My Helsinki – Seurasaari Island

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Meet Konsta – the Squirrel Whisperer

Meet Konsta – the Squirrel Whisperer

26-year old Konsta Punkka has over one million followers on Instagram

The talented nature photographer’s rise to fame on social media has made it possible for him to work together with the likes of National Geographic and to travel to the most exotic places around the world.
Yet the humble photographer from Helsinki still thinks the most special place of all is Seurasaari Island, just five kilometres from the capital’s city centre.

This is the place where Konsta first started photographing squirrels and fox cubs

earning his nickname “squirrel whisperer”.
This is the place for him to relax and be close to nature.
Helsinki.
Helsinki is a modern, pocket-sized European city known for design and high technology .

Helsinki’s attractive and unique character comes from its proximity to the sea

as well as its location between the East and the West.
Helsinki surrounded by nature – the only way to be.
Konsta started taking photos of animals as a hobby around eight years ago but for the past three years it has been his profession.
– Nature is one of the most important things in my life.
I both work and relax there, Konsta says.
– Nowadays people live a hectic life and feel that they don’t have the time to go outdoors and explore the ir surroundings.
I wanted to show people how special a bond with nature can be and how it can be accessible to anyone – at least in Finland.
For me, being surrounded by nature is the only way to live.
As a photographer , I want to inspire people by showing the unique and special moments that I have with nature and wildlife.

A magical island in the heart of Helsinki

Seurasaari island and outdoor museum in Helsinki is where Konsta first started photographing animals.
He became close to a couple of squirrels and foxes by winning their trust slowly and with patience.
Seurasaari is a magical place like no other, .

Only 20 minutes bus ride from the buzzing shopping streets of central Helsinki

Visitors used to arrive to the island by boat, but a white wooden bridge over the water has been there since 1892.
The island’s squirrels, ducks, swans and geese are well accustomed to humans and welcome visitors to walk around on the marked hiking trails.
About a third of the island’s area is an open-air museum with free admission that introduces visitors to housing and lifestyles of past centuries in Finland.
The museum features over 30 building complexes and 87 separate buildings which have been brought to the island from different parts of the country.
The island also has a kiosk that is open on the weekends, a café and a summertime restaurant.
The western shore has a beach as well as a swimming facility with a nudist beach.
The swimming venue is also open in winter for ice swimming.
Green Capital.
Konsta has travelled all around the world, .

But Helsinki is the place he calls home

A third of our capital is covered in green areas.
Along with a score of sports grounds, they offer great possibilities for outdoor activities and relaxation.
The large Central Park and its forests spread out just outside the city centre. The archipelago of Helsinki consists of around 330 islands, providing beautiful set-ups for days at the beach or weekend camping trips.
everyman’s rights equal secret locations.
– What I love about Finland as opposed to any other country in the world is that we have the Everyman’s Rights.
This gives us freedom to roam the nature as we wish, Konsta enthuses.
– This makes it possible to find endless, secret photographic locations of all kind, ones that no one has ever even seen.
Forests, fells, rivers and lakes, the archipelago and the sea – the nature is varied and different from any other.
The chance to photograph wildlife in Finland is also one of the best in the world.
Playful Encounters.
– This picture is from a summer day, .

When I  ran into these fox cubs just on the outskirts of Helsinki

Even though Helsinki is a really big city (on a Finnish scale)

you don’t have to travel far to encounter wildlife.
best photos come out of the cold.
– This photo was taken in Seurasaari during a really cold spell.
The squirrels have to be plumb and full of nuts to survive the freezing conditions.
The colder the weather, the better are the chances on getting some breath-taking photos.
Just make sure you have enough clothes on and a battery for you camera.
inspiring, relaxing nature.
– I am forever inspired by nature, its phenomena, the wildlife and animals that experience it.
The more I am connected with nature, the more I see things and get to capture unique moments for others to see.
If I didn’t spend time in the nature as much as I do now, I could miss so many things that you can only witness once in your life.
You could say that nature’s wonders maintain my photographic hunger – it is insatiable.
– I don’t separate work and leisure time.
I relax amidst my shooting sessions, often by a bonfire with friends, surrounded by beautiful Finnish nature.
About Konsta Punkka.
www.konstapunkka.com/about/.
My Helsinki – Seurasaari Island.
www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/sights/seurasaari-island.

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The Greatest Outdoor Museums Ever wondered how the Finns used to live back in the days.
To find out.

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Tampere and Turku.
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