Studio Rue Blog

Looking into the eye of the giant whale

The calm presence of the largest aquatic creature, the feeling of being so small and free in the limitless nature world, the aw of an encounter with a mythological giant, that’s something I would love to experience, swimming with whales.

For that photographer Bryant Austin quit his job and used all his life savings in search for the great encounter. A former bookkeeper at a state marine lab on Santa Cruz’s Westside, he became famous for his work, being featured in The New York Times and on CNN, and shown in Norway and Japan, countries with deep whaling ties.
Bryant Austin Minke Whale Composite

After repeated failures and five years of work, Bryant Austin was able to show to the world something different from what whale photography showed us until his work. Using high-powered digital cameras and portrait lenses, Austin snaps photo after photo, digitally stitching them together into files that include so much visual detail that one file can consume an entire hard drive.

Sperm Whale Composite One from Bryant Austin on Vimeo.

Observing them for long hours, Austin succeeded in getting into an intimate state with the giants, intimate enough to closely see the details on their peeling skin, their scars, even the look in their eyes.
Bryant-Austin-Life-size-whales (1)

‘Looking into their eye, it becomes abundantly clear that there is a high level of intelligence and consciousness at work. Those are the sensations I strive to re-create in my photographs.’
Bryant-Austin-Life-size-whales (6)

‘I saw clearly what had been missing in the 35 years of whale photography: intimate moments such as these, documented at full scale and on the whales’ terms.’
Bryant Austin, Life size whales

‘Those moments – the calm, mindful gaze of a whale looking into my own eyes. Not only just their gaze, but their scale.’
Bryant Austin, Life size whales

 You can get more of that beautiful feeling from Bryant Austin’s book, ‘Beautiful Whale’, available on

About Alina

Founder of Rue des Trucs & Rue9 brands and e-boutique Studio Rue is mainly a blog about my interests, trips and creative projects that I love and support. Studio Rue is involved in styling, costume designing, fashion branding and editorial projects. Need an idea, word of advice, or you want to share your ideas with me, please feel free to contact me at

One Comment

  1. Uneaeilvbble how well-written and informative this was.

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