A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of facilitating the introduction between two longtime friends of Barba: the Beluga whale Hvaldimir and nature & entertainment photographer Conor McDonnell. On January 21st, a photo captured during the meeting made it to the cover of the New York Times Magazine.
The meeting took place in one of the fjords close to Stavanger, where Hvaldimir is currently residing. We first met Hvaldimir in 2019 and have since encountered him on numerous occasions during his journey from Northern Norway to Southern Norway.
Conor has been on board in both Iceland, the Shetland Islands, and London. The purpose of the Stavanger visit was to train for future expeditions while also photographing seals. The Hvaldimir encounter was somewhat of a welcomed bonus.
Hvaldimir is arguably the most famous whale alive, and the latest feature story in the NYT Magazine will only strengthen his position, but also enhance his standing and protection. As for Conor, he has a long track record of capturing the superstars of both humanity, such as Sir David Attenborough, as well as those of the natural kingdom.
From our perspective, the cover photo is a welcomed recognition of the long-term Barba grind. We keep pushing, sailing out, training, reiterating, and every now and then, the stars align, with the magic that follows.
The story In New York Times Magazine: The whale who went AWOL