Whale Tales: Bryant Austin’s Life-Sized Portraits
Floating in the warm South Pacific, photographer Bryant Austin felt a gentle tap on his shoulder. He turned to find himself face to face with a female humpback whale, who had just warned him that he was coming too close to her young calf, which he'd been following with his camera.
The encounter convinced him to take a new direction in his work. Though he spent the past 40 years pursuing fine art wildlife photography, this closely personal experience made him freshly aware of whales’ immensity and of the fact that they exist on a scale that most people never fully appreciate. Since then, he's focused on creating massive, often life-size photographic portraits of cetaceans. The largest, a 6-by-30-foot portrait of a dwarf Minke whale, weighs close to 600 pounds.
Check out the recent story about him in the New York Times, and if you're in the Bay Area, see his photos at the Electric Works gallery.
--Zoë J. Sheldon