Beautiful Whale
by Bryant Austin
Abrams, 2013 ($50)

Like humans, whales are “warm-blooded, air-breathing, milk-producing creatures with a little bit of hair and oversize brains,” writes oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle in her introduction to this mesmerizing book of photography. Austin, who has dedicated himself to creating life-size, full-body portraits of whales, writes about his weeks and months at sea with groups of minke, humpback and sperm whales. He floats motionless in waters off Tonga, Dominica and the Great Barrier Reef until the creatures approach closely enough for him to capture them on camera.

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