Ashley Wee’s turtle photo wins Commonwealth Environmental Photography Awards

It appears that Charles Mountbatten-Windsor, the Prince of Wales, has a soft spot for sea turtles. And, this ‘soft spot’ is exactly what resulted in a personal meeting between Ashley Wee and the Prince of Wales. It was Ashley Wee, a Calgary photographer, snatched the top spot in the Commonwealth Environmental Photography Awards.

Ashley told www.citycardmanchester.co.uk that it was really a great experience. He was very kind. It was definitely an once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was very surreal, and it did not really sink in until she was standing right there beside him as he presented the award.

She met the Prince of Wales previous week after she was flown to a event at the historic Maritime Museum in Malta. The Out of The Blue, the contest sought photographs displaying the ocean, as taken by citizens of Commonwealth in a Commonwealth country — the aim being to draw attention to the sea’s vulnerability, along its economic importance.

Wee’s snapshot, named ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ shows the head of a sea turtle weakening from the ocean surface, as it surfaced to breathe — a photograph the judges termed a “a cry for the ocean and its creatures.”

Wee stated that the snapshot was really pure luck, clicked as she snorkeled with her family off the coast of Nassau. Having studied marine biology and dealt an undergraduate honors thesis on the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins, the twenty-six-year-old Wee was more than happy to see a pack of about 6 or 7 sea turtles swimming by, though she knew not to upset the endangered creatures.