Interview – Lasse Kurkela
Lasse Kurkela (b. 2003) is a young nature photographer from Southern Finland and he has been interested in nature and animals most his life. Lasse with his family has spent a lot of time out in nature. Lasse has received several awards for his photographs.
He have been awarded in many international nature photography competitions and he received recently a very special distinction, the annually environmental achievement award from his home town in Finland.
Hello Lasse, first of all, thanks for joining youngnaturephotographers community! We have prepared few questions for you, to know more about you and about your passion, nature photography. Here we go!
First things first. When this adventure started? When your passion for nature photography began.
I started photography because my father did it and i wanted to try it with him. – By the age 7 years Lasse started increasingly to photograph nature. Soon after he was traveling with his father around Finland and other Nordic countries photographing nature and animals.
What you enjoy the most about nature photography?
Most I enjoy seeing the animal or landscape after a long wait or preparations, then seeing the good photos in my camera
What is your next shot, what you would like to photograph…to travel…
I’d like to see a lynx but so far it has been too difficult.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by the beauty of nature.
What is the best photo tip / recommendation that ever have told you?
The best tip I’ve heard is to be patient and humble.
What is your favourite picture?
My favorite picture is the wolverine and magpie, I was 9 years old when i took it.
Could you explain an exciting or memorable story lived on the field?
In late October 2015 our friends told us that suddenly at their photohide they have seen wolves visiting, confirmed by automatic remote game camera. Two days later me and my father travelled the long 7 hours car drive to spend the weekend at that photohide in middle of remote forest, so just wolves around us.
During the long car drive on one Friday evening the owner of the photohide forwarded us frequently photographs from his automatic remote game camera placed at the photohide. Pack of five wolves was nearby the photohide most of the afternoon and evening. Latest game camera photographs arrived just 15min before we parked our car on side of a remote forest road, some 1km away from the hide. I walked very quietly towards the hide with my father in completely darkness and hoped that we wouldn´t scare the pack of wolves away when we were getting closer to the photohide.
-Scary to some, but not for a young nature photographer, … next morning Lasse got this photo:
Another story…During the last couple years I have spent well over 50 days in photohides in trying to capture some photographs of wolves. Most of the times I have not gotten any photographs, but hoped for better luck next time. It has been particularly difficult to capture winter photographs. Winter of 2014-2015 I was total of 14 days in photohides hoping to be able to take photographs of wolves on snow. Out of those days I saw a wolf, between sunrise and sunset, only once – and this is the wolf.
This photograph was taken on 18. October 2014 from a photohide in remote forests of Joensuu, East Finland, nearby the Russian border. The frost on the ground is due to very cold morning temperature, -17 C°. I had been overnighting in the photohide with my father for the second night already. During the night we didn’t have heating on, because any smell, sound or light could have scared the wolves. Luckily I had a new very warm winter sleeping bag…
When I woke up that morning I saw the pack of wolves far away in the distance, but unfortunately they all left just before sunrise. We had already decided to leave the photohide, but luckily we waited for some more time as this young wolf in the photograph suddenly appeared almost one hour after the pack of wolves had left the area.
This wolf came straight towards the photohide from the forest behind. The wolf took some time to observe perhaps for the other wolves and also tried to capture ravens irritating him. Luckily my camera was pointing towards the wolf and I quickly started to take photographs carefully one by one, with my camera set in quiet mode and wrapped with some textiles to further reduce shutter noise.
On our way back home my father told me, that he had been very worried that moment, that I would somehow miss this unique opportunity to photograph the wolf, by using some wrong camera settings. Afterwards he saw from my photographs that I didn’t – and I guess he is also happy to be here today with me
What you would like to share with other young nature photographers?
Mainly what I would like to share with other photographers is to Be patient and enjoy the moment, and don’t expect too much from yourself.
Working in something new?
Not really, we travel as we please and based on current events.
What photographers inspire you?
Hannu Hautala and Eero kemilä, both are very experienced photographers.
Many thanks for the interview Lasse. We wish you the best!
You can find our more about Lasse at: www.lassekurkela.kuvat.fi