Dancing bears and mirror lakes: Valtteri Mulkahainen’s spectactular photos of Finnish nature

Finnish photographer Valtteri Mulkahainen's iconic shot of "dancing" bear cubs

A few years ago, Mr. Valtteri Mulkahainen of Sotkamo hit the news in Finland and globally, as his pictures of “dancing” bear cubs in the Suomussalmi forests captured the imagination of nature friendly people everywhere. We wanted to feature Valtteri in our series on Finnish photography, so we’ve caught up with him in a short interview on wolves, using camera gear in the extreme, iPhone killing cold… and Pokémon Go.

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Young man jumping into icy lake, like it was summer. Photo in Asikkala, Finland.

The impossible contrast: Young photographer drops summer-like scenes into freezing Finnish winter

Young man stuck with rowboat in snow on icy lake, Asikkala, Finland.

At the time of writing, it’s rather cold, around -20°C, here in Helsinki. To make this a bit less insufferable, let’s enjoy some summery pictures. Almost.

Sixteen-year-old, award-winning photographer Markus Watkins has just published a very timely set of summer activities set in freezing cold Asikkala. We asked some questions about his set, which he named The Impossible Contrast.

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Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Arctic #nofilter: 15 Instagram snapshots that show why Lapland’s the crown jewel of the North

Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Free pro tip: too much Instagram at bedtime will mess with your sleep. On the other hand, if you open Instagram first thing after your alarm rings in the morning, your phone’s screen will help you wake up. Put simply, Instagram can be a fantastic infusion of beauty into your day when you need it the most.

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Simply Suomi: 5 everyday delights that make Finland fantastic


We all know that Finland is very high on the list in the international rankings on education, freedom of press, equality and social security. For example, according to the 2016 World Happiness Report, Finland is the 6th happiest country in the world, and Helsinki ranks 3rd on the 2016 Metropolis Magazine most liveable cities list. We live in a wonderful place. Let’s embrace it!

Lists and rankings are a great thing, but what about personal experience? My expat years made me think about my Finnish happiness from a different, everyday-life perspective. There are four things that make life in Finland better than anywhere else: simplicity, design, functionality and access to nature. To understand what I mean, here is a list of five everyday things I really missed while living away from home.

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