Photo Gallery: Intense Close-Ups of Wild Animals

At first, it’s hard to put a finger on what makes these animal portraits by Denmark-based photographer Morten Koldby more compelling than similar work that we’ve seen. And then it hits you: Wild as they might be, all of his subjects sit calmly for the camera, their eyes trained directly on its lens. Meeting their gaze — especially at such a close range — can be rather unsettling.”I started out doing these as a weekend project, and it took off from there,” he explains. “The theme in the series is the almost human facial expressions of the animals, some look nervous, some arrogant, attentive, and so on.” Check them out for yourself in our slide show.

Photo credit: Morten Koldby