Those Eyes!

This Harbor Seal came in close and I got a good shot of it. Their eyes are very strange and amazing as they don’t appear to have pupils! All the references I could find say that their iris is designed for good sight under water where they open up all the way but when they surface into bright light their iris contracts to the tiniest of pinholes. I got a pretty good close-up of this one’s eyes and I’m not quite sure I can see a pin hole pupil!

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No

Sony a6500, SEL200600G @ 535 mm, ISO-320, f/6.3, 1/1250, hand held.


Oh those eyes. The seeming lack of pupils reminds me of the Barred Owl - so similar. The nostril flare here is terrific. Nice environmental portrait. In the largest view I can just make out a horizontal pupil in the right eye.

Wonderful capture and very interesting about the eyes – I had no idea about that. Here it almost looks like when they close it isn’t exactly an engineered pinhole but more like bunched up membranes? But I guess to focus they would need a reasonably round aperture. But maybe their eyesight isn’t that good above water??

Great techs and wonderful close-up!

Hi Gary,

I like you your seal and sea lion shots. I like the low camera placement which produced a very nice composition. The subject’s placement in the frame and surrounding water also contributes to a strong comp. Awesome…Jim