Monday, October 12, 2009

coffee time

photo by Kari Leo: Metsän emäntä

This amazing photo by Kari Leo won Finland's nature photo of the year. My cousin, Ari, who lives in Finland, sent me the link to this photo. What a beautiful photo! It really captures the sense of having a sanctuary in the woods...with an unexpected visitor coming to join you for coffee! The contest attracted 9000 entries, and I'm sure the other photos were great, too. Kari Leo's winning photo of a Siberian Jay coming for coffee in the backwoods won him 5000 euros. On the ESS Finnish newspaper site, it says that the judges especially liked how the photo captured the backlight coming through the dusky woods. The light exposes the wings and tail of the descending bird like an xray. The judges also said the photo highlights the cultural heritage of nature, and through that allows the viewer to return to his or her own memories of this legacy. The photo is called "Metsän emäntä." There is really no translation into English that will do it justice. While some might translate it as Forest Mistress or Forest Mrs. in fact the word "emanta" does not translate across gender without knowing the historical context of the word. Emanta is more like the female director, manager, or overseer of all matters in the domicile. So, this Siberian jay is an impressive visitor dropping by!


marja-leena said...

That IS an amazing photo. How very lucky he was to have this moment to capture. And yes, it's the backlighting that makes it so great plus the colours, I think, with that withered moss or whatever on the top right picking up the wing colour. Humour too with the coffeepot on a branch, and that title.

Merche Pallarés said...

Absolutely beautiful picture! I think your translation of Forest Mistress is probably correct. It's also very funny, as Marja-Leena says. That coffee pot hanging from a branch in the middle of the forest! Too much... Hugs, M.

Ari said...

Forest Landlord wants to have a little bit rent when coming for coffee and other delicacies.

northshorewoman said...

ML, yes it is such a special photo; maybe especially for Finns. The lighting is almost too perfect. I admit, sometimes I am a cynic and wonder how much staging goes into seemingly 'natural' photos. Do you think it was a matter of the right light at the right time, or... artificial light?

MP, yes the humour is there. Seriously, Finns do weird things like carry old-style coffeepots with them into the backwoods...true or false? I don't know. Maybe staged.

Ari, yes the Forest Landlady (after all he called the bird "emanta" ...with dots) will want to get something in return. Maybe it's not such a peaceful picture, after all. Maybe it can be the start of a scary fairytale!