Stian Norum Herlofsen - Wildlife at the russian border

The adventure was on, this year as well. I had been looking forward for this trip for months now. As I walked on the propeller-plane, that would carry us from Helsinki and closer to the Russian border. I had already flown from Gardermoen, Oslo. For the next five days, I was hoping to observe and photograph bears, wolves and wolverines. I had been at this same place once before. It was last year, and it turned out to success. So this year my expectations weren’t lower, but maybe higher.


The first day at the photohide couldn’t have begun better. Just after 30 minutes, the first bear was seen, and it was walking closer. Unfortunately, just as quickly as the bear was here, it was now gone again. Hours passed, and I was waiting. It wasn’t long to before the sun went below the horizon, and the light disappears. Then, out of nowhere it happens! As the sky turned into pink and red colours, there was 3 bear near the hide. The sky and light became amazing. The bears walked around forming countless photographic opportunities. What a majestic evening.



For the next few days, I got several magical images. One evening I sat in a hide, near a small lake. As I thought, the bear did come pretty close up to the hide and near the water. That made the mirroring photos of bears in golden sunset light.

On the fourth day, I sat totally alone at a place called “paradise”. Yeah, it was paradise for sure. The bears didn’t disappoint me this evening. Its like I had to hit my self, just to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. This is just one of the most beautiful scenery that few have been able to experience before me.

As there had been relatively little with sleep, and it was therefore very important to get some at daytime. It remains a day and the Finnish and Russian border. Hours passed, and there where no bears to see. As the “photolight” was about disappear, I got eye on some bears. It was like hit a trigger, just suddenly to big bears starts fighting. This sequence gave me photos that I haven’t seen before.

During the night, I was lucky to hear the wolves howling at the full moon. That’s a thing that a wildlife photographer never will forget. The night turns into early morning. I could hear the black grouse played just some 100 meters away from where I sat. I was looking outside and watching for animals, and I saw something away on a long distance. Tried to get some shots with my Nikon camera, and when I zoomed in, I could believe it. It’s a wolf on the other side of the marsh, and it was walking in my direction. Majestic and mysterious its approaching, and I had time so get over 300 photos before it disappeared.

A magical week was over. I have experienced much of what I just could dream of before this trip. And important reason for photographing is the share my moments to others. Photography for my isn’t just a job, its also a passion to capture and share these magical moments.

All rights reserved | Young Nordic Nature photographers | 2017