Gallery > Kuusamo in Winter

Located just within the arctic circle, the extensive upland region of Kuusamo, Finland, has been a Mecca for Finnish and Scandinavian nature photographers for more than 30 years and for the British, in the region of 15. Characterised by its rugged terrain of canyons, rapids, lakes and high fells this sparsely populated wilderness area (2.2 persons per km²) is home to innumerable flower, bird and mammal species - many of which are not found any further south or west.

I was first introduced to Kuusamo through reading an article in BBC Wildlife magazine illustrated with images by Hannu Hautala back in the mid-80s. Ten years later I made my first visit and have since been returning to Kuusamo (as well as other parts of Finland) since 1999. Hannu is widely regarded as the Father of Finnish nature photography and his distinct style set him apart. While others were concentrating on producing frame-filling images, Hannu was utilising Finland’s unique landscape and light by placing the often small subject within the landscape. I guess you could say he was at the forefront of contextual nature photography. His work has always been a source of inspiration to me and if you are not aware of him, do yourself a favour and seek out his images on the internet. Better still, buy one of his books! The image of me with Hannu was taking during a chance meeting while leading a group in 2015. If you think I'm looking a bit star-struck, it's because I was!