Marine and natural history photography students and staff have returned from an awe-inspiring expedition to the Galapagos Islands.

Hosted and guided by the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) the group spent ten days exploring the islands as part of a Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE).

Senior lecturer, Jo Henley, said: “This was the perfect location for marine and natural history photographers, there’s an abundance of wildlife and you don’t have to go far to see some really interesting species. We photographed a range of habitats including underwater, coastal and terrestrial where students came face-to-face with sharks, iguanas, sea lions and penguins.”

While on the islands students shared their expertise with the CDF scientists in a macro workshop as well as working on an environmental workshop with local school children.

Student Ellie Bowyer said: “We explored so much in Galapagos, from snorkelling various locations and hiking the highlands to visiting different islands. I really loved swimming with rays, Galapagos sharks, white tip sharks, marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and green turtles.

“This expedition improved my photography skills whilst keeping me on my toes; helping me become a more experienced photographer. I am currently using some of my images for my university project and I’m also creating a personal video for all of the team to savour the memories.”

Lauren Simmonds added: “It was just amazing on all levels. The team CDF made us feel so welcome. It was such a valuable experience working in such a special environment and it certainly was a trip of a lifetime.”

The students are producing 500 photographs and a film from the trip for CDF to use on their website. They also plan to exhibit their work at Galapagos Day in London in September, organised by the Galapagos Conservation Trust. This exhibition will be brought back to Falmouth to be viewed here in October. It is hoped that this partnership with CDF will create future opportunities for students on the course.