WPY 2019

Photograph Details

Highly Commended 2019

Animals in their Environment

Antti Haataja, Finland

Polar Night Hare

In the silence of the frozen forest a mountain hare pauses in its tracks. Gliding across the snow on his skis, Antti knew he had to remain silent so as not to disturb the timid mountain hare. Using tree branches to frame the distant hare, he captured the stillness of the moment and, he says, ‘the magic of a frozen boreal forest on a polar night’.

Polar nights occur in the far north where the sun does not rise in winter, creating days of just a few hours of twilight. Ambient light paints the landscape an eerie shade of blue. The mountain hare is camouflaged against the thick snow blanketing the ground. When the snow melts, its fur will turn brown again, disguising it against the dark forest floor.

Technical specification

Nikon D800E + 24–70mm f2.8 lens at 56mm; 1/40 sec at f11; ISO 1600


Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Finland : latitude 68.001755, longitude 24.13898 Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Finland : latitude 68.001755, longitude 24.13898

Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Finland

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Antti Haataja

Antti Haataja, Finland

Antti is an author and photographer specialising in Arctic and subarctic wildlife, biodiversity, climate change, indigenous issues and conservation. He studied mathematics and theoretical physics before becoming a full-time author and photographer, and his work has a strong scientific basis. He travels only on skis, on foot or by boat, pulling a pulka or carrying a backpack.