Friday 24 August 2018
A graduate from the University of Northampton will travel to the end of the Earth in a once-in-a-lifetime mission to document ‘the most staggering wildlife show on the planet’.
Aurélie Walder will travel 8,000 miles to the hostile environment of South Georgia for a 19-day expedition led by acclaimed wildlife photographer Nick Garbutt.
She will spend her time on the South Atlantic island documenting the half-a-million resident king penguins, plus elephant seals, albatross and other sea birds.
Aurélie, who graduated from the University’s Photography course in July, was one of a select few to be chosen for November’s expedition, after she won a prize draw at a photographic exhibition.
The trip to the island, which has been dubbed the location of ‘the most staggering wildlife show on the planet’, will see Aurélie hone her skills as she seeks to forge a career as a wildlife photographer.
“I don’t really know what to expect on the expedition, but I cannot wait to see the different species on the island,” said Aurélie.
“My dream job is to become a BBC wildlife photographer, so to be able to learn from Nick Garbutt, who has been published by the BBC, National Geographic, and so on, is an amazing opportunity for me.”
The trip won’t be the first time Aurélie, who comes from Switzerland, has ventured into the wild with her camera. Previously she’s photographed Arabian oryx and Arabian gazelles, at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – pictured above.
Aurélie said: “I’ve always been fascinated by wildlife and my latest project I’m working on is to raise awareness of animals in the wild and the problems they face. I firmly believe the power of photography can help to change things for the better.”
Since graduating, Aurélie has had time to reflect on her time at Northampton, where she spent a year topping up her college qualifications to a full degree.
“As soon as I arrived at the University for my interview, I knew it was the right place for me,” she said.
“The people interviewing me took a real interest in my portfolio and my future career direction and provided me with lots of feedback – I just felt wanted.
“The course itself was better than I could have imagined. I was able to develop my skills and had amazing lecturers who I could ask anything at all. I now feel fully equipped for the profession.”