Helsinki Town Hall during foggy evening

Award Adobe Finland 100

We were honored to receive official Adobe photo competition award Finland 100 (Suomi 100). Among numerous contenders photo taken by Gennady Kurushin was selected as a winning by the professional jury members. The photo is featuring City Hall – one of the key historical buildings of Helsinki captured during the unique natural phenomenon known as sea fog, that sometimes could be seen in the coastal region.

Interview with Adobe

How did you take the winning photo from Helsinki? What kind of situation was it? Why did you choose that subject, style, and atmosphere for the photo?

The photo was taken when I had just returned from Suomenlinna – which is one of my favourite spots in Helsinki. I’ve photographed it so many times: during the summer and winter, daytime and nights. Suomenlinna is also associated with an important moment in my personal life.

What started as a regular summer day in Suomenlinna, later became a mysterious show as the fog started to cover Helsinki. I’ve only heard about sea fog (merisumu) before but never happened to see it, not so strong at least. I was enchanted as the familiar landscape was suddenly transformed into exotic scenery. The shore of the island became like a watercolour painting.

As the sun was setting down we took a return ferryboat. I thought the fog had vanished already, but in contrast, it had gathered close to the mainland, covering the city as a thick grey blanket. The boat was crawling slowly and the harbour was nowhere to be seen. The only thing we could hear was the engine and the sad long voice of the foghorn. Finally, the metal structure of the Katajanokka docks slowly emerged from the mist coloured by the orange light of the lamps. The pier of Market Square (kauppatori) followed soon after, revealing the view of Kaupungintalo shrouded in fog.

For a Saturday there was surprisingly little people or traffic around, enhancing the feeling of being in a fairytale. I immediately got a boost of inspiration seeing the lights of the cars glowing in the fog and prepared to take a photo of the City hall. I think the unique natural phenomenon inspired me to take this shot, I just knew how I want to show the moment, to reflect that surreal feeling which was overwhelming me that day.

Gennady Kurushin, 2017

How does hundred-year-old Finland inspire your photography?

As being a landscape photographer, I draw inspiration from the environment surrounding me. Already as a kid, I was fond of Finnish nature and later when I started to photograph I was fascinated by the simple yet beautiful scenery of lakes and coniferous forest (havumetsä).

Caring attitude towards ecology so common for Finnish people has always impressed me and caused a strong sense of respect. Among many other achievements during the past 100 years, I especially appreciate the preservation of nature and development of the National parks.

There are many places in Finland, that I haven’t visited yet and it motivates me to move forward and travel with my camera.

Gennady Kurushin, 2017