Anyone who thinks the quintessential color of the polar regions is white ought to check out the photography of Paul Nicklen. In an exhibit at the National Geographic Society, Nicklen captures a stunning range of blues—ethereal blue ice crystals, clear blue skies, churning ocean water—that are overshadowed only by the even more stunning images of exotic wildlife. In detailed, engaging captions, Nicklen relates how a leopard seal repeatedly tried (in vain) to offer the photographer a meal of penguin; how he braved frigid temperatures to document polar bears in a courting ritual; and most unexpected, his (successful) quest to photograph the elusive narwhal, a horned whale whose horn is longer than most humans are tall. The terra cotta warriors elsewhere in the Nat Geo complex may beckon, but do not miss Nicklen’s combination of striking visuals and compelling narratives.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW MONDAY to SATURDAY 9 a.m.-5 p.m. AND SUNDAY 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. TO MARCH 25 AT THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MUSEUM, 1145 17TH ST. NW. FREE. (202) 857-7588.