Icy shot helps Bodmin's Emily achieve her National Geographic dream
A PHOTOJOURNALIST who began her career with the Cornish Guardian will soon achieve her lifetime ambition when one of her pictures appears in the November edition of National Geographic.
Emily Whitfield-Wicks from Bodmin has subscribed to the renowned American journal for many years and has been reading it since she was a young girl.
The magazine features pictures by many of the world's leading photographers, and Emily said it was possibly the highlight of her career to have one of her photos accepted.
National Geographic editors were so impressed with the shot she took of a Royal Marine training exercise in Norway, they have invited her over to the journal's offices in Washington DC.
Emily remembers the shot well.
"It was on a frozen lake in Lakselv, in north Norway in mid-February, and the temperature was -20C. It was so cold that if I took my hands out of my gloves to operate the camera for anything more than a minute my hands would start to go numb, so time was precious and waiting for the perfect moment to take this picture was critical," she said.
Surfacing from the icy water was a Royal Marine from 42 Commando, undergoing training in the lake where a hole had been cut in the ice for the exercise.
"Using their cross-country skis and poles, they had to slide into the water, and once they reached the other side they would be asked a simple military-related question by a senior officer to make sure they had not been disoriented by the shock of the cold.
"If they got the answer wrong, they would have to dunk their head back into the icy water by way of penance.
"This would cause them to gasp when they came back up, for me that made a great picture opportunity.
"I was offered the chance to have a go, but for some reason I preferred to stay behind the camera,'' she recalled.
Emily said: "My parents used to subscribe to National Geographic and I've been reading it since my teens. It really is a big deal getting a picture accepted.
"I'm just so thrilled, and I think I'll take up their offer to meet them in Washington."