Kuusamo Nature Photo 2020 winners

Publishable on Saturday 12 Sep 2020 at 15:00

Frenchman Jonathan Lhoir wins first prize in the 2020 Kuusamo Nature Photo Competition

The winners of The 2020 Kuusamo Nature Photo Competition have been published. The winner of the Hannu Hautala Prize is Jonathan Lhoir from France. He impressed the judges with a beautifully simplified shot called The Frog. The winner in Category B, Art of Nature, is Juhani Kosonen. Niko Sallinen was the winner in Category C, Children and Youngsters, and the winning shot in Category D, Ruka-Kuusamo Coordinates of Nature, was taken by Janne Liuski.

This year, the 25th year of the event, over 140 participants from several countries entered a total of some 1000 images to the nature photo competition. In addition, hundreds of photographers sent their images to the Instagram categories.

According to the Jury Chair, Ms. Jonna Kalliomäki, the quality of the competition entries was high, and many forms of expression were represented. The task of the jury was not easy, and the scores given to the entries were widely spread. However, the judges agreed unanimously on the order of the top images.

The winner in Category A, Hannu Hautala Prize, is The Frog by Jonathan Lhoir. “The printed image is skilfully simplified with a few fine, deliberate strokes, reflecting a fundamental motif. The scant colour scheme plays well together, and the appearance of the frog’s eyes fits in perfectly with the patterns formed by the plants. There is also a slight presence of humour in the image,” the jury writes in their statement.

The winner in Category B, Art of Nature, is Juhani Kosonen. “An overexposure of a woodpecker forest, with a very successful and ambiguously functioning combination of image files. This shot is rich with many interesting details that have fallen into place: the right wing of the woodpecker melting into the branches, the tawny cross-stripe of the tail, the forest in the background glimmering through the thick tree trunk, etc. When overexposure is used, skill and know-how is often not enough for a great outcome: there is usually a fair amount of serendipity involved," the judges remark.

The winning image of Category C Instagram, Children and Youngsters, was taken by Niko Sallinen. “The Mistaken Victim is an amusing name for an image with the composition and colouring spot-on beautifully managed. Apart from macro images, mosquitos are rarely seen in nature photographs, so top marks also for that,” the jury says.

In Category D Instagram, Ruka-Kuusamo Coordinates of Nature, the rewarded image was Janne Liuski’s The Husky Kingdom. “Photographer Janne Liuski (@janneliuskiphotography) has managed to capture the meagre midwinter light wonderfully. The orange sky of a freezing winter’s day, with the light haze present in the image, create a storybook-like atmosphere in the shot. The feeling is enhanced by the lonesome husky, gazing at the horizon. The jury was almost unanimous in its choice of this image as the best representative of the spirit and feeling of Ruka-Kuusamo,” the jury explains.

Kuusamo Nature Photo Competition 2020 Judges’ comments on the awarded entries

Category A, Hannu Hautala

  1. Jonathan Lhoir: The Frog. Life rises from the water. An image that is successfully printed and skilfully simplified with a few fine, deliberate strokes, reflecting a fundamental motif. The scant colour scheme plays well together, and the appearance of the frog’s eyes fits in perfectly with the patterns formed by the plants. There is also a slight presence of humour in the image.
  2. Ilkka Niskanen: A startling and unparallelled image of a bear, effective not only in its wild angle of view but also in its technical implementation. The bear comes genuinely close to the viewer, who is at the same time involved in thinking about how the image has been created.
  3. Timo Vesterinen: A pleasantly harmonious, yet simplified realization of autumn leaves, which contains plenty of symbolism. The message of the overlapping levels is both temporal and contentual: so short is the journey from the blazing beauty to the perishability of every living thing. The only thing that is continuous is the cycle of matter.


  4. Timo Vesterinen: A downy soft colour palette that contains an extraordinary and refined world of colours. A therapeutic image, in which the topic is not as essential as the interpretations it raises in the mind of the viewer.


  5. Henrik Schultz: Bold printing has created an enigmatic atmosphere shot near the waterfront. The shot represents a hazy dreamlike image, or a faded, perhaps even a slightly brooding memory from a distant past. The functionality of the image is supported by the elements left allusive at the bottom and right half of the shot.
  • Honorary mention Keijo Penttinen: Butterfly. A beautiful and sensitive image that carries a slightly melancholy yet comforting message: life is like the flight of a butterfly, frail and short, but still always accompanied with the seed of something new. The pictorial motifs seem to float in mid-air in a fine, incorporeal fashion.


