by Jaclyn Willems
Destin Wernicke, a recent graduate from Pulaski High School, was selected to display his photo in the Natural History Museum in London, England. Wernicke took this photo, titled “Sand-napping”, during his senior year at PHS. On Floreana Island in Ecuador, the photo was of a Galápagos sea lion sleeping in the sand. Wernicke entered his photo along with almost 50,000 other participants from around the world, all with hopes of being one of the hundred photos selected for the 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Rolean Wernicke,
Destin’s mom, said, “Destin forgot to mention to (father) Mark and I that he entered this photo of a sea lion he took in Galapagos, so when he showed us the emails he was receiving during the summer of 2016 stating that he was a finalist, we weren’t quite sure this whole thing was legit.”
After finding out his photo was a finalist, Destin Wernicke said, “I was really excited when I found out. I wanted to tell everybody, but the competition had a press embargo, so I kind of had to keep it a secret. It felt so great to have all those years of taking pictures finally pay off.”
Destin Wernicke was invited to the awards ceremony in London in October 2016, but unfortunately he was not able to Attend.
Destin Wernicke said, “I wanted to go to London to visit the exhibit and meet all the other photographers, but I didn’t want to miss any of my musical education. In the end, college won out.”
Mark and Rolean Wernicke went to the ceremony and represented in behalf of their son. Rolean Wernicke said, “We were in awe of this prestigious honor! We were very proud to represent him at what reminded me of having dinner on the set of ‘Night at the Museum,’ since the very elaborate dinner and ceremony took place in the entry hall of the Natural History Museum right next to the gigantic Diplodocus dinosaur!”
Aaron Sperduto, PHS Art teacher, is very proud of Wernicke’s accomplishments and recognition. “It is a great honor for him to have his photograph in print and be part of such a wonderful collection of photographs and be one of the many very talented photographers showcased in the 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio from the Natural History Museum.”