Photographer and conservationist Bryant Austin captures some truly breathtaking shots of whales as a reminder of their beauty and existence in the vast oceans. The photographer manages to get full body shots of them, a feat that so few are able to achieve with such high quality, while revealing remarkable details of these aquatic mammoths. Browsing through his collection, one feels like they can actually reach out and touch the giant creatures, feeling the texture of their skin while examining the breadth of their bodies.
Austin first began his obsession with capturing images of whales that translated their majestic size and detail in 2004. It was while he was floating motionless near the surface of the South Pacific that a 45-ton female humpback whale gently tapped him on the shoulder as a means of letting him know she was behind him. This tender encounter caused a transcendent sensation in the photographer that sparked a sudden understanding of what he had to do. He realized he needed to get in close to the massive marine life (no more than 6 feet away) to truly capture their enormity and attempt to encapsulate a level of detail that would put the viewer in his shoes (or flippers) in that moment.
The photographer has accomplished his personal goal of producing incredibly detailed portraits of whales after quitting his job, selling his house, and devoting practically all his time to his passion project. Ultimately, as his bio states, “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.”
A collection of Austin's images of these aquatic giants are available in his aptly titled book Beautiful Whale.