Whales are such intelligent and graceful aquatic mammals. They famously breathe air through their blowholes into lungs, which is unlike fish that breathe using gills. Whales have smooth, sleek bodies that allow them to move easily through the water. They are the only mammals along with the manatees that live their whole lives in the seas. It is also the only mammal that was able to adapt to life in the oceans. The largest known whale is the blue whale. It grows to about 94 feet long. They can consume enormous amounts of food or about 4 tons of tiny krill every day. The smallest whale on the other hand is the dwarf sperm whale which can grow to only 8.5 feet as a full grown adult. There certainly is no shortage of photographs out there for us to see the majesty of these enormous mammals. One such person who captures incredible images of these creatures is Bryant Austin.
As a photographer and conservationist, Austin has some truly spectacular pictures of whales which are his way of reminding us of their beauty and existence in the deeps seas. Austin’s photos are unique because of two things; first they are full body shots of these mammoth underwater creatures, and second they are unrivaled in detail.
He began this obsession with the whales in 2004, as he had a most unusual encounter. While he was floating motionless somewhere in the South Pacific Sea, a 45 ton female humpback gently nudged him on the shoulder, as if to communicate her presence. Since then Austin felt connected with these gentle giants, and wanted to share the intimacy of his encounter through his photographs.
Since then he has accomplished that personal goal of capturing exceptionally detailed photos of whales. He also quit his job, sold his house, and devoted practically all his time to his passion for whales.
Part of his unfulfilled dream, as stated in his bio is “his vision is to create a ninety foot wide photograph of a blue whale in extraordinary detail and to compose a life-size photograph of a living whale entangled in fishing gear.”
See Austin’s incredible body of work in a book aptly called Beautiful Whale. Below is a short preview: