If you can see Mt. Baker, you are part of The Experience

"Greatest Wildlife Photographs"

National Geographic showcase comes to Whatcom Museum


When the term “wildlife photography” comes to mind, one can often automatically surround the imagined photo with that famous, bright yellow border that makes National Geographic covers so recognizable.

National Geographic has pioneered the art of wildlife photography for over a century, and now some of its greatest work will be taken on the road. The only place in the Pacific Northwest where you can see these larger-than-life images will be Bellingham’s own Whatcom Museum. “Greatest Wildlife Photographs” will feature work from some of National Geographic’s award-winning photographers, such as Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter, Paul Nicklen, Beverly Joubert, and many more.

The exhibit will run from March 9 to September 8 in the Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora Street. Whatcom Museum will also hold a live presentation from National Geographic wildlife photographer Ronan Donovan at Mount Baker Theatre on May 24 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the exhibit and Donovan’s presentation are expected to be announced in early March. Visit www.whatcommuseum.org for more information.   X


Photograph by Paul Nicklen 

Gribbell Island, Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada, 2010 

In a moss-draped rainforest in British Columbia, black bears are born with white fur. Neither albino nor polar bears, spirit bears (also known as Kermode bears) are a white variant of North American black bears, and they’re found almost exclusively in the Great Bear Rainforest. “I’ve always dreamed of being close to a bear in the forest,” says photographer Paul Nicklen. But it wasn’t until the end of a ten-week assignment that he was finally able to get close to one.


Photograph by Evgenia Arbugaeva 

Enurmino, Russia, 2019 

Though Arbugaeva considers her work to be essentially documentary in nature, she imbues many of her images with a haunting painterly quality. During a 2019 trip to the isolated village of Enurmino, along the shore of the Chukchi Sea, she took this ghostly image of a walrus framed by the door of a wooden hut. She and an animal researcher spent three days trapped inside the hut, warmed by the body heat of the surrounding walruses, during a massive haul-out of the imposing creatures. They stayed as quiet as possible while some 100,000 walruses gathered on the shore, shook the walls of the flimsy shack, and fought outside.


Photograph by Brian Skerry 

Auckland Islands, New Zealand, 2007 

Right whales are the rarest of all large whales. There are several species, but all are identified by their enormous heads, which can measure up to one-third of their total body length. While working on a story about right whales for National Geographic magazine, photographer Brian Skerry encountered a population of southern right whales in the sub-Antarctic waters of New Zealand. The outcome, as Skerry explains it, was “an absolutely, off-the-scale, magical experience.”