WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Runner-up 2012

Urban Wildlife

Pål Hermansen, Norway

Bumper life

When Pål discovered an abandoned scrapyard in southern Sweden, near to his home, he began to visit it regularly. Abandoned for more than 60 years, the cars have succumbed to nature. Algae and moss cover the paintwork, plants grow up through the floorboards and tiny creatures nest in the seats. ‘One particular squirrel would cross the yard at almost the same time every morning,’ says Pål. ‘It would jump from car to car, and I got to know the sound of its little metallic footsteps so well that I could tell which car it was on. I’m fascinated by how wildlife slowly occupies what were once powerful human symbols of status. Plants and animals pay no attention to our icons. It is nature that rules, not wealth.’ Pål set up a hide and used nuts to tempt the squirrel to pause, resulting in a surprising, story-book picture.

Technical specification

Hasselblad H3D-39 + 210mm lens + 1.7x converter; 0.3 sec at f7.1; ISO 100.


Värmland, Sweden: latitude 59.72941, longitude 13.235402 Värmland, Sweden: latitude 59.72941, longitude 13.235402

Värmland, Sweden

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Pål Hermansen, Norway

  • Life in the balance
  • Life after rust