Jukka Risikko Photography – Magical nature and wildlife photography from Lapua, Western Finland

(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) Jukka Risikko from Lapua in Western Finland exactly knows how to capture the Magic of Finnish nature and wildlife with his camera.
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) Jukka Risikko from Lapua in Western Finland exactly knows how to capture the Magic of Finnish nature and wildlife with his camera.

Finlands nature and landscape is a treasure of beautiful moments and moods. Jukka Risikko, a young nature and wildlife photographer from Lapua, Western Finland, knows exactly how to capture this beauty with his camera. For his amazing picture of a whooper swan family, Finlands national bird, he recently was honoured with the first prize of the ifolor Kuvakisa 2020 and he also won the ifolor photobook competition earlier this year. I was really impressed by the magic of his pictures, because each of it tells its own special story. And so I wanted to know, how he discovered his love for nature and wildlife photography and what he particularly likes about it.

„Everytime I take a new photo, I am impressed again of the endless layers of Finnish nature” – Interview with the Finnish wildlife and nature photographer Jukka Risikko

Jukka Risikko
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) The beauty of nature is the main subject of Jukka Risikko’s photos.

Finntastic:
Moikka Jukka, hauskaa tavata! I travelled through your lovely picture gallery on your Social media profiles and on your website. Since when does your heart beat for photography? Why did you specialized in landscape, nature and wildlife photography?

Jukka Risikko
Thank you so much! All my life I have enjoyed going to the forest and nearby nature. I grew up in Lapua and there were beautiful locations and four different seasons. Through the time, I spent in nature, I became interested in trying to capture the beauty of it. My father had a lot of camera equipment at home and I had the chance to try some of his cameras.

A little over four years ago I fell in love with misty mornings of August and common cranes. From that moment on I’ve had the spark to get better and see more what nature in Finland has to offer. Nature has endless amounts of layers, so that’s why I love to shoot nature landscapes, wildilife and macro. Anything beautiful nature has to offer.

Winter
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) Not only the summer time, but also the winter has its own beauty.

Finntastic:
How did you learn all the camera techniques and which was your first camera?

Jukka Risikko:
My first camera was a Canon 100D with a kit lens. I learned the basics by trying different settings and finding out more information on the Internet. I had good conversations with my father as well. He knew about shooting quite a lot. Also I had the chance to loan lenses from him. That was a huge help for me in the beginning.

Finntastic:
You are from Lapua in Western Finland. Which is your favourite spot for making photos in this area?

Jukka Risikko:
My favorite spots can be found in the forests of Simpsiö, Lapua and the plain fields of Alajoki, Lapua. They both are located near my home and have good amounts of wildlife throughout the year. Also the changing seasons offer versatile possibilities. The rivers and the small lakes nearby are also good locations. It’s all about the light and conditions. I love mist and fog. Especially low light conditions, hoar frost and for example fall colors are my favorites.

Fox Winter
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) Taking a photo of wild animals is always a challenge.

Finntastic:
Is there a nature photographer from Finland or else where, who has inpired you?

Jukka Risikko:
Yes, a few Finnish photographers have inspired me. For example Konsta Punkka, Markus Varesvuo and Benjam Pöntinen have been my source of inspiration. Konsta Punkka is the leading Finnish photographer in social media. I like his way of admiring the nature and bringing it to life for a wide audience. Markus Varesvuo is one of the best bird photographers in the world in my opinion. And Benjamin Pöntinen is a local nature photographer legend from Lapua. He has worked a long career with for example Siberian flying squirrels and different bat species. Moreover, he’s also my role model in protecting the nature.

Finntastic:
How would you characterize your own photo style? What do you think of image editing?

Jukka Risikko:
My style includes bringing Finnish nature closer to my audience. I try to capture the fairytale moments nearby my home to show that there are magical moments and wonderful experiences when you keep your eyes open. With my photos I’m trying to transmit the mood and emotion of the situation as well.

I capture my shots with high-quality equipment and in RAW format. That way I can store all the data from the situation and make the finishing touches in Lightroom on the computer. My goal is to repeat what I saw and experienced, when I was taking the shot. I don’t use any special techniques such as HDR or exposure blend and I don’t use for example Photoshop to make composites or manipulate the picture. Of course, finishing touches in Lightroom are very important, so that the end-result resembles the situation.

Squirrel Autumn
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) This Squirrel seems to enjoy the photo shooting.

Finntastic:
How easy is it to get wild animals in front of the camera?

Jukka Risikko:
Getting good wildlife shots is never easy. The most important things is to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Birds are one of my favorite subjects. I’ve trained my hearing and sight to observe the surroundings, where ever I go. I can recognize certain birds from a distance. Mammals such as foxes and deer are more difficult, because they are very aware of people. In order to get good shots you should spend more time for example in photography hide.

