Picture of an Estonian bog wins a prize at a competition in the Netherlands

The Estonian nature photographer, Remo Savisaar, has won the first prize in the landscape category of the “Nature Photographer of the Year” contest organised in the Netherlands.

Savisaar succeeded with the “Early morning bog” – an image taken in one of the country’s bogs in June 2016, when the photographer was introducing his British colleague to the Estonian nature and sights.

“I noticed a day before that the weather was getting cold, which meant that a fog would approach the bog – so we got our sleeping bags and prepared to spend the night in the nature to capture some shots,” Savisaar told Estonian World, adding that as a photographer, he prefers night-time in the bog because during the day, it’s not as “magical”.

However, the temperature was unusually cold for June – so much so that his foreign colleague tried to evade the nippy temperatures by getting some sleep in a sleeping bag, ultimately missing the shot Savisaar eventually took. “To be fair, neither of us was prepared for such dampness and cold. I was also trying to get some warmth in a sleeping bag, but I was still restless – so I couldn’t manage more than 30 minutes at best,” Savisaar said.

He finally captured the winning shot just two hours before the sunrise, approximately at two o’clock in the morning. “Once I got this picture, I felt that this was the right one. I was taken by the contrast of reddish-orange sky and cold foreground,“ the photographer said.

Competition is tough

Savisaar has competed in international contests before and said the competition was always tough. “Among others you have to compete with the National Geographic photographers, who basically have an unlimited supply of gear at their disposal; they also have assistants. For example, a single National Geographic’ photographer might utilise up to 20 trail cameras in a forest – the main camera plus the ones triggered to make an automatic shot,” he explained, adding that he didn’t own this type of equipment yet.

“Pictures that surprise and create emotions have a better chance to stand out among the juries. Obviously, there are thousands of images meeting these criteria, but a dozen or so are usually selected that could all be among the first five – but ultimately the choice has to be made,” Savisaar, who was among the lucky winners this time, said.

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Cover: Remo Savisaar’s winning shot, “Early morning bog”.

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and Politics & Society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter. You can write to Silver at silver@estonianworld.com.