Wildlife photo of the year: Emelin, 16, already has the eye of a pro

His photo of a splendid Apollo butterfly foraging on a daisy caught the eye of the Wildlife photographer of the year jury last year. A consecration for Emelin Dupieux who, at only 16 years old, already has the eye and the reflexes of professionals accustomed to tracking animals in their natural environment. It is in the heart of the Ardèche mountains that this high school student turns into an image hunter.

Emelin Dupieux was rewarded by the jury of Wildlife photographer of the year for this shot entitled “Apollo landing”.
Emelin Dupieux was rewarded by the jury of Wildlife photographer of the year for this shot entitled “Apollo landing”. Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022/Emelin Dupieux

“I climb to the heights, between meadows and forests, I take my camouflage net, I hide under branches, I crawl and I photograph deer, foxes, insects and birds”, says this final year student. who dreams of becoming a wildlife photographer or filmmaker. Like his model Vincent Munier, whose film “The Snow Panther” he saw on repeat. Eight times in a row!

A week of patience for a shot

While waiting to be able to meet the fauna of the cold deserts in the Himalayas, Antarctica or along the Norwegian coast, Emelin concocts his book by immortalizing the species that inhabit his environment. Like this fox looking for field mice and voles during a heavy snowfall on the Ardèche plateau. Or this blackbird-sized dipper emerging from a waterfall after feeding its young in their sheltered water nest. He had to wait every day from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a week near the river before taking “the” photo he dreamed of.

“What I like the most is to camouflage myself and try to blend into the wilderness,” explains the young photographer. I find animals fascinating and by doing hides, I have the impression of extracting myself a little from the current world which I find so superficial because it has lost sight of nature and cut itself off from it”. If his butterfly photo has been hailed for its aesthetic quality, Emelin is particularly keen on it because the Apollos are a “fairly rare species living in the mountains and which is disappearing due to global warming”. Wanting to track the living to immortalize it and better protect it, that’s also what we recognize the great wildlife photographers.

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