I am not a bird photographer but I felt I need to go to Hokkaido, Japan with a couple of other Finnish & Swedish nature photographers to photograph several birds which we don’t see here in northern Europe. The island is a wild place and this winter had brought lots of snow on the area.
It was unbelievable to see several hundreds of Sea Eagles and Steller’s Sea Eagles over the ice outside the Rausu harbour next to the Shiretoko National Park in the same named Peninsula. In Akan in Kushiro area we saw hundreds of Red-crowned cranes both in sunshine and snowfall. The birds are so beautiful. On a caldera lake Kussharo in Akan National Park we took photos of lots of Whooper swans which had come together for the open water. A rare Blakiston’s Fish Owl was able to be seen in Rausu during the three evenings we spent in a hide.
July – August 2012
For about a month I am photographing during the evenings, nights and early mornings. I want to stay up the nights and go to sleep in the morning.
It has worked out quite well except that I don’t seem to have time to sleep enough (7-8 hrs). I might sleep couple of hours here and couple of hours there…
Some of the best night/early morning photos I have got when I am near the water on a lake or river. This image here was taken in Oulanka National Park at Myllykoski. I met a small group of young men celebrating one of their coming wedding/marriage. The expose is 10 seconds and I took it at 2 am in the morning.
May 17th-June12th —- Photos from Nunavut here
Snow, ice, sun = full winter going on here in the arctic. First, I spent 9 days in Pangnirtung, in a tiny village of 1300 people at the latitudes of 66 North. From there I came to Pond Inlet (a village of 1500 people) at the latitudes of 72 N. I have tried to learn more about the lives of Inuit people. This last week of my one month tour I will spend on the floe edge area which is about 3 hr snow machine ride from Pond Inlet to the east. What is floe edge? I will be living on the floating ice between the mountains and the open sea. This is the area where the wildlife come at this time of the year. Hope to see & photograph also polar bears! I will hopefully see & take pictures of whales, seals, walruses, etc and of course, lots of birds.
January 4th, 2012
In the beginning of January, 2012, I opened my very first national park exhibition “Yhteinen perintömme – matka halki kansallispuistojen.” This is the Finnish name of it.
The first stop, Koli national park in Lieksa, East-Finland has 22 canvas prints. Most of them are 80x50cm in size and some of them 100×63 cm in size. There are images from 11 Finnish national parks and 7 foreign national parks. Places like Kenya, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, etc. are represented in my exhibition.
More info about the exhibition here (in Finnish only, sorry).
I am for a month in Alaska returning back home September 5th. I have very limited internet access so I will write more about my adventures later on. The image was taken in the evening on one of the tiny isolated islands of Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 3 days of kayaking. ** Check out the results from my trip to Alaska here.
July 17, 2011
On the road, on the road… I have been at home for 4 days since end of May. What have I been doing? Photographing Finnish National Parks, bears, wolverines, reindeer herding, etc. End of June I spent 3 days in Kuusamo, in my new home town near the Russian border, 800 km north from Helsinki. My mission was to find an apartment to rent. There’s a nice 56 sq.meter apartment with a sauna & a balcony in the very center of Kuusamo that I found (and close to the lake). 5 days left for my move from the capital area to the north!
Last two weeks were so hectic but it is OK as I got a fantastic assignment to photograph pictures for the new Visitor’s Center at Pyhä-Luosto National Park in Finnish Lapland. I learned how to take 360 degree images with the new 8 mm lens I bought. Last few days work has taken me to the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park in the western part of Lapland. Legs are tired at the moment after 18 km of walk over the fells and valleys. Yesterday was my third long day of hiking in the wilderness. Today, July 17th I am on my way home by overnight train (with the car).
May 31- June 8, 2011
Seven National Parks in nine days! And lots of pictures that I like. This has been my life in the beginning of the summer this year. When I concentrate just for photography, it is amazing how much one can do in such a short period of time. I haven’t eaten and slept too much past week! But it has been great to be by myself and explore nature & see some small things that I’d never notice when walking with other people.
Today, June 8th I am finishing my three day stay at Saimaa Lake area (Järvisydän Holiday Resort). Looking for Saimaa ringed seal (saimaannorppa) which is one of the most endangered seal in the world. I saw two of them sun bathing on the rock. It starts to be that time of the summer when the seals prefer the water. It is more difficult to see them now compared to May. The picture here is not a seal but a moose! We were lucky to see a swimming moose.
