Inside or out

Eagle in Rotterdam zoo

The net

These pictures were taken at Rotterdam Zoo. I’ve not been to a zoo for many many years. So much has changed. Animals have much more breathing space, but inevitably there is the necessity of a barrier between them and the visitors. Barriers divide the world in two sides. You are at one side of the barrier or the other. Generally it is considered best to be outside. It means freedom. But inside could also mean protection, like a net over a pond prevents the fish from being eaten by a hungry heron. Nothing is as simple as it seems and everything seems to have at least two sides to it. 

The same goes for photographing animals in captivity. As soon as I think of it as wrong, there’s another barrier between me and the animal. I search for the animal himself to speak to me, captivity only being the situation he is in.

Eagle in Rotterdam zoo
Eagle in Rotterdam zoo


Light and dark

It was only when I got interested in photography I realized how much darkness and light need each other to be perceived. Take one of them away and we would have difficulty to see. The more contrast there is between them, the stronger we experience them. That very much reminds me of life itself. I relish the light and joyful moments in life, but the moments of challenge and darkness make the experience of light so much more intense.

One pinprick of light in the dark can guide us like a star, but one dark speck in the light would hardly be noticed. Which makes me think darkness and light are both a necessary part of life, but light is the stronger one.