Saturday, 31 January 2009
I am currently sitting on the airport of Tromsø in northern Norway after spending a couple of days chasing the northern light. The weather has been quit grey, and not good for the aurora borealis. However, on the outside of the magic island of Senja I found a landscape that will take the breath away from most people. The grey weather added to the scene giving my the opportunity to use long exposures. Please have in mind that the image attached has been developed on a 12" lap-top screen.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
Birds of the world / category winner
Just two days after returning from my Antarctic trip in November I managed to send in a couple of pictures before the closing date of the International Wildbird Photographers Award 2008. I was quit optimistic, but I knew the competition would be hard as always. So I was very happy when the winning images was announced this week by the Bird Watching magazine on their award website her. My graphic interpretation of the Gentoo Penguins on Aitcho Island clinched the prize in front of Hungarian bird photographer Bence Máté, in the "Birds of the World" category.
What the judges said: "The three elements of this photograph are positioned perfectly, showing good use of format and cropping. The exposure has been judged well, given how difficult it is to achieve on snow."
Saturday, 17 January 2009
For norwegian readers please se attached poster below for more details and location.
Monday, 12 January 2009
The first days of 2009 came with brilliant light and freezing cold weather, ideal for waterfowl photography. I spent a couple of mornings shooting ducks, divers and swans at sunrise with nice backlight. "Luckily" it is now back to normal in Stavanger with mild weather and rain. That means I have time to get ready for the talks I am having in January and February. First of is a full night of Wilderness and Wildlife encounters around the world, on Thursday 22nd of January. More information will be posted on the blog. I am also planning my trips for 2009, and I am as excited as ever with both Svalbard and Kenya on the list.
Saturday, 3 January 2009
I lived my childhood in industrial town called
I was lucky that during the same time I had biology teacher at school who told us to write to notebook the arrival dates of migrant birds in spring. Then at school we compared who had seen the first Lapwing or Skylark, so there was a little competition between pupils. That was the year 1977 and a starting point for my life with birds!
Already 1978 my parents bought me my first camera, manual functioning and very sturdy Russian camera Zenit TTL. I also got some very poor
Then some of my friends turned out to be wildlife photographers, but like many others, I started bird watching as a serious hobby. During the years I was drawing, studying, counting, ringing and twitching birds all over the planet. I always had a camera with me but that was mainly just for recording the odd rarity, if I happened to find one. Actually I have been lucky with rare birds, since during my active birding years I found three new bird species for
It was around year 1989 when I started to work for WWF as a warden in the best wetland in
The biggest boost to my wildlife photography has been the change to digital camera body in 2003. At the beginning I made expensive error, since I thought that if I bought the best digital body to start with, I can use it at least 10 years. Hah, can you imagine? I kept my first digital camera only for 6 months and it was losing value 500 euros every month! Now I have just received my 6th digital camera and I have learned that camera is not an investment, but a tool to get the best possible images.
First I was using digital camera as it was a film camera, taking just a few images of each subject. Soon I realised, that one of the main advantages of digital photography is that you are able to take more frames of fast moving subjects! This is great for action photography; birds in flight or birds fighting etc. Also with new camera bodies you can use higher ISO figures and that gives you so much more speed!
The fact that I am shooting nearly 200 000 frames in a year (which would have been 5555 rolls of film!) causes also problems. I have many hard drives full of data and it takes so much time to go through it all! If I only kept 10 % of images that would mean that I would still need to process 20 000 images in a year! Completely impossible for one photographer! Therefore in future I would need to be more critical with my images and only keep and process “the best of the best ones”. You really don´t need duplicates of the good frames anymore, do you? However, I´ll love digital photography!
Nowadays I live in
During the years many professional photographers, including Andy Rouse, David Tipling, Peter Cairns and Brutus Östling, have captured some of their best images of owls with me. Also I have helped many filming companies to film owls in
Some of the Finnish Owls are resident species and they stay in their territory throughout the year, but some of them are moving fairly long distances during the autumn. Then they are looking for good areas for voles. When they find suitable area, they will settle their winter territory there. If the food supply is still good in spring, they might breed in the same area.
The vole situation is the major factor when we are talking about seeing or photographing the owls. When vole situation is good owls are breeding in good numbers, but when vole population is low owls might be more easily observed and photographed especially during the winter! Vole populations vary in cycles and also geographically. So one year there could be good vole situation in Southern Finland and next year in Middle Finland and following year in
I have the hides e.g. for Golden Eagle photography and for many other bird species. I could take you to the best places to photograph Brown Bears, Wolverines or Wolves in Finland! If you are interested in to photograph Finnish owls, I would recommend you to subscribe newsletter at www.finnature.com website, since I will let the newsletter out immediately when the owls are available.