Discover BC through the eyes of its locals! Each week we #exploreBC through a different Instagrammer who share their favourite local spots and experiences.
This week, we’re featuring @johnemarriott, one of Canada’s premier wildlife photographers. This week, he will be sharing some of his favourite wildlife shots from throughout the province.
“It’s always a thrill to travel the roads in Northern British Columbia and watch for these big behemoths along the right-of-ways. Despite the fact I grew up in Salmon Arm in the interior of BC, I had no idea that our province had wild bison until my first trip up the Alaska Highway in 2002. Watch for this guys around Liard Hot Springs, in particular.”
“There are few experiences quite like watching one of the world’s rarest mammals, the kermode bear (a black bear with a double recessive gene that makes 1 in 10 white), fish for salmon in the lush Great Bear Rainforest south of Prince Rupert. There are fewer than 400 kermode bears in the world, all found only in British Columbia, so I feel privileged that I’ve gotten to spend time photographing them every year since 2008.”
“I was leading a photo tour into a remote inlet in coastal British Columbia in late October 2013 and we hadn’t had much luck finding grizzly bears. On our final day, in the pouring rain, we came across this gorgeous bear that sat and posed for us just meters in front of our zodiac. It was a magical experience with a beautiful animal that I won’t soon forget.”
“I was driving the Trans-Canada Highway near Golden, British Columbia last spring when I suddenly noticed this guy laying on a cliff up above the highway to my right. From a photographer’s perspective, it was a stunning scene, with the one lone tree providing company (and contrast) to this big billy goat taking a break from a life of wandering these harrowing mountainsides.”
“Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies is one of Canada’s most scenic national parks, but it also comes with a healthy population of wildlife. I spent a week following this big bull and a buddy of his through the regenerating forests near Marble Canyon, which where burnt to a crisp during a massive forest fire in 2003. While the fire temporarily created a stark barren landscape, today its lush new growth attracts all sorts of animals, big and small.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me! I think I must have said those words a hundred times off the north coast of Vancouver Island on the glorious sunny day that my photo group came across this playful humpback whale, which thundered in and out of the water over and over and over again for almost two hours one summer afternoon. We never did figure out what it was doing (showing off for the photographers?), but we were definitely grateful for the experience.”
“Few animals in British Columbia are harder to photograph than wild wolves. I’ve spent years tracking and following certain packs in Alberta and British Columbia and every once in a while run in to incredible situations with wolves that defy all stereotypes. This particular wolf near Prince George early one spring morning (4:55 am!) was incredibly inquisitive and nosed all around me, but wandered off when a pack mate howled in the distance.”
John E. Marriott grew up in British Columbia and credits long summer days fishing the creeks of the Shuswap with his Dad for giving him a passion for the outdoors that has led to a 20-year career as one of Canada’s premier wildlife photographers. You will have seen his images on the covers of Canadian Geographic, Canadian Wildlife, and British Columbia Magazine. For more of John’s wildlife photography, visit his website.
Looking for more BC experiences and destinations? Follow us on Instagram at @hellobc.