  • Honorary mention Pasi Relanto: Moon Jellyfish. A finely balanced image of the underwater world. It seems as if the jellyfish is shining with its own light. The form of the jellyfish and the position of the tentacles create a lively image of the movement of the water, and the swing of the jellyfish to its rhythm. The shot is crowned by the scattering rays of light from the surface.


  • Honorary mention Camilla Sipponen: The Stream. Created with skill and vision, this graphic image invites the gaze of the viewer to return to see the figures of the aquatic birds, engaged in an allegorical fight for dear life in the stream of existence.

Category B, Art of Nature

  1. Juhani Kosonen: An overexposure of a woodpecker forest, with a very successful and ambiguously functioning combination of image files. This shot is rich with many interesting details that have fallen into place: the right wing of the woodpecker melting into the branches, the tawny cross-stripe of the tail, the forest in the background glimmering through the thick tree trunk, etc. When overexposure is used, skill and know-how is often not enough for a great outcome: there is usually a fair amount of serendipity involved!
  2. Jose Luis Ruiz Jiménez: A striking image, almost like a rallying cry without words! The contrast of the harsh and rough crudeness and the soft owl in the black chink of the door creates a strong statement. The heart-shaped face of the owl gives a finishing touch to the shot.
  3. Taru Rantala: An impressionistic study of mosses, glowing in full-flavoured tints of orange and yellow, embracing the viewer with its thick warmth. The image reflects a likeness of fairy tales, and the spore-cases swaying at the stem tops work as a reminder of a strangely familiar “group of Hattifatteners”.
  4. Jonathan Lhoir: An image where the real world is bafflingly mixing with the world of fairy tales. It is difficult to say where the boundary between reality and fairy tale lies. The contrast between the cold blue of the background and the warm shades of the rest of the image, combined with the strongly distorted perspective and the strong feeling of tridimensionality of the ferns, work extremely well in creating an atmosphere of unreality.
  5. Camilla Sipponen: An image that contains a wonderful feeling of the mystical dance of water nymphs at a dark pond in the woods, beautifully supported by the restrainedly dull colours. The essential element in the shot is the arc of the left swan, around which the image is mostly focused. The water surface, allusively shown at the bottom, is also an essential element supporting the image.
  • Honorary mention Taito Tammelin: Bubbles in the Ice. Reflecting its Finnish name, Mani-mani [money-money], the shot is filled with icy clinking. A simple and functioning shot of a singularly fine group of ice bubbles. With a slight adjustment of cropping the image could have been even better.


  • Honorary mention Sanna Hillberg: Straw. An image like a poem. A very skilful and stylish image of a seemingly simple motif. A shot filled with warm longing and unspoken feeling, verifying the statement that it is not important what you shoot, but how you shoot!


  • Honorary mention Ari-Matti Nikula: A Foggy Forest. A heartwarmingly fine and skilful forest impression, comprising a harmony of most beautiful light pastel tints and dull colours. The composition and placing of pictorial elements into the shot verges on classical perfection.

Category C: Children and Youngsters - Instagram

  1. The winner is Niko Sallinen (@finnishbirds): The Mistaken Victim. ”An amusingly named image with the composition and colouring spot-on beautifully managed. Apart from macro images, mosquitos are rarely seen in nature photographs, so top marks also for that.”

Category D: Ruka-Kuusamo Coordinates of Nature - Instagram

  1. The winner is Janne Liuski (@janneliuskiphotography): The Husky Kingdom.  ”The photographer has managed to capture the meagre midwinter light wonderfully. The orange sky of a freezing winter’s day, with the light haze present in the image, create a storybook-like atmosphere in the shot. The feeling is enhanced by the lonesome husky, gazing at the horizon. The jury was almost unanimous in its choice of this image as the best representative of the spirit and feeling of Ruka-Kuusamo." 

 

 


Category A, Hannu Hautala Prize

KNP 2020 A, 1. Jonathan Lhoir, Calamita

KNP 2020 A, 2. Ilkka Niskanen, Jano

KNP 2020 A, 3. Timo Vesterinen Silhuetti

KNP 2020 A, 4. Timo Vesterinen, Satua

KNP 2020 A, 5. Henrik Schultz Heron, In The Early Morning Light

Kunniamaininta A, Camilla Sipponen

Kunniamaininta A, Keijo Penttinen

Kunniamaininta A, Pasi Relanto

Category B, Art of Nature

Category C: Children and Youngsters - Instagram

Category D: Ruka-Kuusamo Coordinates of Nature - Instagram

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