This National Park is huge, 500 km2 and is situated on the southwest coast of Finland. The first 4 days took me to the most southern habited island of my country, Utö. I also visited Jurmo, which is about on hour ferryride from Utö further north. The days were especially warm and so sunny. It was interesting to see a Common Eider (male) which went to ‘rest’ in order to die. Next morning the bird was eaten by other birds. On Utö island I was lucky to borrow a hide from an other photographer and it was lots of fun to photograph birds from inside a tent. I decided to buy a hide tent for myself, too.
The second trip was about working and working! Working for WWF Finland as well as working for myself to get photos for my National Park project. I spent 4 days with 20 other volunteers on the tiny island of Långholmen on the northeast corner of the Park. One of the coordinators, Maija Mussaari, is specialized in plants so I ended up photographing lots of flowers and plants, which some of them rare ones, with my new Canon 100 mm macro lens. And what glorious days we had – plain sunshine! On the image, there is Anemone nemorosa (valkovuokko) which is very common here.
April 17-29, 2011
Overnight train to Rovaniemi with a car plus 350-400 km drive north from the Arctic Circle. 4 days in the wilderness of Lemmenjoki National Park skiing and photographing by myself. Wonderful. I left the compass in my car so just had the map and the sun to get around. No people anywhere until the last evening. After skiing for 7 hrs I was tired but welcomed an invitation for a cup of coffee at a reindeer herder’s cabin which was close by my ski route. I ended up spending the evening & night talking + partying with 3 local reindeer herders in the middle of nowhere. Lots of fun. I was so far north that the darkness never arrived.
April 8-10, 2011
Over 10 000 cranes were waiting for us in Hornborgasjön lake area in Sweden. Days before our visit were grey and wet. But our small group of nature photographers were really lucky. The weather was super and the sun was shining. We had early wake ups at 4.30 – but no problem. I wish I had seen most of those cranes together on the sky but that was just a dream. This is still a great place for crane photography. On the other side of the lake we saw swans playing mating games next to us.
March 26-27, 2011
18 photographers from Vaasa area got together to learn more about night photography. I was teaching this workshop where we learned how to take pictures with a flash in the dark with long exposure, how to paint with flash in the air, etc.
Jan 23 – Mar 6, 2011
On this photography trip I spent 42 days driving 4717 km in the east and north part of Finland (Lapland). I visited national parks, did several newspaper or magazine stories of winter activities in Lapland and photographed them. The winter was harsh, cold but amazingly beautiful. There were lots of days with temperatures of -20 and sometimes even -30 C.
I also spent time with reindeer herders in remote cabins (party), tried rally driving on ice, snow sledding downhill, reindeer safaris, ice fishing and snow machine safaris. Northern lights danced on the sky several times, ice climbing was cool but difficult, swimming in icy water was refreshing. I was almost killed by a heavy snowy tree one night in Koli national park :) and I photographed the ice & snow sailing world champs in Linnansaari national parks, to name some examples of my activities during this trip. I also tried to photograph wolverines for 3 days only seeing goshawk + other birds every day.
January 7-11, 2011
An isolated island of Utö in Saaristomeri national park is the most southern inhabited island of Finland. When I visited there (for the first time ever) weather changed from moment to moment to the extremes. Lots of ice in the ocean on the shoreline was beautiful – especially when using slow shutter speeds with the camera.
Nov 18 – Dec 14, 2010
How many trips have I done to Lapland this year? Many. For about 10-15 years I didn’t visit at all this area which is the most beautiful in our country, I think. This time there were some weeks of photograpy, interviews and meetings with people on my list. After 10 days in Pyhä-Luosto National Park, I spent 3 days at Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and then back to Pyhä ski resort for the opening of the season. Then, the road took me futher north to Saariselkä & Ivalo region for some reindeer herders ‘stuff.’ The image here is taken around 2 pm in the afternoon when the sun was going down in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.
I was touring for about 6 weeks different Finnish National Parks in the east and in the north.
Lemmenjoki National Park, the largest and most remote one in Finland, is an interesting place. Inside the park there are machines which “rape” the land near Miessijoki river. This is the place of professional gold diggers. I was happy finally to visit the people and see what is going on here. In August I had a chance to work & photograph on a Finnish WWF voluntary work camp in the park.
Whales on water and ashore, seals, muskox, vast inland ice, huge icebergs, howling sled dogs, humans skulls on grave yards, numerous boat trips, hiking and kayaking, amazing sun sets and simple camping life. That was my last 3 weeks on the west coast of Greenland.
I studied magazine story writing in Central Finland and visited Seitseminen National Park and the forest at my summer house before that.
End of June I started a new ‘adventure’ in my life when I had a chance to get to know reindeer herders in Pyhä-Luosto region (near the National Park) in Lapland. It was interesting to photograph and learn about reindeer herders marking their reindeer calves. Several trips following this first one have taught me much more about the profession – and have brought me new friends.