In 1999, I was fortunate to be involved in a fascinating long term project photographing the belugas and the island of Solovetski (or Solovki) in the White Sea, Russia. From this unique undertaking, a documentary film and a book were born.
The film, a Finnish/Canadian co-production by Marko Röhr and Patricia Simms “Beluga Speaking Across Time” (Maitovalaat Ajan Virrassa) came out in 2002 in which I was privileged to be the still photographer. The book “Vienanmeren Luostarisaaren Maitovalaat”, Maahenki (Belugas of the Monastery Island of the White Sea) was published in 2003.
The book came into life thanks in great part to The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, to Rauno Lauhakangas, the inspiring and driving force behind this project, and to sponsors like Fuji Finland. It was written by Finnish social anthropologist and poet Jöns Carlson and photographed by me.
The White Sea beluga project lasted over a period of 3-4 years with many visits to the island. Several features about this project appeared in TV, radio and the written press.
Nepal is a kaleidoscopic mixture of rurality, tradition and spirituality. The Nepalese are very open and friendly, and ethnicity is rich throughout valleys and mountains.
I have been to Nepal twice, the first time for an assignment for Finnish Nature’s magazine’s 60th anniversary (Suomen Luonto) where we travelled mostly the Southern and Eastern parts, including Kathmandu and the surroundings and Lumbini in the West.
Subsequently the idea of a travel/nature book came to life and I went back again to gather more photo material, this time from the Himalayas. The second time I travelled extensively in Pokhara and in the regions of Annapurna and Everest National Park from which later a series of articles where published in different magazines.
The book has not been realized yet, but it is still very much alive in my mind…
Colombia, my birth country, is an ongoing lifetime project. The vast diversity of people, cultures, fauna and flora makes it such an unique destination. From the Andes to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and to the Amazon jungle in the South, the country embraces valleys, rivers, lakes and plains bringing with each its own array of culture and biodiversity. The country’s vast biodiversity, 2nd highest in the world, includes many endemic species including close to 2000 species of birds.
With the peace process now realized and well in progress, there are new possibilities to further explore this exuberant land.