Finntastic:
And do you have a funny story from a a wild life photo shooting, you like to tell us?

Jukka Risikko:
One time I heard a beautiful bird song and immediately recognized it to be a long-tailed tit (lat. Aegithalos caudatus). The bird species is pretty rare here. I was with my daughter at the time so I phoned my parents, if they could take care of her for a brief moment. They said yes, and I quickly retrieved my camera and caught a few shots of these hasty beautiful birds,  before it got too dark. I needed only half an hour fort hat.

Long-tailed tit
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) A long-tailed tit is really rare, but Jukka Risikko managed to take this beautiful picture of the talented singer in the forest of Lapua.

Finntastic:
Is there an animal you didn‘t managed to get in front of the camera yet, but which you absolutely would love to take a picture of?

Jukka Risikko:
I would love to take a photo of a lynx some day. They are very beautiful animals but very difficult to find.

Finntastic:
What do you like more, summer oder winter photography? And did you already make photos of the Northern Lights?

Jukka Risikko:
I think, that all the seasons in Finland have good qualities thinking of photography. On the other hand every season can have downsides as well. I love frosty winter conditions as well as the burst of colors in Autumn. Summer nights are so beautiful. I can’t really choose. I hope, that the winter time would remain cold, but it seems that due to the global warming they are not the same any more. I have taken several shots of Northern lights in Lapua, but the propability to see them is far higher in Finnish Lapland.

Northern lights
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) Not only in Lapland, but also in Lapua, Western Finland you can see the Northern Lights up in the sky.

Finntastic:
You also made lovely pictures of the Finnish “Ruska aika”, the Finnish Indian Summer. When is the perfect time for that? And do you have some photo tipps for that?

Jukka Risikko:
Thank you! Ruska, the burst of colors in the Fall, is very beautiful. It is difficult to predict the exact time, but usually the best colors in Western Finland are present usually in the beginning of October. In Northern Finland Ruska starts in the middle of September and in Southern Finland in the middle of October. Fog and fall colors make a perfect combination. Early mornings are the best time to shoot Ruska in my opinion.

Autumn by the river Lapua
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) Ruska aika (autumn) is one of Jukka Risikko’s favourite seasons, because of the wealth of colours.

Finntastic:
You won the ifolor Kuvakisa photography award 2020 with your swan picture. Just tell us about the photography competition and your winner photo. Why did you decide to submit this special photo?

Jukka Risikko:
Yeah, that’s right! The competition challenged everyone to send their favorite summer photo. The judges chose twelve photos for the final round and Finnish people chose the winner by voting. I picked this photo, because it resembles Finnish summer and family happiness of the national bird of Finland, the whooper swan. Earlier this year I also won the Ifolor photo book competition too.

Swan family Ifolor summer photo competition winner
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) With his picture of a whooper swan family, the national bird of Finland, Jukka Risikko already won the ifolor Kuviakisa photography award 2020.

Finntastic:
What was your most challenging photo motiv so far?

Jukka Riskko:
This year I encountered an ural owl in the local forest. That has been a dream for a long time, but the situation was very exciting and potentially dangerous because the owl had little owlets nearby. Ural owls can be very aggressive in these situations, so I had to be very careful and keep eye contact to he mother owl all the time. I quickly took a few shots and then backed out carefully. This year one nature photographer in Finland had his eye damaged severely in a similar situation.

Ural owl
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) It’s not as easy to get an owl in front of the camera.

Finntastic:
How is the situation for you as a photographer at the moment in Finland? Has Corona influenced your business? What are your plans for the future?

Jukka Risikko:
Thanks for asking. I think that everyone has been impacted in this situation. The biggest influence in my business is that photo courses can’t be held normally. Although I’m quite happy, that the other parts of my business haven’t been impacted that much yet.

Finntastic:
Thank you Jukka for this inspiring interview. And I am looking forward to seeing more of your magical nature photos on Social media!

Jukka Risikko:
Nice to hear, that you like my picures. And sure, I will capture more magical moments for all the people out their in the future. 


About Jukka Risikko

Summer Night
(PHOTO: Jukka Risikko Photography) Fog and mist are ideal conditions to get mystical photos.

Jukka Risikko is a rising nature photographer from Lapua, Western Finland, who is specialized in nature, wildlife and landscape photography. He just won the ifolor Kuvakisa photography award 2020 with an amazing swan picture and earlier this year also the Ifolor photo book competition. Some of his magical pictures you will find on his photo Website as well as on his Social media profiles on Facebook and Instagram profiles.

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