Yesterday I got back from my photography trip to Finland, where I spent 10 days with a group of 8 more participants and 2 organizers. I learned about this Finland photography trip on the website of Starling. The trip was organized by Johan van der Wielen and Finn Snaterse.
The trip started with a missed connection flight to Kajaani in Helsinki, but Finnair got me a spot on the late evening flight and 4 other Belgian participants had to fly to another airport and take a taxi to Kajaani airport from there. The five of us got to Kajaani the same day, so it just took some extra time to get to Domnan Pirtti, our home for this trip, and didn’t mess up the schedule too much. During these 10 days in Finland, day and night were reversed. It went quite well for me, although you kind of loose your sense of time.
The programme consisted of 4 nights in a hide to photograph wildlife, a trip to the Värisköngas waterfall, a trip to the taiga and a visit to Petola Visitor Centre. Finn made delicious meals. We spent 3 nights in hides of Wild Brown Bear, where I spent one night in hide 19, 5 and 21. On this map you get an overview of the hides. We also spent one night at one of the hides of Wildlife Safaris Finland.
Looking back on my first photography trip, I can definitely recommend this trip, as well as Johan and Finn as very competent organizers and great photographers. They created a nice programme and did all they could to let us have a great time and to let us take the best pictures possible with their tips and tricks. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t get to see more wildlife, as I seemed to be in the wrong hide every night, as other hides had more luck and saw wolverine, more bears, fox and wolf. Of course this has nothing to do with Johan and Finn, but with luck. This is once again the lesson everyone should keep in mind when photographing nature: you never know what will happen, you never know who will walk in front of your camera! This is frustrating, but this keeps it also interesting, as every night is different! What also was really nice, was the peace and quiet in this region with almost no people, cars and human noise. Really great to escape the busy and noisy Flanders!
Here are some of my favourite pictures of the trip to give you some impressions: