Tuomo Vilkkilä, who took the stunning photo ‘Honkamatsä Dawn’ in Saarijärvi, Finland, shares how the photo came about and what the forest means to him.
How do you feel about forests, both professionally and personally?
I come from a small village in central Finland. When I was a child, the forest was a versatile playground where you could play, have adventures, and do all kinds of exciting things. So, I got used to being and moving in the forest from an early age.
Nowadays, in addition to taking photos in the forest, I pick berries, hunt, jog, and do forestry work. For me, the forest is both a place of recreation and a source of income. I have been doing forest management on my family farm for about six years.
How did the forest inspire you to take your winning photo?
The old forests are impressive and calming. The magnificent pine trees in the morning mist were an amazing sight. I had been at the photo location before, so I knew how to wait for the right moment to shoot. The area is a popular nature destination near the town of Saarijärvi in central Finland.
What do you think about the work that an organization such as PEFC does to care for forests?
PEFC does important work for biodiversity, to protect endangered species and improve habitats for them. In addition to the sustainability of forest management, I feel measures related to groundwater protection are important. My main job is CEO of a water supply facility, and we produce household water from six groundwater intakes.
About the contest
In 2022, we held our ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest for the fifth time. Taking place in 13 countries, we received 7500 stunning photos, taking us to the wonderful world of forests. Have a look at the top 12 images here. To learn more about the photos, watch the winner announcement on Facebook Live.
- By PEFC International, a leading global alliance of national forest certification systems.