However, the evening before departure, one of Iceland's many vulcanoes started to rumble and airports were closed. One and a half hour after our flight got cancelled, we were on our way to Finland and a major road trip layed ahead of us. Bears and wolves were our target at one of Finland's famous feeding sites for these spectacular animals.
Due to the Norwegian government's successful policy of actively trying to eradicate the Norwegian populations of the four large predators in Scandinavia, Norwegian photographers need to go abroad to have a realistic chance to experience these species. We spent three nights in the hides on the border between Russia and Finland, and since there are no hunting or people allowed into these areas without special permition, this area is extraordinarily rich in wildlife. However, there are still a lot of luck involved to get the animals to perform as a demanding photographer wants to. The large predators are mostly active in the darkest hours of the night, and they don't always appear as close as one wants to. Anyway, I think I managed to catch some of that mystical atmosphere that these animals are surounded with into my images. If you agree, then I feel I have succeeded.
A lonely brown bear cub feeding at a carcass, perfect old forest setting. A few minutes later, it was hunted by three wolves and dissappeared into the forest and probably up into a tree. I had never expected either wolf or bear to be able to run this fast. In the books it says about 60 km/hr, my estimate would be well above a 100 km/hr.
Close up portrait are not always the way to describe an animal in an image. Unsharp in an old forest scenery captures some of this shadow's myths.
- EG -