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Winners of the Arctic Council Photography Contest

The winners of the Arctic Council Photography Contest will be displayed in Kiruna 14 and 15 May. During March the Arctic Council Secretariat invited enthusiastic hobby photographers who live, work or visit the Arctic to share their photos that illustrate all aspects of life in the different regions of the Arctic. The photos are also displayed 14 May in a slideshow on the Arctic Council homepage.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category will be displayed in hard copy in Kiruna both at Folkets Hus (Community Center) 14 May during the Arctic Council side events and at Stadshuset (City Hall) 15 May during the meeting. In addition, all of the submitted photos will be displayed in a slideshow on a computer screen near the photo exhibition. The photos will also be displayed on the Arctic Council homepage.

31 people sent in submissions to the contest and 117 pictures were sent in total spread over the 4 categories. The Secretariat is very grateful to everyone who contributed and shared their pictures and experiences with the Arctic Council. Below are the winners of the photography competition:

Arctic Peoples:

1st place: "The last shaman of Wrangler Island" by Anastasiya Ilina features Georgiy Kaurgin, a hereditary reindeer breeder who is of Chukchi of Indian origin. Anastasiya Ilina is an oceanographer and employee of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. She was participating in a 45-day expedition arranged by Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) to Wrangler Island when she took the photo.

2nd place: “Modern and traditional technology” by Raymond Molony.

3rd place: “Yamal Tundra playing” by Alice Besacier-Picard.


1st place: “Rorbuer in Reine” by Mia Bennett was taken on the Island Reine in the Lofoten archipelago in Norway. The photo depicts several rorbuer (Norwegian fishing huts which have been converted into small cabins) during a storm in January 2013. Mia Bennett is currently pursuing an M.Phil. in Polar Studies at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, where she is researching Asian interest in the circumpolar north. She is also an Arctic Blogger for the Foreign Policy Association.

2nd place: “The Pan-STARRS Comet and Aurora Borealis” by Tommy Larsen.

3rd place: “Ice floating” by Kristin Nymark Heggland.

People in action:

1st place: “Arctic Beach” by Nils Arne Johnsen was taken on Sommarøya near Tromsø, Norway during Easter this year. The outdoor temperature was -5 C and the sea temperature perhaps 4 degrees above freezing when the 5 year old Idunn Johnsen suddenly decided to take an Easter swim. Adapting to the arctic conditions, she had to wear her fur cap. Nils Arne Johnsen was born and raised in Finnmark and is now living in Tromsø. In his photos he wants to show examples of the Arctic giving residents climatic challenges in everyday life.

2nd place: “Sailboat and ice flake” by Sergey Murzaev.

3rd place: “Lithuanians drying cod in Lofoten” by Mia Bennett.

Plants and animals:

1st place: “Fox versus Goose” by Sergey Gorshkov is a wildlife photo that with perfect timing captures the lively interactions between predator and prey. Sergey Gorshkov is the founding member of the Russian Union of wildlife photographers. He has received many awards for his works over the years. He is the holder of two “Photographer of the year in Russia” awards, and he has also won the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition three times. His works are printed in magazines around the world.

2nd place: “Mountain climbing Polar bear” by Christopher Wolff.

3rd place: “The Majestic Eagle” by Harald Enge



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