Photographer Bryant Austin's Close Up With Whales

at 10:00 AM
 (Bryant Austin/studio: cosmos)

When photographer Bryant Austin came eye-to-eye with a humpback mother whale swimming with her calf, it changed his life. He decided he wanted to recreate that experience for others by making a life-sized print of a whale -- something that had never been done before. So he quit his job, sold his house, and flew to the South Pacific armed with only a snorkel and a camera. Bryant Austin joins us to talk about his book, "Beautiful Whale," and his secret to getting within three feet of the mammals, without them swimming away. We'll also talk to a marine biologist about the efforts to protect whales.

Some photos from 'Beautiful Whale'

Humpback mother and calf, Ha'apai Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, 2005. (Bryant Austin/studio: cosmos/Abrams Books)


Bryant Austin, photographer and author of the book "Beautiful Whale"

Isidore Szczepaniak, marine biologist with Golden Gate Cetacean Research; he has worked as a naturalist for the Oceanic Society since 1982 and teaches classes on marine mammals at San Francisco State University and the California Academy of Sciences


Sperm Whale Composite Two, April 2011. It took Bryant Austin four months to raise sufficient funding to build a computer powerful enough to complete this image measuring 10 feet by 36 feet of Scar. (Bryant Austin/studio: cosmos/Abrams Books)

Minke Whale Composite Portrait 1186, July 2009. This is a two-image composite photograph of Ella. (Bryant Austin/studio: cosmos/Abrams Books)

A KQED Quest Profile of Bryant Austin