The alarm clock went off at dawn, and Ilari and his dad headed out into the dark, climbed into their motorboat and crossed Lake Ruunaa in North Karelia, Finland, to a swamp they'd been exploring. It was still quite dark when they got there, too dark to take any photographs. 'Moments later, we saw a bear,' says Ilari. 'That was a great experience, even though I didn't get a picture.' As the sun rose, Ilari was able to start taking photographs. But it wasn't until they were returning to the boat that it started to snow. 'I took the last few photos from the beach,' says Ilari. 'With snow everywhere, the landscape looked so beautiful. Winter was coming.'
Canon EOS 40D + Tamron 200-400mm f5.6 lens; 1/60 sec at f8; ISO 320.
Ruunaa, north Karelia, Finland