WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Winner 2012

Urban Wildlife

Kai Fagerström, Finland

Secret lives

Once, some 40 or so years ago, a family of 13 people lived in this cottage in Suomusjärvi, Salo, Finland. They have long gone, but though the building has fallen into disrepair, it is still a winter home to many woodland creatures, including this red squirrel, which lives in the attic. Kai has spent the past 15 years documenting the secret life of such places. ‘Deserted buildings are so full of contradictions,’ he says. ‘I am fascinated by the way nature reclaims spaces that were, essentially, only ever on loan to humans.’ He usually starts off with a particular image in mind. Sometimes, he achieves that relatively quickly. But it often takes a considerable time for all the elements to come together in just the right way, subject included. ‘This is fine with me,’ he says. ‘The journey is more important than the destination.’

Technical specification

Nikon D3S + 70-200mm f2.8 lens; 1/30 sec at f4; ISO 1800; hide.


Salo, Finland: latitude 60.3909, longitude 23.1355 Salo, Finland: latitude 60.3909, longitude 23.1355

Salo, Finland

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Kai Fagerström, Finland

  • Sunset
  • Yellow-necked mouse wakes
  • Raccoon dog drops by
  • Pygmy owl comes home
  • Red squirrel keeps a lookout
  • The badgers at home