Please know that there were so many amazing images, but that, unfortunately, I could not choose all of them to be in the published story. If your images were not chosen, please remember that the images featured in the published story are chosen both for being excellent images and for being representative of the wide range of Eye Spy submissions. We wanted the published story to showcase images that would reflect the diversity of the submissions. In particular, I focused on the diversity of the following three aspects in my selection process: subject matter, photographic style, and the kind of emotion the series provokes in the viewer. For those of you who were chosen to be in the published story and who submitted something very similar to images that weren’t chosen, the reason yours was selected was because it demonstrated the best possible way to express that particular story.  

    About the Editor
    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist
    Asher Jay, is saving the world’s threatened wildlife—with creativity. Her cause-driven art, sculpture, design installations, films, and advocacy advertising campaigns bring attention to everything from the blood ivory trade to plastic pollution. Jay’s upcoming projects will tackle biodiversity loss due to wildlife trafficking and climate change. Tackling issue after issue, ...

    Photographers Published In the Story